Four-Pointer: Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Game three of a four game road trip takes Dallas on a visit to see the feisty Kings.

What have the Kings done lately?

After getting beat late by the Mavericks last Saturday, the Kings beat the Pelicans and the Lakers. Then on Friday night, they ran into a buzzsaw, getting destroyed at home by the Golden State Warriors, 69-102. The Kings scored 27 points in the first half. Needless to say, I expect their pride to be on the line and they should come out firing against a rather hapless Dallas defensive squad.

What Maverick might be due for a big game?

I'm going to say Monta Ellis. Though he actually served as a solid play maker against the Lakers, he's had two games where he looked really out of sorts for stretches. Against the Clippers, his late game decision-making was a key factor in the LA game run. Against the Lakers, he was lackadaisical early and it allowed Los Angeles to stay in a game they had no business being a part of. If Isaiah Thomas misses another game due to his quad injury, Ellis has a real chance to put up big numbers against a depleted King back court.

What does Dallas need to do to be successful against the Kings?

DeMarcus Cousins is very nearly a force of nature, so there's not much the Mavericks can do to stop him other than hope he stops himself (happens a lot, oddly enough). In order to keep the Kings from stealing a victory, the Mavericks MUST limit Rudy Gay. In the two prior match-ups, Gay is averaging 32.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and three assists. Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder and whoever else sees time on the talented forward has to slow him down somehow. Gay is good, but he's not this good. They also need to get Dirk going early and often again.

What's the biggest match up to watch?

The Dallas back court versus Ray McCallum. Who is Ray McCallum? He is an NBA 2K14 "Create-a-Player" who gained sentience and inserted himself into a cadaver. He had 16 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds last Saturday against Dallas. If Ellis or Calderon or anyone can limit him even a bit, the entire Kings offense should fall apart. They do not have back up options at this point.

This is a classic trap game for the Mavericks. They must win it, with so few games left to play.

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