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Game Thread: Mavericks (26-10) at Pacers (15-20)

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Who: The Indiana Pacers host the Dallas Mavericks

What: The beginning of a little road trip.

Where: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

When: 6:00pm CT

How: League Pass | FSSW-DAL | FSI | KESN | WFNI

The Story: Oh where, oh where has our little German gone? It looks like we'll be without him again, barring any sudden changes in plans. Despite lacking some quality scoring, this road trip looks to give us a chance to get back on our feet, as long as we a) play defense and b) don't collapse in the 2nd half. Again. Below the jump are the usual articles. Also, stop by the hair dresser and get some Indy Cornrows.

Mavericks-Pacers Preview - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
As badly as things have been going lately for the Dallas Mavericks, they appear to have a good chance of getting back on track on the road. Expected to play an eighth straight game without Dirk Nowitzki, the banged-up Mavericks try to avoid losing for the sixth time since their star went down Wednesday night when they open a seemingly favorable four-game road trip against the Indiana Pacers.

Shootaround Report: Mavericks (26-10) at Pacers (15-20)
There remains little certainty around whether or not Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki is set to make his return to the hardwood Wednesday evening against the Indiana Pacers. While Nowitzki did attend the team’s Wednesday morning shootaround, the level of his participation at the closed-door walkthrough wasn’t revealed by Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Mavericks looking forward to taking their show on the road
Jason Kidd was explaining what it's like playing without Dirk Nowitzki, and he fell back on one of his other passions besides basketball – music. "He's sold the most albums," Kidd said of Nowitzki. "We're the Commodores, and he's Lionel Richie." If that's the case, beautiful music has been missing for more than two weeks, and the Mavericks are more than ready to get back in tune.

Shawn Marion has been hot, except in 4th
Shawn Marion's offensive production has never been more important than now with Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler out of the lineup. He's come through, averaging 16.4 points a game -- five to six points more than his average when he came off the bench.

Is Brendan Haywood earning more PT?
Brendan Haywood runs through the same game-day routine. A long session on the elliptical before the game and then another one after the game. Apparenty when logging a career-low 17.8 minutes a game, additional conditioning work is necessary. But, maybe Haywood is working himself into additional minutes.