The Mavericks welcome the Indiana Pacers to American Airlines Center this afternoon for the sort of early NBA game notorious for producing basketball of questionable quality. Aside from some sloppy play from guys who had to wake up several hours too early, what can we expect as the Mavs try to keep a four-game losing streak from turning into five?
What happened the last time these teams met?
The last game against Indiana was nearly three months ago. The Mavericks were up by two at the half, but the Pacers spent the third and fourth quarters hammering away at Dallas and won handily 107-81 after holding the Mavs to just 34 second-half points. It wasn't great.
What have the Pacers done lately?
The Pacers are .500 over their last 10 games and .531 for the season. They're part of the large pack of teams battling over the lower tier of playoff spots in the East. Indiana is currently seventh, with an offense that has struggled this season but one of the stingiest defenses in the league.
The team will be coming off five days rest and a strong win over the San Antonio Spurs.
How much will we all be missing Monta Ellis today?
Eh, that probably depends on how you felt about Monta when he was in Dallas (if you don't remember how you felt about Monta as a Maverick, we've got a reminder of some of his best moments). His performance last time the teams met was pretty classic: he was scoreless in the first half (though not for lack of trying) but ended the game with 19 points on 7-17 shooting. He made three three pointers, but also made just 33 percent of his many long twos.
How to watch
Today's game tips off at 1:00PM Central and will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Southwest (unless you're local to Indianapolis, where it will be on Fox Sports Midwest). Fans elsewhere can catch the game on NBA League Pass.