Well. Here we are. The Mavericks are sitting at 34-34 after a brutal last-second loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday. What would be great is if the Mavs have a weaker team coming up on their schedule to bounce back.
NOPE. Instead, the killer cyborgs known as the Golden State Warriors visit Dallas on Friday. This should go just great.
What happened the last time these two met?
Weirdly enough, the Mavericks and Warriors haven't played each other at full strength this season. When Golden State came to town on Dec. 30, Stephen Curry sat out and the Mavs ran the Warriors out of the gym 114-91.
When the Mavs visited the Warriors on Jan. 27, they lost 127-107, but rested Dirk Nowitzki. Still, Dallas played well in stretches of the game and even held Curry to just 14 points. Instead if was Klay Thompson who torched the Mavs to the tune of 45 points and seven 3-pointers.
Unless something changes between now and tip off, this will be the first time the stars of both teams will be on the floor at the same time. Andre Iguodala has been dealing with some injury issues, but other than that we should see the full cast of characters.
Matchup to watch?
This is a tough one. Overall, I want to see how the Mavs newfound, small-ball lineup competes with the Warriors (probably not very well but it'll be interesting). But, as far as individual matchups go, I'm looking at Wesley Matthews vs. Klay Thompson.
As mentioned earlier, Thompson went and dropped 45 on the Mavs in January, but did struggle with just 10 points in December. How much Thompson and Matthews are matched up could depend on what startling lineup the Mavs decide to trot out there, but there's no doubt they should see heavy time on each other.
Matthews has struggled to find any kind of consistency on the offensive end, and barely played against in the second half against Cleveland on Wednesday. But Wes will likely be called upon to play a big defensive role against Thompson and perhaps even Curry at times.
If Matthews could put together a solid defensive game, and hit a few 3-pointers in the process, it would go a long way in helping the Mavs face this behemoth.
Do the Mavs fall under .500?
It's really hard to think that they won't. Dallas really needed to get Wednesday's game against Cleveland with LeBron James resting, but let it slip through their fingers. Despite losing Gordon Hayward for a while, Utah could begin to make up ground and nab the final playoff spot if Dallas keeps faltering.
Let's face it: this is probably the night when Dallas falls under .500, and who knows when they'll climb back over again with their upcoming schedule. It's the NBA and anything can happen, but it'll take some serious Rick Carlisle wizardry and Dirk Nowitzki greatness to pull this off.
How to watch?
As usual this game will be on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.