Denver is seven games below .500 and a team bound for the lottery. Still, the Mavs nearly lost a game to the Nuggets a week ago in Dallas, and it's hard to guarantee anything with this bunch. Coming off a bad loss to Sacramento, the Mavs need a win before the schedule gets tough again.
What happened the last time these two met?
A near disaster for Dallas. The Mavs fell behind by 23 points against the Nuggets, but rallied back to win 122-116 in overtime at home.
Raymond Felton had eight points in overtime while Chandler Parsons dropped 27 and Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 13 boards. The big development from that game was the way Dallas came back. Zaza Pachulia only played eight minutes while Dallas made the decision to go small, relying on David Lee at center and Parsons at the four. The moved paid off as Lee went for 14 points and 14 boards and the Mavs offense received a spark. It'll be interesting to see if Dallas makes the same move against Denver this time around, especially in the high altitude.
Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari also hurt is ankle against Dallas the last time around and hasn't played since. Denver might shut him down for the season.
What Chandler Parsons is doing lately can't be understated. In Dallas' last 10 games, Parsons is averaging 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds three assists and has been the Mavs' best player. It's truly everything Dallas and Parsons hoped he would become when he signed that offersheet in an Orlando club.
The key is sustaining it. Parsons is shooting is sizzling 56.8 percent from the field, but he won't shoot like that forever. Eventually, Parsons' shooting will likely regress, but his all-around game is what sets him apart. Another big performance could be in cards if Dallas plays Denver like the second half of a week ago.
David Lee: playing well and having fun
I wasn't really sure what to expect when the Mavs signed David Lee. Originally, I thought Dallas would opt to sign another shooter in the buyout market. But Lee has been a big spark to the Mavs as Zaza Pachulia has regressed. Lee is averaging 10.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in his first five games with the Mavs, becoming a key cog instantly.
Lee was hugely important to beating Denver on Feb. 26 when the Mavs decided to go small. No, he's not a great defender by any stretch but what he's given Dallas on the offensive end makes up for it. Expect another decent game from him against Denver, especially if the Mavs play the same way they did a week ago.
How to watch?
The game will be on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass for you out of area folks. Note the early start time: the game tips at 4 p.m. CST.