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3 things to watch for against the Cleveland Cavaliers

After winning five of their last 10 games, the Mavs look to upset the champs.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports



THIS SHOULD BE A DERON WILLIA- I mean, welcome to the formal Dallas Mavericks Moneyball preview of the upcoming basketball contest against their NBA opponent, Cleveland Cavaliers, a team of many playmakers.

They’re going back to back

Things may get a little ugly. Cavs and Mavs are both on back to backs and dealing with injuries. Besides long-term injuries to J.R. Smith and JJ.. Barea, Kevin Love isn’t traveling with the Cavs and Deron Williams is to miss another game due to his toe.

LeBron’s Ironman but the rest of the top-heavy Love-less Cavs just logged heavy minutes (even old friend Richard Jefferson played 31 minutes) in a relatively safe game against the Thunder. The Mavs stretched their starters to beat the Spurs, and Dirk’s been shooting 14 percent in back to back performances this year so be ready for some basketball carnage.

Hot Yogi

Yogi Ferrell was delivered to the Mavericks from the Long Island Nets on a ten day contract, and shortly after reading his new Mavericks employee manual and customizing his voicemail message, he was slipped right into the starting lineup. The result? He logged a casual 35 minutes with a team-best plus-minus of plus-11 as he quarterbacked the Mavs on a nifty 7:0 assists to turnover ratio. He added two steals and hit two icy free throws to beat the Spurs at home.

Keeper much? Yes, considering the new Mavericks all-time PG list now goes something like Kidd, Nash, Harper, JET and Yogi.

LeBron, Uncle Drew and... RJ?

The Cavs are notoriously top-heavy, as their GM LeBron James has declared to front offices around the league. After losing Love to back spasms, Thristan Thompson stepped up as a third scorer with 19 points while Jefferson picked up minutes, up from his season average of 19 minutes. With JR Smith and Love out, the Cavs are going to look for scoring from anybody - Thompson, Iman Shumpert and even recent acquisition Kyle Korver may fill that role.

The Mavs can expect LeBron and Kyrie to team up for 60, even 75 points but will need to keep a cap on everybody else to stand a chance.

How to watch

Tip-off is at 7:30PM Central. You can watch on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass.