After three games, the Dallas Mavericks are winless. Notching that fist victory won’t be easy Monday night as the Golden State Warriors come to town. They’re pretty good, if you haven’t heard. So, here’s what you need to know before the opening tip.
The Mavs are simply atrocious at grabbing boards. They average only 39.3 rebounds per game. That’s good for 12th in the league which isn’t a terrible mark on the surface. However, opponents are grabbing a total of 53.7 rebounds against them. That’s the most in the NBA. Further, Dallas’ defensive rebounding percentage is a lowly 71.2 percent. No one is saying boo-urns.
If the Mavs have any hope of competing with the reigning champs, they are going to have to do a better job on the glass. That’s a tall order to ask too. Even with Nerlens Noel in the game, Dallas has to rely on wings and guards to pull down rebounds. Unfortunately, that hasn’t proven to be reliable yet.
Of course the Warriors have Stephen Curry and some guy named Kevin Durant but the true Maverick killer on their roster is Klay Thompson. In his career, he averages more points, 22.2, against Dallas than he does against any other team except the Pacers. Nothing the Mavs do seems to slow him down. If anyone is going to have a career night, the smart money is on Klay.
What’s up with Wesley Matthews? He’s always been a streaky shooter but his shot simply isn’t falling. He’s shooting a mere 26.7 percent and only 31.8 percent on 3s. Compounding the issue is the 10 shots he puts up per game. That’s a lot of missed opportunities.
Making matters worse, Matthews is turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Through three games, he has 11 turnovers, the most on the team. Harrison Barnes has the second most on the team with six. With Matthews handling the ball more, the turnovers are just as costly as his missed shots.
It’s too early to assume Matthews’ funk is a sign of things to come but he needs to turn things around fast. He’ll be in games regardless, though. There simply are not enough wings on the team for him to sit.
How to watch
Tipoff is at 7:30 PM Central on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass.