The Mavs will be looking to continue their form from last night’s impressive win over the Toronto Raptors 98-93, ending the Raptors’ six-game winning streak.
Indiana had a more than forgetful performance against the Detroit Pistons last night as they lost on the road by 24 points 107-83. The Pacers will desperately be looking to get back on track and continue their impressive run so far.
Here’s three things to look out for in tonight’s game.
Victor Oladipo is the real deal
Oladipo has had an interesting career thus far after being one of the top rookies in his draft class. He’s been traded twice in his short time in the NBA but has finally carved out his own spot in the league, putting up some of the best numbers of his life.
The Pacers have been surprisingly lead by Oladipo this season after many thought they would drop significantly with the loss of Paul George in the offseason. Vegas had their over/under at 31.5, which looks ridiculous in hindsight.
Oladipo is averaging 25.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists while making 48.6 percent of his shots (44.1 percent from 3-point range). He’s a proven winner and leader, and the Mavs will most certainly have their work cut out for them.
Dennis Smith Jr. needs to find a way out of his slump
Sure, he’s a rookie and it’s only been a few bad games, but he hasn’t been the same since his short time out with a hip injury. After coming back from a six game absence, Smith Jr. has had some less than desirable performances, averaging 8.75 points, 3.25 rebounds and 4.75 assists.
Thankfully the Mavericks have had some solid input from J.J. Barea and Yogi Ferrell to pick up the slack in the back court, however DSJ will be desperate to get back in form and win some of those minutes back. It’s no secret he’s being left out of the rotation late in games, but in order for Rick Carlisle to trust the young rookie, Smith Jr. must get into some consistent form.
Both teams will need to rely heavily on their bench
With both the Pacers and the Mavericks being on the second night of a back-to-back, fatigue may become a real factor. The Mavs have the more experienced bench which is lead by J.J. Barea, who actually puts up 14.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds when he has zero days rest (some of the best numbers on the team).
How to watch
You can catch the game on Fox Sports Southwest (or NBA League Pass outside of the Dallas area) starting at 6:00 p.m. Central. Follow along with us to catch all of our game coverage!