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3 things to watch for plus a guy with a beard as the Mavericks take on the Rockets

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Houston comes to town. Is Dallas up to the challenge?

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

A win! Hey, that’s great! The Dallas Mavericks don’t win much this season but on Monday they blew out the Washington Wizards. Poor Scott Brooks just isn’t a match for Rick Carlisle. That’s all in the past, now. Tonight the Houston Rockets are in town. Currently, the Rockets sit in second place in the Western Conference, and they have thoughts of knocking off the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs. It’s January. So, let’s get you up to speed with the Rockets and what to look for tonight.

* extremely Judge Mills Lane voice *

Let’s get it on!

Chris Paul is a saucy little tart

Did you see this?

Oh my goodness. What happened to the nice Chris selling us insurance on TV? It’s like he summoned all his pent up rage about never making it to the Conference Finals and the pettiness of the entire Los Angeles Clippers organization into one emotion. I am both shocked and comforted knowing that Twitter isn’t the worst hellscape ever created by humanity. Chris Paul’s mind is.

What I’m trying to say is that Paul is playing extremely well for the Rockets this season. While he’s missed a number of games, he’s still putting up All-Star caliber numbers. He’s averaging 19.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 8.9 assists, and 1.9 steals. The challenge of guarding him will probably be by committee but Dennis Smith Jr. will get the first crack at him.

Mike D’Antoni

I’m not quite sure that D’Antoni knows how many players are actually on the Rockets’ roster. He consistently plays just eight players. I think I said this above but IT’S JANUARY. But this has been the norm all season. And you know what? I’m just a guy on the internet typing words while the Rockets are rattling off numerous wins. Maybe I don’t know anything about basketball. Or maybe I know that in an 82 game season you should find more time for your bench players when you’re blowing out teams. We’ll see who’s right come June.

I predict D’Antoni to run out nine guys tonight.

Gerald Green

If he gets in the game, he will have a breakaway dunk that will shake you to your core. He always does that to the Mavs.

James Harden

He’s got a beard. I hear he likes clubs. That’s cool, I guess. Wesley Matthews will guard him.

It’ll be an uphill struggle for the Mavs tonight. You knew that before you started reading this post. Can they win? Sure. Will they win? I don’t know. Dallas has a particular knack for playing top-level opponents well so we’ll see if that trend continues. At the very least, maybe DSJ will yam on Clint Capela so hard he is forced to retire. One can hope anyway.

Time and channel

7pm on ESPN