Coming off a loss to the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks (16-32) are looking to get back into the win column against the Portland Trail Blazers (26-22) in the final game of a three game homestand.
Just last week, the Mavs lost to the Trail Blazers 117-108. Damian Lillard was unconscious, leading the Blazers with 31 points. The Mavs’ made a valiant comeback, but it came up just short.
They’ll get a chance at revenge tonight, and here’s what to watch for.
Speaking of Damian Lillard
I’m not sure what is scarier: Lillard who just got snubbed from the all-star game or Lillard who is proving he belongs in the all-star game. Tuesday, the Trail Blazer’s star point guard was nominated as an all-star reserve, and most of the league would probably agree that was long overdue. But not Russell Westbrook. Long story short. Westbrook passive aggressively pined for his teammates to get in at the expense of Lillard (we can assume). Lillard was disappointed, but we can only hope he doesn’t release his rage on the hapless Mavericks. He dropped 31 points on the Timberwolves Wednesday after getting the all-star nod, but I can’t even imagine how he’ll respond on the court after learning of Westbrook’s comments. The American Airlines Center might be scorched and no longer standing.
Wes Matthews hot play
Evidently, Matthews loves playing against Portland. It’s almost as if he has something to prove. Last game, Matthews scored a team-high 23 points and grabbed five rebounds in a game that has catapulted him to some good performances the past three games. In fact, he’s averaging 22 points and shooting 45 percent from deep. Matthews’ biggest impact this game will come on the defensive end likely guarding Lillard or CJ McCollum, but a strong offensive night is always welcome. Oh, and the Mavs reportedly would swap Matthews for a first round pick. So, there’s that.
The Mavericks will be wearing their “City” edition jerseys tonight. The jerseys brought a mixed bag of reviews when first leaked, but it will be interesting to see how they actually look on players. The Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat displayed their “City” uniforms last night and they are sick. Maybe the Mavs’ “City” jersey will look better in the arena lighting. Or maybe it will still be bland and uninspiring. We’ll see.
How to watch
Tip off is at 7:30 CST and can be viewed on FSSW or NBA League Pass.