Did you know that there are a lot of NBA games? I did. I’ve done this whole ‘writing on a website thing’ for years and yet I’m never prepared for the march of games once the season begins. Even with an extended season into mid-October, there are still so many games! The Mavericks play eight of them this month alone!
Which means after a dispiriting loss Friday night against in Toronto against the Raptors, the Dallas Mavericks are right back at it this Sunday night against the Utah Jazz. Utah is on the back end of a back-to-back and the third game in a four game road trip, so the Mavericks might be in a great position to steal a win.
Here’s what to think about before the game:
Will Joe Ingles light Dallas on fire or will the Mavericks finally defend the three point line?
So if you have ESPN Insider, you’ve seen Kevin Pelton make a reasonable argument that the Mavericks are going to start hitting some of their good shots and the barrage of threes that are going down against Dallas (teams are shooting 48 percenet from beyond the arc against the Mavericks).
But Utah has one of the best 3 point shooters in the league in Joe Ingles. He shoots 42 percent for his career and through four games hit 50 percent. Someone named Georges Niang is also on fire thus far this season, so Dallas will have their work cut out for them.
OR maybe they should just try staying with guys and not giving up wide open threes.
Are the Dallas Mavericks going to try hard?
If you read my recap of the Friday night game or if you saw the game at all, then you noticed how inconsistent their effort was. Utah is one of the 10 best defensive teams in the league thus far in the early season and the Mavericks can’t afford to half-ass it if they want to hang with one of the more grind-y teams in the NBA.
Will Dennis Smith Jr. play?
The last game saw the return of Harrison Barnes to the Mavericks lineup, but the team was without another key piece in Dennis Smith Jr. The sophomore point guard expects to play versus the Jazz per multiple reports, so it will be interesting to see if adding in another key player changes the dynamic for Dallas at all. They haven’t been at full strength all season, with Barnes out the first few games, Devin Harris out after...I think it was game one?...and then Smith out in Barnes’ debut.
I for one will be interested to see how the chemistry continues to evolve as key players get a chance to play together.
How to watch
Tip off is at 6:00 p.m. CT. You can catch the game on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass.