The Dallas Mavericks face the Brooklyn Nets on the second night of a back to back. Dallas has predictably struggled on the second night of back to backs. Their points per game, field goal percentage and three-point percentage all dip when they play games on zero days rest, resulting in a 3-9 record for games on the tail end of a back to back.
The first time these teams played, the Nets left Dallas victorious in nail-biting fashion. The Mavs rattled off a 7-0 run in the final two minutes to cut the lead to two and were forced to foul the Nets the rest of they way. The Mavs received some lucky breaks with the Nets missing crucial free throws, but Dallas was unable to secure the rebounds.
Here’s what to watch for in the second and final bout.
Does Rick Carlisle stick to his word?
Per Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, Rick Carlisle planning on getting a look at some of the younger big men in the final games of the season. That includes players like Jonathan Motley, Jameel Warney and...Nerlens Noel? I guess Carlisle doesn’t know what he has in Noel. It makes sense, though. It’s hard to see what you have when that player’s on the bench. But I digress. It will be interesting to see who Carlisle has closing games down the stretch. That might be the true mark of whether he’s rolling with the young guys or not.
In the last four games the Mavericks are turning opponents over nearly 15 times per game, good for ninth best in the league. Maybe it’s because Carlisle has deployed longer, more athletic lineups able to occupy passing lanes and switch most positions. No matter the reason, the Mavs have another opportunity to wreak havoc tonight in Brooklyn against the turnover-prone nets. It’s been enjoyable to watch the Mavs operate with wings like Doug McDermott and Kyle Collinsworth on offense. They provide the length and scoring lacking without them. At the same time, the Mavericks’ wings are making their mark defensively. Cheers to 2018 basketball.
And of course...the tank race
This wouldn’t be a true preview between two of the seven teams eliminated from the playoffs without discussing the tanking implications. As of this writing, the Mavs are one game ahead of (behind?) the Nets in the standings. Additionally, the Mavs are only 2.5 games out of the third worst record, so not all hope is lost. Some shuffling could occur should Dallas drop this one in Brooklyn.
How to watch
We’ve got an early tip at 6:30 CST. The game can be watched on FSSW or NBA League Pass.