This Friday November 1st, the Dallas Mavericks host a nationally televised battle against the Los Angeles Lakers in what is easily their biggest game to date. For the first time since November of the 2017-18 season, LeBron James is expected to play in Dallas and this time with his new co-star, All-Star forward Anthony Davis.
With an all-time great like James playing his 17th season, there may be just a handful of chances left to see him in person. Pair that fact with a chance to see the new superstar Dallas duo in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and this is one game you won’t want to miss live. Our partner StubHub wants you to have a chance to see LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers and there are still great seats available throughout American Airlines Center.
The Lakers (3-1) roll into Dallas following their third straight double digit victory after an opening night loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Mavericks are 3-1, following two straight wins to open the season, a loss to Portland, and a ridiculous win against the Nuggets.
Here are the three main stories heading into the contest:
Can the Mavericks stars come ready to play?
The Mavericks escaped Tuesday night in Denver on the strength of their bench. If the Mavericks hope to compete with a top heavy Los Angeles team, both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis must contribute a great deal and do so efficiently.
On the same night as one of the worst performances in the NBA from Luka Doncic, Anthony Davis scored 40 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in 30 minutes, which is something that’s never been done in NBA history. Oh, and the Lakers also feature an older gentleman named LeBron James, one of the best players NBA history.
A combined 7-26 shooting performance from both KP and Luka isn’t going to cut it against the superstar Lakers duo.
Controlling the glass
Heading into the season, we predicted the Mavericks would struggle on the glass without any centers or forwards who excelled at rebounding. Through four games (and an admittedly small sample size), those fears appear overstated. Dallas is currently 21st in the NBA in overall team rebounding. More specifically, they place 15th on the defensive glass and 17th on the offensive side.
Lucky for Dallas, the Lakers are within range, at least in terms of gross rebounding totals. In terms of differential, the Lakers and Mavericks are right in the same neighborhood.
Though they’ve played limited minutes, Lakers centers Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee are responsible for half the Los Angeles offensive rebounds in their time on the floor. The Mavericks will need to make a point to get a body on either.
Neither team’s fan base wants to hear this, but the talent level after each team’s top two drops considerably. But which team’s role players will make a difference Friday night?
Much like Dallas, the Lakers have a rotating set of guys the coaching staff wants to try out. And like the Mavericks, injuries have thrown some kinks in those plans. Both teams have guys working through injury issues. While the Mavericks may have Dwight Powell back in the rotation, as of this writing it’s not clear if Rajon Rondo or Kyle Kuzma will be able to suit up.
These potential exclusions should give Dallas a real advantage. The Mavericks may have a carousel in terms of their own starting line up, but in a player by player comparison, Dallas has the better group of guys, and judging by the Tuesday contest, guys who are willing to keep firing away.
Dorian Finney-Smith, Seth Curry, Maxi Kleber, Tim Hardaway Jr., Delon Wright; the Lakers may stagger more minutes against Dallas because if not, the Mavericks are likely to wallop the likes of Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels.
Go see this game live if you can
I’m normally an advocate of the couch. It’s comfortable and mine is near a big television. But seeing LeBron James live is remarkable and there won’t be many chances left. And if you have’t seen Luka Doncic in person, seeing him play against his idol is as good a reason to get up off the couch as any.
How to Watch
If you don’t or aren’t able to go see the game live, then your next best bet is on ESPN at 8:30 CST.
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