clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Mavericks will have a big test against the Clippers in this very important game

New, comments

Last time these two teams played, it wasn’t pretty for Dallas. The Mavs have a chance to make a statement.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks have hit a small rough patch due to the injury of Kristaps Porzingis, but they’ll have a chance for a statement win Tuesday night in Dallas against the Los Angeles Clippers.

It should be a fairly star-studded matchup, if the stars get to play. The Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, while the Mavericks have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. At the time of this writing, Porzingis is out with a knee injury, but there’s a chance he could play against the Clippers. It should be a great game to be at and our partner StubHub wants you to have a chance to see this contest in-person and as of right now there are a ton of great seats available.

This will be one of the most difficult games for the Mavericks this season, because the Clippers feel like a team created in a lab specifically engineered to demolish this Mavericks roster. Here’s what we’re watching for.

Can the Mavericks overcome the bad matchups?

This feels like the whole game — the Clippers, at every corner, have some sort of kryptonite to this Mavericks team.

Dallas struggles with wing defense, with Dorian Finney-Smith being the only sizable perimeter defender on the roster. The Clippers have George and Kawhi.

Dallas has one of the best benches in the league! The Clippers are one of the few teams that have a better one.

Luka Doncic has taken the leap to be an All-NBA player! The Clippers have not one, but two All-NBA defense wings to throw at him.

It’s just a brutal matchup the Mavericks have to overcome. It all manifested in the previous matchup, with the Clippers winning 114-99. Dallas shot under 40 percent, Lula looked bad and the Clippers kind of cruised throughout the entire game.

Dallas actually guarded OK for a majority of the game, but their free flowing offense was stymied by George and Leonard. If Luka can find a way to look like Luka, they’ll have a chance.

The Mavericks bigs have to show up

In the last matchup, Porzingis, Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber gave them almost nothing on offense. Porzingis and Kleber combined to go 4-of-15 from the field and Powell had just 10 points on five shots. He made four of them, but he didn’t get a lot of opportunities.

That has to change against the Clippers, who are somewhat thin up front. Ivica Zubac is an OK starter and Montrezl Harrell is a demon on a pogo stick, but Dallas has to get more out of their big rotation, even if Porzingis doesn’t play. Neither of those guys love to guard at the three point line, so hopefully Kleber’s shooting can show up and get them out of the paint, potentially freeing up some room for Doncic.

The bench needs to at least hang

It’s really, really hard to outdo Lou Williams and Harrell coming off the bench. Those two would probably start on at least 60 percent of the other teams in the league. They’re one of the best pick and roll duos in the league and they come off the bench after Leonard and George are done mauling you to death.

So the Mavs need their bench to at least give them something. Delon Wright, Seth Curry, Jalen Brunson, Justin Jackson — all have struggled a little bit in the last week or so with the Porzingis injury throwing the rotation off. If those guys can play well, it’ll at least prevent keep the game within distance so long as the starters can also hold their own.

How to watch

Our friends at StubHub can show you just how many great deals are available days and even hours before the game.

If you can’t go see the game live, then the game is on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.