The Dallas Mavericks (29-17) host the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night (19-27), following their road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday evening. Dallas is 1-0 versus the Suns this season, with Luka Doncic crushing Phoenix in late November with 42 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists.
The Mavericks will look to win their second straight after trading wins and losses over their previous four contests. The Suns are finishing up a three game road trip where they’ve beaten the San Antonio Spurs and lost to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Here’s some things to consider heading into the game:
Can the Mavericks contain Devin Booker enough?
Shooting guard Devin Booker has been putting up All-Star quality numbers this season while the Suns struggle again. With Ricky Rubio questionable with an ankle injury heading into the contest, Booker may end up being the lone quality ball handler against the Mavericks.
Dallas has not been good against hot shooting guards this season and particularly as of late with both Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell carving up the Mavericks for big games. Dorian Finney-Smith is likely to draw the first look against Booker, who is averaging 27 points on 51 percent shooting from the field including 36.5% from beyond the arc.
Willie Cauley-Stein should see at least a few minutes
Former number one over-all pick DeAndre Ayton is enormous and if Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t play the second end of this back-to-back, the Mavericks need someone to absorb minutes. The Suns aren’t particularly good at any one statistic, nor are they particularly bad either and while the Mavericks are excellent at getting funky with line ups, losing Powell exposed a clear hole in their roster.
Enter WCS, who profiles out to be the kind of player we all yell about: either that he’s not playing enough or that he’s playing too much. Which is good, because we need something new to argue about that none of us have the power to change.
Hopefully he gets minutes.
Delon Wright’s increased playing time matters
Since the loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and his brother’s online outburst last week, Delon Wright’s been on a three game tear, perhaps his best of the new year.
He’s averaging just over 11 points on 56 percent shooting, grabbing a whopping nine rebounds, and dishing four assists in 28 minutes per game, up nearly eight minutes from his season average.
Wright has been an engine of chaos on both ends of the floor. He’s playing defense with confidence (despite his late game miscue versus the Jazz) and has show clear flashes of being the second ball handler the Mavericks need. He’ll be called upon to fill the gaps for Dallas Tuesday evening.
How to watch
Dallas plays at home with the usual 7:30 pm tip off. Catch it on Fox Sports Southwest and NBA League Pass.