The Utah Jazz are going to be so embarrassed when they play the Mavericks again on Friday and realize that the teams’ game on Wednesday was actually just a prank, bro. Dallas just thought it would be funny to let Joe Ingles hit seven three pointers while Rudy Gobert put up 29/20 en route to out-rebounding the Mavs by 14.
That was then. We all had a good laugh about it, because, like, it’s funny that the Jazz even thought we were trying because we weren’t. So they’re actually the one who looked like lame try-hards by scoring 116 points. But, yeah, the Dallas Mavericks are going to play for real for real this time. Pinky promise.
On the road again
The Maverick’s early schedule has been notable for a few things. For one, it’s been among the hardest in the league thus far. Something that’s been especially nasty considering the health situation the team had been going through.
On top of that, They’ve played the fewest home games of any team in the league (tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards with 6). On this back-to-back with the Jazz, they find themselves once again away from home, but at least in the same place. With any luck, the removal of travel time allowed the team to get some practice time in to work out some of the kinks associated with integrating players back into the rotation.
Jordan Clarkson voodoo
Hopefully the shower Jordan Clarkson took after Wednesday’s game washed off whatever magic voodoo spell he was under. With Donovan Mitchell out, Clarkson put up a season-high 31, and was particularly potent in the first half when he put up 19 points shooting 8/14 from the field. He cooled off some in the second half, but by then the damage was already done, and the Mavericks were never particularly competitive.
The Jazz may be getting Mitchell back for the rematch, which creates an entirely different set of problems for Dallas, but suffice it to say, it’s not likely the team can survive another onslaught from Clarkson considering all the other things they need to deal with against Utah.
We need wizard Rick
Rick Carlisle has done some truly incredible things as the head coach of the Mavericks. The crowning jewel, of course, being the team’s first and only title in 2011, but outside of that, he has managed to drag some truly mediocre teams to the playoffs. And not only that, they’ve been kinda/sorta competitive once they’ve gotten there.
In Carlisle’s tenure, Dallas has played in 12 playoff series. A number have been first round exits, but in all those series, the team has only ever been swept a single time. It was in the 2011-12 season against the Thunder.
A back to back against the Jazz isn’t the same thing as a four game series, but it is a chance to immediately implement some changes against the exact same opponent you just played. Lots of things need to be addressed for this team on a season-long arc, but for now, they can be laser-focused on addressing the deficiencies against the Utah Jazz specifically. Carlisle has shown he is capable of coaching a team to playing better than the sum of its parts, and he’ll need to do that here to get a split against the Jazz.
How to watch
The game tips at 9:00 PM CT and can be watched on NBA TV or Fox Sports Southwest.