The Dallas Mavericks playthe Denver Nuggets for the second time this season. The Nuggets are coming off a dominating victory over the Portland Trailblazers. Fortunately for the Mavericks, this means the Nuggets are on short rest.
Reigning most valuable player Nikola Jokic is on absolute tear, narrowly missing a third consecutive triple double against Portland. To make matters worse, Maxi Kleber remains out with an oblique injury. Michael Porter Jr. Is also out for the Nuggets.
The Mavericks are coming off their own dominant win, and Luka Doncic is coming off his own triple double.
Here are the things to watch as they match up.
How do the Mavericks defend Jokic?
The idea of leaving Dwight Powell to guard Jokic by himself is as terrifying as taking a camping trip to Crystal Lake or taking a nap on Elm Street. But because of Jokic’s passing ability, consistently double teaming him is not a good option either. The Mavericks will have to mix up their schemes and hope that the short rest leaves Jokic at less than his best.
Can Luka and Kristaps Porzingis build on the Spurs game?
One of the issues with this pairing has been that they are rarely at their best at the same times. The Spurs game was the exception as Porzingis and Luka both clearly had their best games of the season. If they can build on that success against one of the best teams in the league, it would go a long way towards improving this teams outlook.
Can the Mavericks survive the minutes Jalen Brunson is on the bench?
Brunson has been better than anyone could have expected. The Mavericks have to begin playing better without him though. With Jamal Murray still out, the point guard combination of Luka and Brunson is the largest advantage the Mavericks have and they should exploit it. But Brunson cannot save them every night and they need to begin doing a better job when he sits.
How to watch
You can watch the broadcast on Bally Sports or NBA TV if not in the local market at 7:00 pm CST.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. We get Adam Mares of DNVR on to talk about the Nuggets. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.