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3 things to watch as Mavericks take on the Bucks

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks' road woes continue as they look to get above .500 against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavericks are in a tailspin right now and need to find their way out of their funk. Unfortunately, Dallas is going into a road game against Milwaukee, losers of four of its last five games. However, the Mavericks’ schedule has been favorable towards them so far, with this game against the Bucks the only third time the Mavericks have had back-to-back games all season.

Dallas will have their hands full against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the talented Milwaukee squad.

Can the Dallas Mavericks show up for all four quarters?

Other than the blowout game against Memphis in October, I can’t remember the last time I saw a reasonable effort from this Dallas Mavericks team for more than a half. The Mavericks sometimes show glimpses; they can be good when engaged in the first half, but when the team gives up a 12-0 run and suddenly are down double digits, the players look to Luka Doncic to save the game. That is not a winning formula.

Will Kidd finally make rotation adjustments?

The groundswell for Christian Wood to start is undeniable and has to be acknowledged by Jason Kidd. The comments from Kidd generally have sidestepped the question, usually repeating the same coach-speak clichés about how difficult it is to find minutes for every big in the rotation. If Wood doesn’t eventually start, will Kidd make a change toward the minutes for Tim Hardaway Jr.? Hardaway is shooting a career-low 30 percent from three and hasn’t made a basket from long distance since Nov. 18 against the Denver Nuggets.

Who's going to step up?

Luka is only human. There will be games where Luka doesn't score 35 points a game. Luka will be doubled and sometimes tripled team; who will step up and make an open basket? Reggie Bullock had eight games last season where he did not make a field goal during a game. Bullock has had four games already this season without making a field goal during a game. Will Maxi Kleber be willing to take threes when he’s wide open? Can Josh Green rekindle the three point magic he found earlier in the season?

How to watch

You can watch the game on Bally Sports Southwest or NBA TV (if you live outside of the DFW area). Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CST.