Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?
We're most likely due from an outburst from National TV Rajon Rondo since the game is on NBA TV against a team that's historically been a rival for Rondo and also a team he's reportedly auditioning for in the offseason. He's been averaging a decent 15-6-7 over his last few games, so be ready for a huge outburst in this game,
Chandler Parsons is also returning from a bone bruise in his left ankle, and so could be due for either an incredibly good comeback game or a massive struggle as he attempts to reintegrate himself to basketball with this new Mavericks team featuring Amar'e Stoudamire, but don't expect him to have a totally average game.
What's the biggest matchup to watch?
The Laker's top 6 minutes getters right now in order are Wayne Ellington, Jordan Clarkson, Jeremy Lin, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill, and Ed Davis. So there's not really a matchup here to worry about.
Hill/Davis vs. Tyson/Amar'e could give Dallas fits because the team overall can't particularly rebound, but otherwise the Mavericks should be able to take advantage of the fact that the Lakers don't have anyone good playing and are a bad basketball team.
What have the Lakers done recently?
The Lakers are on a 4 game losing streak, they haven't won once in March, and they're trying to lose out to ensure that they get to keep their top-6 protected pick that would be sent to Phoenix if the lottery gives them a pick greater than the 7th. Over their last 15 games -- or the most recent substantial sample size -- the Lakers are 4th worst team in the league by point differential.
On the other hand, the Mavericks have the worst Net Rating in the league over their last 5 games so maybe it'll be competitive!
What do the Mavericks need to do to be successful against the Lakers?
Play, like, reasonable, NBA-level basketball like paid professionals would probably do the trick, I imagine. The Mavericks, for all their flaws, and intense frustration of late should be able to do that: they have a very talented team and the Lakers do not, and right now the Lakers are not a difficult NBA team to get a win against.
On the other hand "should" is not the same as "will" so we'll have to see!
Tonight's a late game, airing at 9:30 on NBATV.