—–LAST YEAR RESULTS—– —-UPCOMING MEETINGS—-
JAN 1 @ MINNESOTA: L 99-82 NOV 12 @ DALLAS
JAN 25 @ DALLAS: L 105-90 DEC 15 @ MINNESOTA
FEB 10 @ MINNESOTA: W 104-97 JAN 14 @ DALLAS
MAVS LOST SERIES 3-1 MAR 10 @ MINNESOTA
This will be the second season for the Dallas Mavericks to face J.J. Barea in a T’Wolves uniform. Last season was a different story being a lockout season, but the Mavs did lose 2 of the 3 games in the season series match ups. Now with the Timberwolves being a lot better and of course having Kevin Love on the team the Mavs may have trouble defending this team.
If Ricky Rubio is healthy at all this season his quickness will be hard for the Mavericks to stop. The one two punch with Rubio and Love will be a challenge and the Mavericks only have Shawn Marion that can defend Love. The first match up between these two teams is only a few weeks into the regular season which may start off as a little sloppy.
With the two just knowing each other and especially with the Mavericks having a completely new team I will not be surprised if the Timberwolves take the first game of their season series match up. The Timberwolves are an up-and-coming team that has a bright future ahead of them, while the Mavericks on the other hand are in the process of trying to figure out what to do with this team once Dirk Nowitzki retires in a few years.
Speaking of Nowitzki he may be the only guy that the Timberwolves will have trouble stopping. It will just depend on how he plays during those games. We know that Dirk will have games where he goes 4 for 20 and games that he will go 15-21. The only way for the Wolves to stop Dirk is probably to double team him, but that’s pretty much every team’s game plan when they play against the Mavericks.
For the Mavericks they will have to use Chris Kaman and Elton Brand more in the paint if they want to beat this Wolves team. The Timberwolves have players on the team like Brandon Roy, Ricky Rubio and Andrei Kirilenko that have a tendency to take a lot of shots from the field and the big guys on the Mavericks will need to catch those missed shots to get those fast break points with Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo and sometimes Vince Carter.
Depending on how the season goes between the meetings with these two teams I expect the Mavericks to win at least two against the Timberwolves, but I will not be surprised if the Timberwolves take three out of the four games against the Mavs since they are an up and rising young team.
—–LAST YEAR MEETING—– —–UPCOMING MEETINGS—-
MAR 30 @ ORLANDO: W 100-98 JAN 20 @ ORLANDO
MAVS WON SERIES 1-0 FEB 20 @ DALLAS
The two meetings against the Magic should be an automatic win. All the players and coaches on the Mavericks will tell you that no win is automatic, but with no Dwight Howard and a team that is now in a rebuilding process the Mavericks should be able to walk all over this Orlando team. However knowing the Mavericks past in “automatic wins” they have had the tendency to lose those games. Losing to the Magic would actually surprise me.
Orlando does have Jameer Nelson, Al Harrington, J.J. Redick, Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu, but most of these guys I see traded during throughout the season, meaning that the Mavericks should be able to get an easy win. However, if a lot of these guys are still on the roster I would not be surprised if it comes down to the wire.
The Mavericks will need to stop Nelson since Howard is not there anymore that means that his scoring average may go up as he does not have to past the ball to the big guy anymore. Turkoglu’s scoring average has gone down the past three years going from 17.5 points a game five years ago to 8.4 points a game this past season. I don’t see Turkoglu being much of a factor this year, but he does have games where he is lights out, so the Mavericks will have some work cut out for them if either of these guys are still here.
The Magic will need to put somebody at the paint to stop Kaman and Brand which would probably be Glen Davis. “Big Baby” had a career making season last year averaging 19 points, 1.2 blocks and 9.2 rebounds a game. With Dwight Howard being gone Davis will have to prove himself that he can stay with the big boys in the NBA.
Davis will probably be a problem for the Mavericks if he is not traded before they meet. Davis will probably be the one guy that be traded as the Magic does not have any other powerful big guys playing the center position. The Mavericks will need to either Brand or Kaman on him, but with Davis strength he can easily power his way to the paint for an easy two points and a free throw chance.
However, the Mavericks do have Kaman and Brand who will both end up guarding the Big Baby. Brand last year averaged 1.6 blocks a game as well as 7.2 rebounds while Kaman averaged 1.6 blocks and 7.7 rebounds a game. It will probably be a battle in the paint with tons of fouls called on both side. Davis will most likely pass the ball to either Nelson or another guy they get during the season.
With Nowitzki, Marion, Collison, Mayo and Carter as well as Delonte West the Mavericks should have no problem taking an early lead and getting that easy “W”. If the Mavericks do end up losing this game it will be because of poor shooting which is in the Mavericks past as well as lack of the fundamental basics of the game.