They return home after losing back-to-back games on the road to the New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats. In both games they were without their main defensive guy, Shawn Marion. He may be out again tonight with his status unknown at this time.
With the T’Wolves on a great start to begin the season (4-2), and the way the Mavs are playing right now, it may be a difficult game tonight for them. However, if one guy in particular steps it up tonight then tonight could be a victory for Dallas.
Darren Collison will need to get back on the scoring end if the Mavs want to come out with a “W” tonight. In the past two games, Collison has averaged 9 points compared to 15.7 points a game in the the three wins at home last week. He is going to need to score his average or more for a victory tonight.
Another guy that needs to have their best game tonight is Chris Kaman. In the loss against New York, he scored 14 points and against Charlotte he had 6 points. The Mavs know he can score the basketball and he is going to need to do that tonight. If he is given the ball down in the paint he can easily score 20 or more points.
If he can do that then there is no question that the Mavs walk away with a win tonight. However, keeping him out of foul trouble will be key, too. With no other real big men to fill the center role, other than Elton Brand, it will be hard for Dallas to defend the paint if Kaman is not on the floor.
The same goes for Brand. He needs to stay out of foul trouble early for the Mavs to have a shot to keep this a close game.
O.J. Mayo has been great for the Mavs so far in this early season, averaging 21.9 points a game. If he continues to score like he has been and as long as the other guys pick it up, then tonight will go Dallas’ way.
As I mentioned before the season started, the month of November will be a bumpy ride for the Mavs. Without Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs Nation will see frustrating games as they did in the back-to-back loses.
However, tonight’s game will be a test. Not just because Minnesota is a good young team on the rise, but because tonight will show how well coach Rick Carlisle has prepared his team after back-to-back loses. Either way tonight’s game should be a fun one to watch.
On another note, tonight’s game is the Mavs annual “Military Appreciation Night” where ticket holders give up their seats to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Military. A night where I praise and applaud the Mavs and other NBA teams by showing their appreciation to the troops of the United States Of America.