The Dallas Mavericks have lost 4 of their last 5 games and are in danger of falling below .500 for the first time this season. They will look to avoid that tonight when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 2nd night of a back-to-back.
The Mavs are 1-3 on the road in this early season. This means tonight’s game against the struggling 2-6 Cavaliers will not be an easy game to walk away with.
Last night’s lost against the Indiana Pacers was the return of Shawn Marion after being out with a sprain MCL. There’s no question that without Marion it has been a tough couple of weeks for the team, but I do believe that having him return last night may not have been a great idea. He only scored 2 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
Having him return in a back-to-back road game situation may have not been the best thing for the team. Yes, the main struggle for this team was because Marion was not playing, but having him return in a first night of a back-to-back could have hurt them. Having him return next week at home may be the best thing for the team, but I am not going to question coach Rick Carlisle.
Again, this is a young team that is trying to find themselves especially without their main star, Dirk Nowitzki, who is still out for at least another month.
For tonight’s game against the young Cleveland team the main focus for the Mavs will need to be what they were doing when they started the season 4-1. That is sharing the ball and getting that extra assist. This team works better when everybody touches the ball.
Darren Collison needs to step it up tonight. He only scored 10 points with 4 assists in last night’s lost. To win tonight that has to change. Collison needs to be the one that has his assist stat go up to over 10 tonight. For the Mavs to walk out with a victory tonight Collison needs to have a double double.
The same goes for O.J. Mayo. He had the game high with 19 points. It seems like he is going to need to score 20 or plus points for this team to have a chance in winning.
The whole team needs to step it up, honestly. Only three players for Dallas scored in double figures while the Pacers had six players in double figures.
For the Mavs to walk out with a victory tonight their main starters like Collison, Mayo, Chris Kaman need to have points in the double digits. That goes for the bench as well. Vince Carter and Jae Crowder needs to have a night where Carlisle could used them while some of the starters rest.
That is the key for tonight’s game and that’s the Mavs need to share the ball. If they share the ball then they will not have to worry about who scores in double digits tonight. Sharing the basketball will eventually have at least three or four people scoring 10 or more points.