For the second time in six days, the Dallas Mavericks will meet up with the Washington Wizards. With this round of the two-game inter-conference season series being played in Dallas, you’d think it a good thing for the Mavericks to be at home.
Of their 13-10 (The Ticket?) record, the Mavs have played seven games against the Eastern Conference. The Mavericks have feasted on the East for well over a decade now –including 21-9 last year– but this season has told a tale they would prefer to see fixed. Or at the very least reversed.
I say that because 4-3 against the East isn’t awful. It’s not good, but whatever it doesn’t suck (yet). But all three losses have come at home. Toronto, Charlotte and in Wednesday’s game the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.
As a season ticket holder, I will regretfully admit that the AAC is often a dull place, only loud for when Dirk Nowitzki is introduced by PA Announcer Sean Heath or if the game is close the last two minutes or if a player we hate (DeAndre Jordan, Rajon Rondo) is in town or a bandwagon fanbase (Lakers, whoever LeBron is playing for) is visiting.
Wednesday’s game was against an Atlanta team that doesn’t attract much of an outside audience (except for an idiot rocking his Hawks garb who in the Mavs-Hawks preseason game bragged to me about getting a mid-court seat for ‘just $200’) and such the crowd was not well attended. But it was particularly quiet, especially given the fact the players gave the fans nothing to cheer about and it’s not a fan base that tends to get loud on its own.
So there really was no home court advantage as the Mavericks lost 98-95 and fell to 13-10.
The Wizards are having a very tough season themselves. 9-11 is better out East than only the Knicks, Bucks, Nets and 76ers. This coming after Washington seemed to break through with 46 wins last season and 44 in 2013-14.
You’ll remember last Sunday’s game in D.C. for being Wesley Matthews‘ career night. Wes had a career-high 36 points along with a franchise record tying 10 three pointers.
It seemed like maybe, finally the Mavericks had broken out of just a turrible, turrible shooting slump. They did shoot a very healthy 50% in the Wizards win, 45% at New York on Monday but came crashing way down on Wednesday. Dallas shot 36% from the field, missed 24 of 31 three point attempts and Dirk Nowitzki suffered his first real tough night of the season. He had 13 points on 6-20, 1-8 from three.
The Mavericks are exceeding the low expectations everyone but themselves set for them so far this season. The Wizards are falling short of pretty much everyone’s voiced opinion. This game tonight could go many ways, but it has the look and feel of a drag ’em out barn burner. Sign me up for a blowout win and some Salah Mejri minutes.
Mavericks: J.J. Barea (ankle) Questionable
Wizards: Bradley Beal (leg) Questionable
Kris Humphries (ankle) Questionable
Drew Gooden (calf) Out
Nenê (calf) Out
Alan Anderson (ankle) Out
Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, 17.6
Wizards: John Wall, 19.9
Mavericks: Zaza Pachulia, 10.3 (10th in NBA)
Wizards: Marcin Gortat, 8.9
Mavericks: Deron Williams, 6
Wizards: John Wall, 8.4 (Tie-4th in NBA)
Mavericks: Deron Williams, 1.3
Wizards: John Wall, 2.3 (Tie-4th in NBA)
Mavericks: Dwight Powell, 0.7
Wizards: Marcin Gortat, 1.2
How to Watch:
7:30 PM CST on Fox Sports Southwest