Game 54 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks
Gametime: 5:30 pm PT
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX.
The book on the Mavericks: Father time has finally caught up to Dallas. After 12 straight playoff appearances, the Mavs currently sit on the outside looking in for the postseason and the future is not bright. Veterans Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Elton Brand anchor an aging rotation. Guards O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison and Roddy Beaubois are young, but the once powerful Mavs are on the verge of a complete reset.
Did you know? After missing the Mavs’ first 29 games with a knee injury, Nowitzki is having a tough time getting it going. The future hall of famer is having his worst season since his rookie year, averaging just 15.1 points per game on 41.5-percent shooting.
Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (19-34)
Dallas Mavericks Probable Starters (22-29)
- Points Per Game: 96.7
- Offensive Rating: 100.7
- Opponents Points Per Game: 103.3
- Defensive Rating: 108.2
- Pace: 95.09
- Points Per Game: 100.9
- Offensive Rating: 104.7
- Opponents Points Per Game: 102.8
- Defensive Rating: 106.6
- Pace: 94.5
Three questions to ponder
1. Can the Kings slow down O.J. Mayo?
The 25-year-old Mayo is having a breakout season, averaging 18 points per game on 46.6-percent shooting from the field and 42.5-percent from long range. In Mayo’s two games against the Kings this season, he is averaging 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 35 minutes per game. Mayo has become a deadly outside shooter and an extremely efficient scorer in his fifth NBA season, which is bound to get him paid handsomely this summer.
2. Can the Kings outrun the Mavericks with their new found increase in pace?
The Kings are averaging almost 113 points a game over their last three contests, not only running out on the break, but initiating their offense earlier in the shot clock. This team was born to run and it is about time the reins were loosened. The Mavs are an aging team, but they can play to just about any style, except a defensive battle.
Yes, we are back to this question again. After a long stretch where Jimmer had become a mainstay in the rotation, he received a DNP – coach’s decision last night in Memphis. Smart likes to play match-ups and Brooks rewarded the Kings coach with 10 points (4-for-6 from the field) and four assists in 20 minutes of action against the Grizzlies. I might need a palm or tarot card to figure this question out.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.
Tags Aaron BrooksBernard JamesBrandan WrightChuck HayesDahntay JonesDarren CollisonDeMarcus CousinsDirk NowitzkiElton BrandFeaturedFrancisco GarciaIsaiah ThomasJae CrowderJason ThompsonJimmer FredetteJohn SalmonsKeith SmartMarcus ThorntonMike JamesO.J. MayoRick CarlisleRodrigue BeauboisShawn MarionThomas RobinsonTyreke EvansVince Carter