The Dallas Mavericks (34-33) began arguably their toughest portion of the season on Monday against the Charlotte Hornets. They recorded a big win, analyzed here.
Next up on the docket for the Mavs is none other than the Cleveland Cavaliers (47-19), the defending Eastern Conference Champions, tonight at 6 from Quicken Loans Arena. ... and now the news that LeBron James will sit out the game for rest.
Five Quick Facts ...
1. The Mavs are not good against teams .500 or better
In the 2015-16 season, the Mavs have struggled mightily in this department, going 11-24 against teams with .500 or better records. Those wins came against a Steph Curry-less Golden State, the Clippers, the Grizzlies twice, Portland, Houston, a Utah team that is no longer above .500, Charlotte, and Boston and Chicago twice each. Of those 11 wins, only seven have come against teams with what can be considered ‘contending records’ (more than two wins above .500).
Needless to say, the Mavs have been having trouble against good teams. ... Like the one they play tonight.
2. The Mavs offense is really struggling right now
Since their March 1st win over the Orlando Magic, the Mavs are averaging just 100.8 points-per-game in regulation, while giving up 104.3 points, shooting 45-percent from the field and 30.6-percent from downtown. In fact, thanks to this recent string of losses, the Mavs are now giving up more points per game than they are scoring on average. All aboard the struggle bus, MFFLs.
3. The Cavaliers are not struggling right now
The Cavs are currently sitting with a 47-19 record, good for third-best in the NBA, and tops in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland is chugging along at 9-5 since the All-Star Break, while averaging 106.3 points per game, and winning games by an average margin of 6.7 points. LeBron, meanwhile, is at 25.8 points, 8.9 boards, and 5.9 assists per game over his last 10 outings. (Let him sit!) It's hard to expect a repeat of what happened to Cleveland against the Jazz on Monday, when the Cavs were downed ... and as you see in the above video, low-downed.
4. LeBron has a winning record against the Mavs all-time, but just barely
In his career, King James is 16-15 against the Mavs, including his 2011 NBA Finals defeat at the hands of the Big German and company. Over his career, the Mavs have seemingly had the King’s number for the most part, but as we all know, these kinds of statistics can usually be thrown out of the window at the start of each season.
That being said, there won’t be an abundance of Dirk Vs. Bron matchups left on the horizon, so it's too bad we're robbed of it - though it helps Dallas, obviously, to have LeBron in street clothes.
5. The Mavs have not been good against the East
So far this season, the Mavs are 13-14 against teams from the Eastern Conference, with nine of those 13 wins coming against teams who are below .500 and not in the playoff picture. Four of those nine wins are against Philadelphia and Brooklyn, who have a combined record of 27-105.
Against teams above .500 in the East, Dallas is just 4-14 overall. If the Mavs are going to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, they’ll need to cash in on their remaining games against the East without a hitch, and that continues tonight. ... And you can start the discussion about tonight's game here on DB.com Boards!