The Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets are both coming off losses and are surprisingly below .500 at this point of the 2022-23 NBA season. Will the Mavericks add to Brooklyn’s woes? Or, will the Nets prevent a three-game skid and hand Dallas a loss?
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Away: Dallas Mavericks (1-2/0-2 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Spencer Dinwiddie
- SF: Reggie Bullock
- PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- C: JaVale McGee
The Mavs fell prey to a New Orleans Pelicans team last Wednesday on the road, 113-111, even though the Pels did not have both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram in that contest. Something in Dallas’ defense did not click, as the Mavs allowed the Pelicans to shoot 57.9 percent from the field.
The Mavs hope that it’s nothing but a mere aberration, considering that they played great defense in their first two games this season, during which they limited their opponents down to just 45.1 percent shooting from the floor and 30.9 percent from behind the arc. That’s a pretty telling stat when added to the fact that those games were against legitimate contenders Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns. Offensively, the Mavs come across as a bigger trouble for the Nets. Dallas is scoring 117.7 points per game on 49 percent shooting, ninth and sixth in the league, respectively.
The Mavericks are 20-9 against the spread in their last 29 games coming off a failed cover.
Home: Brooklyn Nets (1-3/1-1 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyrie Irving
- SG: Joe Harris
- SF: Ben Simmons
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Nicolas Claxton
Kevin Durant and the Nets faltered Thursday on the road versus the Milwaukee Bucks, 110-99. Durant did his best, scoring 33 points on 10/23 shooting, while Kyrie Irving had 27 on 9/21 shooting. As for the rest of the team, Ben Simmons and Co. provided nothing much more than statistical breadcrumbs.
Still, just having Durant and Irving can be enough to bend and break opposing defenses, including that of Dallas’, as mentioned earlier, which had just been dominated by a banged-up Pelicans squad. The Nets were dominating the Bucks until the wheels fell off in the third quarter, so there are lessons for them to learn from the loss, especially after seeing head coach Steve Nash go nuclear on the sidelines that resulted in an ejection. With Seth Curry still at least days away from rejoining the Nets’ active roster, Brooklyn will have to coax more from Joe Harris and especially Simmons, who took just four shots in the Milwaukee game.
The Nets are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games after suffering a double-digit loss.
Spread: The Mavs (-2) cover.
Over/Under: The total (225.5) hits the Over.