By Bryan Murphy
The Dallas Mavericks swept the season series against the Washington Wizards and made it 10 consecutive wins against them after clobbering the Wizards Tuesday, 114-87. More importantly, it was the first time all season that the Mavs were at 100 percent strength in the health department.
The Mavs then took their fully loaded roster on a three game road trip highlighted by the highly anticipated Rajon Rondo homecoming game to face the team he played more than seven seasons with. Dallas took care of business in Boston and then able to dismantle an injury plagued Cleveland Cavaliers team, 109-90 with four-time MVP LeBron James out of the line-up.
Tyson Chandler spoke to reporters after the game about the injury riddled Cavs who also lost Kyrie Irving during the game to injury.
“When you go into a situation where it’s a wounded team, it’s like a wounded animal,” he said. “They’re going to defend themselves.”
The final game of this road trip is Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets who have recently taken Texas native, Deron Williams, out of the starting lineup, and replaced him with Jarrett Jack. No matter who is at point guard for Brooklyn, Williams or Jack, Rondo will be the guy trying to lock him down on defense. His defense from the point guard position and superb court vision are two of the main reasons why the Mavs coveted him so much. Since the trade in December, the Mavericks are 6-2 and Rondo is averaging 14 PPG and 7.5 APG.
It will be the second night of a back-to-back. The Mavericks are 6-2 this season in the second night of back-to-backs, and come in sporting a five-game win streak. They also come into the game with the Nets having won 8 of their last 10 games against Brooklyn. If they want to make it 9 of 11 they will have to try and contain 7x All-Star Joe Johnson. He leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.6 PPG and also owns a 38.2 percent shooting clip from 3-point range.
The Mavs then head home to face the 10-23 Detroit Pistons in a game they shouldn’t take lightly. Especially since they then have another 3-game road trip to the west coast starting with the Los Angeles Clippers, who they have yet to face this season, led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
The Clippers game is also a big test to see where the Mavs stand against the other top teams in the West. The Mavs are just 3-7 against Western Conference teams with a winning record this season including losses to the Spurs, Trailblazers, Memphis, Houston, and twice to Phoenix. Despite those losses, the Mavs come into this week tied for third in the Western Conference playoff standings with the Memphis Grizzlies and sport a 25-10 record.
1/5 @Nets 6:30 pm
1/7 vs Pistons 7:30 pm
1/10 @Clippers 2:30 pm