By Bryan Murphy
Two weeks into the young NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves where many analysts predict they’ll finish the season, at .500.
The 3-3 Mavs head to New Orleans to square off with the 0-6 Pelicans in a rematch game from when these two squads faced each other Saturday night in Dallas. Deron Williams had arguably his best game yet as a Maverick pouring in 19 points with 9 of those coming in the fourth quarter.
The Tuesday night showdown with Anthony Davis and the banged up Pelicans begins a rough four-games-in-five-nights stretch for the Mavs. Who knows how Coach Rick Carlisle will fiddle with the line-up and sit certain players during this brutal span. Since his return, Chandler Parsons has been on a strict 15 minute restriction and we will see how much longer that will continue no matter how badly Parsons wants to be out on the floor more.
“That’s going to be the toughest part for me and to understand what’s best,” Parsons said after the 102-91 loss to the Raptors loss last week. “I’d almost rather just play the second half.”
After leaving New Orleans, the Mavs will fly home for the second game of the first back-to-back this week in the most anticipated game so far for Mavs fans. The Los Angeles Clippers come to town and Dallas gets a chance to avenge the 104-88 stomping the Clippers dished out to them earlier this season.
But, the real reason why this game has been highlighted on many Mavs fans’ schedules is because Clippers center DeAndre Jordan will play his first game in Dallas since leaving Dallas high and dry in free agency this summer. Expect Jordan to receive much of the same treatment LeBron James received in his return to Cleveland back in 2010.
A key note to add is that the Mavs were without the services of Parsons, Williams, and Wes Mathews in their previous meeting with the Clippers and those three players should play Wednesday unless Carlisle decides to sit Mathews again on the second night of a back-to-back.
Dallas then faces the other Los Angeles team and ironically another team they have already faced this season when the Lakers come to town. To no surprise, the Lakers have struggled out of the gate with 37-year-old Kobe Bryant leading the team in scoring. The Lakers have been getting some good production from the young guns on this team. Jordan Clarkson, Dallas native Julius Randle, and first-round draft pick D’Angelo Russell will all be players to look out for on top of the reigning sixth man of the year, Lou Williams coming off of the bench averaging 14 PPG.
The Mavs then close out the week on the road in Houston on the second night of the second back-to-back. After starting the season 0-3, the Houston Rockets have been on a tear and have won four straight. In those four games, James Harden has found his groove, averaging 38.5 PPG. In their most recent outing, the Rockets took care of the Clippers, 109-105 in outstanding fashion with Harden scoring 46 points.
Rockets Center Dwight Howard hasn’t played in three games this season but in the four that he has played in, he has averaged 17 PPG and 12 RPG. He also had a monster outing against the Clippers notching 20 points and 20 rebounds.
The Rockets are very beatable, though. In all three of the losses, they lost by 20 points. In the four wins, they have an average margin victory of just five points.
Four games. Five nights. Taking a split or better this week would be considered a success but it all begins with snagging another should-win game in New Orleans.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
11/10 @Pelicans 7:00 pm
11/11 vs Clippers 7:00 pm
11/13 vs Lakers 7:30 pm
11/14 @Rockets 7:00 pm