Dallas Mavericks (22-16, 8-9 road) vs. OKC Thunder (29-8, 15-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.6 (2nd), Mavericks– 101.9 (20th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.3 (13th), Mavericks – 98.8 (3rd)
Pace: Thunder – 93.5 (5th), Mavericks – 91.6 (15th)
View from the enemy: The Two Man Game
No more talking about that bad thing that happened the last time the Mavericks were in Oklahoma City. Because now, the thing that happened last time was Kevin Durant’s buzzer-beating 3. Which is a nice last thing to think about. The Thunder have beaten Dallas two out of three so far this season, so here’s a big opportunity to make it 3-1 over those guys south of the Red River.
3Dallas coming in: The Mavs played Saturday beating Utah.
Three Big Things
1. Dirk. He was coming off resting a few games, so he was rusty, but Dirk went just 2-15 against OKC. It was a combination of Serge Ibaka, Perk and Nick Collison that defended him and they did three simple things: 1) Kept him off the free throw line, 2) Forced long 2s and 3) Contested said long 2s. That’s about all you can do with Dirk, and then just hope he misses.
2. Under control. The Mavs always seem to press the Thunder into a sloppy style of offense where OKC starts going one-on-one or trying to force difficult passes in traffic. The Thunder always slaughter the Mavs in transition and the more easy baskets OKC gets in the open floor, the better.
3. Mo shifts. The Mavs have always had the ability to frustrate the Thunder, even when OKC is up eight and seemingly in control of the game. Between Jason Terry’s unavoidable big pull-up 3 or a Dirk run, the Mavs seem to always be in the game against the Thunder even when they’re not. OKC has taken down Dallas two times this season, sort of exorcising some demons, but a 3-1 season series win would kind of finish that bad mojo off.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go North Red River.