The Mavericks face off with Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat
The Dallas Mavericks are coming off their best win of the young season versus the Sacramento Kings. Dallas has begun the season 3-0 at home for the first time since the 2013-2014 season and will be looking to make it 4-0.
The Heat are off to a fantastic start at 5-1, with their only loss being a game Kyle Lowry sat out. They are sporting an outrageous +17 scoring differential. This is the Mavericks biggest test of the season to date, and they have failed each of their previous big tests. Hopefully this one is different and here are the three things to watch.
Will the Mavericks shoot better?
Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right one. Many have questioned what would fix the Mavericks offense, with lineup changes, structural changes and coaching staff changes being discussed. The truth is, the Mavericks simply making shots at the level they are capable of, would solve many of the Mavericks problems. Most shot quality metrics show that the team is getting even better looks than they did last season. They just aren’t hitting them. If they don’t hit them in this game, it could get ugly.
Will Luka Doncic be aggressive?
The game versus the Kings began with Luka aggressively getting downhill and finishing. This led to opportunities for Luka to creat for teammates and the Mavericks getting off to their best start of the season. When Luka is aggressive it opens up so many things for himself and his teammates.
Which big men will play?
Maxi Kleber has been ruled out for the Mavericks. Kristaps Porzingis has been listed as questionable. However, the Heat also have an injured multi-talented big man. Bam Adebayo is listed as questionable with a knee injury. It is hard to overstate how much Adebayo does for the heat on both ends of the ball. He is a post passing hub and one of the most versatile defenders in the league.
Porzingis offers the Mavericks great spacing and he had returned to being a defensive plus before his injury. If both Porzingis and Maxi are out, the Mavericks do not have a stretch big. Which big men play will go along way to determining which team has the advantage.
How to watch
Tip off is at 6:30 pm and the game will be broadcast locally on Bally Sports Southwest for all 12 people that have access to that channel. The game will also be broadcast nationally on TNT offering the rest of us the chance to view the game.