Washington Wizards vs Dallas Mavericks Preview
Wizards 26-37 vs Mavericks 27-36
When: Wednesday, March 6th, at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBCSWA, FSSW-DAL / Radio: 1500 AM
Wizards: Dwight Howard (Day to Day/ Back), John Wall (Out for the season/ Haglund’s deformity and chronic Achilles tendon injury)
Mavericks: JJ Barea (Out for the season/ Achilles), Kristaps Porzingis (Out for the season/ Knee)
114.0 - points per game
116.9 - points against
46.9 - Field goal %
107.9 - points per game
109.5 - points against
44.5 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Luka Doncic: The leader for rookie of the year has lived up to the hype and then some. Doncic has clearly become the face of Mavericks moving forward since Dirk Nowitzki is at the end of his career. Doncic leads the Mavs in points (20.9), rebounds (7.2) and assist (5.5). His feel and I.Q. for the game makes up for his average athleticism, yet, combining those traits with his elite skill set, is what makes Doncic extremely dangerous. Washington will have to be on a string defensively. They will have to throw defenders at Doncic to make him work hard to score, while, taking away opportunities for him to find teammates to score. If Washington put together a strong 48 minutes of sound defense, it should be another win.
Wizards Running: Washington ranks sixth in the NBA in steals, averaging 8.7 a game. Dallas comes in to tonight’s game ranking 21st in turnovers, averaging 15.1 per game. This is a huge advantage for Washington if they handle business and defend. With the length, athleticism and playmaking ability of Washington’s wings, the Wizards should be able to blow the game open off steals and fast break scoring. Washington have four players that average a steal or better, not counting the deflections that they may get as well. The Wizards rank 13th in fast break points, scoring 14.5 points a game. If they bring the proper defensive intensity from the opening tip, don’t be shocked to see this scoring doubled and Washington on its way to their second win in a row.
Defending without fouling: Washington will have to defend without putting Dallas on the line or this game will become more challenging then it has to be. The Mavs rank fifth in the NBA in free throw attempts (26) and rank seventh in free throw makes (19.2). Doncic leads the team with 6.5 free throw attempts per game which is 11th in the NBA among all players. That’s right, Doncic gets to line more then all stars Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard for example. Dallas are aggressive and crafty and they make up for their lack of scoring in the half court by getting to the line, which means fouls pile up and it forces opponents to make massive adjustments on the fly. That’s how the Mavs win. Washington must play sound defense or it will get interesting.