Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 pm ET tonight at the American Airlines in Dallas, Texas.
Odds makers list the Mavs as a 5 point betting favorite in the NBA odds and the total for the game is 210.5
Do the Mavs, led by Dirk Nowitzki, have one good run left in them when they play in the post-season?
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Monta Ellis is just what the doctor ordered this season for an aging Dallas club. He’s 28 years old and for a Mavericks player, that’s considered young and Ellis has also been the crutch for superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, to lean on when Dallas has needed points in some of their shootouts.
The Mavericks rank 18th in points allowed in the NBA, but with Jose Calderon distributing the ball and Nowitzki and Ellis as a reliable 1-2 punch offensively, the Mavericks have had a successful season.
Owner, Marc Cuban has made a point of saying that his loyalty to Dirk lies deep and he might never get rid of him even if his play declines. Thus far, the combination of Nowitzki and Ellis has been good for a collective 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per ball game.
If you add in the contributions of some veterans like Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, and Jose Calderon, this is a tough team to beat. Look for Dallas to be sharp tonight when they face the T-Wolves.
Nikola Pekovic is “Day to Day”
If I were a Wolves backer, I wouldn’t expect Pekovic to play with his current ankle injury. Although he’s listed as day to day, Rotoworld.com says that he’s making the trip with Minnesota and won’t play tonight; they’re a fairly reliable source. What does this mean? A lot of Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, and Ricky Rubio for the Timberwolves.
In their last game, former NCAA National Champion and rookie, Gorgui Dieng, came up huge in a 104-102 victory over the Sacramento Kings, who were without DeMarcus Cousins at the time. I wouldn’t expect a similar effort from Dieng tonight, but the Wolves definitely have to feel encouraged by the play of Dieng.
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The Love of Basketball
I don’t think that Kevin Love will ever be considered one of the best basketball players in the game, but his numbers are right up there with anyone. He has great size and a fantastic offensive touch. This enables ball distributors such as Ricky Rubio to set Love up while Love and Kevin Martin, two players that aren’t afraid to shoot the basketball, are Minnesota’s main point producers.
Thanks to Love, Minnesota is 4th in the league in scoring and 7th in the NBA in rebounding; their defense is their Achilles heel.
Dallas has the incentive to win, the home court advantage, and the momentum. With that said, I’m leaning towards the over because both of these teams have plenty of firepower but are lacking where defense is concerned.
Pick- Dallas/Minnesota OVER 210.5 at Bet 365