For personal reasons I will be away from the computer on late Thursday and Friday so you'll have to do your own previews. Sorry about that. Here is mine: We're going to get our butts kicked. If you have more words of wisdom share them below. I know you all are geniuses.
P.S. OK, I stumbled upon a mobile connection point with my laptop. So you don't feel completely cheated, here is a half-baked quick preview.
A Look at the Mavericks
The Mavericks sit at 10-5 and are starting to look a little bit more like the Mavericks we're used to, scoring 100+ in 6 of their last 8 games. You may recall Dirk Nowitzki started the season in a mini-slump (for him anyway) but he's holding steady at 21.7 points per game and 48% shooting. No matter who else they bring on board this team is going to go as far as Dirk takes them. Josh Howard is averaging 20.5 himself on near-50% shooting, which is more than fantastic. Jason Terry and Devin Harris (absent when we played them last) have joined the hit parade, shooting 48% and 50% respectively. This veteran team knows who is supposed to take the shots and where to get those people comfortable scoring opportunities.
The Mavericks' defense is not bad, but not stellar. They're allowing opponents to shoot 45% from the field and 38% from the three-point line. But the 98.4 points they allow are 4.5 fewer than they score, so it's all good. Dallas plays nine guys semi-regularly, only one of which is a center and none of whom are great interior defenders. They are fairly quick and almost all of them rebound decently. They will try to keep multiple men in front of us, not give up points deep inside, and just depend on enough arms and hands to bother us and grab the board when we miss.
Dallas commits no turnovers and shoots free thows very well. Part of their secret is to take advantage of cheap points you give them while being stingy in reverse.
To beat Dallas we're going to have to make a lot of shots and a lot of free throws. We also have to hold them down under 102 or so. Any kind of free-flowing game is going to be to their advantage. An ugly game in which we make the most of our scoring opportunities is the way to go.
That's the best I can do for now. Gotta run.