D-Leaguers will have to watch out for the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
They’re a team that will have plenty of time to prepare as they prepare for their first game at the Toyota Center against the Houston Rockets.
There are only three games left before the regular season begins, and Dallas will need to get back on track to finish the regular-season schedule in the top half of the Western Conference.
The Mavericks are the only team to have played in the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs, but they have never made the NBA Finals.
The team finished the 2016-17 regular season with a 9-11 record, and are currently in the second half of their own longest winning streak of the current season.
However, they will be without three starters, as All-Star forward Kevin Durant was forced to sit out due to a left knee injury.
It is expected that all four reserves will return in the game against the Rockets.
“The Mavericks are going to be a lot of fun to watch,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who is expected to play the first time.
“They’re a very tough team to play against.
The biggest thing they’ve been doing is building a big foundation with their defense, which will help them out.
They have two very talented big men and a lot more skilled bigs.
You’ll see a lot going on in the paint, and they have a lot in the post.
That’s a tough team.”
Durant is the most talented big man in the NBA, so Dallas will have a ton of talent in the backcourt.
“Kevin’s been one of the best bigs in the league,” Nowitzkis said.
“He’s been a huge part of the Warriors.
They can’t win without him.
It’s going’t be easy. “
It will be a big test for them.
It’s going’t be easy.
They’ll need a lot to play well, and if they don’t play well they’re going to get beat.”
The Mavericks will be looking to make a strong start, but will need help from everyone.
“I think Dallas is a team with a lot,” Nowoski said.
“(Houston) is going to play with a little bit more energy than they normally do.
It will be tough.
They don’t have many bigs and don’t really have much shooting.
They’ve got a lot that they can attack.”
Harden and Westbrook will be on the floor, but there are no guarantees that they will both be ready to play in the opening game.
The Rockets will likely need to bring in a few key reserves, as well.
They may have to play without Chandler Parsons for a period of time due to an injury.
Houston has played in five straight playoff series against the Mavericks, winning all five.
Houston will be missing several key pieces, including Harden, Chandler Parsons, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Chandler Harnish.
Harden has been out with a broken left foot, while Parsons has been dealing with a sore left knee.
Westbrook missed all of last season with what was diagnosed as a torn right pectoral muscle.
However he has looked good this preseason, averaging 27.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in eight games.
It appears that he may return in time for the game, but he will need some help from Parsons and Harden.
“We need to have everybody play well,” Nowtski said of his team’s roster.
“There’s no question in my mind we need to win a lot.
We need to play great.
We have a little edge, and we’ve got to keep that edge.”
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