Denver Nuggets: 17-12 record (8-7 at home, 9-5 on the road) Streak: 2 wins
Dallas Mavericks: 18-11 record (11-5 at home, 7-6) Streak: 4 wins
Past Matchup Breakdowns
The Mavericks have a 9-3 record against Western Conference teams, at home, and an overall 14-8 record. Denver has won 12 out of the past 17 regular season meetings with Dallas, although they broke the 4-game losing streak in Denver last week. Denver has taken 6 out of the last 8 at the American Airlines Center. Overall, Dallas is 47-25, at home, when facing the Nuggets.
Denver manages 103.9 PPG to Dallas' 94.7, 47% FG to Dallas' 44%, 23.3 APG to their 21.5 APG, however, Dallas shoots 33% from the 3-range compared to 30% for Denver, has less turnovers, 14.7 to 16.1, and they manage one more rebound per game than Denver.
Oh, yeah, they have freaking DIRK!!!
Last Wednesday, Denver was a victim in the ruthless affliction that is known to be DIRK. Denver fans were delighted (sarcasm) to be able to witness Dirk in action against a deadbeat and trodden Denver squad. He scored 25 points in their last meeting, and it seemed he couldn't miss. He has scored 20+ points in the past 6 games, opposed to just 1 20- point game in one-of-12 previous games. If you watch even the minimum amount of basketball, it should be clear as crystal that Dirk has the sweetest fadeaway, but he couldn't defend a midget attempting a jumpshot.
I know, obvious.
The biggest nail in the coffin in the last meeting of this Western playoff teams, was that of Vince Carter. Yeah, he had one of those games that leave you scratching your head, well, unless you are a Mavericks fan of course. Vince Carter racked up 17 points (7-12 FGs, 3-7 3FGs), five rebounds, a team-high eight assists, two steals and one block in 29 minutes. So DEFENSE is key once again for the Denver squad.
Sure I could talk about Shawn Marion, obvious, Jason Terry, obvious, or even Lam Lam or the man that slept with Gloria James, but Dallas is a team that's pretty easy to observe. These numbers sum it up: Dallas ranks 6th in points allowed, 91.6, 4th in SPG, 9.17, 3rd in opponents points in the pain, 36.3.
Yeah, Dallas may be aging, but they ARE a defensive minded team.
The Mavericks are on a 4-game winning streak averaging over 100 PPG and shooting 45.8%. Jason Kidd, was out with a strained calf, was back in action during their game against the Timberwolves. Their starting lineup has looked something like this: Kidd/Dirk/Haywood/Vince/Marion over the past 3 games. A few days ago, it was in the media Mozzy wouldn't play during this game, so I'm *assuming* that's true, could be wrong, and with Nene, assuming, he's still out too, Denver's lineup is this: Lawson, Afflalo, Faried, Kosta, Brewer.
What Does Denver Need To Do To Win:
- Denver needs to play THEIR game. Run the full court, and don't settle for playing Dallas' game.
- USE Denver's YOUTH to their advantage. Run the HELL out of Dallas
- DEFENSE! DEFENSE! DEFENSE!!!
- Limit turnovers
- MAKE THOSE FT's
- ENERGY!!!! Especially on a back-to-back
- AGGRESSIVE OFFENSE!!
- Guard the Perimeter
- HUGE games from Afflalo, Lawson