The Sixers are ready to face off against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in the first game of what may the Sixers’ toughest stretch yet.
Sitting at 2-1 on their recent road trip, the Sixers will look to end on a positive note as they take on the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs hold a record of 29-23 and sit at seventh place in the Western Conference. They have been playing solid basketball lately and come into this matchup riding a 6-2 record in their recent stretch of games. The game will tip off at 7:30 and be available to watch on ESPN.
The Mavs are led by Luka Doncic, who averages 28.5 points, 8.7 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game. His scoring number ranks fifth in the league, and it is clear he runs the show for the Mavericks offense. Kristaps Porzingis is the team’s second option, and he adds 20.7 points and 9.4 rebounds as well.
As a whole, the Mavs average 111.1 points per game and allow 109.6 points to opponents. They also lean on production from their wings in guys like Josh Richardson, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Dorian Finney-Smith. The Mavericks rank 5th in the NBA in three-point attempts with 38.1 per game, so expect them to let the ball fly from deep.
The Mavs have battled injuries lately but are trending toward getting healthy. Kristaps Porzingis recently missed two games due to a wrist injury but has returned to play and will be a full go tonight. JJ Redick (Heel), Maxi Kleber (Leg), and Tyrell Terry (Personal) all missed last night’s game and continue to battle their injuries.
Redick and Terry will not be available in tonight’s matchup, and both are expected to be re-evaluated in a few days. Kleber was listed as questionable heading into last night’s game but was ruled out last minute. He is expected to return tonight and provide the team with some valuable big-man depth. The Mavs will be happy to have the 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game he provides back, but Sixers fans may be disappointed he will take away minutes from fan-favorite Boban Marjanovic.
The Sixers will continue to battle for first place in the East as they are now tied with the Brooklyn Nets. They continue to put a focus on the defensive end, ranking second in the NBA in defensive rating. Holding opponents to an average of 108.6 points per game this season, the Sixers rank 7th in the NBA in this category.
In a pleasant change from past seasons, the Sixers are tied for the second-most road wins in the league with 16 so far this season. This is the final game of a quick four-game road trip in which the Sixers will look to notch a victory and take the number one spot for road wins.
After missing the previous game, Tobias Harris and Danny Green will each be back for tonight’s matchup. The victory over the Thunder was a well-earned rest day for the veterans, and they will be back for their usual minutes tonight.
The Sixers will continue to be without George Hill as they take the tentative approach to his recovery. Outside of Doc Rivers’ comment that the team is hoping for him to get in at least ten regular-season games, there has been no target return date set yet. Joel Embiid was not listed on the injury report and seems to be a full go for this matchup.
The Sixers and Mavs have played once already this season, and the Sixers secured a victory by a score of 111-97. Joel Embiid asserted his dominance early in this matchup and led all scorers with 25 points. Expect a similar plan to be put in place tonight.
Ben Simmons has also done a great job throughout his career matching up against Luka Doncic. Simmons held Luka to just six points on seven shot attempts in their time matched up earlier this season. Doncic also turned the ball over four times during this stretch.
The Sixers and Mavericks have had a fairly active line as it has danced between 2.5 and 3.5 points on most books. The most recent odds on Fan Duel had the Sixers at an even 3 point favorite, but this may continue to be a changing lineup until game-time. It will be nice for the Sixers to have their team at full strength, and they will look to assert themselves early in this matchup.
Sixers’ star Joel Embiid looked to be himself again in the Thunder matchup, scoring 27 points in just 27 minutes and on 17 shot attempts. Hopefully, he can keep it rolling and it’s a sign that his MVP campaign is back on track and here to stay. Tonight will be a great chance to see the Sixers at full strength playing a legitimate playoff team and expect them to take care of business.