Sixers vs. Mavericks: Betting preview & predictions for Sunday’s game

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Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, right, tries to get past Philadelphia 76ers’ Kelly Oubre Jr., left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia 76ers are in Dallas to take on the Mavericks on Sunday afternoon in a game that could go any number of ways. Both teams come in with similar records and have been up and down lately. The Sixers beat the Hornets on Friday night along with a win against the Cavaliers, looks nice but those wins are in with losses to the Celtics, Bucks, and Knicks.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks are coming off a 28-point loss to the Celtics on Friday night, while also losing to the Pacers and Cavaliers while securing wins over the Raptors and Suns.

Sixers game information

Who: Philadelphia 76ers (34-25) at Dallas Mavericks (34-26)

When: 1:00 pm EST

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas TX

Watch: ABC

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Latest on the Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey, left, goes up for a shot against Charlotte Hornets’ Cody Martin during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 1, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Sixers took down the Hornets on Friday night, 121-114, after brutal losses to the Celtics and Bucks this past week. Guard Tyrese Maxey has continued to show that he’s a top young talent in the league, even with the absence of Joel Embiid. While the team has struggled, Maxey has done everything that he possibly can to help them get wins and make the playoffs.

Against the Hornets, Maxey led all scorers with 33 points as well as six rebounds and five assists. Over his last ten games, Maxey has averaged 26.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists which is amazing considering that no one else on the team has provided much help for a lot of those games.

Today’s game will be a test to see if Tobias Harris will show up as he did against the lowly Hornets, scoring 31 points and adding 12 rebounds, or will the team see the Harris that averaged 14.8 points and 6 rebounds while shooting 25% on his three-point attempts in February.

Harris, without Embiid, is a shell of the player that he’s been for the Sixers for the past few years. He’s looked disengaged and uninterested in complete games for long periods this season, and his scoring and rebounding are needed now, more than ever, if the Sixers can sneak into the playoffs.

The Sixers, as a team, shot 43.2% on their three-pointers against the Hornets while shooting 47.9% from the field in total. They’ll need a complete effort today, against the Mavericks, if they’re to get their second win in a row. Mo Bamba was the only starter that didn’t score in double figures but added eight rebounds to his two points, which was offset by the production of Paul Reed in a reserve role who had 11 points and eight rebounds. The team needs both to perform the same if they’re to win today.

Latest on the Mavericks

The Mavericks had higher hopes than the Western Conference 8th seed when the season started, yet here they are, doing just that. They’ve been inconsistent throughout the year and events tandem of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving aren’t enough to save them. Doncic is the league’s leading scorer on the season, averaging 34.7 points per game, and it’s not enough.

You get the feel, watching Doncic, that he’s doomed to mediocrity in the league. He’s a great player, who gets everyone involved, and can do almost anything on the court at any time, and yet, his team is consistently far from a championship-caliber squad. The addition of Kyrie Irving was supposed to give him a partner to take some of the weight off his shoulders, and it has, to a small extent.

While Irving is scoring 25.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists on the season, he’s played in only 38 of the team’s 60 games this year. The Mavericks are 23-15 with Irving in the lineup and just 11-11 without him. Winning at a 60% rate would be good enough for the Mavericks to be in 5th place in the Western Conference had Irving been available for the entire year. But Irving hasn’t played anything close to a full season since his last year in Cleveland, when he played in 72 games. For a team that is looking to get to the NBA Finals, it doesn’t help that one of your star players can’t be there for half of the games.

What to watch for today

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey(0) goes up to shoot against Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, second from front left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Sixers and Mavericks are the same team in different conferences. They’re good enough to make the playoffs and not good enough to make a real run towards a title. They’re also not bad enough to get themselves quality picks in the draft. The Sixers, without Joel Embiid, are a lottery team at best while the Mavericks, who’ve missed quite a bit from Kyrie Irving are operating just about the same.

The Sixers will, once again, be shorthanded with Kelly Oubre listed as questionable and De’Anthony Melton not expected to play, in addition to already missing Joel Embiid and Robert Covington. It should be a game that the Sixers young players get some more quality minutes and that should be led by Ricky Council IV who seems to have a highlight every game that he gets into. He’s not getting minutes and hopefully that changes today as he put up 16 points in 19 minutes against the Celtics only to have his minutes dropped back to five against the Hornets.

With Luka Doncic listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury, the fans may be watching this game without the two top-scoring players in the league. After what the Sixers were able to do against the Hornets, coupled with the Maverick’s poor defense, there’s a good chance for another 30+ points from Maxey and either Hield or Harris to be right around the same.

Sixers/Mavericks Prediction

Sixers 122 – Mavericks 128