#509 Dallas Mavericksvs.#510 Phoenix Suns
Written by Chris Kubala
Dallas Mavericks (11-27 SU, 17-21 ATS, 16-21-1 O/U) vs. Phoenix Suns (12-26 SU, 19-18-1 ATS, 24-14 O/U)
NBA: Thursday, January 12, 2017, Mexico City Arena, Mexico City, 10 pm ET
Line: Pick ‘Em; Over/Under: 201.5
It’s a matchup between a pair of teams near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. The Dallas Mavericks battle the Phoenix Suns Thursday night from Mexico City. Dallas lost their third straight with a 101-92 road loss to Minnesota Monday night. Phoenix had a two game win streak snapped with a 120-116 home loss to Cleveland Sunday night. The Suns hold a 78-70 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams. Phoenix took the first meeting this season with a 102-95 road victory on January 5.
Dallas has dropped three straight after failing to pick up a road win over fellow divisional basement dweller Minnesota. The Mavericks trailed by 14 after the opening quarter and couldn’t get themselves untracked the rest of the way. Dallas shot 46.2 percent from the field overall and knocked down 13 of their 28 three point attempts in the game. The Mavericks took a 42-25 beating on the glass in the game and were torched defensively as the Timberwolves shot 56.3 percent from the field. Harrison Barnes had 30 points to lead the Mavericks but it wasn’t enough.
The Mavericks have struggled on the offensive end of the floor this season. Dallas is last in the league in scoring with 95.1 points per game. The Mavericks are last in rebounding with 38.1 boards per contest and are fourth worst in the league with 19.6 assists per game. Dallas is above average on the defensive end, ranking 5th in scoring defense with 100.7 points per game. Harrison Barnes leads the team with 20.8 points plus 5.4 rebounds a night. J.J. Barea puts up 12.8 points plus 5.2 assists a night while Deron Williams contributes 13.7 points plus 6.7 assists per night. Wesley Matthews chips in 15 points a game while Dirk Nowitzki kicks in 12.8 points plus 5.4 boards. Seth Curry (10.1 points), Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and Dorian Finney-Smith are other players that need to step up and help the Mavericks. Dallas is second worst in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.1 percent as a team. The Mavericks are tied for 6th in threes with 10.5 per game but are tied for 21st in three point shooting by hitting only 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Phoenix gave the Cavaliers all they wanted but ended up falling short to end their win streak at two games. The Suns were down 13 after the opening quarter and by 16 at halftime. Phoenix rallied to cut the deficit to three after three quarters but couldn’t come up with the key plays late. The Suns hit 52.9 percent from the field and 9 of 27 from three point range. Phoenix gave up 53.7 percent shooting from the floor to Cleveland and allowed the Cavaliers to drain 13 of 28 from three point range. Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 31 points and eight assists in a losing effort.
The Suns are 11th in the league in scoring with an average of 105.9 points per game. The Suns are 7th on the glass by collecting 45.1 boards per game. Phoenix stands last in the league in assists with 18.4 per contest. Phoenix is 29th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 111.9 points a night. Eric Bledsoe leads the Suns with 20.4 points plus 4.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per contest. TJ Warren is right behind with 14.3 points plus four boards a night. Devin Booker puts up 19.2 points per game while Brandon Knight is contributing 12.4 points and 2.6 dimes per game. Big men Marquese Chriss, Alex Len and Tyson Chandler along with Tyler Ulis and Jared Dudley have to contribute for Phoenix to contend. The Suns are 20th in the league in field goal percentage at 44.5 percent so far. The Suns are tied for 27th in three pointers per game with 8.1 per contest. Phoenix is 24th in three point percentage as they splash only 34.3 percent of their chances from long range.
These teams met last week in Dallas and the Suns came out with a seven point victory. The Mavericks are getting healthier and seem poised to return the favor. It’s a pretty safe bet that neither team makes the playoffs when all is said and done this season. With that in mind, the Mavericks are in a better position health wise and have a little more depth in their rotation. Dallas should avenge last week’s loss and pick up a tough win in this contest from Mexico City.
This one is going to be an interesting matchup as we’re not sure what to make of the Mavericks, who had shown signs of life before their recent three game skid. Phoenix had won two straight and gave Cleveland a run before succumbing in that contest. The Mavericks have to do more offensively than what we’ve seen this season. On the flip side, Phoenix can score the ball but their defense has left plenty to be desired this season.
Dallas has gone under the total in each of their last four against teams with a losing record, in each of their last four against the Western Conference and in their last five against the Pacific Division. Dallas has also gone under in 11 of their last 13 on Thursday and in five of their last six overall. Phoenix has been under the total in five of their last six overall and in four of their last five against teams with a losing record. Given Dallas’s inability to score regularly, this one seems destined to come under the total.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.