What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Mavericks
Wesley Matthews vs. Monta Ellis
The Trail Blazers being a tough five-game road trip Friday night in Dallas against the Mavericks, and if they're go get off to a good start, containing Dallas guard Monta Ellis would be helpful.
Even though his averages in two games against the Trail Blazers this season are lower than his season averages of 19.0 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds, the Trail Blazers can't afford to take Ellis lightly. And considering he hit the game-winning shot in the first meeting between the two teams his season, it's unlikely the Blazers, and particularly Wesley Matthews, overlook the ninth-year guard from Jackson, Mississippi.
One area in which Ellis thrives is on drives to the basket. He's ranked first in the NBA in total drives with 623, 75 more drives than the next closest player. He's also first in points off of drives with 463 and in player points per game on drives with 7.5, all of which are stats the Trail Blazers have been made aware of during their preparation for Friday night's contest.
"He finishes really well at the rim," said Matthews, who is likely to guard Ellis for the majority of the game. "He's one of the best finishers at the rim in the game, in my opinion. Needless to say, we can't let him get there without being under duress. A good midrange game. He's really turned into more of a facilitator with this team. He's heavy right-handed. Just trying to make him uncomfortable, make him work on the other end."