11/16/13 vs. MAVS

OPPONENT ANALYSIS: The Mavericks are going to challenge for one of the final few playoff spots in the West this season. But is that a good or bad thing? On one hand, starting from scratch and rebuilding would have meant trading Dirk Nowitzki, which would have been unsettling for that franchise. On the other hand, getting stuck in the middle of the pack is often the least accomplishing position to be at in the NBA. Dallas struck out on Deron Williams in 2012 and Dwight Howard in 2013. It settled for Monta Ellis and a collection of seasoned veterans like Jose Calderon and Devin Harris. Considering the hype surrounding the upcoming draft class, the Mavs may regret not cleaning house, even if it meant dealing Dirk away.

BEST STORYLINE: It’s hard to predict who will match up with whom prior to tip off. But if Jacque Vaughn implements a similar game plan like he did during the preseason when Orlando played Dallas, we could see a lot of Nikola Vucevic guarding Nowitzki. Most of the time Vucevic is dealt the arduous task of defending power players like we have seen this season when he has gone up against Roy Hibbert, Nikola Pekovic and DeAndre Jordan. Therefore, this will be a far different test for Nik against a more finesse and perimeter-oriented talent like Dirk.

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