Shootaround report: Getting off to fast start tops Mavs' to-do list vs. Kings
Shootaround report: Kings (19-34) at Mavericks (22-29)
Getting off to fast start tops Mavs' to-do list vs. Kings
DALLAS — Although it sounds simple, the Dallas Mavericks know that they’ll have to step onto their home hardwood with an edge after failing to do so Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
A lackluster start to the night, which included missing their first six shot attempts, led to the Mavericks (22-29) falling behind 10-nothing to open the game before eventually suffering a 105-101 defeat to slide to 2-1 on their five-game homestand. They’ll try not to repeat that sluggish start Wednesday night in the final game before the All-Star break, hoping to continue to have the Sacramento Kings’ number after winning 13 of the last 14 meetings between the two teams.
That makes sprinting out to a quick start essential against a Sacramento team on the second night of a back-to-back following Tuesday's 108-101 road loss in Memphis.
“Well, we’ve got to approach tonight with the right kind of edge,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle explained. “That’s the biggest thing. You know, we had a good edge going and then we lost it against Atlanta. By the time we were able to get it back in the second half, it was too late to salvage it. NBA basketball is tough. It’s 48 minutes, and you’ve got to be right for 48 minutes. We were not right the other night, and our goal tonight is to be right from the very beginning, because this is a team you have to respect. They’ve won two out of three. They’ve beaten two of the teams that are above us in the playoffs. They beat Houston and Utah at home, and then they played Memphis to a [heck] of a game last night, so these guys are getting better and they’re a great transition, penetrating and paint team. Containing them is a real challenge.”
Getting off to a quick start Wednesday night may also be paramount to ending play heading into the All-Star break on a high note, after trailing by as much as 17 before rallying for a 117-112 overtime win in Sacramento on Jan. 10. The Mavs will also try to improve upon a 10-2 mark at home against visiting teams on the second night of a back-to-back, playing for a league-leading 13th time when doing so.
Now, with a week layoff before returning to action for a second-half push toward the playoffs, the Mavs will try to assert their collective will from the opening tipoff, looking to corral big man DeMarcus Cousins and the upstart Kings (19-34), who have lost five straight on the road.
“It would be a great win,” Marion enthusiastically said, “going into the break a little more at eased than it is going in with a loss. I’m going to get some R and R. Other than that, I can’t worry about anything else. I want to go get this win tonight and get some R and R. That’s what the [heck] I want.”
Note: The Mavs will now try to get back on track before heading into the All-Star break, welcoming in the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night to the American Airlines Center. The Mavs lead the season series between the two squads 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
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