Shootaround report: Mavs key in on stopping Curry, Lee
Shootaround report: Warriors (30-20) at Mavericks (21-28)
Mavs key in on stopping Curry, Lee
DALLAS — After two losses by a combined seven points earlier in the season, the Dallas Mavericks know they’ll be in for another dogfight Saturday, despite welcoming in the Golden State Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back while sliding on a three-game losing skid.
The Warriors enter the American Airlines Center less than 24 hours after suffering a 99-93 loss in Memphis, when point guard Stephen Curry filled up the stat sheet with a season-high 32 points, eight assists, five boards and three steals. Now, after surrendering 31 points, nine assists and six rebounds to Curry back on Nov. 19 during a 105-101 overtime home loss, before he was held out of last Thursday night’s 100-97 game in Oakland, the Mavericks will try to contain the young guard and All-Star big man David Lee at the same time while attempting to avoid the first season series sweep at the hands of the Warriors since the 2006-07 campaign.
“Well, they’re a very strong team. I don’t know that there’s any particular weakness that they have,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of the Warriors. “They’re on a tough road stretch, so we’ve got to attack them and keep our tempo where we need it, but they’re strong in all areas. Curry is a great player, Lee is an All-Star, their role guys all fit in, they’re all tough and physical, so the game’s going to come down to the usual things. It’s gonna be ball security and rebounding. I just really believe that, because those are possessions of the ball, and we’re going to have to really scramble in this game to make it tough for Curry to get shots and for Lee to get his mid-range shots and tip-ins and stuff like that.”
He added: “Look, these guys, they could easily have two All-Stars. I’ll tell you, I voted for Curry. I thought he was that good this year. And I was surprised he didn’t make it, but the West had a very crowded lot of high-level players, so it was probably one vote here or there. So he’s that good and so is Lee. They’re just having a great year, and Mark Jackson, he would be Coach of the Year right now, because they’re the most improved team in the league record-wise. So, you know, they’re very, very good and they always bring it. And the other thing about them, statistically, a lot of teams have big drop-offs on back-to-backs. These guys actually have better stats in a lot of areas on back-to-backs, which shows what great condition they’re in and how tough-minded they are. So they’re atypical for a lot of NBA teams.”
Meanwhile, the Mavs will try to take advantage of the Warriors’ tired legs, hoping to move to 2-0 on their court five-game homestand while making up ground in the Western Conference standings as Golden State finishes up a four-game road trip. And after collecting Carlisle’s 500th career victory and welcoming sixth man Vince Carter (sickness) back into the lineup during Wednesday’s 105-99 victory over Portland, the Mavs will try to continue trending in the right direction while 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki prepares to see the Warriors for the first time.
“I feel we’ve definitely got to get this one,” rookie Jae Crowder said. “We’re pretty much healthy. Vince is pretty much over the sickness. We didn’t have Dirk the first two times, and we feel like we’ve got everybody. We’ve got a good game plan and we feel like we have our troops, so we’ll be fine.”
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Note: The Mavericks return to action to continue their five-game homestand against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. The Warriors lead the season series 2-0 after wins by a combined seven points, including a 100-97 win in Oakland last Thursday night. 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.