Game Night: Mavs Prepare for a Minny Showdown

Tonight, the Dallas Mavericks (29-13) square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves (7-33) at the Target Center at 7:00 pm CST on Fox Sports Southwest

 Note: This post originally appeared on MavsFanatic.com


MavsGameNightLauren

Minneapolis, Minnesota — Tonight, the Dallas Mavericks (29-13) square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves (7-33) at the Target Center at 7:00 pm CST on Fox Sports Southwest. The Mavs, winners of their previous two games, are coming off arguably their biggest win of the season after defeating the Grizzlies in Memphis 103-95 on MLK Day. The Timberwolves have lost eight of their past 10 games, including a 25-point loss to the Charlotte Hornets (17-25) on Monday afternoon.


Projected Starters

PG: Rajon Rondo (9.3 ppg, 9.5 apg, 6.8 rpg)
SG: Monta Ellis (20.3 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.5 rpg)
SF: Chandler Parsons (15.4 ppg, 2.3 apg, 4.9 rpg)
PF: Dirk Nowitzki (18.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.5 bpg)
C: Tyson Chandler (10.8 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg)

PG: Mo Williams (12.8 ppg, 6.5 apg, 2.3 rpg)
SG: Andrew Wiggins (15.1 ppg, 1.8 apg, 4.3 rpg)
SF: Thaddeus Young (13.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, 4.7 rpg)
PF: Robbie Hummel (4.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.2 bpg)
C: Gorgui Dieng (10.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.8 bpg)


Match Up at Hand

After sitting out last Wednesday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets to rest his 36-year-old body, Dirk Nowitzki has provided the Mavs with a couple of vintage performances. The past two games, Dirk is averaging 23 points on 48.4 percent shooting, including 6 of 9 from behind the three-point arc. While it can’t be expected for Dirk to continually to put up this type of performance throughout the season, it provides a strong indication of what he can give the Mavs when he’s able to get some extra rest. The Mavs should hopefully be able to put this game away early and limit Dirk’s minutes before coming home to Dallas for a Friday night showdown against the Chicago Bulls (27-16).

What to Watch For

Timberwolves will be playing without point guard Ricky Rubio (9.4 ppg, 10. apg), while Kevin Martin (20.4 ppg, 1.9 apg, 3.7 rpg) and Nikola Pekovic (11.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg) are game-time decisions due to injuries. Without their big stars, the lowly Timberwolves roll out one of the most inefficient offensive (25th) and defensive (30th) teams in the league, led by rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins who is averaging 21 points and 5.3 rebounds in the month of January. The Mavs will need to contain Wiggins along with small forward Thaddeus Young, who has averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds on 50 percent shooting in his past two contests.

Series

The Mavs lead the all-time series against the Timberwolves 59-44. The Mavs won the first meeting between the two teams on Nov. 15 (131-117). The Mavericks have won 23 of the last 31 regular-season matchups with the Timberwolves; including 12 of the last 15 meetings in Minneapolis.

Comparison

Mavs

Timberwolves

Offensive Efficiency 110.7 (1st) 99.2 (25th)
Defensive Efficiency 103.4 (16th) 109.9 (30th)
Points  108.4 (2nd) 98.5 (20th)
Rebounds  42.4 (18th) 40.8 (27th)
Assists  23.5 (7th) 22.3 (11th)
Points Allowed 102.3 (23rd) 108.0 (30th)

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