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Mavs vs. Thunder: Pregame Primer

Mavericks (3-1, 1-1 road) vs. Thunder (2-1, 1-0 home)

TV: ESPN; FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)
Stream: Click here
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 1430 AM The Buzz Tulsa)
Time: 8:30 CT

Offensive Rating: Thunder – 96.9 (25th), Mavs– 114.4 (2nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 99.9 (8th), Mavs – 106.4 (24th)
Pace: Thunder – 98.1 (8th), Mavs – 99.8 (4th)

Phoenix coming in: The Mavs played Tuesday, beating the Lakers

Feels kind of like a swing game of sorts tonight, doesn’t it? On one hand, the Thunder have two wins, but they’re over mediocre/bad teams and a blowout loss on the road to a solid team. On the other… actually there’s really no other hand here. The Thunder haven’t been all that impressive so far, but they do have Russell Westbrook which makes everything feel so, so much better.

The Mavs come in a somewhat surprising 3-1 which includes a win over the Grizzlies. They’re kind of a roster of misfits, but so far, Rick Carlisle has been able to piece it all together.

A win for OKC and things look decently bright at 3-1, and 2-0 with Westbrook back. A loss and they’re 2-2 with losses to the two not bad teams they played. Perspective could swing heavily on tonight’s result, which feels weird, since it’s, you know, Nov. 6.


Three Big Things

1. Dirk. He’s healthy, and he looks somewhat unstoppable again. And when Dirk gets going, there really isn’t a more terrifying crunchtime player in the world. LeBron included.

2. Monta and Calderon. Their buddy cop backcourt has been really effective so far, especially with Ellis who is absolutely torching everyone right now. The Maverick offense is cooking and it’s all starting with Ellis. He’s getting to his spots, playing under control and taking smart shots.

3. Bench. The Mavs have slapped together a pretty nice bench led by Jae Crowder, DeJuan Blair and Vince Carter. They’ve got guys that can knock down some shots, create offense and rebound. The Thunder’s second unit looks to be OK, or at least maybe a little better than expected, but they’re in for a decent challenge tonight.

Tip at 8:30 CT. Go Stay Up Late.