Matchup: Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Records: Mavericks (10-9); Lakers (12-9)
Where To Watch
Date: Saturday, Dec. 1
Time: 6:30 AM IST
TV: Sony Ten1 and Sony Ten3
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Coming into this contest, both the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers, are teams that have regained their composure and found some form after having a slow start to the season.
Dallas started the season 3-8 which included a six-game losing streak. But since then, over the past three weeks, the Mavericks have gone 7-1 including wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics.
In this stretch, the Mavericks have the best net rating in the league (12.0) and more importantly, they are tied for the second-best defense in the league (100.9) during the period.
The brightest spots for the team have been their rookie and sophomore sensations - Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. Doncic, the leading Rookie of the Year candidate, is averaging 19.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists on 45.7% shooting has been a huge reason for the team's recent revival. While Smith Jr.'s numbers aren't on the rise from his rookie year, his efficiency certainly has. In 17 games this season, he is shooting 44.6% from the field and 39.1% from beyond the arc, that's a considerable leap in either category from last season - 39.5% from the field and 31.3% from beyond the arc.
The team has an impressive 8-2 record at home and if they keep up that form, they could pull off another run because, after this game against the Lakers, Dallas has a favorable schedule, playing five of the next six at home at the American Airlines Arena.
The Lakers started slowly as well, winning four of their first ten games but it's all been up-and-up since then.
Including their most recent win over the Pacers, the Lakers have won eight of their last eleven games. LeBron James, the team's huge offseason acquisition, is a huge reason for the team's revival putting up stellar numbers like 29.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 52.9% shooting from the field and 42.5% from beyond the arc during the team's 8-3 recent run.
However, there is a huge issue the team has to rectify in order to consistently register victories. The Lakers average 15.9 turnovers per game, which ranks 24th in the league and to make matters worse, their turnover numbers rises to 16.3 (27th in the league) when the sample size is restricted to the last 11 games.
The team is still expected to miss backup point guard Rajon Rondo to a hand injury, forcing LeBron to continue playing a lot of point.
Date: Nov. 1, 2018
Score: Lakers 114, Mavericks 113
Mavericks: Luka Doncic - 14 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists
Lakers: LeBron James - 29 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals
Jan. 8 - Lakers at Mavericks - 7 AM