Matchup: Dallas Mavericks vs Philadelphia 76ers
Records: Mavericks (25-14), 76ers (18-20)
Where to Watch
Date: Sunday, Jan. 6
Time: 6:00 AM IST
TV: Sony Ten1
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Record-wise, things are better in Philadelphia since the arrival of Jimmy Butler.
In 24 games with Butler, the 76ers have gone 16-8 (66.6%) while going 9-7 before the trade. Numbers-wise, the defense has seen a marginal dip, the offensive improvement has helped their net rating jump from -0.1 (17th best) to 3.4 (7th best).
The team's first five losses with Butler came at an average points margin of 8, however, their last three losses have come by an average margin of 22.6 points which includes a 27-point loss in San Antonio and a 34-point drumming in Portland.
Despite their offensive improvement, the players, especially their Big 3 - Butler, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler, who seem to be having problems with how the offense is functioning. Will playing at home help the team and the players get into some sort of rhythm?
The team has only lost 3 of its 19 encounters at home so far this season and other than a trip to Indianapolis, the 76ers only make short trips to New York and Washington DC as part of their schedule over the next three weeks. That's what head coach Brett Brown and the rest of the coaching staff hoping for.
Fortunately for the 76ers, this home stands begins with the Dallas Mavericks, a team among the worst road performers this season.
It's been an up-and-down season for the Mavericks.
More: Dallas does the Euro-Step, literally
They began the year by going 3-8 in their first eleven games before winning 12 of their next 15 games from Nov. 11 to Dec. 13. Since Dec. 14, they've gone 3-9 which includes a six-game losing streak (five of the games were played on the road).
More: The Luka Doncic Rookie Season Running Diary
With the recent slump, once again, the only bright light in Dallas seems to be their rookie Luka Doncic. He's won both Western Conference Rookie of the Month Awards so far this season and he's capturing everybody's attention, receiving the second-most votes among frontcourt players in the West.
His points average of 19.5 is the fourth-best by a teenager in NBA history, ranking behind some special company.
Fortunately for Dallas, this Philly game is fourth and last of this East road-trip. They are now slated to play seven of their next eleven at home before East road trip awaits them at the end of this month.
- Currently placed 4th in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers are 16-3 at home, a record second-best in the league only to the Milwaukee Bucks.
- On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks have the league's worst road record at 3-17.
- The 76ers will surely miss Zhaire Smith (Foot), Justin Patton (Foot) and Markelle Fultz (Shoulder). Forwards Jimmy Butler and Wilson Chandler are reportedly game-time decisions.
- At the time of writing, the Mavericks have no players on the injury list.
Last Time They Played
Date: Apr. 9, 2018
Score: Mavericks 97, 76ers 109
Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr. - 20 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
76ers: Ben Simmons - 16 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals.