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Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors

Monday Game Previews: Warriors being tough road stretch in Dallas, Lakers host Cavs

Luka Doncic and Klay Thompson in their previous matchup at the Oracle Arena.
Luka Doncic and Klay Thompson in their previous matchup at the Oracle Arena. (Getty Images)

Who's Playing

Matchup: Golden State Warriors vs Dallas Mavericks

Records: Warriors (28-14), Mavericks (20-22)

Where to Watch

Date: Monday, Jan. 14

Time: 5:30 AM IST

TV: Sony Ten1

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

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Game Preview

After playing ten of their last fifteen games at home at the Oracle Arena, where they even suffered a three straight losses, the Warriors are all set for a monster road schedule for the remainder of January - 7 of 8 in road arenas.

During this road trip, the much-awaited debut of DeMarcus Cousins is expected.

The Warriors' current record of 28-14 is the worst under Steve Kerr through 42 games. They have never registered double-digit losses in the previous seasons (under Kerr) through 42 games. So the wear-and-tear of a three-peat is certainly showing.

Despite all of this, the Warriors still have the league's best offense (114.4). They also rank among the league's elite in various other offensive categories such as - FG% (48.7- 1st), 3P% (38.3% - 4th), FT% (82.4% - 1st), PPG (117.4 - 1st), and APG (28.5 - 1st).

It's the team defense that has been the issue this season. At the time of writing, they have a defensive rating of 108.8, good for 16th-best. They rank 20th in opponents points allowed per game (111.7). How will their defense fair during this tough road stretch?

Only time will tell.

For Dallas, the next seven games are really tough irrespective of where they are played. In the next seven games, they play the Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, LA Clippers and the Indiana Pacers.

They are currently 20-22, outside the Playoff picture in the Western Conference.

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 5-11 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.

Game Notes

  • The Warriors' current 11-8 road record is the best in the Western Conference.
  • On the other hand, the Mavericks have won one of the best home records in the league at 16-4.
  • Dallas will miss the services of J.J. Barea, who tore his achilles and has been declared out for the season. Meanwhile, Dennis Smith Jr. (Back) will be a game-time decision.
  • Meanwhile, the Warriors will miss two backup centers in this game - DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) and Damian Jones (Pectoral). Backup guard Shaun Livingston is said to be a gametime decision.

Last Time They Played

Date: Dec. 23, 2018

Score: Mavericks 116-120 Warriors

Mavericks: DeAndre Jordan - 12 points, 23 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Warriors: Kevin Durant - 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists.


Who's Playing

Matchup: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Los Angeles Lakers

Records: Cavaliers (8-35), Lakers (23-20)

Where to Watch

Date: Monday, Jan. 14

Time: 8:00 AM IST

TV: Sony Ten1

Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

Game Preview

Given the number of players the Cavaliers are missing, this game might not have been a contest if LeBron James was good to go but he isn't.

Cleveland is currently spiralling, having lost 12 straight games and under ideal circumstances, even without LeBron, this could be a comfortable win for the Lakers.

The Cavaliers have the league's worst defense (117.6 - 30th), have a net rating of -11.6 (30th in the league) and are currently in the middle of a long six-game Western Conference road trip.

The latter part of November and early December, Cavs' rookie Collin Sexton was shining once he was given the freedom and inserted into the starting lineup but over the past month, his good form seems to have tailed off as well.

On the other hand, the young Lakers have gone 3-6 without the King and do have two winnable home games in front of them against the Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls after that. Without LeBron, the Lakers are doing fine defensively, ranking 3rd in the league.

Unfortunately, their offense is dead-last in the league with a rating of 100.8.

Given the absence of LeBron and his former Cavs teammates (Kevin Love and J.R. Smith), there might not be as much as buzz in the arena with this game but either way this is a must win for the Lakers. They cannot afford another loss and fall out of the Playoff contention in the West.

Game Notes

  • The visiting Cavaliers are a league-worst 3-18 on the road.
  • The LA Lakers are 14-8 in their 22 previous home games at the Staples Center.
  • Cleveland would be missing a host of players - Kevin Love (Toe), J.R. Smith (Coach's decision), Larry Nance Jr. (Knee), John Henson (Wrist), and David Nwaba (Ankle).
  • The purple and gold franchise of the Lakers will be missing two key veterans - LeBron James (Groin) and Rajon Rondo (Hand).

Last Time They Played

Date: Nov. 22, 2018

Score: Lakers 109-105 Cavaliers

Lakers: LeBron James - 32 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists on 55.0% shooting.

Cavaliers: Cedi Osman - 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists on 53.8% shooting

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