The NBA will have five games on the schedule for December 4. One of those games will be between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks, who are both competitive in the Western Conference right now. The game will start at 8:30 PM Eastern on Tuesday night.
Portland jumped out to a really strong start to the season, but have hit some bumps recently. The Trail Blazers are 13-10 right now, which has them sitting in seventh place of the Western Conference. Portland has lost two games in a row and five of their last six. Portland is falling in the standings and need a win to try and stop this free fall.
The Mavericks are in an opposite situation as the Trail Blazers. Dallas had a rough start to the season, but have since jumped up in the standings with some really strong play. The Mavericks have won eight of their last ten games, which has gotten their record to 11-10. Dallas is currently sitting in eighth place of the Western Conference standings. The Mavericks are looking to keep that hot streak going with a win at home on Tuesday night.
Tuesday night’s game will be the first matchup between the Trail Blazers and the Mavericks this season. These two teams will meet three more times on December 23, February 10 and March 20. Both teams are competing in a really competitive Western Conference right now, which means that a win on Tuesday night could be the difference from missing the playoffs and making it.
Last Season’s Matchups
Portland and Dallas met up a total of three times last season. The first game between these two teams was hosted by the Trail Blazers. Wesley Matthews scored 23 points, while Dennis Smith Jr. and Dirk Nowitzki each dropped 21 points. Damian Lillard put up 31 points and C.J. McCollum scored another 26 in route to a 117-108 win at home for Portland.
The second game of the season series shifted to Dallas. Harrison Barnes had a solid night scoring 21, but Dennis Smith Jr. and Dirk Nowitzki were the only other players to drop double-digit points for the Mavericks. Lillard had another good night, scoring 29 points. C.J. McCollum had another 20 to give the Trail Blazers a 107-93 win on the road.
The third and final game of the season series stayed in Dallas. Lillard had another 29 point night, but this time it was not enough. The Mavericks starting lineup all combined for 74 points. They were led by Dennis Smith Jr. who scored 18 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Dallas was able to pull off the win at home this time by a score of 115-109.
Portland took the season series 2-1 last season. The Trail Blazers went on to earn the third spot in the Western Conference standings, while Dallas finished near the bottom of the league. The Mavericks are much more competitive this season, which could lead to an exciting matchup on Tuesday night.
The Trail Blazers are missing two big men due to injury. Portland will likely be without Caleb Swanigan and Evan Turner. Turner has averaged 8 points per game in 22 appearances off the bench. Swanigan has not been used much, only appearing in 10 games.
Dallas has been missing Dirk Nowitzki this season. Nowitzki is nearing his season debut, but I do not expect it to be Tuesday night. The Mavericks also could be without Luka Doncic. Doncic has been great this season, averaging 18.5 points per game.
Damian Lillard has been the best player on Portland’s roster this season. Lillard is averaging 27 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds per game this season. C.J. McCollum has done really good offensively, averaging 21.5 points per game this season. Jusuf Nurkic has done well at the Center position. He is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game.
The forward duo has been really solid for the Mavericks this season. Harrison Barnes has been averaging 18 points per game at the Power Forward spot. Wesley Matthews is averaging 15 points per game at Small Forward. Dennis Smith Jr. is averaging 14 points per game. DeAndre Jordan has averaged 11.5 points and 14 rebounds per game at the Center spot.
There are a couple key matchups to watch out for on Tuesday night. DeAndre Jordan and Jusuf Nurkic will have an exciting matchup on the boards. Both players are solid rebounders, which will give an exciting battle at the Center spot. The Trail Blazers Guard duo will look to get the edge on the young duo of Smith Jr. and possibly Doncic. Portland’s experience at the Guard spot could help give them the edge in that battle.
Portland needs a win to help them get out of the downhill spiral that they have been in. The Trail Blazers do not have too many serious injuries, but they need some players to step up. Dallas has been playing really well recently, but the Doncic injury could really hurt them on Tuesday night. Doncic has been the best scorer for the Mavericks this season and I believe if he is gone, Portland will get the win on the road.
BetOnline has Dallas listed as a -2 against the spread. The Mavericks have been solid this season, but I believe that they will have difficulty on Tuesday night. I believe that Portland is primed to break out of this recent struggle and this seems like a good game to do it. The Mavericks could be without arguably their best player this season on Tuesday night. I am taking the Trail Blazers with the point on the road.