The Dallas Mavericks only hope to beat the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night is to play their best game of the year at American Airlines Center.
The Dallas Mavericks face their stiffest test of the season on Wednesday night as the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors ride into American Airlines Center for a 7:30pm CT tip-off.
This would be a big game simply because the previous winner of the NBA Finals is in town, but these Warriors aren’t you’re average defending champ.
These Dubs from the San Francisco Bay Area are unlike anything professional basketball has ever seen, at least if fast starts are any criteria.
The Chicago Bulls of the 1990s never looked like this. No San Antonio Spurs outfit thereafter has ever come out with such a vengeance to begin a season. Pick a Los Angeles Lakers era of championship success and you won’t find anything like what the Warriors have done to this point in the 2015-16 campaign.
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In fact, the Lakers know all too well what their Pacific Division rivals are capable of. In late November, the Lakers allowed a 111-77 blowout loss to the Warriors which clinched the best start in NBA history. That victory made Golden State 16-0 and that hot streak continued until the Warriors finally lost a game against the Milwaukee Bucks two weeks ago.
Heading into Wednesday’s matchup at AAC, the Warriors are rolling at 29-1.
The combination of Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is enough to make any opposing head coach lose some sleep, no matter where they currently hold a job. From a defensive standpoint, Golden State scores from everywhere, which includes the paint, an area that’s often opened up because of the incredible shooting ability that exists on this team.
Somehow, I don’t feel that Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will freak out over this game. This is the same head coach that pasted the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals in just six games. That team in Miami boasted shooting guard Dwayne Wade and forwards LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
In other words, Carlisle is a specialist when it comes to matchups and I don’t see him entering this game with no ideas.
I do know this much: The Mavericks will need a big game from the starting lineup if they’re going to keep up with the Warriors scoring machine.
Power forward Dirk Nowitzki was miserable against the Bucks on Monday, so perhaps he’s due to cross the 20-point barrier once again.
There’s no telling whether or not the Mavericks can beat the Warriors. If you’re a believer in head-to-head comparisons, it’s encouraging to know that Dallas beat Milwaukee who, in turn, handed Golden State its first loss of the season this month.
We know that the Mavericks can potentially score with the Warriors, as players like Matthews and guard J.J. Barea have been hot from 3-point range over the last couple of weeks. Guard Devin Harris can drive the lane and forward Charlie Villanueva is lights out from downtown.
Defense could be a completely different story, however. To suggest that another double-double from center Zaza Pachulia would be ideal is an absolute given.
Wednesday night’s game means nothing regarding the standings, the playoffs or anything else. But it does represent an opportunity for the Mavericks to, at the very least, measure itself against the NBA’s best.
At most, the Mavericks stand a chance to establish themselves as a true contender after having spent the first one-third of this season as a team with no true identity.