The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the best teams in the NBA over the past decade plus but they’re in a strange place right now. They’re not a bad team but there’s nothing to suggest that they can compete in the postseason. Actually, there’s no guarantee that they’ll make the postseason due to their bizarre home/road dichotomy. The Mavs are currently the #11 team in the Western Conference and are 4.5 games out of the final playoff spot. The big problem? It’s not their play at home which has been solid. Dallas is 19-8 SU/ATS at the American Airlines Center which suggests a team with the potential to contend. After all, the Golden State Warriors are just 20-7 at home and the Mavs’ record is definitely in the same ballpark.
Unfortunately for Dallas, they have to play half of their games on the road. Their road record is a debacle at 6-21 SU. Only two NBA teams have won fewer games away from home this season and they’re not exactly ones that a good team would want as peers–Cleveland (5-24 away) and Phoenix (4-24 away). Dallas has just as many road wins as the moribund New York Knicks (6-23 away) and lest we forget the Knicks have now lost 16 straight games.
The Mavericks might not be ‘blowing up the team’ but they’re definitely retooling around talented young point guard Luka Doncic. Dallas traded away arguably three of their four best players–Dennis Smith, Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews–to the Knicks for injured big man Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavs are clearly rolling the dice hoping that Porzingis can be a ‘poor mans’ Dirk Nowitski but if not they’ve cleared a couple of expiring contracts off the books.
Donic is a freak and definitely a guy that you can build a franchise around. He’s 19 and already talking about how it’s easier to score in the NBA than in Europe. Donic has averaged 27.4 PPG over his last five games but he might sit here for precautionary reasons after he was taken for hand X-rays following Friday night’s blowout loss to Milwaukee.
Dallas will be facing a Portland Trailbalzers team that is healthy and playing great basketball. The Blazers have moved up to fourth place in the Western Conference thanks to a 13-5 SU/ATS run since late December. The Blazers are well rested, having last played at home on Thursday night. Dallas continues to compete and the loss to Milwaukee ended an eight game pointspread winning streak. They’ve covered ten of their last thirteen games but at some point their valuation will catch up with their actual ability level. Donic can’t do it alone and for the time being that’s pretty much what he’s being asked to do. Blazers win by double digits.