Denver Nuggets vs Dallas Mavericks: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks

Where: American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX

When: Friday, February 22nd at 8:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Southwest, Altitude | KKSE 950AM, ESPN Radio 103.3

Denver Nuggets (Away)

Head Coach: Michael Malone {All-Time 197-212 | SAC, DEN}

Head Coach Michael Malone returns from his first All-Star Game duties in hopes of leading his Denver Nuggets back into pole position in the Western Conference. At 39-18 the Nuggets are second in the West and a mere two games back from the Golden State Warriors in first place.

The Denver Nuggets were at a decent pace before the All-Star Break. They not only accumulated a 7-3 record in their previous ten games, but they took impressive wins over the Rockets, Sixers, and Kings.

The Dallas Mavericks may not be playoff bound but they certainly are a threat, led by rookie sensation Luka Doncic. The Nuggets will need to stay disciplined on defence as the Mavs are fourth in the league in free-throw attempts. Hopefully their conditioning is still with them after the break.

Dallas Mavericks (Home)

Head Coach: Rick Carlisle {All-Time 744-609 | DET, IND, DAL,}

The Dallas Mavericks currently rest at twelfth in the Western Conference with a record of 26-31. Not only are they five games back from a playoff spot, but they have stiff competition ahead of them in the Kings, Lakers, and Timberwolves all fighting for the same goal.

Before the break the Mavs were on their usually inconsistent pace. They were 5-5 in their last ten matches and 6-22 on the road. The Mavericks saving grace is that they thrill their home fans to inspiring wins with a 20-9 mark at home.

The Denver Nuggets are fighting to get back into first position in the Western Conference. The Mavericks need to spoil their goal and the first point of attack will likely be their star centre Nikola Jokic in the pick-and-roll. The Mavericks lost their best roll option in DeAndre Jordan, so we will wait eagerly to see who steps up for Dallas in his absence.

What’s At Stake?

The Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks are two teams of a similar age. In the all-time series neither has been willing to give too much of an inch as the Dallas Mavericks lead the Denver Nuggets 88-83.

A win for the Denver Nuggets would bring them within a game of the Golden State Warriors in first place.

A win for the Dallas Mavericks would put them within half a game of the Minnesota Timberwolves in eleventh.

Questions to answer

How will Isaiah Thomas fit in?

Is Luka Doncic the true answer at point?

We are going to compare the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Luka Doncic Started at Point Guard for the Mavericks

In their last match before the all-star break coach Rick Carlisle wanted to shake up the lineup. Rather than starting Jalen Brunson at the point, as he did since the departure of Dennis Smith Jr, the Mavericks touted a lineup with Doncic running the point.

The results for the match were mixed. With Doncic at point it created a mismatch from the tip resulting in a decent night of intangibles for Doncic – 12 rebounds and 9 assists. However despite Doncic’s size he struggled to get his shot off and penetrate against his smaller matchups.

It was just one match for Doncic so there is surely more to his game at the point than this one match suggests. Unfortunately for Doncic teams have grown privy to some of his moves and tendencies to his misfortune. He is not quick or athletic enough to finish over most opponents and doesn’t have a polished post game. There’s plenty of time for Doncic to improve that portion of his game.

Isaiah Thomas Made His Return

In a win over the Sacramento Kings Isaiah Thomas made his return. He was used sparingly, but his role seemed quite defined despite it being his first game back in more than a year.

In thirteen minutes Thomas posted 8 points, two assists, and three fouls. The Kings were obviously going at him on defence, Thomas didn’t cope well. However for the Nuggets Thomas gave them exactly what they wanted on the offensive end. Spacing and shooting from another perimeter threat.

It is unknown how much Thomas will play in Denver. The Nuggets have a number of young pieces to bank on and they have surpassed expectations at this point in the year. Thomas has shown through his career that he is a threat offensively, but is sure to raise questions based on his health and defensive ability alone.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

G Gary Harris – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Groin) – Harris did not play in Wednesday’s (Feb 13) game.

F Michael Porter – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Back) – Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has not ruled out a return ithis year for Porter Jr. according to Harrison Wind of BSN Denver.

Dallas Mavericks Roster Notes

G JJ Barea – 14 Feb 2019 – Out For Season (Lower Leg) – Recovery from Achilles surgery will be anywhere from 6-9 months according to Dwain Price of Mavs.com

F Kristaps Porzingis – 4 Feb 2019 – Out For Season (Knee) – Porzingis confirmed in a news conference that he will not play in the 2018-19 season.

Head-to-Head: Gary Harris (DEN) vs Tim Hardaway Jr (DAL)

Gary Harris

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 210lb (193cm, 95kg) | Michigan State | Exp. 4 Years

14.8 PPG | 2.7 APG | 3.0 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 1.2 TOV | .425 FG% | .314 3P%

Tim Hardaway Jr

Shooting Guard | 6-6, 205lb (198cm, 92kg) | Michigan | Exp. 5 Years

18.8 PPG | 2.6 APG | 3.2 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .390 FG% | .341 3P%

There is an interesting matchup at the shooting guard position when Gary Harris and Tim Hardaway Jr face off. Both are incredibly dangerous scorers who shoot the ball liberally. Both are X-Factors for their team, but can also shoot themselves out of the game.

Gary Harris sat out of the last match before the all-star break with a groin injury. With more than a week off he is expected to make a return and if so will be key for the Nuggets. With so much focus on Jokic the Nuggets tend to struggle if they can’t find alternative offensive options. Harris’ ability as an isolation scorer will complement Jokic should he be well covered.

Tim Hardaway Jr has come into the Mavericks team and not been shy one bit. He is averaging 14.4 field-goal attempts per game and 7.6 of those attempts are from three. Notably he hasn’t shot well from range with the Mavericks – .289 from three – but with his ability it is likely to turn around. With so much focus on Doncic, Hardaway will need to be an efficient outlet and secondary playmaker for the Mavericks.

Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Denver Nuggets favoured over the Dallas Mavericks by 3.5, with an over/under of 110.