Opening Statements: Wizards at Mavericks, Game 22 | Wizards Blog Truth About

Opening Statements: Wizards at Mavericks, Game 22

Updated: December 12, 2015

dallas, mavericks

 Wizards at Mavericks
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: American Airlines Arena, Dallas, TX
Television: CSN +
Radio: WNEW-FM 99.1
Spread: Mavs fav’d by 6.5 points

The early schedule for Washington has been a peculiar one. They played Milwaukee and Orlando twice each in their first 9 games. They had two road trips to Boston in November. The Kevin Durant DC homecoming transpired before most casual fans knew the season had begun. Now, Washington will face Dallas for the second time in less than a week.

Last Sunday, the Mavericks pulled away from the Wizards in a decisive fourth quarter to defeat the Wizards, 116-104. Wesley Matthews blew up with 36 points on 10-for-17 shooting on 3-pointers. Injuries continue to nag the Wizards, forcing them to trot out tiny units, but even playing small has helped them stop teams from lighting them up from downtown. Opponents are shooting a staggering 40.3% on 3-pointers against the Wiz, which is the highest percentage in the NBA. This is six points greater than they allowed in 2014-15. Over the last 5 games, opponents are shooting 45.4% (59 of 130) on threes. (Via Ben Standig)

Washington began their 4-game road trip by suffering a close loss in New Orleans on Friday night while Dallas has been off since Wednesday. The Wizards record is currently 9-12, and the team desperately needs a victory before the losing malaise becomes possibly permanent.

Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace) of Mavs Moneyball joined me to preview Saturday’s contest and answer some questions. Lets get Wizzy in Big D…

Q#1: Other than Raymond Felton grabbing 10 rebounds and Wes Matthews torching the phone booth, what did we learn from Mavs victory over Wiz?

@KirkSeriousFace What we learned is that the Mavericks are far from a completed product. It’s nice that Wes Matthews finally hit some threes but if you look at his shooting before and since, the Mavericks have reason to be a bit concerned. Dallas is mainly making it work with a patchwork of solutions and with one injury, be it to Dirk, Zaza, Wes, or Deron Williams, things could get funky in Dallas real quick.

Q#2: Washington has been a disappointment. Considering expectations, how would you evaluate Dallas’s performance this season?

@KirkSeriousFace Everyone should be THRILLED. Look, only the most biggest fanboy would’ve predicted this start. Wes Matthews is coming off a career-altering surgery. Same for Chandler Parsons. Dirk Nowitzki looked washed for most of last season (he hurt his back in early December and never really recovered). If the Mavericks play .500 ball the rest of the way, everyone should be very happy. Look at the roster. Look at the minutes dispersal. It doesn’t make sense how Rick Carlisle is doing this.

Q#3: Mark Cuban was at the game in DC, taking selfies with Ted Leonsis. Is he over being rejected by Jordan yet?  Seriously though, what is their plan for the future? Missing out on Jordan, a positive or negative?

@KirkSeriousFace Who knows when he’ll get over that, he wears his emotions on his sleeve so it’s hard to predict. In terms of the future, it’s hard to say. There isn’t a lot of young talent in the cupboard and Dallas doesn’t own it’s pick this year. Chandler Parsons is approaching 30 and Wes Matthews is already there. Things could get dark when Dirk retires. Until then, the plan is to have fun and throw out as competitive a team as possible. In terms of missing Jordan… well it has to be a net negative long term. He’s a young center with some elite skills. But like Dirk Nowitzki, it seems hard to build a team around him.

Q#4: Cuban is going into the locker room for mini press conferences to rant about refs. This is completely different than Leonsis, who has only talked to press this season when promoting new virtual reality technology. What is it like having Cuban as an owner? How awesome is Cyber Dust?

@KirkSeriousFace  It’s hard to get annoyed with Cuban in the long term. Fact is, compared to the 90’s, this team is a model franchise. Of course, he gets involved in the day to day of the franchise more than I’d like, but it’s pretty awesome to know that he’s a fan like I am. And I refuse to use Cyber Dust. In related news, I am old.

Q#5:  How has the JaVale McGee experience been? (I see the post moves are still on point. )

@KirkSeriousFace  Oh Javale. Far too many of the MavsMoneyball staff love him. He’s been… not terrible, which has to be a net positive at the end of the day. He’s had such a hard time staying healthy and understanding his role as a basketball player, so any minutes he gets where good things happen is good for fans and Twitter. I really have no idea what his role might grow into if he stays healthy.

Q#6: Washington will be playing the Mavs after being in New Orleans the previous night while Dallas has had two days off. How do you see this game playing out? Score prediction?

@KirkSeriousFace  The Mavericks have a long history of playing to their opponents energy. While I’d like to say the Dallas Maveriicks will get out ahead early, the reality is that Dallas hasnt been able to hit a shot much of this year (really poor team 3-point shooting). I suspect this game will be another close one, with Dallas perhaps pulling away late. Let’s go with 92-89, Mavericks.

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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.