at Dallas Mavericks (18-19) at Boston Celtics (22-15)
Friday, January 4, 2019
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #38 – Home Game #18
TV: ESPN, NBCSB, FSSW-DAL
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub, 103.3 FM ESPN
TD GardenProbable Starting Matchups
Terry Rozier vs Dennis Smith, JrShooting Guard
Marcus Smart vs Luca Doncic
Jayson Tatum vs Wesley Matthews
Marcus Morris vs Harrison Barnes
Al Horford vs DeAndre JordanCeltics Reserves
Jabari Bird (personal) out
Aron Baynes (hand) out
Robert Williams (groin) day to day
Kyrie Irving (eye) out
Marcus Morris (neck) questionable
Two Way Players
Brad StevensMavs Reserves
None reported Two Way Players
Daryl MaconHead Coach
Rick Carlisle Game Notes
The Mavericks come to Boston for the 2nd and final game between these two teams this season. The Mavericks beat the Celtics 113-104 in Dallas on November 24. They have split the last 10 games between them 5-5. Eight of those 10 were won by single digits. The Celtics have won two straight against the Mavs in Boston.
The Celtics are 5th in the East, 5 games behind the Raptors and 2 games behind the 4th place 76ers. They are 7-8 vs Western Conference teams and 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are 12-5 at home. Both teams are looking to win their second straight game.
The Mavs are 11th in the West and 8-3 vs Eastern Conference teams, including that win over the Celtics in Dallas. They have been strong at home but have struggled on the road, going just 3-16 away from home. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games. This is the first of back to back games for them.
Dirk Nowitzki is playing in what is probably his last season in the league. He missed the first meeting between these two teams in November as he was rehabbing from ankle surgery. He is now coming off the bench for the Mavs. He has averaged 25.2 point in 36 career games vs the Celtics (all starts). This is his highest average against any team in the league.
The Mavs are healthy with no reported injuries. The Celtics are short handed with Kyrie Iriving expected to miss his second game with scratched corneas. Aron Baynes remains out after surgery on his hand. Robert Williams will reportedly be back soon but is listed as questionable as of right now.
Marcus Morris took a hard fall on Wednesday and is questionable for this game with a sore neck. I've included him in the starting lineup and I'm not sure who Brad will start if he can't go. He may start Brown or Hayward at the three and move Tatum to power forward, or he may start someone like Ojeleye in his place at the four. Marcus Smart left Wednesday's game with a shoulder injury but returned to finish out the game and is not listed on the injury report for this game.Key Matchups
Marcus Morris vs Harrison Barnes
Barnes is averaging 18.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. In the first game between these two teams Barnes scored 20 points. In 5 games as a Maverick, Barnes has averaged 24.3 points while shooting 50% from the field and 44% from beyond the arc. Morris, or his replacement, will need to stay with him on defense to keep him from having a big game.
Marcus Smart vs Luca Doncic
The Mavs super rookie is averaging 19.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.1 steals. He has been doing a little bit of everything and is the leading candidate for ROY. He had 20 points in the first game between these two teams and will be looking to add to his resume with another big game in this one. Honorable Mention
Al Horford vs DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan is a talented center, who is a very good rebounder. He had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the first game between these two teams this season. He is averaging 11.0 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 blocks. Horford was able to handle Towns in the last game and hopefully will be up to the task of limiting Jordan as well.Keys to the GameDefense
- Defense wins games. The Celtics have struggled on defense in some games recently and their defensive rating has dropped to 104.8, 4th in the league. The Mavericks' defensive rating is 107.9 (13th). They have to get back to consistently making defense a priority.
- Much of rebounding is effort and the Celtics have to put out extra effort to win the battle of the boards. When they work hard on the boards, it usually follows through to the rest of the game as well. The Celtics are averaging 45.0 rebounds per game while the Mavs are averaging 45.8 rebounds per game. The Celtics were out-rebounded by 1 in the first game vs the Mavs and they need to do better in this one.
- The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team in going to the basket, diving for loose balls, going after 50/50 balls, grabbing rebounds, and just playing harder in general. They have to be the team that wants the win more. The more aggressive team will usually get the benefit of questionable calls and so the Celtics need to be sure that they are more aggressive on both ends of the court. Take Care of the Ball
- The Celtics need to move the ball and find the open man but they also need to make careful passes so as not to turn the ball over. They turned the ball over 17 times in the first game against the Mavericks and that is way too many. The Mavs are averaging 16.2 points off turnovers and will make the Celtics pay if they get sloppy. They have to keep their focus and avoid costly turnovers that could lead to easy points for the Mavs.
- The Celtics are playing in the second game of a 4 game home stand. They should get a boost from the home crowd cheering them on. Hopefully the Mavs will continue to struggle on the road and be rattled by the Celtics loud home crowd. Revenge Factor
- The Celtics lost to this team on the road and so they should be looking to avenge that loss with a win on their home court. Every player should give a little bit extra to get this win. Getting swept by the Mavericks wouldn't be a good thing. Next Man Up
- The Mavericks are at full strength, while the Celtics are short handed and missing several key players. They should still have enough talent to beat the Mavs if every player does his part to fill in the gaps left by their injured teammates.