The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Dallas Mavericks. Mounting injuries aren’t making things any easier.
The Mavericks might be without Deron Williams on Wednesday night when they try to avenge one of their worst performances of the season against the Miami Heat.
Dallas (28-23) has played a league-high 19 games in the new year, going 9-10 while averaging 97.8 points. The schedule hasn’t provided much relief lately with the Mavericks splitting the first two of this stretch of five games in seven days. That span concludes with back-to-back meetings against San Antonio and Memphis this weekend.
Dallas fell 112-97 at Atlanta on Monday, shooting 36.5 percent from the floor and 7 for 26 from 3-point range.
"I mean, we’re still in the middle of a tough stretch with five games in seven nights. We’ve got another one Wednesday, and it’s a tough one," Dirk Nowitzki told the team’s official website. "But we just have to grind it out, especially with a few guys out."
Devin Harris could be out for a sixth straight game with a left toe sprain, but – more importantly – the Mavs might be missing Williams after he bruised his hip Monday.
"I don’t know anything about a timetable or anything like that," coach Rick Carlisle said. "But I’m concerned."
Williams leads the team with 5.3 assists per game and is second with 13.9 points. The guard is averaging 18.6 points over the last seven home games, scoring 27 in Sunday’s 91-78 win over Phoenix.
Williams had nine points in a 106-82 loss at Miami on Jan. 1. That stands as the Mavericks’ second lowest point total of the season, and they shot 36.4 percent, including 7 for 31 from beyond the arc.
Nowitzki was a major culprit, missing 10 of 14 from the floor and finishing with 11 points, while Chandler Parsons was held to four on 2-of-8 shooting. Parsons, however, is averaging 22.5 points on 54.2 percent from the field over the past eight games.
Dallas has lost eight of the last nine meetings with the Heat (27-22), including four straight at home while surrendering an average of 109.3 points.
Miami is looking for a bounce-back performance after Tuesday’s 115-102 loss at Houston, halting its four-game winning streak.
"I think early on we just weren’t mentally sharp," Dwyane Wade said of the Heat’s 17 turnovers. "We came out and were losing the ball … and with a team like this who feeds off that you have to be very sharp and tight with the ball."
Wade is scoring 23.4 points per game over the past five on the road. He had 20 in a 105-96 win at Dallas on Nov. 9, 2014, but flu-like symptoms limited him to 10 points and seven assists in 18 minutes on New Year’s Day.
Hassan Whiteside dominated that matchup with 25 points and a season-high 19 boards. The center could return for this meeting after missing the past six games with a strained oblique.
Chris Bosh went 3 for 11 from the field Tuesday and finished with 13 points. He was averaging 21.8 on 51.3 percent shooting over the previous five games.
The Dallas native has totaled 42 points on 15-of-22 shooting and 15 rebounds in his last two games there.