Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing Dallas Mavericks vs Milwaukee Bucks with Adam McGee
The winless Dallas Mavericks head into Sunday’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks without their leader in Dirk Nowitzki, and possibly Deron Williams.
After losing to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, the Mavericks received news that Dirk Nowitzki will be out for at least a week due to soreness in his Achilles. With the season already starting out in a depressing manner, Dallas looks to fight through the early season struggles as they search for a winning formula.
With Nowitzki out and a plethora of veterans dealing with injuries (including a “very questionable” Deron Williams for Sunday”), Dallas will need their youngsters to take charge against an athletic Bucks team.
Prior to Sunday’s matchup against the Bucks, I chatted with Adam McGee from Behind The Bucks Pass, who covers the Bucks all year round.
Here is what he had to say in previewing the game.
Outside Shooting for Milwaukee
Isaac Harris: Is the lack of three point shooting really THAT bad for the Bucks?
Adam McGee: It was, but not any more. With the right kind of summer acquisitions (and departures) the Bucks have managed to improve their spacing considerably from last season. The loss of Middleton would always be a big deal, but where last year the Bucks wouldn’t even have been able to function without him, at least this year they have some shooters to help keep the opposing defense honest.
The Impact of Jason Terry
Isaac Harris: What has and what can Dallas favorite, Jason Terry, bring to the Bucks?
Adam McGee: I think the main reason for the Bucks adding Terry was to bring in a distinctive, veteran voice to help the young guys both on the floor and in the locker room. Obviously with Jason Kidd’s close ties to Jet from their time as teammates in Dallas, and then in Kidd’s first season as a head coach in Brooklyn, there’s a great amount of mutual trust.
Giannis Antetokounmpo or Jabari Parker?
Isaac Harris: If you are starting a franchise and can only have one, Giannis or Jabari?
Adam McGee: I really, really love Jabari, but the only logical answer to this question is Giannis. If you’ve a chance to build a team with one of the most physically and technically unique players who has entered the NBA in recent years, you have to take it.
Advantage Over the Mavs?
Isaac Harris: What is the area that Milwaukee should have the advantage over Dallas on Sunday?
Adam McGee: I think all of the cliches that come to mind when people describe the Bucks will work in their favor in Dallas for this one. The length and athleticism Milwaukee possesses would never make for an easy matchup for a a Mavs team that includes some older players, but on top of that, these youngsters have improved at pushing the pace too.
Isaac Harris: What is your outcome prediction for Sunday’s game in Dallas?
Adam McGee: A bunch of our staff writers at Behind the Buck Pass get together to do this at the start of each week. Last Sunday when I made my original picks, I had this one down as a narrow Dallas win as I fully expected Rick Carlisle to totally out-coach Jason Kidd. In the time since, things have changed.
The Bucks are 3-0 on the week so far and have looked like an absolute juggernaut. They’ll arrive in Dallas more confident than they’ve been in at least 18 months, and with key players having had a chance to rest in the fourth quarter of a blowout win on Saturday. With Dirk out, the Mavs still searching for a first win and the Bucks on form, I’d now have to go for Milwaukee to continue their good form with a win in the 6-10 point range.
*Adam did a similar Q&A with myself on the Mavericks leading up to the game on Sunday where I gave my outcome prediction. The following was my answer:
“At some point the Mavs have to win right? Although the absence of Dirk will be huge offensively, it will allow Dallas to matchup a lot better defensively. Also, the Mavs biggest weakness is opponents three point percentage as they rank 30th in the league. Milwaukee shouldn’t pose the same outside threat as Houston, Utah, and Portland has for Dallas. I think Dallas is determined and will earn their first victory at home on Sunday.”
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