The Dallas Mavericks face off against the Boston Celtics tonight for one of the biggest tests of the season. Can Dallas continue their hot streak against a very hot Celtics team?
The Dallas Mavericks are on a bit of a tear right now as one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Another one of those incredibly hot teams is the Boston Celtics, who could easily be argued as the hottest team in the league. Tonight, something’s gotta give.
The Mavericks have won 8 of their last 11 games and have beat some great teams along the way, including the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers. The Celtics, meanwhile, have won 9 of their last 10, beating teams like the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and more.
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For Dallas to really compete tonight, the threat is pretty obvious. There is not a single player in the league right now that is more dangerous than Isaiah Thomas. Thomas is averaging 29.8 points per game right now on an unreal 46.7% shooting. In Boston’s most recent game, Thomas put up 29 points against the Jazz on 9-16 shooting.
Isaiah Thomas is also leading the team in assists per game at more than 6 dimes per contest. The real amazing numbers come when you look at his 2017 stats alone. Thomas is averaging right around 33 points per game since the new year at nearly 50% shooting. As a point guard.
Clearly, the key for the Mavs tonight is going to be slowing down the guy that no one else in the league can seem to. Forcing Thomas into a pass-first point guard would be a game changer for Dallas if they can achieve it.
That being said, the keys to the Mavs defensive efforts against Isaiah will have to be Yogi Ferrell, Seth Curry, and Devin Harris. Deron Williams has mostly lost his step on the defensive end of the court so we will have to rely on others to defend him.
Curry also should get a nice opportunity to pressure Thomas on the other end of the court. If we can make him work each possession on defense, it could very well hinder his progression on offense. Curry and Yogi will need to be in attack mode all night as those two appear to be Isaiah Thomas’ most likely defensive efforts.
If Dallas can do this and utilize Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and Dirk Nowitzki on the offensive end, we have a good shot at putting another blemish. The Dallas Mavericks face off against the Boston Celtics tonight at 7:30 CT in Dallas.