The Dallas Mavericks have won five straight, but extending that
streak won’t be easy with a backcourt that’s becoming more depleted
by the day.
After a recent stretch that’s hardly lived up to their
expectations, the Philadelphia 76ers would love to take
Jason Terry and Delonte West won’t be available Friday night in
Philadelphia as the Mavericks try to hand the 76ers a third
straight home loss.
Dallas (19-11) opened February with three consecutive losses in
which it was held to 88 points or fewer, but has gotten back on
track. The Mavericks have averaged 100.8 points in their five
straight wins, and they put six players in double figures and led
by as many as 31 in Wednesday’s 102-84 rout of Denver.
“(Depth) is the strength of our team,” Lamar Odom told the Mavs’
official website after scoring 14 points off the bench. “…
Everybody’s getting better and better as far as their game and
their conditioning. We’re having fun playing together.”
That depth will be tested in Philadelphia. Terry sat out
Wednesday because of a strained right quad – an injury that’s not
believed to be serious – and won’t play Friday due to personal
reasons. Rodrigue Beaubois didn’t play Wednesday after his father
passed away, leaving his status against the Sixers (20-10) in
While Terry and Beaubois likely won’t be out too long, it
appears West will be. The Mavs’ top perimeter defender suffered a
gruesome injury to his right ring finger while playing defense
against the Nuggets, and according to coach Rick Carlisle, the
prognosis isn’t good.
“He’s going to be out for a while,” Carlisle said.
Those absences should provide a strong opportunity for perhaps
the league’s deepest team to get back on track after losing three
of five. Eight Philadelphia players average at least 8.9 points,
though a nagging Achilles strain is expected to keep starting
center Spencer Hawes (10.5 ppg) out until after the All-Star
The 76ers lead the Atlantic Division thanks to a scoring defense
that’s among the league’s top three (87.3 points per game) and an
offense that takes care of the basketball. Philadelphia averages
10.5 turnovers, on pace for the fewest in a single season since the
league started keeping track in 1977-78.
Neither of those elements was working in Wednesday’s 103-87 loss
at Orlando as the Sixers had 14 turnovers and allowed the Magic to
knock down 15 of 25 from 3-point range.
Louis Williams, who had a team-high 21 points, was quickly
looking ahead to Friday, Philadelphia’s lone stop at the Wells
Fargo Center in an eight-game stretch.
“We have an opportunity to go back home and play a game against
the world champs and then get back out on the road,” said Williams,
who’s averaged 20.0 points in his last six games. “We are very
happy with where we are right now.”
The Sixers, however, aren’t exactly shining at home these days.
They’ve scored just 85.3 points per game in losing three of four in
Philadelphia, getting outrebounded by an average of 8.2.
The Mavericks had an average of 6.0 more boards than the Sixers
in sweeping last season’s series, though it was the backcourt that
led the way in Philadelphia on March 1. Terry had 30 points off the
bench while Jason Kidd recorded the most recent of his 107 career
triple-doubles – seven of which have come against the Sixers.