The Dallas Mavericks are the clear favorites, heading into Wednesday night's game on a five-match win streak. Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets, who have the second-worst record in the league this season, have won only twice in their last ten games and six on home court all season.
The Mavericks have hit form at just the right time, with just a third of the regular season remaining. They have a 16-11 record on the road this season and sit only 2.5 games behind the fifth-placed LA Lakers in the West.
Fixture - Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Wednesday, April 7th; 8:00 PM ET (Wednesday, April 7th; 5:30 AM IST).
Venue - Toyota Center, Houston, TX.
Dallas Mavericks Preview
Despite losing star Kristaps Porzingis to a wrist injury over the weekend, the Dallas Mavericks comfortably prevailed over the Washington Wizards before grounding out an impressive win at home to the Utah Jazz on Monday.
The Mavs center is expected to be out for a few games, with coach Malone saying that the player has had an 'uncomfortable' wrist since January.
Despite starters Nicolo Melli and Maxi Kleber scoring zero points against the Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks bench combined for 40 points, while Doncic continued to carry the team's offense.
Thanks to their improved defensive rating over the last ten games - the Dallas Mavericks were seventh in this period - their +/- of 9.9 is the third-best in the league this season.
Key Player - Luka Doncic
The face of the Dallas Mavericks franchise, Luka Doncic, has been unstoppable in recent games.
His explosive form earned him the Western Conference player of the week honors after he put up a 28-6-6 performance in the Dallas Mavericks' last four wins. He capped that off with a team-leading performance against the Utah Jazz, something that should buoy the team's hopes come the playoffs.
Doncic has missed only five games all season and has registered a triple-double almost every five outings. While he produced similar stats last year, Doncic has improved his shooting this season, particularly from downtown, where he is draining 37.6% of his attempts.
Dallas Mavericks Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Luka Doncic l Shooting Guard - Josh Richardson l Small Forward - Nicolo Melli l Power Forward - Dorian Finney-Smith l Center - Maxi Kleber.
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets are already looking ahead to next season. Considering that Christian Wood was their only starter on Monday night, who also played in their season opener, shows just how much the make-up of the team has changed during the campaign.
Although they are low on confidence and in a losing run that puts them only half a game away from propping up the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets have some exciting young talent with whom they could start their next campaign afresh.
Kelly Olynyk has impressed since moving from Miami on the trade deadline day, scoring 20+ points on three occasions. Meanwhile, in the backcourt, Kevin Porter Jr. is showing that his performances in the G-League were worthy of a call-up to the NBA, as he has averaged 16 points in his last four outings.
Key Player - Christian Wood
In their last ten matchups, no Houston Rockets player has averaged more points or rebounds than Christian Wood's 19 and 8 per night, respectively.
With John Wall out, Wood has led the Houston Rockets' scoring in two of their last four games, registering two double-doubles in this period.
Stephen Silas admitted that Wood made his second free-throw by accident against the Suns on Monday night. But it was Woods' 23-point performance that propelled the Houston Rockets to within a point of their opponents with three seconds left on the clock.
Houston Rockets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Kevin Porter Jr. l Shooting Guard - Avery Bradley l Small Forward - Jae'Sean Tate l Power Forward - Kelly Olynyk l Center - Christian Wood.
Mavericks vs Rockets Prediction
Even though the Houston Rockets have some exciting young talent in their starting lineup, they will likely not have enough firepower to overcome the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. With the third-lowest defensive rating in the league in their last ten matchups, the Rockets will likely struggle to contain Luika Doncic.
Christian Wood could have a big night for the Houston Rockets, as the Dallas Mavericks star Porzingis is still out. Both Kleber and Marjanovic will likely have a long night guarding the team's focal point on offense.
How to watch the Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets game?
In the USA, the game will be telecast locally on the Bally Sports Southwest and the AT&T Sportsnet - Southwest networks. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA Pass.