Two Southwest Division rivals come head to head with the Houston Rockets hosting the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. The Mavs enter this game after a loss against the Bulls while the Rockets have notched up two wins on the trot.
Fixture: Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Monday, January 4th, 8 PM ET (Tuesday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Dallas Mavericks Preview
It's not that bad yet but after a 2-4 start to the season, the Dallas Mavericks are fairly close to the panic button. Kristaps Porzingis is closing in on a return and that will certainly give Rick Carlisle's men a boost. However, Luka Doncic missed the last game with an injury and is questionable for the tie against the Houston Rockets.
Besides the Luka-Porzingis duo, the Dallas Mavericks don't have too many options to turn to. Jalen Brunson stepped up with 31 points last night against Chicago but he's unlikely to sustain this level. Thankfully, the Mavs have become a much better team defensively to compensate for their dearth of scoring options.
Key Player - Josh Richardson
With Doncic's participation against the Houston Rockets in jeopardy, Josh Richardson may have to take up the mantle. He's one of the better defenders on Dallas Mavericks but not a very efficient shooter. However, on this occasion, he'll have the liberty to play the volume game and should look to do better than his 20-21 season-high of 21 points.
Dallas Mavericks Predicted Lineup
G Jalen Brunson, G Josh Richardson, F Tim Hardaway Jr., F Dorian Finney-Smith, C Dwight Powell
Houston Rockets Preview
After lots of drama off the court, the Houston Rockets are finally showing some rhythm in games and are now up against the Dallas Mavericks. They may not have the deepest roster but two of their summer recruits in John Wall and Christian Wood are combining for a whopping 48.8 points per game.
James Harden may want out of Houston Rockets but he's not holding back anything with the ball in his hand. Eric Gordon is also averaging 19 points per game but needs to be more accurate from the field. Size continues to be a problem for them as they're only the 22nd best team in rebounding this season.
Key Player - John Wall
With James Harden also questionable for this game, the onus will once again be on John Wall who was in his elements against Sacramento. Wall managed 28 points and six assists in this encounter. He'll be looking to use his burst of speed to get by defenders against the Dallas Mavericks who are 25th in the league in pace rankings.
Houston Rockets Predicted Lineup
G John Wall, G James Harden, F Eric Gordon, F PJ Tucker, C Christian Wood
Mavericks vs Rockets Match Prediction
Even if Doncic plays on Monday, he'll be returning from a quad issue and could struggle to have the same impact for the Dallas Mavericks. The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, looked at ease without Harden against Sacramento and should be able to hold their own irrespective of his participation. Expect the Rockets to win this all-Texas affair.
Where to watch Mavericks vs Rockets?
National telecast of this game will be carried on TNT. Local broadcast of the same will be available on FOX Sports Southwest and AT&T SportsNet Southwest. You can also live stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.
Published 04 Jan 2021, 18:54 IST