The surging Dallas Mavericks continue their road trip with their first matchup of the 2020-21 season against the Washington Wizards. The Mavericks carry a three-game winning run into the game while the Wizards have lost two on the trot.
Fixture: Dallas Mavericks vs Washington Wizards | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, April 3rd, 7 PM ET (Sunday, 4:30 AM IST)
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
Dallas Mavericks Preview
The Dallas Mavericks aren't known for their defense, but they put the clamps on the New York Knicks in their latest matchup on Friday night, conceding just 86 points. Head coach Rick Carlisle missed this game with a false positive COVID-19 test but he has been cleared to travel with the team for the matchup against the Washington Wizards.
Kristaps Porzingis has been in good touch lately, averaging 22.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in his five games ahead of the Knicks matchup. However, he had a troublesome night in New York as he managed just 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting. He'll be hoping to return to his normal form in the Dallas Mavericks' next matchup.
Meanwhile, Tim Hardaway Jr. is making a case for the Sixth Man of the Year award by averaging 16.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Dallas Mavericks. He had 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting against the Knicks.
Key Player - Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic continues to be the Dallas Mavericks' talisman. The Mavs have won each of the last five games where the Slovenian has featured. He had trouble early on against New York, but he got his offense going in the second half to finish with 26 points. Averaging 28.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game this season, Doncic will be looking to capitalize against the defensively hollow Washington Wizards.
Dallas Mavericks Predicted Lineup
G Luka Doncic, G Josh Richardson, F Dorian Finney-Smith, F Maxi Kleber, C Kristaps Porzingis
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards' 29-point loss against the Detroit Pistons has to be their lowest point of this season. They've only won three out of their 13 games since the All-Star break and are finding it difficult to even stay in the play-in picture right now. They'll get a chance to regroup on home turf against the Dallas Mavericks before heading out on a six-game road trip.
The Washington Wizards have sorely missed the services of Bradley Beal who's missed three games due to a hip contusion. Beal leads the NBA in scoring with 31.3 points per game. He's still doubtful for Saturday but should be good to go against the Dallas Mavericks in all likelihood.
Daniel Gafford suffered an ankle injury in just his second game for the Washington Wizards. Robin Lopez's workload has increased in Gafford's absence and the former has held his own, scoring 16 points apiece in the last two games.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook has been leaving his all on the floor in recent weeks, but the Washington Wizards continue to tumble. Westbrook has recorded a triple-double in each of the last four games, taking his season tally to 18. With 21.7 points, 10.7 assists and 10.3 rebounds per game, he's also on course to average a triple-double for the fourth season of his career.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G Russell Westbrook, G Bradley Beal, F Deni Avdija, F Rui Hachimura, C Robin Lopez
Mavericks vs Wizards Match Prediction
As good as the Dallas Mavericks have been this season, fatigue is likely to play a part after a hard-nosed game against the New York Knicks. Their defensive intensity will be affected as a result. Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards are well-rested and extremely desperate for a win. Westbrook has been on a tear lately and with Beal expected to return, the duo could really wreak havoc on the Mavs. Expect the Wizards to win this matchup.
Where to watch Mavericks vs Wizards?
Local coverage of this game will be available on Bally Sports Southwest and NBC Sports Washington. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.