In the early stages of the year, the Mavs and Rockets have faced an uneven start. Their last outings saw both franchises compete without their MVP candidates, Luka Doncic and James Harden, and each remain a doubt for tonight.
The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Chicago Bulls on the road on Sunday, in what was the first of back-to-back matches. Conceding 118 points to a lottery side who the Mavs would normally expect to beat with their stars will be worrying for coach Rick Carlisle.
Dallas' defensive performances have been inconsistent and could worsen when they square up against Harden, should the shooting guard play.
Without James Harden, the Houston Rockets edged past the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, relying on John Wall and new star Christian Wood to take up the offensive responsibility. If all three are fit for this one, the Rockets will back themselves to pose too big a threat for the Mavericks defense to deal with.
Dallas Mavericks - Team News
As mentioned, Dallas Mavericks' MVP candidate Luka Doncic is a doubt for tonight's matchup, after he was ruled out of the Bulls game due to quad bruising.
The Mavs will be delighted by the performance of Doncic's replacement, Jalen Brunson, who scored 31 points and 7 assists on the night. However, Rick Carlisle will be eager to get his talisman Doncic back to deal with the offensive threats that the Houston Rockets possess.
Apart from Doncic, who is listed as a day-to-day decision, the Mavericks have no other injury concerns. Kristaps Porzingis remains sidelined as has been the case so far this season and will likely return in the coming weeks.
Injured: Kristaps Porzingis
Doubtful: Luka Doncic
Houston Rockets - Team News
The Houston Rockets have struggled to gather momentum so far this season after their opening game against OKC was canceled. COVID-19 protocols led to several players facing quarantine periods, including John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.
After all the NBA Rumors that have circulated surrounding James Harden's future in Houston, he has at least remained professional on the court, averaging 37 points and 11 assists. Harden is a doubt for the Dallas Mavericks matchup, as too is Mason Jones.
Per Rockets coach Stephen Silas, Ben McLemore, and KJ Martin Jr. have been cleared to play after the two successfully followed COVID protocols. Chris Clemons has ruptured his Achilles and is out indefinitely.
Injured: Chris Clemons
Doubtful: James Harden, Mason Jones
At what time will the Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets NBA game commence?
USA: 4th January 2021, 8:00 PM (Eastern Time)
India: 5th January 2021, 6:30 AM (Indian Standard Time)
Where and how to watch Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets?
Fans in the USA will be able to watch the game on NBA TV as well as on the AT&T Sportsnet network. International viewers can watch live with an NBA League Pass.Published 04 Jan 2021, 22:29 IST