A team that’s slowly on the rise takes on a team that’s been on the decline when the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers square off again at 8:30 AM, Sunday on TV5 and on League Pass.
The Dallas Mavericks are peaking at the right time. After their two wins against the Detroit Pistons and Lakers, the Mavericks successfully overtook the Portland Trail Blazers in sixth place.
This is the best time for their superstar Luka Doncic to go on maximum overdrive. In their last 10 games, Doncic has maintained averages of 29.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 8.2 assists. However, the Mavericks have only won five of their last 10. As much as Doncic has been helping out, someone needs to back him up for Dallas to make a successful run.
Kristaps Porzingis may be that guy, unfortunately he will be out against the Lakers on Sunday due to an ankle injury. Porzingis has averaged 21.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. While this is a good thing for Dallas, it boils down to two things: consistency and health.
If Porzingis misses time, the Mavericks could slide down the standings and might have to compete in the play-in tournament for a playoff spot. Not only does Dallas need Porzingis to recover quickly and stay healthy, but they also need him to produce numbers on a consistent basis.
The Lakers, on the other hand, have a lot of work to do.
The good news is Anthony Davis is back on the court, the bad news is he is nowhere near where he was prior to the injury. This is understandable considering he has been sidelined for more than two months. During the time he and LeBron James have been out, the Lakers have been on a decline.
Fortunately, their team has a solid core of players that are willing to play hard. Dennis Schroder played an impressive 25 points and 13 assists in their last game against the Mavericks..
Head coach Frank Vogel admired the performance of Schroder, saying it was “arguably his best game as a Laker.”
“I think it was a good sign that he’s rising to the occasion on big games and hopefully that bodes well for us come playoff time. But he was spectacular for us with 25 and 13 with four turnovers, he guarded Luka a bunch of the night, it was a really great performance by Dennis,” said Vogel.
Despite Schroder and the other guys’ stellar play, the combination of James and AD is still going to be the focal point for the Lakers to go deep into the postseason. James brings veteran experience, while AD is simply a top 10 player who is key to the Lakers’ success.
The matchup between these two teams will help close the gap between the two teams, which are the 5th and 6th seeds, respectively. Can the Lakers avenge their previous loss or will the Mavericks make it two in a row against LA?
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