Los Angeles Clippers (5-2) vs Dallas Mavericks (3-4)
American Airlines Center
5:00 p.m. PST
November 11, 2015
ESPN/ FOX Prime Ticket
Last time they met?
October 29, 2015 — The Clippers won their home opener against the Mavericks 104-88 despite some harsh words from Dallas owner Mark Cuban and some Hack-a-Jordan tactics.
What’s changed since then?
The Clippers snapped a two game losing streak against Memphis at home on Monday night to move to 5-2. Meanwhile, the Mavericks have been hanging in there but return home to face the Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back after giving the New Orleans Pelicans their first win of the season last night.
Welcome Home… Almost
Dallas fans finally get the chance to tell DeAndre Jordan what they really think following his free agency fiasco.
1. What kind of reception will DeAndre Jordan get in Dallas?
Kirk Henderson, (@kirkseriousface): It’s going to be nasty. Fan vitriol is real towards DeAndre and the Mavericks arena staff are excellent at getting the crowd rowdy. Though I doubt we’ll see anything trending towards toxic, expect a loud and engaged Dallas crowd.
Roscoe Whalan, (@RoscoeWhalan7): It’ll be hostile. Mark Cuban will make a Braveheart-esque speech and incite the crowd into a frenzy. They’ll make Jordan wish he never has to play in Dallas again before he even takes the court. And, if pre-game isn’t enough to scare DeAndre into submission, they’ll hack him until he tears up at the charity stripe after missing 15 consecutive free throws.
Aaron Williams, (@aaronsmarter): I only hope it’s not that stupid video. Let’s be honest — Dallas went from a fringe playoff team to a probable lottery one in the course of six wild hours of emoji and bad interior decorating tips. They probably deserve to be a little mad, and — so long as they don’t hold onto it like Lakers fans do their animosity toward Dwight Howard — I won’t begrudge them a night of booing the perceived reason their team is a dumpster fire. Although if I were them, I’d focus a bit more on the front office than a guy who changed his mind.
2. Is the Dirk Nowitzki experiencing a new lease on life or is his form just a creature of necessity?
Henderson: It’s so strange… last year Dirk shot 10% worse on the road, which impacted his numbers across the board. So far, he’s looking exactly like we hoped he would. He’s not a super human and he’s too old for the role he’s being asked to play, but right now he’s healthy and putting on a show. Not bad for a 37 year old.
Whalan: Necessity. Dirk is a Mavs lifer and like the captain of a ship he’s going down with it. With a distinct lack of talent around him Dirk is winding back the clock to try and save another wasted season in Dallas. So far, it’s been admirable but can he keep it up over an 82-game schedule? Carlisle has kept his minutes to the lowest they’ve been since his rookie campaign but Dirk is 37-years-old with more than 45,000 minutes on those legs. He needs help.
Williams: Dirk is Dirking as hard as he can right now because his team needs him to if they want to score any reasonable number of goals in a 48-minute basketball game. Now, multiply that by 82. Odds are, the big man’s legs fall off by March, or the German engineers finally have to turn him into a full cyborg. There’s simply no way anyone can keep this up after nearly 20 years in the league.
3. Who’s more important to the Clippers now: Chris Paul or Blake Griffin?
Henderson: Probably Paul. Blake’s playing like an MVP candidate but Paul is the straw that stirs the drink. He’s so intense and while that intensity probably grates during the grind of the entire season, right now it’s a key reason why the Clippers have started the season so well.
Whalan: Paul but it’s closer than a lot of people may think. Blake Griffin’s sheer talent is off the charts and he is in very exclusive company but Chris Paul is like a conductor in an orchestra — his baton waving might go unnoticed but without him the timing of everything is just out of sync. He’s one of the best on-court managers of our generation and the way he influences the game without having to make highlight plays or score a lot of buckets still separates him from Blake.
Williams: There are many amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, and I can only choose one: FIFTH. Let’s face it: the Clippers really only have two viable options at point guard now. Chris Paul, the Point God. Blake Griffin, God Forward (TM). The last few games have shown that they are the only players equipped to set the table on offense. This is a wild idea, but maybe it’s time to move CP to …. the bench (gasp, lightning, thunder, dramatic music). He has five years and a lot more miles than the star forward, so that would save his legs some for the playoffs, with the added benefit of providing a steady hand to keep the Motley Crew* (TM) in line. Certainly, one or the other will have to be in with those guys to keep some sense of order on the floor; let’s call them the night and day managers.
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