Dallas Mavericks (10-4 9-5 ATS) vs. Houston Rockets (8-6 9-5 ATS) Toyota Center, Houston, TX 8:30 PM EST Wednesday November 25, 2009
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Mavericks +4 / Rockets -4
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Tonight in a game between the two best teams in the Lone State, sorry San Antonio, the surprising Houston Rockets host the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are in 1st place in the Southeast Division with a 2 game lead over the Rockets.
This season the Rockets are 4-2 at home and the Mavs are 5-2 on the road this season.
The Rockets have been a surprise since they are 2 games over .500 and they have not played one game with stars Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. If you look up team basketball you will find the Rockets, as they are winning with solid team play.
The Mavs have kept winning even though they have had to deal with a slew of injuries. The Mavs look to avoid their first 2 game losing streak of the season with a win tonight.
In their last game the Mavs lost to the Golden State Warriors 111-103 last night, which snapped their 5-game winning streak. The high scorer for the Mavs in this game was Dirk Nowitzki going for 28 points on 9/18 shooting and he grabbed 10 boards. For the game the Mavs shot 38/82 for a FG% of 46.3%. On defense the Mavs allowed the Warriors to shoot 42/88 for a FG% of 47.7%.
The Rockets have had a nice break, as their last game was on Saturday beating the Sacramento Kings 113-106. The high scorer for the Rockets in that game was Luis Scola going for 22 points and he pulled down 12 rebounds. For the game the Rockets shot 43/90 for a FG% of 47.8%. On D the Rockets did not have a great game allowing the Kings to shoot 43/85 for a FG% of 50.6%.
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This season the Rockets rank 6th in scoring (103.7 ppg) and the Mavs rank 9th (101.4 ppg). On defense the Mavs rank 9th in points allowed (95.2 ppg) and the Rockets rank 20th (100.6 ppg). Both teams are pretty even on the glass, as the Mavs have a rebounding differential of +1.4 rpg and the Rockets are at 0.6 rpg.
Shawn Marion has a sprained ankle and will be a game time decision tonight.
The Mavs have been legit on defense this season and they have to play solid on the perimeter tonight against the Houston guards of Trevor Ariza (18.3 ppg) and Aaron Brooks (16.8 ppg). If they can do that they will be in good shape since the Rockets do not have a lot of interior scoring.
Luis Scola (15.1 ppg 9.9 rpg) has been playing well lately and he needs to give the Rockets some interior scoring to open up the shooting lanes for the guards.
The Mavs will have to suck it up and hit the boards as a team tonight since leading rebounder Erick Dampier (9.7 rpg) is out for this game due to illness.
Even though the Rockets won their last game they allowed the Kings to shoot over 50% from the floor. They can’t play D like that in this game, as the Mavs have many guys that can score.
Dirk Nowitzki (27 ppg 9 rpg) has been solid all season and he may have to carry more of the offensive load in this game if Marion can’t go.
Trevor Ariza (18.3 ppg) has been a pleasant surprise for Houston this season even though he is only shooting 38.8% from the floor.
Jason Terry (17.5 ppg) is a super 6th man and the Rockets cannot allow him to have a big scoring game.
On the injury front SF Tracy McGrady is Out for the Rockets and C Erick Dampier is Out and F Shawn Marion is day to day for the Mavs.
Jason’s Pick: The Rockets are all about team basketball and they will have to play that was tonight. The Mavs are hurting, but they will be more than motivated in this game, as if they lose they will only lead the Rockets by 1 game in the division. The Mavs will score tonight in the mediocre, at best, Rockets’ defense and they will win this game. Take the Mavs and the points, as I see a mini-upset happening tonight.