Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Where to watch: TNT
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
BetMGM: Nets -2.5
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Nets - Mavericks preview and analysis
Nets: lost 111-107 vs. Bulls on Saturday
Mavericks: lost 97-90 vs. Grizzlies on Saturday
The Dallas Mavericks are in for a rough one against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are expected to return to the lineup for Dallas after missing Saturday's 7-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, but the Mavericks' once promising 9-4 start has quickly evaporated.
Part of that has been due to Doncic missing time with an ankle/knee sprain, along with Porzingis missing time. Another part of it has to due with Dallas just not being a good team right now under new head coach Jason Kidd.
The Mavericks' emphasis on defense has completely turned aside their ability to score, the one thing that they actually thrived under Rick Carlisle. Dallas has been held under 100 points in three of their last four games; the one was putting up 139 against the New Orleans Pelicans, who they lost to two nights later in Dallas sans Doncic and Porzingis.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 29 points on Saturday, but no one else provided any offense. Jalen Brunson shot 7 of 12 and Dorian Finney-Smith was 5 of 12 and 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
That lack of offense outside of Dallas' stars will not fare well if they can't contain Kevin Durant and James Harden. The Nets have won six of eight and have scored over 100 in each of those games.
Brooklyn is coming off a 4-point loss against the Chicago Bulls where Durant was held to below 50 percent shooting, and Harden below 25 percent. Chicago is a far better defensive team than Dallas and if the Mavericks can't get more than Doncic or Porzingis to take over the game, the Mavs will be in for a long night.
Plus, once a dominant homecourt advantage, the Mavs are 0-4 against the spread in their last four home games. The rest could do Doncic and Porzingis some good, but Durant has torched the Mavericks in the past. In 39 games, he's averaged 25.2 points and 7 rebounds per game.
For as low as the spread is, I have a hard time believing the Nets don't win by at least two possessions. The Nets are 1-4 against the spread in the last five meetings but it's difficult to buy in on any Dallas stock right now. Even though Dallas has won four of the last five meetings, the Mavs would need a Herculean effort from Doncic and Porzingis. Nets by 8
The Nets are 40-41 ATS in the last three seasons on the road.
The Nets are 11-14 ATS in their last 25 off a home loss.
The Mavericks are 12-20 ATS in their last 32 off a division game.
The Mavericks are 1-7 ATS in their last eight off a stretch losing 6 or 7 of their last 8 games.
Projected starting lineup
PG: James Harden
SG: Patty Mills
SF: Bruce Brown
PF: Kevin Durant
C: LaMarcus Aldridge
PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr.
SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
PF: Kristaps Porzingis
C: Maxi Kleber
Points: Kevin Durant – 28.6
Rebounds: James Harden – 7.9
Assists: James Harden – 9.5
Points: Luka Doncic – 25.4
Rebounds: Luka Doncic – 8.1
Assists: Luka Doncic – 8.5
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