DALLAS – After surviving a close call in Minnesota on Monday night to start their six-game road trip off, the Portland Trail Blazers are looking to get their second win on this trip by taking on a struggling Dallas Mavericks team.
The Mavericks (20-28) have dropped five of its last eight games and are six games back of the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference standings being the Houston Rockets.
However, the Mavericks begin a five-game homestand tonight and that could be just what they need to turn their season around.
“They are a tough team to beat at home,” JJ Hickson said on Monday night. “We have to give it to them early and most importantly, finish strong.”
It wasn't that long ago that LaMarcus Aldridge did it again against the Mavericks as he hit a game-winning fadeaway jumper to beat the Mavericks 106-104 back on Jan. 29 at the Rose Garden. It's his second game-winner against this team in two years.
He's also tearing it up throughout the game versus this team, exploding for 24.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and shooting 53 percent from the field in their two meetings this season.
Whenever these two teams face off, it is highly recommended that you watch from start to finish because 15 of the last 17 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points.
The Trail Blazers (25-23) have a injury concern focused around their starting small forward Nicolas Batum.
Midway through the first quarter of Monday night's game against Minnesota, Batum reaggravated his right wrist while blocking Andrei Kirilenko's layup in transition. The next timeout, Batum would sit and receive treatment from team trainer Jay Jensen. When he returned, after every shot he took and whenever he had to use his hands to push off, you saw him grimacing and massaging his wrist.
He ended the game with four points, three rebounds and two assists.
“It's not getting better,” Batum said after the game. “The MRI says it's negative but everyday I'm getting worse. I just want to know what's going on.”
We'll find out how Batum is feeling after the team concludes their shootaround this afternoon.
Tonight's game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet at 5:30 p.m. and on KPOJ 620 AM radio.