Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Nuggets will look to build off their victory over the Cavaliers as they head to Dallas to face the Mavericks.
After one of the Nuggets worst losses of the season last week to the Los Angeles Clippers, the team has followed it up with two strong road victories. After the team took care of business Friday night in Memphis, the Nuggets went in to Cleveland and upset the Cavaliers 126-117. The victory over the Cavs was a season defining victory as the Nuggets were able to overcome the fact that they were playing on the second night of a back to back.
Even with the two straight road wins, the Nuggets still sit at eighth place in the Western Conference with a record of 35-28. The good news for the Nuggets is that they are just two games behind the Trailblazers for third place, but the bad news is they’re just a half game out of falling out of the playoffs completely. With as tight as the West currently sits, a victory over the Mavericks would not only allow the Nuggets to keep pace in the West, but hopefully provide some breathing room as well.
The Mavericks record currently sits at 19-45, which is tied with the Phoenix Suns for the second to worst record in the NBA. Only ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavericks have had a rough season all around and haven’t been able to climb out of the bottom of the standings. Luckily for the Mavericks, the team will get a great draft pick in this summers draft, and already have a franchise player in Dennis Smith Jr.
Smith Jr. comes into Tuesday nights game averaging 15 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game. His 15 points per game are second on the team only behind Harrison Barnes, whose averaging 18.5 per game. In three matchups vs the Nuggets this season, Smith Jr. is averaging 19.3 points per game and just under five assists per game. Smith Jr. shoots just over 30 percent from three and gets most of his points using his explosiveness to get by defenders and score at the rim.
— NBA (@NBA) February 27, 2018
The Nuggets are 2-1 vs the Mavericks this season, and that one loss came in Dallas earlier this season. When the two teams last matched up, Nikola Jokic had a triple-double and will look to replicate that performance Tuesday night in Dallas. Jokic is averaging 16.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and six assists in 56 games so far this season.
Gary Harris leads the Nuggets in scoring at 17.9 points per game and is coming off a 32 point performance against the Cavs. In Harris’s last two games, he’s made clutch shots for the Nuggets and is shooting over 40 percent from three after drilling six in the Nuggets last game.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 4, 2018
Harris’s consistency has been a big reason in the Nuggets success this season, and it’s something they’ll need yet again if they want to pick up their fifth straight road victory in Dallas on Tuesday night.