The Brooklyn Nets travel to Dallas to take on the limping Mavericks. Will the Nets be able to take advantage of this hobbled squad and cover the NBA odds? Which team is the right NBA pick?
Brooklyn Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks
Tuesday, December 7, 2021- 7:30 PM EST at American Airlines Center
The Mavericks are going through a rough patch right now, losing seven of their last nine outings. The Mavericks team leader Luka Doncic has been nursing a sprained left ankle which caused him to sit out Saturday night's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Doncic has been trying to play through an injured ankle and has averaged 26 points per game since the injury.
Mavericks will be cautious with Luka however, as he is the heartbeat of the team. Kristaps Porzingis also missed the game on Saturday night with a left knee contusion. There is a possibility that the Mavericks will be without both of their leading scorers in this national tv matchup. To make matters worse, Tim Hardaway Jr. is also on the injury list with a right knee contusion.
Hardaway Jr. played in the last game scoring 29 points. Jalen Brunson also helped out and scored 15. This was not enough as the Mavericks fell by 7 to a short-handed Grizzlies squad. The Mavericks have been criticized for being a top-heavy team. So missing their team leader they definitely will have problems competing; especially against the elite in the NBA.
The Mavericks are facing a delicate balancing act of trying to get their stars healthy while not falling too far behind in the Western Conference standings. Regardless of whether or not Luka plays, the Mavericks will also need important contributions from Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Trey Burke, and Reggie Bullock if they want to be effective.
The Mavericks supporting cast has been weak, so they need to use this time to figure out which players can become contributors once the team is back to full strength. Keep an eye on which Mavericks do well as they are most likely earning more playing time once the team returns to full health.
The Brooklyn Nets went 11-3 in the month of November. The Nets are definitely coming together as a team. Their most recent game was a four-point loss at home to the Chicago Bulls so they will be eager to get back on track tonight. The Nets, of course, are led by Kevin Durant and are encouraged by James Harden's return to form.
After a slow start, Harden is up to 21 points per game. Harden averages eight rebounds and nine assists per game as well. Like the Mavericks, the Nets are top-heavy, so they are relying upon their stars in order to win. LaMarcus Aldridge is third in the team in scoring at 14 points per game. Aldridge has a nice mid-range shot which the Nets will take advantage of if opposing teams put too much attention on Durant and Harden.
The Nets are suffering from the injury to Joe Harris. Patty Mills will pick up some of the slack by getting more minutes. Joe Harris is a sharpshooter from behind the arc. The Nets will need Patty Mills to be aggressive from three-point range in order to space the floor on offense. Mills is a veteran leader who helps direct the team's offensive sets, especially when either Durant or Harden is out of the game.
James Harden vs. Jalen Brunson
Whether or not the stars play, Jalen Brunson is an important part of the Mavericks offense. The Mavericks need Brunson to have a big game in order to be able to be competitive. The Brooklyn Nets can always count on Kevin Durant to have an efficient scoring night. They won’t defend each other all night, but they will be covering each other when there are defensive switches and in the key moments of the game.
James Harden has been inconsistent lately, but on the nights he is on, the Nets are unstoppable. If Jalen Brunson is able to have a big game, the Mavericks can keep it close to cover the NBA odds. If James Harden has a big game, this could be a blowout for the Nets.
For my best bets, I like the Nets to get it done in this matchup. Both teams have weaker benches but the Nets have stronger star power. The Nets have been playing better basketball. Today's play of the day is the Brooklyn Nets -3.5.
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