On the back of two straight wins, the New York Knicks (27-38) continue their 7-game road trip, as they head to Dallas to take on the streaking Mavericks (40-25), in what could be an entertaining encounter. Read on to check up on our NBA Best Bets below, as well as a detailed Match Preview of what to expect.
New York Knicks at Dallas Mavericks
American Airlines Center, Wednesday 9th March, 8:30pm EST
The Dallas Mavericks are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now, thanks in no small part to their Superstar Luka Doncic. In fact, Doncic is having an almost identical statistical season to his breakout 2019/20 campaign, with the most notable difference being his lower free throw numbers. But for the past month and a half, he’s been an animal. Over the last 21 games, the Mavs have gone 15-6, on the back off Doncic averaging 32.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.25 SPG and 0.6 BPG. This is whilst shooting 0.469 from the field and 0.371 from beyond the arc.
The Knicks, in contrast, have been downright horrible for the past month and a half, winning only 3 of 20 matchups, prior to their recent 2-game win streak. They will be hoping for more of the same from veteran power forward Julius Randle, who scored a career high 46 points against the Kings on Monday. Randle has averaged 24.9 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 5.4 APG over his last 10, all improvements on his season long averages.
Most recently, the Mavs had a very important win whilst hosting Western Conference 4th seed Utah Jazz on Monday. With the win, the Mavs moved to within half a game of the Jazz, with potential home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs up for grabs. The home team were once again led by Doncic, who had 35 points on 5 of 11 (0.455) shooting from downtown, 16 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Doncic was helped by Spencer Dinwiddie (23 points) and Dorian Finney-Smith (21 points). The Mavericks led by 17 at the final break to win comfortably 111-103.
The Knicks meanwhile came back from a 16-point 1st quarter deficit, to run away 131-115 winners over the flatlining Sacramento Kings. As mentioned above, Julius Randle had a career night, scoring 46 points and shooting 8 for 16 (0.500) from downtown. RJ Barrett was also impressive, scoring 29, grabbing 8 boards and handing out 6 assists. The Knicks shot 18/42 (0.429) from 3, with the Knicks 3 point shooting highly correlated with their results on a nightly basis.
Given this, an interesting stat to note is the Mavs defence to 3-point shooting. The Mavericks over the past 2 months have easily the best 3-point defence in the league. If the Knicks struggle in this area, the Mavericks should cruise to a relatively easy win here.
These two teams have met once previously this season, with the Knicks rolling to a 108-85 win at home in mid-January. Doncic struggled in this one, scoring 21 and shooting only 1 for 9 (0.111) from 3. Look for a much better performance this time out.
The Knicks are missing plenty, with Cam Reddish confirmed out with a shoulder injury, Mitchell Robinson questionable (illness). This adds to the long term absent list of Derrick Rose, Obi Toppin, Nerlens Noel, Quentin Grimes and Kemba Walker. The Mavs have far more to play for and should cover the -8 handicap.
Regarding the total, the Knicks appear to be in no hurry to slow down opposing offences, and I like the total going over (215.5) and Mavericks Team Total over (112.5)