GOTN Preview: Mavericks vs. Rockets

James Harden and Monta Ellis
Photo: Getty Images

GOTN Preview: Mavericks vs. Rockets

It’s an old Western duel tonight. Two big Texas guns going at it, this town (state) ain’t big enough for both of us (and the Spurs). It’s the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Houston Rockets in Houston at the Toyota Center.

The Texas big guns will come out tonight in force as two of the most efficient scoring teams go head-to-head. Should be an ol’ fashioned Texas shootout (just spit-balling Texas cliches here). The only missing piece tonight will be the ailing Dwight Howard whose status is up in the air for tonight. The Mavs big man Tyson Chandler is also day-to-day but he played last night in a losing effort to the Grizzlies. Both big men are pivotal rim protectors and destructive pick-and-roll guys. I watched the Mavs demolish the Sixers by 50 earlier this year and Chandler was an absolute monster diving towards the basket after Monta darted around his picks. Will Houston’s interior be up for the task without Dwight?

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I’ve gone this far without mentioning James Harden, who scored 37 versus the lowly Lakers on Sunday. He’s been a bonafide MVP candidate because of how well he finishes, shoots, and bends the defense. He’s like a black hole sucking in defenders to open up three pointers for the other Rockets who are shooting a billion (rough estimate) threes, more than anyone else in the NBA. James Harden has the most assists on 3’s by a mile as well; something the assist stat doesn’t take into account. I don’t think the Mavs have anyone who can guard Harden given his size, speed, and ability.


HOUSTON – 110   DALLAS – 100


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