Dallas (1-10) are already seven games behind in the Southwest division standings after losing their sixth straight and 10 of the first 11 games to start the season. Harrison Barnes is the only bright spot on the team, leading in scoring (17.3) and in rebounds (5.9). Seven Dallas players are averaging double figures in scoring but the team is averaging just 97.9 points per game, while allowing 107.8. Coach Rick Carlisle has recently benched center Nerlens Noel in favor of Salah Mejri, and there could be more changes to come.
Washington (5-4) won their last game on Sunday over Toronto to snap a two-game losing streak, but have lost four of their last six overall. Bradley Beal scored 38 points in Sunday’s 107-96 win in Washington’s first game without injured All-Star point guard John Wall, who is a game-day decision for this one against Dallas. Beal leads the Wizards in scoring with a 25.7 points per game average, while Marcin Gortat is the team leader in rebounds at 9.8 per game.
Three keys to the game
Dallas’ scoring – Dallas are scoring just 97.9 points per game, which places them 28th in the league. That does not bode well for a team that is allowing almost 108 points per game and playing against a Washington team that is averaging 112.8 points on offense, the third-best tally in the NBA.
Wall’s shoulder – Wall missed Sunday’s game and his status remains uncertain. Wall is second in scoring for the Wizards at 20.5 points per game, while he leads the team in assists averaging 10.4 per game and in steals at 1.1 per game.
Noel’s playing time – Eleven games into the season and Dallas center Noel has played 20 minutes or more in a game on just two occasions. Noel is losing important playing time to veteran Dirk Nowitzki, who at 39 is playing more than he likely should. If Noel plays more against Washington his athleticism down low and strong passing abilities could help the Mavericks be competitive.
Matchup to watch
Wesley Matthews vs Bradley Beal – Beal has lit up the scoreboard of late for Washington. In a loss to Toronto on Sunday, Beal scored 38 points while grabbing five rebounds and handing out four assists. He took over for Wall and will be the focus of the Wizards’ offense Tuesday, especially if Wall cannot ball. If Matthews can keep him in check, Washington will have to look to Otto Porter and Gortat to carrying them offensively.
Mavericks projected starting lineup
PG – Dennis Smith Jr. | SG – Wesley Matthews | SF – Harrison Barnes | PF – Dirk Nowitzki | C- Salah Mejri
Wizards projected starting lineup
PG – Tim Frazier | SG – Bradley Beal | SF – Otto Porter | PF – Markieff Morris | C – Marcin Gortat
Beal is on fire. If backcourt mate Wall can play he will not be 100% and if he does not, Beal will have to step up as he did last time out when he scored 38 points. The Wizards should score easily against the Mavericks given Dallas’ leaky defense.
Dallas are quickly fading, and the season is just 11 games old. The Mavericks are finding it hard to compete, and on the road against a feisty, quick and talented Washington team, the game could be over early. Take the Wizards to cover the 10-point spread as favorites.
Washington will dominant Dallas at home and win easily, 110-89.
This game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest and NBA SWA. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm ET from the Capital One Arena.
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