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Sports 3 things to watch for when the Mavericks take on the Raptors

17:25  16 november  2019
17:25  16 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Raptors’ OG Anunoby expected to return Saturday vs. Mavericks

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The Mavericks look to extend a very strong home winning streak when they host Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Both the Mavericks and the Hawks are top ten in the league in three point attempts per game — Dallas at ninth attempting nearly 34, and the Hawks at fourth with just under 36 per game.

Dwight Powell playing a game of basketball© Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks (6-5) are reeling from a rough week of basketball, that saw losses to not just the Boston Celtics, but the lottery-bound New York Knicks. Twice. There’s no time to dwell, as the Mavericks find themselves back home playing host to the defending champion Toronto Raptors (8-3).

The Mavericks are 3-7 in their last 10 matchups with the Raptors, but will be desperately looking to get back on track Saturday night. This Toronto team may be without last year’s Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard (and running mate Danny Green), but they still have plenty of depth and length and have looked solid early in the season. The Mavericks have caught a slight break though — the Raptors will be without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.

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  Raptors Fans Keep Making Memes About OG's Eye Injury & They're Everything (PHOTOS) OG is set to return this Saturday.According to Sportsnet, Anunoby almost returned to the court on Wednesday, where the Raptors faced off against the Trail Blazers.

The Mavericks are truly living and dying by the three this season. When the shot is falling, Dallas can play with anyone, but when the well runs dry and they allow their opponent quality looks from deep, the Mavericks have shown the inability 3 things to watch for when the Mavericks visit the Cavaliers.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Dallas Mavericks right now is a player not with the team. As the Dennis Smith Jr. story continues to twirl, the Mavs It’s becoming a pattern now that when Dirk Nowitzki plays a team on the road for the final time this season, the crowd seems to react accordingly

Here’s what we’ll be watching for in tonight’s battle.

The three-point storyline

There have been moments this season (like Thursday’s game at Madison Square Garden) where it looks like the Mavericks can do nothing to stop opponents at the three point line. While the Mavericks aren’t at the bottom of the league in opponent three-point percentage, allowing teams to shoot 36 percent from deep isn’t going to cut it. Especially when facing teams that already shoot the moneyball well.

Enter the Toronto Raptors, a team connecting on 40 percent of their attempts, 2nd in the league in both shooting percentage and percentage of team points from the three-point line. They will be without Lowry yes, but the rest of the starting five is hitting 43 percent of their threes.

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  Doncic scores 26 points, leads Mavs past Raptors 110-102 DALLAS — Luka Doncic had 26 points and 15 rebounds and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Toronto Raptors 110-102 on Saturday night Doncic scored nine points in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks added to a one-point lead. He made all seven free throws in the quarter and finished with a career-best 15 free throws in 19 attempts. Delon Wright finished with 15 points, and banked in a fadeaway with 5 seconds left in the third quarter to send Dallas into the fourth quarter with a 78-77 edge. Wright added six points in the fourth quarter.Kristaps Porzingis had 20 points and matched his career best with 15 rebounds for Dallas.

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After three games, Young is averaging 23 points per game, buoyed by his recent 35-point scoring outburst against the Cleveland Cavaliers. What makes him so dangerous is his ability to score from anywhere on the floor. However, the majority of his shots are coming from beyond the three -point arc.

The Mavericks are 18th in both team three-point percentage, and opponent three-point percentage. It’s often what is holding this team back. Whether it be secondary players missing off Luka Doncic’s slick passes, or not disrupting an opponent’s shooting rhythm, the Mavericks simply don’t have consistent answers from deep. For the Mavericks to win tonight, it starts at both three-point lines.

One Man Show

Luka Doncic currently ranks fifth in the NBA in usage rate, though for long stretches watching a Mavericks game it feels like no one on the planet is asked to do more with a basketball. When the Mavericks are at their most stagnant, Luka is not just running the offense, he’s often fending a double or triple team or weighed with the task of finding an inconsistent shooter along the perimeter or heaving another stepback three.

There have been flashes early this season of what this Mavericks team can look like when everything is clicking. There are streaky rhythm shooters on the roster, and if they find that rhythm together they often look unstoppable.

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The Dallas Mavericks finished group play with a 91-71 thrashing against the Golden State Warriors. It feels good to say that no matter what league it is. Antetokounmpo is certainly not the best player on the Mavs summer league roster, but he might be the most exciting. He played two minutes total in the

The bottom line is Doncic can’t do it alone. Especially as Kristaps Porzingis continues his journey back from injury. It’s going to take a ten man effort most nights for the Mavericks to beat playoff teams like the Raptors.

Solidifying the starters

Much has been made about the Rick Carlisle opting for nearly a different starting lineup every night. It can’t be a sustainable model for a variety of reasons, and eventually Carlisle will need to opt for stability.

And the spot that may be worth monitoring the closest is between Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell. Carlisle has always been fond of the effort and energy of Powell, having built the player he is today nearly from the ground up. And while he’s been a valuable player the last several seasons, his play has been wildly consistent early.

Perhaps it’s a debate on philosophy, whether you want the vertical spacing of Powell or the three-point shooting and defense of Maxi Kleber. The Mavericks will have their hands full with a Raptors front line of Marc Gasol, OG Anunoby and return breakout candidate (breakout breakout candidate?) Pascal Siakam. No matter the team, Kristaps Porzingis can’t hold down the post defensively on his own, and Kleber’s smart versatile play to this point in the season should earn him the job.

How to watch

Tip-off is set for 7:30 CT, and can be watched on FSSW.

Raptors-Knicks believed to be first time four Canadians on NBA court together .
TORONTO — For nearly six minutes on Wednesday, four Canadians were on the floor together in an NBA game — apparently for the first time in history. The Toronto Raptors thrashed New York spoiling the first NBA game at home for Knicks rookie RJ Barrett. With 5:52 to play and the game out of reach, Raptors coach Nick Nurse subbed in Oshae Brissett, a 21-year-old from Toronto. Barrett, a 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., and Ignas Brazdeikis ofThe Toronto Raptors thrashed New York spoiling the first NBA game at home for Knicks rookie RJ Barrett.

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