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NBA Preview: Mavs Eye Historic Spurs Sweep, Possible Kawhi-Curry Rematch

While the sports world is slowly being affected by the coronavirus outbreak, it’s still business as usual in the NBA. Tuesday is set to bring another loaded nine-game slate which features a number of interesting matchups for SBOTOP NBA fans to enjoy.

In Texas, the Dallas Mavericks are eyeing a first-ever season sweep of their fierce rivals, the San Antonio Spurs. Meanwhile, superstars Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry could cross paths once again as the Clippers pay a visit to the Warriors.

 

Boston Celtics @ Indiana Pacers

The Celtics have had a disappointing last couple of weeks. They’ve lost four of their last five games — all at home. Kemba Walker has not been himself since returning from a knee procedure; he’s averaged just 16 points on 32 per cent shooting over his last three games.

They could find things tough once again on the road against an in-form Pacers team that’s gone 8-2 in their last 10 games and went 4-1 in their recent five-game road trip. All-Star Victor Oladipo is still working himself into top shape, but the entire team has been contributing to their success.

 

New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards

The Knicks are coming off quite a successful five-game homestand. They went 3-2 and scored a big win over the Houston Rockets. After a quiet night in a loss to the Thunder, Julius Randle bounced back with 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 12-point win over the Pistons.

Unsurprisingly, the Knicks have been more competitive against teams closer to their level, and the Wizards are just that. The Wiz have gone just 3-7 in their last 10 games. Bradley Beal is still putting up terrific numbers, but his shooting has dipped to just 42 per cent.

Beal has scored 30 points in both games he’s played against the Knicks this season, though, both of which the Wizards have won.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls

The Cavaliers ended their own five-game homestand on a high as they stunned the Nuggets and Spurs on back-to-back nights, which was something the NBA fans didn’t see coming. Andre Drummond made a big return after three games out with a calf injury as he dropped 28 points and 17 rebounds against the Spurs.

Drummond and Kevin Love could both have big games against a struggling Chicago team. The Bulls have lost three games in a row and five of their last six as they’ve missed top scorer Zach LaVine for the last four games due to a quad injury. LaVine has been ruled out once again for the Cavs game, which means rookie Coby White (27 PPG in his last eight games) must continue to carry the scoring load.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets

The Rockets’ super small-ball experiment has suddenly hit a snag. Houston’s recent NBA 2020 results have seen them lose four games in a row, three of which have come against teams with losing records. James Harden’s shooting slump has been a major factor in their recent struggles. The former MVP has shot just 32 per cent from the field and 20 per cent on 3-pointers over his last five games.

But the Rockets couldn’t have asked for a better team to help them bounce back  as they face the Timberwolves. After picking up their first winning streak in two months, the Wolves are back to their losing ways after double-digit defeats at home against the Magic and Pelicans.

Malik Beasley has played well since his arrival in Minnesota, but with such poor defence coupled with Karl-Anthony Towns’ absence due to a broken wrist, the Wolves remain one of the worst teams in the league.

 

Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs

The Mavs’ recent four-game home winning streak finally came to an end last time out against the Indiana Pacers. That was despite 36 points from Luka Doncic. However, Dallas could be without their Slovenian superstar against the Spurs due to a right wrist sprain.

Dallas are just 6-7 without Doncic this season, but even without their star, they might still give the Spurs all they can handle on the road. San Antonio’s struggles have continued as they’ve gone just 2-5 in their last seven games.  The Spurs have lost the first three meetings against the Mavs this season, although they have been by seven points or fewer.

 

Orlando Magic @ Memphis Grizzlies

After a three-game losing skid, the Magic are back on track thanks to back-to-back double-digit road wins over the Timberwolves and Rockets. Thanks to some hot shooting from their bench, their mediocre offence has exploded for 132 and 126 points in those wins.

But it remains to be seen whether that will continue against the Grizzlies, who have won four of their last five games. The Memphis defence has shined during that span as they held the Lakers, Hawks, and Nets to under 90 points in three consecutive games.

 

Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers

The Suns and Blazers are set to collide for the second time in the space of a few days. Their most recent meeting turned into a fiery affair as CJ McCollum and Alex Len got into an on-court altercation, for which they were both fined.

The Suns won that game by 10 points thanks in large part to a career game from Aron Baynes, who had 37 points, 16 rebounds and nine 3-pointers. They followed that up with a big win over the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks.

Damian Lillard has yet to get back to his best since returning from a calf injury, although a home game against the Suns’ subpar defence should help.

Golden State Warriors are hoping to include Steph Curry in the line-up to face Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard
Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard goes up for a shot against Houston Rockets during the first half of match at Toyota Center

LA Clippers @ Golden State Warriors

The Clippers’ six-game winning streak was finally snapped as they fell to their city rival Lakers. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George starred, but Marcus Morris (1 point, 0-9 FG) and Lou Williams (7 points, 3-11 FG) were major letdowns.

LA will look to bounce back against the Warriors, who have reeled off three wins in their last five. After blowing out the Nuggets at Denver, they topped the short-handed 76ers despite missing the recently returned Stephen Curry due to the flu.

Curry remains questionable to face the Clippers, but with the Warriors having virtually nothing to play for this season, it would be a surprise if they risk playing their superstar so soon after his illness.

 

Brooklyn Nets @ Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James and the Lakers have made a massive statement over the last couple of games as they took down arguably their two biggest title challengers in the Bucks and Clippers. James was instrumental in those wins as he strengthened his case for a fifth MVP award.

However, James is questionable to play against the Nets due to a sore groin, which caused him to miss a game a couple of weeks ago. Brooklyn, who surprisingly parted ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson, won their first game since the coaching change as they edged past the Bulls.

 

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