Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavs: 2017-18 Game 3: Sneak Peek Analysis

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 27: Dirk Nowitzki
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 27: Dirk Nowitzki /

The Houston Rockets will open up at home tonight against the Dallas Mavericks, a team that will be without a large chunk of their lineup.

The Houston Rockets will finally get a chance to open up their doors to fans alike within the welcoming abodes of Toyota Center against the Dallas Mavericks, a team with a lot of promising talent that still is trying to find their identity.  Dirk Nowitzki is still headlining this team after nearly two decades of play to which I think is a remarkable feat.

But the Rockets shouldn’t be all too concerned about this match up as they clearly have more firepower than their opponent at least for tonight.  Four of the Mavs’ key contributors will be out tonight — see injury report below — so it will be interesting to see what adjustments that Rick Carlisle makes in light of these guys not making the trip.

The Rockets have issues of their own with Chris Paul not going to be available for a month and it’s important you keep an eye on the rotations at the point and the management of minutes among the guards for the team.

So who’s leading the charge for the Mavericks?

Harrison Barnes leads the team in scoring (19.0 PPG).  Nerlens Noel is in charge of the rebounds (8.5 RPG) and steals (2.0 SPG).  Dennis Smith Jr. doles out the dimes (10.0 APG) and Salah Mejri is the top shot-blocker (1.6 BPG). 

Let’s talk about what the Mavericks do well.

They’ve been pretty darn good at ball movement thus far.  The Mavs are ranked 4th in assist ratio — along with the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat — with 18.1 percent of their possessions ending with an assist.


Unless you’ve been under a rock as of late, Chris Paul will be sidelined at least a month with an injury to his left knee.  He sustained the injury in a preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies back Oct. 11 when he bumped knees with Mario Chalmers.  We know that Eric Gordon will get the start alongside James Harden but Bobby Brown is the only capable backup point guard.  Since it’s a month, they might weather the storm but it’s possible they may check the market for someone who can step in and help immediately.

The Mavericks will be without Dennis Smith Jr. (knee), Seth Curry (lower leg injury) and Josh McRoberts (foot) as well as Devin Harris, who lost his brother in a tragic car accident earlier this week.  My condolences go out to Harris and his family.

Source(s): Marc Stein of the New York Times and Earl K. Sneed of Mavericks.com

Matchups to Watch:

  1. Eric Gordon vs. Yogi Ferrell
  2. Clint Capela vs. Dirk Nowitzki/Nerlens Noel
  3. James Harden vs. Wesley Matthews
  4. Trevor Ariza vs. Harrison Barnes

Next: THREE Reasons why there's HATE for James Harden


112-101 in a Houston Rockets’ win!

The Rockets are back at home to open up against the Mavs at Toyota Center.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT.

The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Southwest and broadcast on NewsRadio 740 AM (KTRH), Sirius/XM/SiriusXM 216 (Internet 890) and La Ranchera 101.7 FM (KNTE) & 850 AM (KEYH) in Spanish.

Go Rockets.