The Dallas Mavericks enter the fifth week of the season with a record of 9-5. Dallas won three of four games in week four, moving them into a tie with the Houston Rockets for fifth place in the Western Conference. The Mavericks continue to play great basketball at home, after winning all three home matchups in week four their record at the American Airlines Center now stands at 7-0.
The Mavericks once again have four games on their schedule this week, with the final two coming on the road. Dallas is beginning to demand notice around the league after their 9-5 start. Monta Ellis has been stellar and Dirk Nowitzki is playing like the All-Star that Dallas fans have been accustomed to seeing. Winning three of four games in week five would keep Dallas near the top of the Western Conference.
Monday, Nov. 25 vs. Denver Nuggets
The Mavericks will not have to wait long to exact revenge on the Denver Nuggets for their 102-100 victory over Dallas on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Mavericks were sluggish in the first half, possibly a result of having played the previous evening at home against the Utah Jazz. Despite falling behind by as much as 17 points, Dallas had an opportunity to tie the game with a last second shot from Dirk Nowitzki that narrowly missed.
The Nuggets are 1-4 on the road to start the 2013-14 season with their lone win coming against the 1-13 Utah Jazz. Denver is now 6-6, but they have struggled on the road against teams with a winning record. Expect the Mavericks to win their second straight contest against the Nuggets.
Wednesday, Nov. 27 vs. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors enter the fifth week of the season with a record of 8-6, but they remain a dangerous team. Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson have the ability to put up points in bunches. Any defensive lapses against the Warriors could result in a dramatic swing in the game.
Part of the reason the Warriors have failed to live up their lofty preseason expectations are the early-season injuries they have had to endure. Stephen Curry has dealt with a sprained ankle and a concussion and Andre Iguodala is now out indefinitely with a strained hamstring.
Dallas will look to continue their stellar play at home against a Golden State team lacking the firepower they will bring later in the season. This presents a great opportunity for Dallas to secure a home win against a quality team, healthy or not.
Friday, Nov. 29 at Atlanta Hawks
After enjoying their Thanksgiving meals, the Mavericks head off to Atlanta for a battle against the Hawks. Expectations were not high in Atlanta heading into the season, but they are currently sitting at 8-6.
Despite a winning record, this is a Hawks team the Mavericks should beat. The Hawks have built up their record beating the weaker teams in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks have yet to defeat a team with a winning record and if the Mavericks bring a focused effort to Atlanta, this will not change on Friday. Dallas opened the 2013-14 season at home against the Hawks and won 118-109.
Saturday, Nov. 30 at Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas will travel from Atlanta to Minnesota for their matchup against the 8-7 Timberwolves. This will be the second game of a back-to-back set in week five and this will present the Mavericks with their toughest challenge of the week. Minnesota is 6-2 at the Target Center, with one of those wins coming against Dallas on Friday, Nov. 8. Minnesota did whatever they wanted to do on offense en route to a 116-108 win against Dallas.
Minnesota has struggled recently, they have lost three of four games heading into week five and their last three wins are against the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dallas will need to be energetic on the defensive end of the court, and their bench will have to provide them with a lift. The pace Minnesota plays with will be a challenge for a Mavericks team that plays the previous evening. Dallas has passed Minnesota in the Western Conference and this game will provide them with the opportunity to extend that lead.