The Mavericks enter week 16 coming off their best week of the season. Dallas won all four games on their schedule in week 15, including an impressive 110-96 victory in Memphis against the Grizzlies. The Mavericks are now 31-21 and they enter week 16 riding a five-game winning streak, their longest of the 2013-14 season. The last time Dallas was more than nine games over .500 was their 2011 championship season.
The Mavericks are enjoying the benefit of having their full complement of players and the recent improved play from center Samuel Dalembert. The Mavericks only have two games on their schedule in week 16 before the All-Star break, both on the road against teams from the Eastern Conference.
Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Charlotte Bobcats
The Mavericks will look to push their winning streak to six games against the 22-29 Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats have slowly improved over the last two years, but they still lack a franchise player. Charlotte is led by forward Al Jefferson and point guard Kemba Walker, who are both having good seasons. Walker has improved his scoring in each of his three seasons in the NBA and he now puts up 18.4 points per game.
The Bobcats struggle on the offensive end of the court, but they are a strong defensive team. Charlotte allows 97.1 points per game, the fifth-best in the NBA. The Mavericks cannot afford to take the Bobcats lightly with the team sporting the best record in the NBA on the schedule two nights later.
Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Indiana Pacers
The Mavericks have a daunting matchup in store for them on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have the best record in the NBA at 39-11 and they boast the NBA’s best home record at 24-2. Pacers forward Paul George continues to evolve into one of the best all-around players in the NBA. George is averaging 22.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in his fourth season. George is a key reason the Pacers allow the fewest points per game in the NBA at 90.7 per contest.
The Mavericks have stayed competitive against some of the best teams in the NBA and the Pacers represent one of the best measuring sticks the league can offer. The Mavericks may come into the Bankers Life Fieldhouse as underdogs, but if they continue playing at a high level, an upset is possible. The Pacers did lose to the Orlando Magic 93-92 on Feb. 9 in Orlando. This will be the Mavericks last game before the NBA All-Star Game.