DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks host the Minnesota Timberwolves in a battle of the two worst teams in the Western Conference. The Mavs are hoping to build off a much-needed victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, an effort featuring owner Mark Cuban rallying the troops.
At coach Rick Carlisle's request, Cuban spoke to the team before the game, addressing Dallas' current situation, which is ... The Mavs are looking for chemistry and wins after missing an NBA-high 41 player-games due to the health and safety protocols.
Maxi Kleber relayed Cuban's message to the media.
“It wasn’t really so much about basketball," Kleber said. "Obviously we want to win the game, but it was more about, 'What do we do as a team?' Missing so many guys, losing so many games, it’s really exhausting and tough to come back from that. You’ve got to earn every game."
"(In Saturday's victory) The biggest thing for us I think was body language and coming out and playing with the right energy.”
WELCOME BACK: For the first time in almost a year, American Airlines Center will welcome back fans. 1,500 fans will be in attendance for Monday night's game - all people who are COVID-19 vaccinated essential workers (medical professionals, police officers, food services, firefighters.)
DallasBasketball.com, as always, will be present as well.
ABOUT MINNESOTA: The Timberwolves also need a win after losing 10 of their last 13 games. Without D’Angelo Russell (right quad) and Karl-Anthony Towns (health and safety protocols), the team has struggled' Russell is listed as questionable and Towns is doubtful for Monday’s game. Towns leads the team in scoring at 22 points per game, but has appeared in just four games this year.
ODDS: The Mavs are favored by 9-points and the total over/under is 222.
BETTING TRENDS: The Mavs are 5-2 against-the-spread in their last seven games following a victory. Dallas is 7-1 in the last eight meetings with Minnesota. The total has gone under in five of Minnesota's last six games.
RECORDS: Minnesota Timberwolves (6-17) at Dallas Mavericks (10-14)
WHEN: Monday, February 8, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. CT
LOCATION: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports Southwest, NBA League Pass, ESPN 103.3 FM, Univision 1270 AM