After finishing a five-game road trip with a 4-1 record, the Dallas Mavericks, now 27-21 on the season and winners of four straight, will attempt to keep things rolling against the red-hot Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on Monday night. Utah owns the league’s current longest win streak at nine games. The last time these two teams met, it was right after the Mavs had come out of their COVID-19 portion of this season, and Utah was able to take advantage by blowing Dallas out in back-to-back games.
Make no doubt, the Jazz are an elite team, and they're a real contender for the Larry O'Brien Trophy this season, but the fact remains that they caught the Mavs at one of their lowest points of the season. Dallas still might not win this game, but we fully expect the team to show some pride and put up a much more respectable effort this time around.
The Jazz own the league's best record at an outstanding 38-11. As daunting as that may seem, nine of Utah's 11 losses have come on the road. Perhaps the limited amount of Mavs fans, paired with a little 'Luka Magic', can lead to an upset win to start off the week in an emphatic way. Currently, the Mavs are in the 7th seed out West, just 2.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers and just 3.0 games behind the spiraling Los Angeles Lakers. Dallas would need to secure a top-6 seed to avoid any play-in scenarios.
Tonight will be the first time Jazz star Donovan Mitchell suits up against the Mavs. The dynamic 25-points-per-game scorer missed the previous two meetings due to injury.
ODDS: The Mavs enter the day as six-point underdogs to the Jazz, and the total over/under is 225.5 points.
INJURY REPORT (as of 8:41 a.m.): Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis - OUT (wrist sprain - and in this breaking report, we suggest he will miss multiple games), Josh Richardson - QUESTIONABLE (but is expected to play despite a sore calf), J.J. Redick - OUT (heel soreness), Willie Cauley-Stein - OUT (health & safety protocols), Tyrell Terry - OUT (personal reasons)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Mavs have been blown out by the Jazz twice this season. Both times, the two areas of the game that really did the Mavs in was bench play and rebounding. In the Mavs' first game against the Jazz, Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jordan Clarkson lit them up for a game-high 31 points off the bench, while Rudy Gobert went for 29 points and 20 rebounds. Dallas will likely have to play their best game of the season to escape with a victory.
RECORDS: Dallas Mavericks (27-21) vs. Utah Jazz (38-11)
WHEN: Monday, April 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm CT
LOCATION: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
TV/RADIO: Bally Sports Southwest, NBA Leaguepass, ESPN 103.3 FM, Univision 1270 AM
FINAL WORD: The Mavs are undefeated since trading for J.J. Redick and Nicolo Melli. The only thing is, Melli is the only newcomer who has played so far. In his first start of the season against the Wizards on Saturday night, Melli scored 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting.
“It’s way easier to play with (Doncic) than against him,” said Melli. “You just need to be in the right spot at the right moment, and he will find you.”
“Since we got him, we're undefeated, so let's keep this rolling,” added Doncic.