Yet another four-game road trip looms ahead for the Bucks, and once again it is looking very menacing. The Bucks begin that trip tonight in Dallas against the Mavericks.
Coming into this season, the Mavericks were seen to be a team that would take a step back and regress, but the addition of Deron Williams seems to have resurrected his career after coming over from the deep abyss that is the Brooklyn Nets. However, Williams has sat the last couple games due to a strained left hamstring and is viewed as day-to-day.
Williams’ replacement in J.J. Barea has been as hot as a screaming bullet recently though, as he notched a career high in points Wednesday night and followed that up with 26 points on Saturday night. Barea is only the second NBA player to have his first two-game total of 50 points at least 600 games into his career, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He joins Rory Sparrow in that club.
It will be the first meeting between the Bucks and former center Zaza Pachulia. Milwaukee sent him to Dallas this past offseason for a heavily protected second-round pick. Pachulia seems to have discovered his groove in Dallas, as he comes into today with 16 double doubles. For those keeping score at home, that’s one more than Greg Monroe has. It will be fun watching the two centers with connections to the Bucks duel it out on the court tonight.
One thing that defines the Mavericks is that they hit you with a wave of consistency down the court. Their entire starting five has the ability to put the ball in the basket, and if they’re not covered, they will take advantage of it. In their last game two days ago against the Bulls, all five of their starters tallied double digit points, including a 20 point performance off the bench from Chandler Parsons. There are many players that require special attention, one being Dirk Nowitzki. Jabari Parker will definitely have his hands full tonight as he takes on one of the game’s all-time greats.
This is going to be a tough game for the Bucks to win. There’s no way around it. Dallas is a tough environment, and it’s going to be even more difficult considering the Bucks have lost 12 of their last 13 matchups on the road. Dallas has had Milwaukee’s number in recent meetings as well, winning the last five games. The Bucks just need to put together a complete and full game and maybe, just maybe, they can escape Dallas stealing a victory.