The Charlotte Bobcats (8-10) will look to do something that they have never done in Dallas when they play the Mavericks tonight, win a basketball game. Charlotte is 0 for 10 at American Airlines Arena since 2004.
This Mavs team is 8-2 at home this season but have struggled of late, losing five of there last six games including a 112-106 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. "We're going to learn about our team right now," coach Rick Carlisle said after the game over the weekend. "Lose four out of five games, have a tough loss like Friday night and then another tough one like tonight - it's going to test the togetherness and the collective will."
Injuries and defense are the achilles heel for Dallas right now, as a team they rank near the bottom of the league with 103 points allowed per game and teams are shooting 47 percent from the field against them. Missing key players like Devin Harris, Brandon Wright and Jose Calderon has not helped the Mavs during the latest losing streak.
Calderon is a game time decision for tonight's game but Harris and Wright will be out for at least another week while the Bobcats come to town relatively healthy.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is expected to play tonight but he is still bothered by the plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Jeffery Taylor who split minutes with MKG in a loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday will likely do the same tonight.
Charlotte will need the combined defensive efforts of Josh McRoberts and Cody Zeller to contain the Mavs all star forward Dirk Nowitzki who is still playing at a high level after 15 seasons in the NBA, averaging 20.6 points per game.
Monte Ellis leads the Mavs in scoring at 21.9 points per game and he will likely see more time on the floor if Calderon is unable to go.
Charlotte will need another strong inside-out performance from Kemba Walker who had 27 points in Miami and big man Al Jefferson who logged 16 points and 13 rebounds in South Beach if they plan to keep up with the high-scoring Mavs tonight.
Shooting guard Gerald Henderson who has scored in double figures in eight consecutive games, averaging 14.8 points over that stretch should help the Bobcats keep pace.
Tip-off is at 8:30 pm ET and the game will be televised nationally on Fox SportSouth and NBA League Pass.