DALLAS – The Wizards like their chances against Dallas despite heartbreaking overtime loss to Oklahoma City. If anything, the defeat has actually given Washington more confidence about what it is capable of accomplishing this season.
“We play really good. We play tough. We play hard. One thing, until the game is over, you can’t stop playing hard,” Nene said. “I know we lost the game, but I think we improve a lot in the game. And if we keep playing like that, with the same intensity, same energy, help each other in good moment and bad moment, we’re going to succeed.”
The Wizards move on from high-scoring team another as they take on a Mavericks team that ranks second in the NBA in scoring at 107 points per game. The Mavericks have two holdovers from the 2011 championship team in Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, but Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle believes that the Wizards have a decided edge in athleticism.
“We’ve got to win games on grit and guts,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got good athletes, but if you lined us up with these guys [the Wizards] in Speedos, it’d be a wipeout if it was based on that.”
Dirk Nowitzki has led the Mavericks in scoring in each of the past 13 seasons, but newcomer Monta Ellis is averaging 23 points per game. Ellis has some history with Bradley Beal. Last season, both players got ejected last season after Ellis shoved Beal after Beal was called for a flagrant foul penalty two when he attempted to thwart a layup attempt by Brandon Jennings.
Nowitzki ranks 17th on the all-time scoring list with 25,178 and only needs 15 to pass Jerry West.
“Let’s hope he don’t get there tonight,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “Hey, Dirk’s been a great player in this league for a long time. That’s no surprise that he’s in this position to do that. We’d love to keep him at 14 and then he can get it the next game. Dirk’s been a staple here in Dallas a long time, and it would be a heck of an accomplishment.”
(TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus. Radio: WJFK-106.7, WFED-1500). Here’s some pregame/in-game reading: