The Dallas Mavericks, who have won their last six games, will head to Houston tonight to take on the Rockets. We’ll preview if the high-scoring Mavs have what it takes to continue their winning streak, along with a breakdown of my best bet for the action.
The Houston Rockets are in the midst of another rough stretch in their season. They’ve gone 2-8 over their last ten games and, in that span, have put up the worst offensive efficiency rating in the league. Houston's overall -8.1 NET rating over their last ten games is ranked 30th in the league and has led to them now having the third-worst NET rating in the league for the entire season.
In the Rockets' most recent game, they only managed to score 88 points which was the second time they had been held below 100 points over their last ten games. A big problem for this team all season but especially over the previous ten games has been the need for more bench production. The NET rating of the Houston bench is -5.1 over the last ten games and has contributed to the team's overall lack of scoring and defensive efficiency.
Houston will arguably be facing the last player any team would want to see in Luka Doncic tonight. The Mavs superstar has averaged 37.3 points per game in the last ten games, leading to Dallas going 7-3 over that span. The impressive scoring streak Doncic has been on has helped Dallas put up an offensive efficiency rating of 118, which is third in the NBA in that span.
Doncic isn’t the only player who has managed to elevate his play in the last ten games, as Christian Wood has also stepped up and has averaged 20.8 points per game in that span. On the season, Wood is averaging 17.7, so this recent stretch of high-level scoring has turned this inconsistent Mavs offense into an unstoppable force as of late.
The point total for this game can currently be found at 226, and I’ll be taking the over as my best bet. These two teams recently met on December 29th, and in that game, the Mavericks scored 129 points, with Doncic adding 35 himself. The game ended with 243 total points being scored, and I expect a similar outcome tonight, especially with the recent play of Doncic.
Houston is allowing an effective field goal percentage of 55.4% this season, and with Dallas putting up a true shooting percentage of 61% over the last ten games, they should be able to continue their outlier scoring streak. The Mavericks have managed to score 124 or more points in their previous four games and will be getting two days' rest after this game, so they can afford to empty the tank before their next game.
The Rockets' offense may have bad efficiency numbers as of late, but both Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. have been out-scoring their season total over the last ten games. As a team, the Rockets attempt the tenth-most three-pointers in the league, and with the way Dallas is playing, they may need to exceed their usual amount in order to keep pace offensively.