The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for a Mexico City showdown between the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks.
12:00 (AEDT), Fri 13th Dec @ Mexico City Arena
History: Played 76: Pistons 42 V Mavericks 34
Last meeting: January 31, 2019: Pistons 93 d Mavericks 89 at Little Caesars Arena
Final Thoughts: The NBA heads south to Mexico for a clash between the improving Detroit Pistons and the high-flying Dallas Mavericks.
After winning just four of 14 games in November, the Pistons have improved to 10-14 – and ninth in the Eastern Conference. Detroit have won four of their last five, including over the Pacers at home (108-101) and Pelicans away (105-103) in the past week.
Derrick Rose drained the last-second winner in New Orleans. He is forming a handy big-name triumvirate with Andre Drummond – who had a 20-point, 20-rebound game against Indiana – and Blake Griffin.
The 16-7 Mavericks are third in the West and have won 10 of their last 12. But they are coming off a 110-106 home loss to the Kings.
Dallas’ charge is being led by 20-year-old Luka Doncic, who plays with the basketball IQ of a 10-year veteran. The Slovenian sensation is averaging 30 points, 9.8 assists and 9.2 assists to be up to his eyeballs in the MVP conversation.
No player on the court will get Mexico City’s NBA fans as excited as Doncic.
Only one of the teams’ last eight clashes were decided by more than 10 points.
Last season Doncic led the Mavs to a 106-101 win in Dallas with 32 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Inspired by Andre Drummond (24 pts, 20 reb) and Blake Griffin (24 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast), the Pistons struck back with a 93-89 victory in Detroit.
The neutral court makes things interesting, but crowd support will surely be behind Dallas and Doncic.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks’ top-ranked offence should be able to halt the Pistons’ mini-run here.
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