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Lakers vs. Mavericks Preview: L.A. looks to build consistency against surging Mavericks

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Dallas has won eight of their last 10. The Lakers can’t afford to take them lightly.

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Coming off a weird win against the Indiana Pacers, the Los Angeles Lakers play a rare home-and-home back-to-back. Here’s hoping they don’t fall victim to the L.A. nightlife Lakers Twitter has to hear about after every big win.

The Dallas Mavericks have been playing better basketball of late, but seem like a decent enough matchup for the Lakers.

Luka Doncic has been phenomenal as a rookie, but struggled against Brandon Ingram’s length in the two teams’ last meeting. It’ll be interesting to see whether that trend continues now that Doncic is more comfortable as an NBA player or if Ingram is just a tough task given his length and athleticism defensively.

Fortunately for the Lakers, the center Dallas plays most (DeAndre Jordan) is not the kind of big who gives the Lakers problems. Typically, the Lakers are most befuddled defensively by bigs who pick and pop, as JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler like to primarily drop cover most pick and rolls. As Jordan doesn’t space the floor via shooting ability, this allows the Lakers to play their more natural defense.

Offensively, it will be interesting to see whether the Lakers rely on their transition game as they did against Indiana, or revert to more of a half-court game as this is the second night of a back-to-back set. The Lakers are endlessly better in transition than they are at executing in half-court sets, but as they failed to put away Indiana when they had the chance Thursday night, their legs might not be up for the challenge of 48 minutes of running.

This will be an interesting one, especially given how well Dallas has been playing lately. Despite barely pulling out a win the last time they played Dallas, the Lakers definitely cannot afford to look past the Mavericks again.

Tip-off this Friday evening is 7:30 p.m. PST, and the game will be televised on Spectrum SportsNet.