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Lakers vs. Mavs Preview: Battle against the league’s second best offense

The key for the Lakers on Wednesday will be to keep up with the Mavs’ lethal offense while exposing their defense.

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

After clinching a quarterfinal berth in the in-season tournament with a dominant win against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, the Lakers will be back on their home floor to take on the Dallas Mavericks (9-5) on Wednesday. This will be the first meeting between both teams and L.A.’s seventh game in 10 nights.

Start time and TV schedule

Who: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks

When: 7 p.m. PT, Nov. 22

Where: Arena

Watch: TNT, Spectrum Sportsnet

The second night of back-to-back hasn’t been easy for the Lakers so far this season. They’ve already played in two of their 15 back-to-back games this year and have a record of 1-1 in those. Their first victory on the second night of a back-to-back of the season was a gritty one against the Orlando Magic at home while the second one was a frustrating blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Both teams the Lakers have faced on the second night of back-to-backs this season are considered young and talented but not none of them are as tough as the Dallas Mavericks. The purple and gold will play their hardest opponent yet in the last seven games as they run into a competitive Mavs team that has gotten off to an impressive start to the season.

Led by their own duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, the Mavericks currently have the league’s second-best offense. They’re putting up an average of 122.8 points a game spearheaded by Doncic, who ranks third best in the league in points per game (30.6).

This is a team that pretty much lives and dies on the three-point line as they attempt the second most threes in the league and convert 38.8% of them, which ranks third best in the league. However, their team defense continues to be their biggest flaw just like last season.

That’s why, for the Lakers to win their third straight game, they’re going to have to keep up with the Mavs’ lethal offense while, at the same time, exposing their defense. If L.A. can hold one of Irving (23.9) or Doncic under their usual average then they have a chance to steal this one against a Mavs team that’s coming off three days of rest.

It’ll be nice if the Lakers control the pace of the game, guard the perimeter tightly as they did against the Jazz and allow the Mavs to shoot less than 27% from the three-point. Since Dallas’ front court and rim protection aren’t their best strengths, the Lakers should capitalize by imposing their will on the paint, which they relentlessly did against the Jazz.

It’s definitely going to be harder to replicate the same performance and energy on the end of a back-to-back but it’ll be ideal if LA does so. If the Lakers manage to hang with this Mavs team and pull off a victory then it’ll certainly be considered one of their most impressive ones so far this season. It would also be their seventh victory in their last eight games.

Let’s see if the Lakers can keep their momentum going against the current fourth best team in the Western Conference on Wednesday.

Notes and Updates:

  • This will be the Lakers' last game before a well-deserved two-day break which they haven’t had since Nov. 3-4.
  • Wednesday’s game will also be the 12th time James and Doncic face each other. Currently, it’s the former who leads their head-to-head battles (7-4) over the last five years.
  • With a game on Tuesday, there is no injury report from the Lakers for this one but expect Jarred Vanderbilt (left heel bursitis), Gabe Vincent (left knee effusion) and Maxwell Lewis (G League assignment) to be out while eyes will be on the status of Cam Reddish (groin) after he left Tuesday’s game and did not return.
  • LeBron James (left calf contusion) and Anthony Davis (left adductor/hip spasm) played 24 and 29 minutes, respectively, against the Jazz, so there’s a good chance that both suit up for Wednesday’s game.
  • Meanwhile, the Mavs won’t have Max Kleber (toe) and Seth Curry (hip) active on the night.

You can follow Nicole on Twitter at @nicoleganglani

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