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Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks game preview

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

No, it’s not a trap game. Don’t start with me.

Houston travels up I-45 to take on their Southwest Division rivals Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs just ended a three-game winning streak by demolishing the Washington Wizards.

Dirk Nowitzki is in the twilight of his career, but I’m still terrified of the idea that he finds the juice on national television to send the Rockets home upset. Obviously, Ryan Anderson is a decent counter since he plays a similar style. On the other hand, Ryno hasn’t been himself lately so we’ll see if his confidence has returned.

The Mavs feature a cadre of Rockets killers, starting with J.J. Barea. The diminutive point guard always shows out against Houston, and it’s super annoying. Chris Paul wasn’t present the first time these teams met. Also, he’s training a protege in Yogi Ferrell.

Dallas also has Harrison Barnes are their best scorer, with Wes Matthews keeping defenders honest on the perimeter. Dennis Smith Jr. is a promising rookie and gives Dallas a measure of athleticism they haven’t had in their guards for a while now.

Oh, and Trevor Ariza and Salah Mejri have a history.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on ESPN