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Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks game preview

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Luka Doncic is the next James Harden and I hate it.

I will never forgive Atlanta for gifting the next NBA generation’s Harden to Houston’s I-45 rivals. I know Trae Young is good too, but I would have rather faced Young for the next ten years than Luka.

The Rockets will look to bounce back after dropping two road games to fellow top 4 teams in the West. Houston still has room to improve, but they received confirmation that they belong with the big boys. That’s something after the poor 3-3 start. On paper, the Rockets escaped their toughest stretch of the early schedule at 4-2. It’s disappointing given the nature of the Clippers loss, but 4-2 is probably the best Houston could have hoped to achieve coming into the season.

The Mavericks are on fire, winners of four straight. They have won their last two games by a combined 90 points. I know it was the Santa Cruz Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, but that’s impressive no matter how you slice it.

Some interesting facts, brought to you by bullet points, the lazy man’s friend (TM Xiane1):

  • Luka Doncic has led the Mavs in scoring in their last 11 games.
  • James Harden has led the Rockets in scoring in their last 15 games.
  • Doncic has a bunch of triple doubles.
  • Russell Westbrook has more.
  • Doncic is better than Westbrook.
  • Houston and Dallas play four times as usual. However, the final two games are both in Dallas and come in the last three weeks of the season.
  • That should give the Rockets a bit more urgency in this game because you know these two teams will both be fighting for position late in the season and Houston doesn’t want to travel to Dallas in a “must-win” situation.
  • In three years, Doncic will be what Harden is now. And the media and NBA fans will love him.
  • Doncic’s free throw attempt rate is 45.3%.
  • Last year, in the “least watchable season ever,” Harden’s free throw attempt rate was 44.9%.
  • I like Doncic a lot because he’s exactly like Harden.
  • Kristaps Porzingis is a lengthy defender who will give Harden and Russ trouble in the pick-and-roll once he’s healthy.
  • J.J. Barea still plays for the Mavericks. He has played in a total of two games this season.
  • How much do you want to bet that tonight will be #3?
  • Prediction: Mavs by 15 as Luka becomes the deity of the NBA

Tip-off is at 2:30pm CT