Knicks (1-7) at Mavericks (5-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Place: American Airlines Center
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They have not played particularly well at home so far, owning a 2-2 record at AAC. All of the games have been close – wins by 1 and 8 against Orlando and Washington, losses by 2 and in overtime by 9 to the Blazers and Lakers, respectively … This is the opener of the Mavericks’ first back-to-back set of games of the season. It will be interesting to see how coach Rick Carlisle handles any sort of load management with players like Kristaps Porzingis, J.J. Barea and maybe a few others who are coming off injuries … Barea made his season debut Wednesday and was a major factor in the 107-106 win over Orlando with 11 points, all late in the second quarter that helped swayed the game … Luka Doncic has averaged 26.7 points through the first seven games of the season and has been held under 25 points only once and is averaging 7.6 trips to the free-throw line per game, a major reason why the Mavericks are shooting nearly seven more free throws per game than their opponents … The Mavericks will hit the road after this game for games at Memphis, Boston and a return engagement against the Knicks in New York.
About the Knicks: This will be the first time Kristaps Porzingis will go against his former team (for more on that, click here: https://www.mavs.com/porzingis-preparing-to-play-against-the-knicks-for-the-first-time-since-they-traded-him-to-the-mavs/ ). But it also will be the first time for Dennis Smith Jr. to be back in Dallas playing against the Mavericks. He was one of the featured players in the trade that brought Porzingis to Dallas … The Knicks have struggled for several seasons, but for some reason, they seem to play well at AAC. The Knicks have won their last two visits to Dallas. In fact, the home team has lost the last four meetings in the series … The Knicks are next-to-last in the NBA in field-goal percentage at 42.9 percent and have a minus-10.5 points per game point differential … They picked up some nice additions in the offseason, like Plano Prestonwood product Julius Randle and Marcus Morris, plus high draftee R.J. Barrett, who is off to a nice start in his career, averaging 17.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.