On the Mavericks:
The Bucks try for a third straight win. The Mavericks try for a 13th straight win.
Mavs looking for 13th straight on the 13th. The Mavericks could have started playing on Nov. 24 and they would still have more wins (9) than the Bucks (who started Oct. 28).
Dallas is zany good right now. They have won a dozen games in a row, including wins in Atlanta, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Utah and at home against Miami and Utah. Signature wins, home or away, are not a likely topic of discussion or concern going forward for the Mavericks.
Dirk and Deshawn in Dallas. Dallas just won at home against Utah on Saturday. The Jazz were 7-2 on the road coming in (the Bucks are 2-8 away). Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 31 and the team made 14-26 (.538) three-pointers. Deshawn Stevenson made 5-7 from distance, and he is leading the NBA in three-point accuracy this season, converting on 53.6 % from outside. John Salmons will need to stick on Stevenson from outside, a different type of challenge than the one presented in the previous game by starting two-guard Kevin Martin, who made 12-13 free throws on Friday.
The Bucks would be suited well to make threes of their own. They made 4-8 against the Rockets (Jennings 3-5) but are still shooting just 31.9 % from beyond the arc this season, tied for worst in the NBA.
Shoot. You know how it seems like no one is shooting as well as they normally do on Milwaukee? Well pretty much everyone is shooting better than usual for Dallas. Tyson Chandler (63.6 %), Brendan Haywood (60.0 %), Dirk Nowitzki (56.9 %), Shawn Marion (49.3 %), Deshawn Stevenson (48.0 %), Jason Terry (46.0 %), and Caron Butler (44.5 %) are shooting better than their career averages from the field thus far.
Meanwhile, Jennings is the only regular this season shooting better than his career average from the field for Milwaukee... and he is shooting 39.5 %. Jon Brockman and Early Boykins are also above, and Chris Douglas-Roberts, career 44.9 % shooter, is at 45.0 %.
To block and to not be blocked. Andrew Bogut has blocked five shots in each of the past two games (and wins), and he is now leading the NBA in blocks per game, with 2.9.
However, Dallas does not get blocked much. They are only blocked 3.4 times per game, the second lowest average overall. Of course, they don't take many shots around the rim either, so Bogut will need to find other ways to affect the game defensively. The Mavs only attempt 17.1 shots per game at the rim, second lowest in the NBA. But they lead the NBA in shooting from 16-23 feet, making 45.9 % from that distance (through Dec. 8 via HoopData).
Foul ball. The Bucks get fouled a lot (first in NBA in drawing fouls). The Mavericks don't foul much (29th in NBA in committing fouls).
One game above. Eddie Sefko of the Morning Morning News reports that Dallas is now one game over .500 (h/t TrueHoop) in franchise history -- particularly interesting since it marks the first time they are above in franchise history since they won their first game ever.
Gooden to go. Charles Gardner at the JS reports that Drew Gooden will not start, but will play tonight.