Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Seemingly everyone had the Los Angeles Clippers as their sleeper pick out of the West, predicting that a team headed by Blake Griffin would do a lot of damage in the conference this year.
After another Clippers-like start to the season, this team is finally starting to come together (seen most recently with an unlikely victory against the star-studded Miami Heat), thanks to a shot-blocking/rebounding beast of a frontcourt in Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
On the other side of this matchup, the Mavericks seem to be in the midst of a tailspin, mostly due to Caron Butler’s season-ending leg injury, as well as an untimely injury to one of the best power forwards to ever play the game, Dirk Nowitzki.
While the Mavs scramble to find a legitimate second scoring option to place alongside Dirk, they still need to stay focused on the task at hand.
A win against the Clippers could give the Mavs the confidence boost they need, while on the flip side a Clippers victory against Dallas could give LA the same boost New York saw once it beat the San Antonio Spurs in early January.