Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets – 4/18/15 NBA Playoff Fantasy Sports, Basketball Picks, Odds & Predictions
The second season from the NBA begins on Saturday April 17th and the playoff game we will isolate for NBA draft managers for their one day leagues will be the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. The Rockets are the home team in this Game 1 playoff that begins at 9:30PM Eastern Time on ESPN TV.
The Houston Rockets finished the regular season as the number two seed in the Western conference. Many look at the Rockets as an offensive team led by Dwight Howard and James Harden and one that puts up nearly 104 points a game. There is a category that they do well that has gone unnoticed by some and that is their three point defense. Houston is the number one team guarding the three point shot in the NBA as they allow just 32.2% from beyond the arc.
The Dallas Mavericks were the seventh seed in the Western conference as they finished with a record of 50-32. Like the Rockets they are a good scoring team putting up 105 points per game and hitting on 46.3% from the field ranking in the top five of the league in both categories. A glaring weakness for the Mavericks is their ability to guard the three point shot as they rank 27th and fourth worst in the league by allowing 36.4% shooting to their opponents from the three point line. The Mavericks will need to guard James Harden as he can be lethal when hot from three point range. Point guard Rajon Rondo was acquired from the Boston Celtics and it will be interesting to see if the veteran will raise his game for the postseason like he has during his productive years with the Boston Celtics.
Dallas Mavericks Point Guard: Rajon Rondo has average 9 points and just 6 assists over his past five games. Rondo in four games against Houston this year has average just six points per game. The Celtics veteran point guard has a history of stepping up his game in the postseason as the rigors of regular season basketball facing three or four opponents per week took its toll mentally on him.
Dallas Mavericks Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis was the Mavericks leading scorer this year. Four Mavs average in double digit scoring. In 28 minutes of play on Wednesday against the Portland Trailblazers Ellis scored 15 points and dished out four assists. This came after a night off on Monday at Utah.
Dallas Mavericks Power Forward: Veteran Dirk Nowitzki is getting up there in age and saw his production come down. The 36 year old over his past five games has averaged 19 points and 5 ½ rebounds per game. Nowitzki has always been an outstanding free three shooter. In four meetings against Houston Dirk has put up 14 points and grabbed 6 boards per game.
Dallas Mavericks Small Forward: Chandler Parsons the ex-Rocket has battled knee problems. He battled health issues in his years with the Houston Rockets. He hasn’t played in the past six games. Richard Jefferson has seen his minutes increase and has averaged 11 points and 2 ½ rebounds over his past five games.
Dallas Mavericks Center: Tyson Chandler won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks. He is 32 yards old. His production has increased down the stretch as he has averaged 15 points and 14 ½ rebounds over his past five games.
Houston Rockets Point Guard: Patrick Beverly has suffered a season ending injury a few weeks ago which struck a huge blow to the Rockets.
Houston Rockets Shooting Guard: James Harden led the Rockets this season with an average of 27 points and seven assists per game. He is connecting on 37.5% from the three point line which is significant because the Mavericks are a very at defending the perimeter. Hardon needs to find his tough from three point range as he is in the midst of a slump over his past five games by making just 26.7% from beyond the arc.
Houston Rockets Power Forward: Donatas Motiejunas was a productive rotational play for the Rockets but a back injury has forced him to miss the remainder of the season. Terrance Jones has seen his minutes increase. He had 15 points and three assists on Wednesday night in a blowout win against the Utah Jazz.
Houston Rockets Small Forward: Veteran Trevor Ariza is averaging nearly 13 points per game but he has battled accuracy issues as shoots 40% from the field on the year.
Houston Rockets Center: Dwight Howard has battled knee injuries that forced the 29 year old center to miss half of his team’s 82 games this year. He is below his career average in scoring and rebounding this year.
NBA Playoffs Fantasy Cash League Basketball Picks
PG: Rajon Rondo (Mavericks)
SG: James Harden (Rockets)
PF: Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks)
SF: Trevor Arizona (Rockets)
C: Dwight Howard (Rockets)