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Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz Game Preview: Dirk, Defense and Development

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Tonight the Utah Jazz (2-3) will take on the Dallas Mavericks (3-2) in Salt Lake City, Utah. When Dallas comes to town crazy things happen.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We are all still on a high on Gordon Hayward's amazing buzzer beater to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Utah Jazz are coming off an emotional 102-100 win Wednesday night in Salt Lake. I thought of the same question Dustin LaMarr had in this tweet:

As hard as it can be the Jazz have to put the Cavalier win behind them. I think it is important to build the momentum of that win but that momentum alone will not beat the Dallas Mavericks.

Utah Jazz:

The Utah Jazz had shoot around today. Our friend Jody Genessy has us covered:

I like Coach Snyder's take on rankings. It is difficult to judge after five games and so much depends on the teams you have played. I like that Coach Snyder is looking inward, he is concerned about what his team is doing and finding ways to improve instead of worrying about what ranking they have. I also like that he knows where they are at in their efficiency rankings.

I would like to see the Jazz improve compared to how they defended how they defended the Mavericks in their first game. I do think the Mavs played extra well, with extra energy in their first game against the Jazz. It was the Maverick's home opener and for whatever reason Dirk always brings it against the Jazz.  The Jazz allowed Dallas to score 120 points,  The Mavericks enjoyed an average lead of 17.1 points. Despite the entire starting five for the Jazz scoring in double digits, no Jazz player really played well. It won't take much for the Jazz to play better defense than they did the first time around against the Mavericks.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last night. The Mavericks lost 108-87. Dirk only scored 17 points in the Mav's loss. The wheels came out for Dallas during a decisive 18-4 third quarter run for the Blazers. The third quarter has been a struggle for the Mavs this season. From mavs.com Dirk Nowitzki on the Mav's third quarter troubles and on tonights game:

"Yeah, they got us good on the schedule on this one," 12-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki joked. "They definitely did. We’re losing an hour, and it’s an early game as well [Friday] at 7, so we’ll try to mix in some rest and try to sleep in as long as you can. Have some breakfast around 11 or 11:30, have a little meeting in pregame, and then just let it all rip with whatever you’ve got. I think every time you struggle in the second half, you can’t really worry about too much. We’ve got to play whistle to whistle and just everybody play their minutes hard. If you’re tired after two minutes, get out after two minutes. I think we’re deep enough to do it, but we can’t be sleepwalking through the third quarters anymore."

Predictions:

The Mavericks did pretty much everything right in their Oct 30th matchup with the Utah Jazz. The Jazz will have to come out with high energy, they will have to execute their plays perfectly to have a chance against the Mavericks and they cannot let Dirk's antics get to them.

Remember this:  (via Moni)

And this:

Dirk does not like the Utah Jazz.

I am going to be an optimist. I think the Jazz remember too well what happened just over a week ago. I am going to predict that this game will be a lot closer than the first game.

I will predict a Jazz win.  The Jazz will beat the Mavericks 106