After having their 9 game win streak broken by the Chicago Bulls on Monday, the Celtics look to get back on track as they host the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are coming off a loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. This is the first game of a six game home stand for the Celtics. The Mavericks are playing in the first game of a 3 game road trip.
The Celtics are still first in the East, leading the second place Bucks by just half a game. They are 6-1 at home and 9-1 in their last 10 games. They are 4-0 against Western Conference teams. The Mavericks are 9th in the West, just 1.5 games out of first place. They are 1-4 on the road and 6-4 in their last 10 games. They are 4-2 against Eastern Confernce teams.
This is the first of 2 games between these two teams this season. They will meet again in Dallas on January 5. The Mavericks have won the last 4 meetings between them, sweeping the last two seasons. Both wins last season were 3 point wins on Dallas game winners. The Celtics are 42-40 all time overall against the Mavericks and they are 25-16 in games played in Boston.
This game is being billed as a duel between two of the NBA’s top scorers in Boston forward Jayson Tatum and Dallas guard Luka Doncic. Tatum is averaging 30.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, and Doncic is averaging an NBA-best 33.5 points to go with 9.1 rebounds, 8.1 assists and 1.9 steals per contest. Jayson Tatum’s status for this game will be a game time decision.
Robert Williams III remains out with the knee injury, although he is getting closer to a return. Danilo Gallinari will miss the entire season after tearing his ACL in the off season. Jayson Tatum is a new addition to the injury list. He sprained his ankle at some time in the Celtics loss to the Bulls on Monday. He is listed as questionable and will be a game time decision. If he can’t play, I expect Derrick White to start at shooting guard and Jaylen Brown to slide into the small forward spot unless Coach Mazzulla decides to start Sam Hauser at the three instead.
For the Mavericks, Maxi Kleber is listed as doubtful for this game with a lower back contusion. He has missed the last 3 games due to the back injury. Spencer Dinwiddie dislocated his shoulder during Sunday’s loss to the Nuggets. When asked if he would miss time with the injury Jason Kidd said he didn’t believe so but he is listed as questionable. Dinwiddie’s status will be a game time decision.
Probable Celtics Starters