Dallas has a chance to get off to a 2-0 start to the season, and get past one of their toughest back-to-backs all year, when they play the Jazz on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
The Mavs did not get into their hotels until well into the night on Tuesday after winning the late game on TNT, which will be a concern for a team counting on a lot of older players.
Against Utah, the key match-up will once again be inside, where Dallas' lack of front-court depth will be tested by a huge Utah front-line of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsapp, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Dallas, which starts a 6'8 center and a 210 power forward due to the absence of Dirk and Chris Kaman, will not simply be able to hack away at Jefferson, one of the most gifted low-post scorers in the NBA at 6'10 255, like they did Howard on Tuesday.
Kanter and Favors, Utah's two 6'10+ big men drafted in the Top 3, could have a big game, as their size and athleticism will be a lot to handle for a Mavs team that went small with Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder at the four against the Lakers. The Jazz are getting -8.5 points right now, which seems about right.
If Dallas is going to have a chance, it's going to be running the pick-and-roll to get their quicker big men attacking the Jazz front-court in open space. The Mavs will need Darren Collison and Rodrigue Beaubois to dominate Mo Williams and Jamaal Tinsley, which is certainly doable.
The game will be at 8:00 PM Central on Fox Sports Southwest.