The Nuggets, who surprised many around the NBA by racing out to a 14-5 record, have plummeted back to Earth in the last few weeks due to a string of injuries.
SF Danilo Gallinari, who was receiving All-Star consideration in his second year in Denver, is out for at least another month with a fractured foot, while C Nene, C Timofey Mozgov, SG Rudy Fernandez and SF Corey Brewer have all missed time during the Nuggets 3-7 slide over the last two weeks.
The Mavericks defeated Denver 105-95 last Wednesday, as their rise up the playoff standings has coincided with the Nuggets fall.
However, even in their weakened condition, Denver still has some talent on their roster, particularly in the back-court, where Ty Lawson, Andre Miller and Arron Afflalo all pose potential match-up problems for Dallas' aging perimeter defense. The trio carved up the Mavericks to the tune of 56 points in Denver's 115-93 rout of Dallas in the first week of the season.
Since then, the Mavericks have re-shuffled their rotation several times, most notably increasing the playing time of Brandan Wright and Ian Mahinmi in an effort to improve their interior defense in the wake of Tyson Chandler's departure to the New York Knicks.
The 7:30 PM game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Southwest.