Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks are set to begin their title defense on Saturday night, as the Mavericks take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in a rematch of last year's NBA Western Conference Finals.
This time, though, the Mavericks are the underdogs. Dallas went just 36-30 this year, earning the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. The departure of Tyson Chandler hurt Rick Carlisle's Mavericks, and Dallas' acquisition of Lamar Odom did not work out for either party.
If the Mavericks are to advance to the second round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, they'll need to shut down this year's NBA scoring title winner, Kevin Durant. Durant averaged 28 points per game in 2012, narrowly edging out Kobe Bryant for the scoring title.
Mavericks fans can certainly expect the Thunder to be looking for revenge from last year, when the Mavericks defeated the Thunder in five games for the Western Conference crown.
Game Time: Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT from Oklahoma City.
TV Coverage: Televised coverage can be found on ESPN nationally, as well as KTXA CBS locally.
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