NBA Game of the Week: Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers

The Western Conference in the NBA is absolutely loaded with terrific teams, and two of them are set to meet up on Thursday night. The Portland Trail Blazers have struggled this season, but still have some talent. Dallas has been one of the best stories in the league, and they continue to get better. Portland will host Dallas in the NBA Game of the Week on Thursday night.

The Blazers enter this week with a record of 18-26, and they sit in fourth place in the Northwest Division. Portland is going to need to get hot in a hurry to make a return to the playoffs. Dallas comes into the week with a record of 27-15, and they lead the Southwest Division. The Mavericks are continuing to climb up the standings in the Western Conference.

Luka Doncic Leading Surging Mavericks

Luka Doncic came into the NBA with plenty of hype, and he has lived up to it and then some this season. Doncic leads the Mavericks with 28.9 points and 9.0 assists per game, and has racked up a number of triple-doubles this season. The youngster seems to get better with each passing week, and he should have a huge game against a bad defense in this one.

The Mavericks are going to need Kristaps Porzingis to get back on the court and stay healthy to make a deep playoff run. Dallas is scoring over 116 points per game this season, and Porzingis is the perfect complementary player to Doncic. The Mavericks do give up close to 110 points per game, and that is one area of their game that needs to improve.

Portland Giving Up Too Many Points

Speaking of giving up points; that has been a huge reason for the struggles of the Trail Blazers this season. Portland is giving up right at 114 points per game this season, and that just puts way too much pressure on their offense. The Trail Blazers made some changes to their roster in the offseason, and it has really hurt their defense. Portland will need to find a way to slow down Doncic to win this game.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCullom continue to lead the Trail Blazers on the offensive end of the floor, but McCullom has been banged up of late. Portland loves to shoot a ton of three-pointers, and they are going to have to make them to win this game. Lillard leads the team with 27 points and 7.5 assists per game, but he just simply can't do it along.

Dallas Picks Up Impressive Road Win

Winning in Portland is usually one of the toughest things to do in the NBA, but that hasn't been the case this year. The Blazers have won just 9 of their first 19 home games, and their lack of defense has really hurt them. Dallas has been one of the most impressive teams in the NBA this season, and they have proven that they can win anywhere. This game will be close, but taking the Dallas Mavericks over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night is the right play.