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Open Game Thread #13: Pacers vs. Mavericks

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The Dallas Maverics visit the Fieldhouse tonight as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, having won five games in a row, including big wins over the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets.

The Mavs have developed a habit of falling behind early and then doing what's necessary to pull out the win. Mavs Moneyball hopes the trend ends tonight and the Mavs churn out a nice, easy win.

As for the Pacers, they'll show up intent on winning. According to Bruno's Scouting Report, the Pacers don't expect Jermaine O'Neal to play, but they haven't ruled him out completely. The severity of J.O.'s knee swelling determines his playing status. Sounds like the swelling ebbs and flows like the tides from day to day, so if he shows up tonight with his knee at low tide, he may give it a go.

With or without J.O., the Pacers have to play their best to hang with the Mavericks. One problem area for the Pacers in losses has been dribble penetration that forces defensive help, opening up kick out passes for open perimeter shots. Devin Harris doesn't shoot the long ball well, so he thinks drive first. Not good. How well the Pacers are able to defend Harris and Jason Terry will determine if the Pacers will be in it to win it tonight.

Projected Starters

PACERS pos. MAVERICKS
Troy Murphy F Dirk Nowitzki
Danny Granger F Josh Howard
Jeff Foster C DeSagana Diop
Mike Dunleavy G Trenton Hassell
Jamaal Tinsley G Devin Harris

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game in the comments.