Let’s start with the injuries. Willie Cauley Stein is “out” after receiving stitches on his index finger from yesterday’s game. That’s a bummer. I thought he played decent yesterday in his limited minutes, getting easy buckets and blocked a shot or two.
Omri Casspi is still “questionable” because of upper back soreness. Also “questionable” is Ben McLemore because of back spasm. He didn’t play in the second half of yesterday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Rajon Rondo will be “doubtful” because of back spasm. He seemed more than ok last night.
(Here’s how you decipher injury reports. “Out” means a player is definitely not playing. “Doubtful” means he won’t play unless there’s a miracle. “Questionable” means he probably will play, but the team won’t let the media know just to confuse their opponent.)
I don’t think we can beat a healthy Mavs team without those guys.
If that hasn’t already lowered your expectations, here are some ominous stats for you, courtesy of NBA.com:
Mavs have a 10-6 record at home. We have 5-11 record on the road.
Kings haven’t won in Dallas since 2003.
While Demarcus Cousins has been destroying the Mavs at home in recent games, averaging 28.7 points and 12 rebounds, he’s not as good in their arena, averaging just 18 points.
The only good news here is a healthy Kings beat the Mavs in Sacramento in November. Can they do it on the road without some of their key players? “Doubtful.”