Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks Preview

By Michael Ma

Nov 1, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) drives the ball during the third quarter as Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Keys for the Houston Rockets vs the Dallas Mavericks Monday night.

Depth Arises

Without Patrick Beverley for the next month or so, and with James Harden and Jeremy Lin listed as day-to-day, the backcourt could lack the playmaking abilities Monday night. Omer Asik and Greg Smith are also out, which should mean that Dwight Howard will get plenty of touches in the low post like he did Saturday night against the Detroit Pistons.

Killer Instinct

In the first two meetings this season, the Rockets have held a 22 point lead and 18 point lead in the 4th quarter, only to have the Mavericks come back both times. In the second game, Dallas exploded to outscore the Rockets 36-19 in the final frame to steal the win, 123-120. However, the Rockets are 11-3 in their last 14 games against the Mavs at Toyota Center, and have won 3 straight.

Monta and Dirk

The new Mavericks tandem of Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki has been one of the best one-two punches in the NBA, as they are just 1 of 4 duos to each average over 20 points per game. They combined for 72 points in the second meeting, and outscored the Rockets by themselves in the 4th quarter, 22-19.

Tip: 7 PM CT

TV: CSN Houston