Oct 17, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks small forward Shawn Marion (0) and Phoenix Suns small forward Michael Beasley (0) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 100-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Phoenix Suns(7-12) vs. Dallas Mavericks(8-10)

Oct 17, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Jared Cunningham (1) and Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 100-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’ll be a fun night in the valley as your Phoenix Suns will be offering an all fun or full refund deal for tonight’s tickets to the Suns vs. Mavs game. The Phoenix Suns will be offering a full refund to anyone who attends the game tonight and doesn’t have “Fun”.

The Suns return from their 6 game road trip with an highly disappointing outcome after losing 5 of 6 games on the road, most recently a 98-108 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Suns will look to bounce back against a Dirk-less Mavericks team tonight at the U.S Airways Center.

The Mavericks have been without Dirk Nowitzki all season but with O.J Mayo stepping up and having a career year the Mavericks have stayed afloat as they currently own a 8-10 record and are sitting at the 11th spot in the western conference despite being without their superstar.

For the first time in a few games, the Suns are actually the favorite heading into this game by 3.5 points according to ESPN.com. The Mavericks obviously will be without Nowitzki tonight and Sebastian Telfair is listed as a day-to-day for the Suns. Telfair missed the Memphis game due to family issues and it’s unclear whether he’ll return tonight, should he not, Diante Garret will once again play the role of back-up point guard.

Keys to the game: Suns

– Cut the turnovers. The Suns did a terrific job earlier this season taking care of the rock, well over the last 5 games it has been a different story. In the Suns last 5 games they are averaging more than 16 turnovers per game, that trend is one that needs end.

– Guard the 3-point line with your life! With O.J Mayo coming into town the Suns will need to do just that. Mayo is second in the league this season in 3-pointers made per game at 2.7 and is ranked 2nd overall in 3-point percentage. Mayo is shooting an absolutely blistering 50.5% from behind the 3-point line.

Nov 27, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo (32) shoots a foul shot during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers defeated the Mavericks 100-98. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Keys to the game: Mavericks

– Jump on the Suns early. This Suns team isn’t at an all time high in confidence right now and the last thing the Mavericks need to do is to give them confidence early in the game. Dallas needs to jump on this team early and squash whatever kind of optimism or confidence this team has going for itself.

– Get the shooters going early. Dallas isn’t  the same team without Dirk, that much is crystal clear. These guys need their shooters to have a good game in order to win because there aren’t too many ways this Mavericks team can beat you at this point. If Dallas gets their shooters going early, watch-out.

The X-Factor

– Rebounding. Either team are terrific rebounding teams with Dallas ranked at 19th and Phoenix ranked 21st it’ll to be interesting to see who can get the most second chance points and my guess is which ever team gets the most second chance points will be the team that walks away with the W.

Match-up of the night!

– Germany vs. Poland, uhhh I mean Chris Kaman vs. Marcin Gortat. Kaman is quietly having a great season with Dallas averaging 13.6 points, 7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks on 52% shooting from the floor while Gortat has been struggling pretty much since the trade rumors and the Polish interview got out.


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