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Place: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Dallas Mavericks opened the campaign with an impressive road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers and attempt to notch another win on enemy soil when they visit the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
The Mavericks are without star Dirk Nowitzki (knee) but stunned Los Angeles with a balanced attack that featured six players in double figures. Frontcourt players Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will again be Utah’s go-to players. The Jazz surprisingly made the playoffs last season.
Dallas was led by Darren Collison’s 17 points against Los Angeles and led by as many as 16 points. Utah added veteran guards Mo Williams and Randy Foye and forward Marvin Williams in the offseason and is also hoping for improvement from second-year players Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. Third-year pros Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward also are expected to take another step forward.
Dallas Mavericks (1-0): A lot of eyes are on Collison as the point guard after future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd left for the New York Knicks. Collison excelled in his Dallas debut by making 8-of-12 shots and committing just two turnovers. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has been impressed with the athletic and intelligent Collison. “He’s always been a guy viewed by his coaches and guys he played with as super-prepared, a student of the game and a leader,” Carlisle said.
Utah Jazz (2011-12: 36-30): Utah went 5-3 in the preseason and extend the contract of coach Tyrone Corbin through the 2013-14 season on Tuesday. Corbin relates well to veterans and also has the patience that aids the development of young players.
“He is always going to let you know how it is 100 percent and you’ve got to respect a man for that, so I think a lot of the other guys on the team relate to him too,” center Al Jefferson said. “It’s a good move to know that he will be the head coach for another year after this year.”
1. Dallas won three of the four meetings last season with Utah’s lone victory coming in a triple-overtime contest.
2. Mavericks center Chris Kaman (calf) will miss his second consecutive contest.
3. After the opener, Utah plays eight of its next 10 games on the road.