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Game Preview: Warriors at Mavericks - Curry is back; Green, Iguodala questionable

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Warriors start 2018 with a back-to-back: Mavs today, Rockets tomorrow

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year!

It’s only been a couple of days off, but if you’re anything like me, you are already itching for some Dubs basketball. Up first in 2018: Harrison Barnes and the Dallas Mavericks will take their best shot at the top team in the NBA. This is just an appetizer though, for the showdown with the upstart Houston Rockets on Thursday - who should make for an interesting game, even without James Harden (sidelined for a couple of weeks with a bad hamstring).

WHAT: Warriors at Mavericks

WHEN: Wednesday, January 3; 5:30 p.m. (note the early start!)

WHERE: American Airlines CenterDallas, TX

WATCH: NBCSBA

LISTEN: 95.7 The Game

Blog Buddy: Mavs Moneyball

Sigh. More injuries? Yup.

The Warriors’ success is all the more impressive when you consider all the injuries the team has battled through, and it looks like 2018 will start off with more of the same. Although we get Steph Curry back, the Dubs are still contending with a number of lingering issues, as well as a new injury to Draymond Green.

Yesterday morning, Draymond Green landed on a teammate’s foot and tweaked his ankle. He immediately started treatment, but as of writing, his status is doubtful for the game.

In case you missed the irony, this occurred moments after Monte Poole published his article about how coach Steve Kerr rarely runs full five on five scrimmages. Oopsy.

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES GSW: Omri Casspi (bruised rib) is probable; Draymond Green (sprained left ankle), Andre Iguodala (lower back stiffness) & Zaza Pachulia (illness) are questionable.

DAL: Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia), Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis), and Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) are out. Team Notes

The year 2017 was kind to the Warriors, and Steph Curry blew up to close it out

As per the NBA team notes, The Warriors have an 83-19 (.814) record in the regular season and playoffs in the 2017 calendar year - the second-highest percentage in Warriors franchise history.

Looking back on 2017, Warriors fans have many reasons to smile a smile so broad it stretches our faces into unusual shapes and leaves our cheeks hurting. One more Championship to add to our team’s growing collection of rings. More hardware to decorate our MVP, our Finals MVP, and the Defensive Player of Year. More exciting plays and silly Klay Thompson interviews to lift us through the drudgery of the daily grind.

After nearly a month out, Steph Curry returned to signal the end of 2017, and made the Warriors 9-2 record in his absence look like a miracle. This was the Steph Curry that routinely made the highlight reels during his MVP campaigns - a look more dominant than we had seen thus far in the 2017-18 season.

So, yeah. Pretty good, my dude. Pretty good. Oh, and the rest of the Warriors are on point right now as well.

Now the Warriors waltz into 2018 in sole possession of first place in the West and looking as strong as they ever have.

The Dallas Mavericks? Not so much

It’s been a rough season for the Dallas Mavericks. I could go on, but after playing this team twice already this season, most of those reading this will already know their issues.

While Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t gotten any quicker, and Harrison Barnes still can’t really dribble, all is not without hope in the land of the Cowboys and super tall German basketball icons.

After starting the season 1-7 and enduring a rash of injuries, the tide has started to turn for the Mavericks. Keep your eye on their young rookie point guard Dennis Smith jr., who we missed in the last two outings. In his last game he went off for 19 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Sure, it wasn’t against the Warriors, but he is the quick sort that can give the Warriors fits.