The Dallas Mavericks are the reigning NBA Champions, but Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and the rest of Rick Carlisle's team have began this with back-to-back losses. They'll have a chance to get back on track Thursday night against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, however, in the first game of a TNT doubleheader that tips off at 8 p.m. ET.
The Thunder have some problems of their own, following a spat on the bench between Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night, but Oklahoma City has started the season with three straight victories. Durant is averaging 31.7 points per game thus far while shooting an impressive 56 percent from the field.
As far as the Mavericks are concerned, the team has struggled after replacing a few of last season's playoff contributorrs with aging veterans Lamar Odom and Vince Carter. Nowitzki hasn't played in a fourth quarter yet this season, due to blowout, and Dallas is in danger of becoming the first championship team in 40 years to wins its first three games the following season.
One other thing that might be worth watching in this game, by the way, is whether Sean Williams -- the Mavericks back-up center -- is able to keep his lunch down after an embarrassing situation happened last time out. The big man played well otherwise, however, and is expected to earn more minutes on Thursday night.