The Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers don't really have a rivalry, but the NBA's defending champions will meet one of the more surprising teams for the first of two basketball games on ESPN's Friday night schedule. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs are attempting to win their sixth straight game, but the All-Star could reach a milestone of his own during the game as well.
Nowitzki needs just one block to become the third player in NBA history to amass 1,000 blocks and 1,000 three-pointers, an odd combination considering the majority of players who reach one of the milestones typically reside in the opposite area needed to do the other. The two other players that have achieved the mark, by the way, are Rasheed Wallace and Clifford Robinson -- both known more for their demeanor than actual play on the court.
The Mavericks will likely have to rely quite a bit on Nowitzki on the offensive end as he tries to reach the defensive goal, though, as Jason Terry and Delonte West will both miss the game due to injury. Rodrigue Beaubois is also questionable after missing the team's last game due to the passing of his father.
The 76ers will hope to take full advantage of the ailing backcourt as they attempt to pick up a win at home after being fruitless in their past two attempts. Unlike their opponents, the Sixers have plenty of depth in their backcourt considering Louis Williams leads the team in scoring as the sixth man. Need an interesting sidenote? Philadelphia is 4-1 with Lavoy Allen in the starting lineup as he fills in for the injured Spencer Hawes.