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Bet on the NBAWith starting Center Tyson Chandler out for an expected two games, the Dallas Mavericks will have to rely on their reserves to pick up some of the slack in Friday night's game against the Indiana Pacers. Brendan Haywood is the probably starting center for the Mavericks, who are seeking to win their eighth game in a row, as well as their ninth home game in a row.

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Dallas is currently playing without Caron Butler, who has been out since the beginning of 2011 with a right patella tendon injury. Butler had been scoring 15 points per game on average. Chandler had been averaging another 12.8 points and 10.0 rebounds during the previous 18 games. He has been instrumental in helping Dallas go 17-1 in their last 18 games.

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The Mavericks, currently second place in the Western Conference, are also one of the deepest teams in the league, however, with six players on the team averaging at least 8.4 points per game, as well as four players averaging 4.7 or more rebounds. The loss of Butler and Chandler will hurt them, but they are still able to win games with their reserves.

And who really expects even an injured Dallas Mavericks team to lose to the Indiana Pacers? Since firing their head coach and appointing Frank Vogel as the interim coach, Indiana has gone 3-5 in their last eight games. The Pacers are coming off of a 113-89 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, with their starters scoring only 33 points, a season low.

The Pacers are on a bit of a road trip right now, playing six out of seven games away from home. The loss to the Thunder was the beginning of this seven-game stretch. Against opponents in the Western Conference, Indiana has lost their last seven games. The last time the Pacers and Mavericks met on January 12, the Pacers won the game 102-89.

 

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