The Dallas Mavericks take on the Phoenix Suns in their first game back from a 4 game road trip, going 2-2 and missing another opportunity to finally shave.
Dirk Nowitzki did not practice today in order to rest a foot injury suffered in Sunday’s win over the Portland Trailblazers. He missed the entire 4th quarter. Chris Kaman had his best game putting up 26 points. The is no doubt that Dirk will play in this game. He has been vocal all season about this team getting to .500. Plus, his beard looks the worse out of everyone.
Last home game the Dallas Mavericks rode the cheers of a ruckus American Airlines Center crowd to victory over the Chicago Bulls. Nowitzki had a season high 35 points in that game.
The Phoenix Suns however are in last place in the Western Conference with a growing 10-game losing streak. This will be their second consecutive road game after a tough loss to the Houston Rockets. After fighting to tie the game up, Jermaine O’Neal gets call for goaltending on a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer. When your 23-55, stuff like that happens.
Elton Brand is expected back for this game after practicing today.
Sure it will be great to watch Omar the barber finally cut the beards off this team, but a win means more for their playoff aspirations. The good thing about this 3-way race for the 8th and final playoff spot is that nobody seems to want to take it. The Utah Jazz lost last night to the Oklahoma City Thunder giving the Los Angeles Lakers the 8th spot after they beat the New Orleans Hornets by half a game. The Los Angeles Lakers go on the road tonight to play the Portland Trailblazers which will not be easy as Kobe Bryant continues his 46 minutes a night. The Utah Jazz have 2 of their last 3 games on the road. A Mavs win could get them 1.5 games back, if the Lakers lose, with 4 games left to play.
The Phoenix Suns rank 26th in points allowed in the NBA. Luis Scola has been able to score well and matchup with Dirk, but that should allow Vince Carter and Brandan Wright good opportunities to contribute.
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. As coach Rick Carlisle has said before every game since the All-Star break, it’s one game at a time. The last two times the Dallas Mavericks made the “shave ” the focus for a win they lost both times. Time to start focusing on making the playoffs.