Feb 18, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks point guard Devin Harris (20) is knocked to the floor by Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Heat defeated the Mavericks 117-106. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks(32-23) take on the Philadelphia 76ers(15-40) in Philly today at 6:00 CST.
From Bad to Worse: The 76ers have not been feared this year to say the least. Now they have found a way to get even worse. After trading Spencer Hawes for Earl Clark, Henry Sims and a couple of second round picks. The 76ers are now stripped of their number one big man, leaving Byron Mullens to start (who they picked up from the Los Angeles Clippers). Then they traded their leading score Evan Turner to the Indiana Pacers for Danny Granger. Although Granger has proven to be a dynamic scorer, injuries have set him back this year and now on a team in full time tank mode, I just can’t see Granger playing with any kind of fire.
Mavs Stay Put: Just before the trade deadline the Mavs where in many trade rumor discussions, but decided to stay put. They seem to have been playing well of late before the All-Star break and gave the Miami Heat a run for their money even with Lebron in full “King James” mode. The Mavs have a pretty easy schedule coming up so it will be important for them to win games like these. Point blank the Mavs have a playoff seed to contend for and the 76ers…. yea not really sure.
Dirk Dominance Continues: Dirk lead the Mavs in points, rebounds, and assists against the Miami Heat on Tuesday going 22-9-7. With the uninspired 76ers next on the schedule I predict he will not have to do much even though he will have the much smaller Thaddeus Young guarding him with Spencer Hawes no longer on the team. Again the Mavs cannot afford to lose these kind of games and hopefully will jump to a big lead letting some of their starters rest.
The Matchups: The Mavs point guards will have a challenge tonight guarding the Rookie of the Year to this point Michael Carter-Williams. At 6’6″ MCW will prove to be difficult for Calderon and Harris making it interesting to see how the matchups will work with the addition of Danny Granger. I believe the X-Factor of the game will again be the Mavs bench taking over when the 76ers must give their starters a break. The Mavs are much deeper than the 76ers and I believe have some bench players that could be starting for Philadelphia.
I have preached all year that I want Brandan Wright to play more and hopefully Tuesday’s game is an indicator that he has FINALLY passed DeJuan Blair on the depth chart. Wright played 23 minutes versus Blair’s 6. To put it plainly he is taller, more athletic, a better mid range shooter, and a larger low post presence. That’s my rant for now but please Coach Carlisle, please do not let Wright ride the bench longer than Blair anymore.