The Dallas Mavericks look to pick up their second win of the preseason versus the new-look, star studded Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night in Cleveland @ 6:30 PM CT.
The Mavs(1-2) are coming off of 106-98 win over Indiana, whereas the undefeated preseason-wise Cavs(4-0) also just finished beating the Pacers, albeit Wednesday night, 98-93.
This game has a lot of importance to it for three main reasons: the NBA version of “The Hunger Games” will move forward as the battle for a coveted roster spot resumes(We are rooting for you, Charlie V.); The presumed starting 5 for the regular season will finally get a shot to play together; Even though it is preseason, it will be intriguing to see how the Mavs match-up vs a heavily favored “title contender” in Cleveland.
The NEW Big 3
UPDATE: Kevin Love & Shawn Marion have been ruled out.
The old big three, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, made it easy to not like them. It frustrates me, but I just cannot find it in me to NOT like the new trio of Bron, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving. So many buckets will be scored by these three Cavs stars.
Oh, the prodigal son bravely returns in an effort to bring his hometown a championship. That, in itself, automatically made the Cavaliers a contender. Hey, why not pair Lebron up with two other superstars? Sounds like a plan.
Kevin Love is a man among boys, a stat-stuffing power forward who, game after game, puts up NBA 2K-like ( playing on level pro) numbers with ease. Kyrie Irving is only just a former All Star Game MVP, who still has many areas to improve in, due to him being only 22 freaking years old.
Don’t you dare forget the Cavs shot-happy 3rd year guard who has put up 15.3 ppg over his short career, Dion Waiters, the unfortunately oft-injured big man Anderson Varejao, Mike Miller, Tristan Thompson and *begins sobbing* former Mav Shawn Marion.
So yea, you could say the Cavs are fairly stacked.
United and it Feels so Good
Friday night is the debut of the Mavs real starting 5. It’s the first time Jameer Nelson, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Dirk, and Tyson Chandler will be on the court together, in a game, while playing for the same team. I can’t wait.
I’m extremely interested to see how the Monta-Dirk P-N-R will flow, seeing as the additions of Parsons and Nelson just makes that set even more dynamic, as there are a multitude of options. Don’t be surprised if you even see a couple of Monta-Tyson oops from this as well.
FYI, if you weren’t already aware, this season is going to be very, very fun.
Roster Spot Battle Forges On
Deciding on who makes this final roster is one of the few times I would decline trading places with Coach Carlisle. Many tough decisions await him.
However, I think it’s pretty evident how one baller is separating himself from the “may or may not make this team” pack. That man is Charlie Villanueva, otherwise now known as Charlie VillanuTREYva (Yes, I just trademarked that). He is sort of reinventing himself in Dallas. In the last game vs Indiana, despite not playing for the first three quarters, Villanueva put up 16 pts and 4 rebounds on a hot shooting (4-4) night from beyond the arc. You can find Charlie V’s perspective on his ordeal here (YES OMG THANK YOU BASKETBALL GODS FOR ALLOWING CHARLIE TO HAVE HIS OWN BLOG). Have a feeling that if he keeps up this stellar play, there is absolutely no way he isn’t on the opening night roster vs San Antonio.
Yes, I absolutely do have a section set aside specifically for Dirk. And yes, I do believe every Mavs article ever, nay, every NBA-related article ever, should have it’s own Dirk section. Reasoning behind this: I don’t need any. He’s Dirk Nowitzki.
We got to see Dirk for the first time this season last game out vs Indy. As expected, he looked re-dirkulous. It was a fun basketball time. He threw the ball into the hole multiple times. In only 19 minutes of playing time, Dirk was wildly efficient as he put up 16 points on 7-11 from the floor. Pay close attention to Dirk’s shot Friday, as there’s been a lot of hoopla on basketball twitter about, wait for it, a quicker release from #41. Is it even possible from one of the deadliest jumpers in basketball history to improve? This is what defenders across the NBA lay awake at night pondering.
Thank You Tim Cato for this!
The upcoming matchup with Kevin Love intrigues me, as it pits two of the league’s best power forwards up against one another. Who doesn’t LOVE to see two of the best in the game trading jumpers back and forth. Count me in.
As with all preseason games, pay no attention to the final score, rather just the quality of the product put out on the court by the Mavs. The Mavs just have to build more continuity where the starters are concerned, and Friday is the first step to doing that.