The Dallas Mavericks come to the Target Center Friday night in a matchup of two of the Western Conference’s middleweights with identical records. Both of these squads have goals of reaching the playoffs. Both of these squads have new starting shooting guards. Both of these squads have Spanish point guards.
Dallas’s potential starting lineup:
PG Jose Calderon
SG Monta Ellis
SF Shawn Marion
PF Dirk Nowitzki
C Samuel Dalembert
The Mavericks score the 3rd-most points in the league while giving up the 5th most, 110 and 106, respectively. The Mavs get 24 points a night from Monta and 19.4 from Dirk while old man Marion and slamming Sammy are the only two guys in the starting five offering much defensively.
Vince Carter is 6th in minutes per game for the Mavs and he will be out tonight after being suspended for some knuckle headed elbow throwing at the Thunder’s Steven Adams. Expect to get some more Jae Crowder (68% from 3) and maybe make it Wayne Ellington (25% from 3) to compensate for Vinsanity’s absence.
Minnesota’s probable starting lineup:
PG Ricky Rubio
SG Kevin Martin
SF Corey Brewer
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Pekovic
After running into the unconsciously hot shooting Klay Thompson Wednesday night, the Wolves have lost two straight. The lack of scoring punch off the bench is starting to show. The field goal percentage of Pek is starting to look ghastly, although compared to Rubio’s it looks fine. Overall, this squad could use a pick-me-up game and I’m not sure a veteran squad like Dallas — thought even worse than the Wolves on defense — is going to be the pushover Minnesota could use to get their opening week groove back.