With only four games left in the season, and so much playoff seeding yet to be determined, Andre Miller knows what's at stake. This may not be the most important of the last four games of the season, but it could be an indicator of what will happen in the playoffs. If Portland ends up playing Dallas in the first round, tonight will say a lot. Andre Miller should be tremendous, he'll post up Kidd and Barea all day and I like him picking up the slack if Brandon Roy struggles at all.
Last time these two teams met, Caron Butler went off for 25 points despite looking incapable of putting up numbers anymore. Roy was very conservative in that game, only shooting 7 shots and making 5. I think tonight will be different, Roy, like Miller, knows we need another win against Dallas. I think Roy turns the tables on Butler and scores 25+ while Butler is held in check.
Nicolas Batum has been picking it up offensively lately, and hopefully he can do some scoring in this game. Dallas' commitment to not playing defense, could allow for Batum to do some damage in the fast break and with some good movement in the halfcourt sets. The only problem is Shawn Marion still has a little left in the tank, although he hasn't been great lately. I'm giving this one to Marion and Dallas.
Dirk Nowitzki is a force to be reckoned with and an MVP-type player for this Mavericks team. He'll undoubtedly win this match-up but that doesn't mean it's not a good overall match-up for LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge has had solid games against the Mavericks, and if Portland runs the break more, Aldridge will have a big game. Expect greatness from Dirk and very good from LaMarcus.
|Brendan Haywood is a great addition to the Mavericks, but with so many other options offensively, he's more of a rebounder and defender. He splits time with Dampier and both guys are solid centers. I think the savvy veteran Juwan Howard and Marcus Camby will be better at home however. Camby's defense will be huge, potential spending some time on Dirk, and I like our guys in this game.