Posted by: Kingsguru21 | January 2, 2010

Game #33: Dallas Mavericks at Kings

Tonight it’s the Dallas Mavericks. After last night’s disappointing loss (and I don’t think anyone connected to Kings-mania would disagree with that statement), it’s going to be a tough night for a bounceback game. Dallas is good; scary good enough to be in the current conversation for contenders in the West.

Dallas runs at the 13th fastest pace, has the 13th rated offense and the 5th rated defense (very similar to the Lakers in that respect–middle of the pack offense and upper echelon defense–the only real difference is the Mavs play at a slower pace). The Kings, unfortunately, seem to be sliding back in every category and game by game. Hopefully that trend does not continue, but it could spell real doom as the season settles in.

I don’t think it’s an understatement since TZ usually gets these things right, but Jason Thompson vs Dirk Nowitzki is absolutely the critical matchup tonight for the Kings. JT MUST PLAY WELL FOR THE KINGS TO HAVE A CHANCE. Understood? Good. Because, if you need to be told Dirk Nowitzki is very good, like Hall of Fame good, perhaps you need to watch more Mavs games. He just is that very good.

The other important matchup I think would be Spencer Hawes vs Drew Gooden/Erick Dampier or whomever else in the middle. If for nothing else, the Kings need to find a way to make that matchup work as opposed to normal times when Tyreke Evans is playing.

Tyreke Evans is supposedly not going to play, and that was decided yesterday. Although, he was in uniform for the Lakers game and didn’t play (naturally). I would prefer a 100% Tyreke Evans whenever that is. UPDATE: I was really wrong about Tyreke not playing. And, I’m really really glad. (H/T TZ.)

A sneaky potential matchup that could greatly benefit the Kings is Donte Greene on Rodrigue Beaubois and/or Shawn Marion. Greene is taller (and thus longer) than either guy, and playing Omri Casspi alongside Donte could see the Mavs have to account for one or the other. Whomever gets the more favorable of the matchup’s (off the top of my head I would suggest that Donte and Omri would be better off with Beaubois guarding them) which could mean that Omri could see Shawn Marion on him all night. When Marion’s defensiveness is unleashed, he can do wonders for a team. (Although I’m not convinced he’ll ever be better defending SF’s than PF’s.)

The contest tonight should be a fun matchup for those who like quality basketball, with 2 quality head coaches (Rick Carlisle is doing a nice job in Dallas), and 2 reasonably deep benches. The Mavs are a dangerous opponent, and it’s worth noting that they play tomorrow in LA. (Doesn’t it always seem to be 6 shades of the 213?)

Game is at 7. TV is CSNCA and Radio is 1140. Enjoy!

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