Posted by: Kingsguru21 | April 10, 2010

Game #80: Dallas Mavericks at Kings

Tonight Dallas on a back to back after a brutal night in Portland last night. An opportunity awaits that the Kings must take advantage of. If reading is your thing, Bedge has a recap, media report, and other goodies. (There are also other Blazer blogs on my sidebar including Portland Roundball Society that will guarantee to give you the take of the Blazer side if need be.) There is also the Dallas blogs I’ve linked to on the sidebar, but neither site I have linked has a recap yet. (I don’t know of any other Mavs blogs. But I haven’t really looked either.)

So, here is the deal. The Kings MUST MUST MUST run tonight. This isn’t a game where the Kings can play half court and win. The Mavs are too good. It also helps them out after a tiring tough game last night. Since the Mavs are middle of the pack pace wise, then perhaps you’re talking about a good offensive and defensive team. (The Mavs rank 11th in offensive efficiency, or points per 100 possessions, and 12th in defensive efficiency–same thing as offense except use defense instead.) Either way, one guy can’t guard Dirk Nowitzki. It’s going to have to be a total group effort for 48 mins. The Mavs are good. There’s a reason they’ve won the previous 3 matchups.

But this time, the Kings have an advantage. Teams that are 500 take advantage of teams like Dallas who are fighting for position in the standings. Yes, it may hurt the lottery balls, but YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAMES.

Any time you can interrupt a good team’s drive to move up the standings, you do it. You play spoiler. It’s not like the Kings need to hold anything back. There is 3 games to go. You play Monday and Tuesday and your season is over. Tonight is a great night to win a game against a top opponent (something the Kings haven’t done much of this year). There can be a carry over effect for this young team. It has happened before. This team has lost games (more than any of us wished) over the last 3 weeks. Tonight is a chance to maybe cure that ill of losing to the Nets and Wolves. (The Nets now have 12 wins btw. Told you.)

Here is Carl Landry talking about a lot of things (this is must watch):

Donte Greene interviewing Tyreke Evans:

Paul Westphal:

I don’t care about ping pong balls. Neither does Paul Westphal. Neither should you. (I know you do anyway, but whatever.) Not at this point. I’ll care about them on May 18th (or whatever day the lottery is) and then alone. We’ll know where the Kings will pick (and will by the end of the season really) then.

The key matchup in my mind is Nowitzki and Landry. It’s not because of the earlier incident this season where Landry lost 2 teeth in Dirk’s arm. It’s because Landry can score on Dirk, and Dirk can score on anyone. It’s not so much that Landry has to keep pace with Dirk because Dirk Nowitzki is, rightfully so, a heavy portion of Dallas’ offense. What Carl Landry needs to do is simply make Dirk work defensively. Give JT and others a chance at boards. (The Kings have gone down in O-Reb% since Landry came around. Why? Less missed shots at the rim.)

This doesn’t mean that Tyreke & Beno can’t go off and the Kings win. That is highly highly unlikely. Donte Greene and Omri Casspi will have to play big roles. As TZ notes in his game preview, the Nocioni-Butler matchup could determine the game (not seeing that myself–mainly because Butler isn’t the player he was 2 years ago), and JT must stay out of foul trouble and be a presence inside tonight. TZ also noted that Dallas is not a heavy o-boarding team, and that gives the Kings help on the D boards. (Assuming that they can stop Dallas. And, the first game at Dallas the Mavs did get the o-boards. I’m not holding my breath on this one. I’m not calling TZ a liar. I’m saying I don’t trust the Kings to get the d-boards. Yet.)

That’s a lot for a young still figuring things out (and the Clippers as easy as an opponent as they are not necessarily the best team to prepare for a competition against a 50+ win team like Dallas) and I’m not confident they will. On the other hand, this team will not get a better opportunity to beat Dallas than tonight. I look forward to seeing a competitive game that goes into the last minute. I hope the Kings win tonight but I can live with a loss. I just want to see a 48 minute competitive game. If it’s a coin flip, I won’t be holding my breath that the Kings pull it out. Not just yet.

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

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Responses

  1. Play to win. Agreed.

    The fans deserve it and the hard working players deserve it.


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