I’m not sure what to expect after last night’s win at OKC. Tony and Tim played a lot, Manu didn’t play, and Captain Jack wasn’t in uniform. I’m assuming Manu will play tonight. Captain Jack’s Twitter says he will play, but R.C. hinted at Wednesday. Tony and Tim? Only Pop knows.
1. Song: Don’t Change by INXS
Change is something you won’t see with these two teams. They are both going to do what they do. No matter who is playing.
“Don’t Change” is an iconic song from my youth. I don’t listen to it often, but it really takes me back when I do.
2. Key Match Up: Lamar Odom vs Matt Bonner
Brendan Haywood is out for a while so Ian will probably start, and we don’t have anybody that can cover Dirk. However, I think it is the Lamar vs Matt head-to-head that could be really bad for us. Lamar’s ability to play inside and out can really cause problems for Matt because it forces Matt to use a lot of lateral movement, which isn’t his strong suit. Matt is strong and a great positional defender, but if you can make him have to cover ground then you’ve got him out of his element.
3. Keeping An Eye On: DNP and Points In The Paint
The Spurs have three days off after tonight so I expect everybody to play. However, I had expected Manu to play last night. Then Tiago came down with an upset stomach and logged only 3 minutes. No Stephen Jackson. Tony played a tough 38 minutes. Tim played in the low 30s.
With Haywood out, the Mavericks really don’t have anybody to protect the paint. Let’s see if the Spurs can run a layup line for a while which will then open up the 3-ball bombing.
4. Bold Prediction: Spurs by 8 (if at full strength)
The Mavericks really aren’t playing well. They went 2-7 in their 9 game in 12 night stretch and have looked poor in winning their two games since: home games against the Wizards and Bobcats. If we play with our big three, then I think we will be too much for them. If we play without Tony or Tim, then I think we go down by 3.
Odds and Ends
The Thunder defense was atrocious. It would have been way worse if Ibaka hadn’t been in the back swinging at everything. If Ibaka goes down with an injury, then other teams will be running right at the rim all day. In addition, we hit our 3’s, but they were a bunch of really wide open looks. The Thunder won’t last long in the playoffs with defense like that. It was WAY worse than our mediocre defense.