|8:30 PM Mountain / 10:30 PM Eastern
One last time without Shaq. At least that seems to be the plan anyway. The Suns will take on the Dallas Mavericks at home in the final game before the All-Star break. It would seem all that Jason Kidd (non)trade talk may have gotten the Mavericks fired up a bit. They thoroughly trounced the Portland Trailblazers last night, despite missing Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse, and Devin Harris. Then again, maybe it's just more proof that for whatever reason, this team plays much better against their fellow Western Conference foes. The Mavericks are 23-6 against the West. The only team even close to that is the Lakers at 19-8.
Howard isn't listed as a probable starter in the Mavericks' game notes for tonight. He is "questionable", Stackhouse is "day-to-day", and Harris is a definite scratch. For more from the Mavericks' side of things (including the ongoing saga of Devean George), visit Mavs Moneyball.
Keys for tonight:
- No looking ahead to the All-Star break.
- Boris Diaw seems to bring it big every other game, so he's due.
- Feed the "beast".
- Make Devean George beat you (0-11 last night).
What a shame these two teams didn't meet in the playoffs last season. Imagine seven games of this: