Remember when Dallas started 0-3? And Dirk was laboring and talking about how old and slow the Mavericks looked? Dallas has left the early struggles in the dust, and thanks to a boost from reserves Vince Carter (shooting a career-high 45 percent on 3-pointers) and Brandan Wright (he’s got as many double-figure scoring games this month – 4 – as he had all of last season) the Mavericks are 20-11, winners of six in a row. They’re starting to look like contenders in the West again.
The Knicks suffered a predictable yet annoying loss to the woeful Hornets Friday at home, but are the uptick, as well – Carmelo Anthony is due back from a groin injury soon and new acquisition JR Smith and reserve point guard Baron Davis could play today.
It’ll be interesting to see if Tyson Chandler matches up with former wingman Dirk, and how New York’s bench/role players perform after Friday’s piss-poor shooting effort. Could Shumpert and Novak and Jefferies (and even starter Bill Walker) start to show some tightness with Anthony/Smith about to join the team? Dallas, for some reason, seems to be able to plug in randoms in recent weeks – Dominique Jones or Ian Mahinmi, for instance – and get production out of them.
The Mavericks beat the Knicks by 16 in the Garden last year (18 at home). The Knicks are 2-point underdogs.