I don't think you could ask for a better TNT Doubleheader this Thursday Night.
Mavericks (W-L): 45-26
Nuggets (W-L): 43-28
Time: 5:00pm PST
Unfortunately Air France will not be flying at the Roaracle tonight.
Warriors (W-L): 43-27
Trailblazers (W-L): 38-34
Time: 7:30pm PST
Use your hops for more about the SBN Battle of the Blogs.
Mavericks @ Nuggets
The Western Conference has just been so much fun this year. As a hoops junkie you just can't complain. There are 10 good teams out of 16. I hate to see any of them miss it, but there has to be some cuts. I don't mind the Blazers missing out because they're a dynasty waiting to happen once Greg Oden suites up. By the way if you think the West is loaded right now just wait until next year. I know it won't happen, but I'd love to see the Houston Rockets miss the spring dance. They've had an amazing regular season and their 22 game win streak was a throwback to the Clutch City days, but guess what? They're just a 1st Round Knockout waiting to happen. Who really wants to see Tracy McGrady at the podium in defeat with tears rolling down his face screaming "It's on me. IT'S ON ME! IT'S ON ME!" again? I like TMac and I don't want to see that again.
That leaves the Warriors, Nuggets, and Mavericks. I obviously want the Dubs to be at the main event in spring, so we're down to the Denver Nougats and Dallas My Little Ponies. A big part of me is still bitter that the only two guys in Denver that sport cornrows just happen to be Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony (see The Allen Iverson Trade: Throwing Up W's and L's) and the fact that this football town somehow has 3 All-Stars and a big name (admittedly underachieving) head coach. But the Nuggets are a very good and widly entertaining team. Allen Iverson is one of the greatest NBA players of all time, Melo is going to be simply great when it's all said and done, and Marcus Camby is one of the most underrated players of all time. Plus Eddie Najera holds it down for Mexico. What more could you possibly ask for?
The Mavs on the other hand blew their best shot last year. Don't get me wrong though. Jason Kidd, Josh Howard, and the main Nowitness to Jack Ghostriding the Dirk are still real deal ballas. Avery Johnson is still a real deal head coach. They've been a great team for awhile now. But I'd rather see the Nuggets in the big dance. They have what it takes to win it all, but for some reason it just hasn't come together in Denver this year. Maybe they'll spring out of it in the playoffs.
I don't mean to be sounding all re-Dirk-ulous, but it all starts tonight.
I'm just saying...
Actually I'll say it much more clearly WE BELIEVE We OWN the Dallas Mavericks Fans and Media.
Warriors vs Trailblazers
Here's what I wrote about this game in this week's Counting W's segment:
A big reason for the Warriors struggles has been their inability to contain the Blazers' frontcourt starting with center Joel Przybilla. He really seems to enjoy playing against the Warriors interior this season. His very pedestrian averages of 4.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg, and 1.3 blks shoot up to 10.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, and 2.3 blks when he plays against the Warriors. Winning this game starts with the Warriors young center Andris Biedrins. He missed the last game in which the Warriors beat the Blazers, but in the 2 games in Portland Biedrins struggled mightily, putting up only 4 ppg and 5 rpb with no blocks. Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and the Al Harrington/ Kelenna Azubuike/ Mickael Pietrus (if healthy)/ Matt Barnes combo should negate the rest of the Blazers crew. But Biedrins needs to step up and win this matchup if the Warriors are going to get this must win in the national spotlight.
Head on over there for my game prediction and thoughts about the upcoming pivotal weekend doubleheader against the Nuggets and Mavericks.
Our main man Dave from Blazers Edge shares his insights on the Blazers in his preview of tonight's TNT festivity:
Let us count the ways this game could be trouble. First the Warriors are 43-27 and in the thick of an incredibly hot race for the potential final playoff spot in the West. Second they just lost an overtime heart-breaker to the L*kers. Third they're at home. Fourth we're going to be without Brandon Roy and the jury is still out on Lamarcus Aldridge's fitness. Fifth we have not been playing consistently lately even WITH our main players. Sixth, if Roy and LMA don't play we're completely outclassed offensively. The Warriors field three 20-point scorers while we don't have anybody within 6 points of that range. They average 111 on the season. We average 96, but if you take out the big guys it's more like 59. Obviously other players are going to step up and take those shots and points but that's still one heck of a distance. Forget not being in the same area code, we're not even on the same planet. Seventh you can't defend the Warriors. They might be cold for a quarter but eventually the flood is going to break loose. In 70 games this year they've failed to reach 100 only 8 times. Your best chance to overcome them is to control the tempo with your offense but our two most accomplished tempo-controlling guys are...guess who? In short, this has the makings of a massacre. Anything short of that should be considered good for us and an actual win would be a feat worth celebrating well into the night.
Make sure to read the rest of his preview for his thoughts on how Lamarcus Aldridge can destroy the Dubs if he's ready to play tonight. Check out the Blazers Edge Gameday Open Thread too.
- Pickaxe and Roll by 10 over Mavs Moneyball
- The "Unstoppable Baby!" GOLDEN STATE OF MIND by 6 over Blazers Edge
- GSoM beats our SBN brother sites for most comments in the open thread. Seriously my golden peoples. Last time we hit 550. Let's top that and the rest of the SBN sites! There's hoops blogger pride at stake here and that's a very important thing around these parts.
As an added bonus Warrior legend and recent retiree Chris Webber will be holding it down reppin' Dub Nation, black socks, and baggy saggin' shorts tonight in the TNT studies. Over/ under on the number of times they show 1994 Golden State Warriors Rookie of the Year throwing it down on the reigning MVP Charles Barkley is 7. Here's something about that classic dunk that you might not know about in CWebb's words [plus more quotes over at SFGate]:
And finally, on whether he ever gets tired of seeing his rookie year dunk over Barkley replayed over and over:
"They can do that til the cows go home. I don't get tried of seeing Barkley's face on that big body of his. They can play that forever. I remember growing up, Barkley was one of the handful of player I looked up to, and I just remember back then, being nervous, because it was here and my boys that were staying with me at the time, were saying that Barkley was going to kill me and dunk on me. So I remember dunking and looking up to him like, Now what? I'll never forget that."