Coming off last night's loss to the Grizz, we head further South to Dallas to play the Mavericks. KC Johnson reports Kirk will be back from his suspension but Rose, Noah and Deng are still going to sit out. Worringly, he says Taj's foot acted up, so he's only "probable". Gotta give Taj some credit for playing on an injury that most guys don't play on. I somewhat wish the Bulls would shut him down and not risk more problems, but I guess they're too busy admiring his spunk to think in those terms.
So anyway, this makes the likely lineups:
|Kidd||- G -||Hinrich|
|Butler||- G -||Pargo|
|Marion||- F -||Johnson|
|Nowitzki||- F -||Gibson|
|Haywood||- C -||Miller|
Gulp. This game creates an interesting opportunity for Vinny to play his favored flotilla of 6'1" guys against what might be the most oversized and physical team in the league. It's actually not that terrible an idea in this case... they're so physical and relatively slow it might be possible to run by them. Myself, I'd like to see more Acie Law IV, JJ, and opportunities for Joe Alexander to go out there and club people.
Optimistically, the Mavs' last outing was a 30 point drubbing at the hands of the Knicks. Pessimistically, they might be kind of angry about this. They're rested and at home. I don't think this one will be pretty, but it'll probably be prettier than Jason Terry, who's out with a broken face.
But fear not, KC reports that despite the injuries, Coach Del Negro is optimistic:
"We can still play hard," coach Vinny Del Negro said.
(I'm going to charitably believe that quote sounded better in context than it does, all alone, in KC's post).