W2W4: Mavs hope to spoil Lakers' party
At least, that’s how Tuesday night’s season opener at the Staples Center is expected to go down.
Steve Nash) and the NBA’s best big man (Dwight Howard) joining championship cornerstones Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
The remodeled Mavs, minus face of the franchise Dirk Nowitzki and former All-Star big man Chris Kaman, just happen to the LA’s opening opponent.
“They’ve got at least three Hall of Famers in their starting lineup and maybe more with the career Gasol has had,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Look, they’ve got a great roster. They’ve got a lot of size. They’ve got a lot of credentials. We’ve got a group that’s unproven, if I’m going to be honest.
“This is a great opportunity for us. That’s the way I look at it. So we’re going to go in there with guns blazing and throw the kitchen sink at them.”
Records: Mavs (0-0); Lakers (0-0)
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Staples Center
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: The Mavs’ most aggravating on-court issue during the preseason was probably rebounding. That could be a major problem against the Lakers with Howard, Gasol and Metta World Peace forming one of the biggest, most physical frontlines in the league. The Eddy Curry-Howard matchup is about as big a mismatch as could be on paper.
Key matchup: Darren Collison vs. Steve Nash – The Mavs need Collison to take a significant step after being a solid starter in Indiana. His quickness could give the 38-year-old Nash, who has never been known for his defense, fits. Of course, if Collison blows by Nash, he’ll have to deal with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year protecting the paint. And Collison will certainly have his hands full defending Nash, although Nash was somewhat tentative while trying to get to know his new teammates during the Lakers’ winless preseason.
Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) and C Chris Kaman (strained right calf) are out; G Jared Cunningham (thumb) is questionable. Lakers – Kobe Bryant (foot) is questionable.
Up next: at Utah Jazz, 8 p.m. Wednesday
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.