Thursday, December 6, 2012
W2W4: Can Mavs spoil Suns' fun guarantee?
By Tim MacMahon
Maybe the money-back guarantee wasn’t too big of a risk for the Suns’ marketing department.
Fans who don’t have fun tonight can get their ticket prices refunded. That’s not necessarily guaranteeing a win, but it’s not like the Mavs are tough to beat when they’re playing the butt end of back-to-backs.
The Mavs are 1-3 in such games this season. That includes a couple of lopsided loss, being blown out by 19 in Utah and 23 in Chicago.
The Mavs were on the wrong end of a rout against the Clippers last night, but their starters other than rookie Jae Crowder still played pretty heavy minutes. This could be an especially tough task for 38-year-old point guard Derek Fisher, who played 27 minutes in the first half of his first back-to-back of his season.
The Suns have certainly had their share of struggles this season, having just wrapped up a 1-5 road trip, but they are 5-3 at home.
Records: Mavs (8-10); Suns (7-12)
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: US Airways Center
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: The Suns go as point guard Goran Dragic goes. His numbers from the Suns’ seven wins: 18.9 points, 52.5 field goal percentage, 50.0 3-point percentage, 7.4 assists. His numbers from the Suns’ dozen losses: 13.5 points, 44.5 field goal percentage, 29.4 3-point percentage, 6.1 assists per game. If Darren Collison struggles – particularly on the defensive end – it will be interesting to see if coach Rick Carlisle gives meaningful backup point guard minutes to Dominique Jones.
Key matchup:Chris Kaman vs. Marcin Gortat – The Mavs at least need Kaman to hold his own in the big man matchup. A big offensive night from Kaman, who has had three 20-point game this season, would be nice. It’s imperative, however, that he gives a solid defensive effort. Kaman has struggled with the Mavs’ pick-and-roll coverages, which require their big men to aggressively show and recover. Gortat, who averaged 15.4 points last season but has seen his scoring average dip almost four points per game, is at his best as a roll man.