Thursday, December 9

Game Night # 20

The Seattle Sonics face the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki (aka The Eggman) tonight in Texas.

"While Duncan won't score 40 against the Sonics, I'd have to imagine he'll do better this time around."

That's what I wrote yesterday, and, sure enough, the Sonics held Duncan to 39 - and still smoked the Spurs. At this point, I've given up all hope of understanding this team. There is no way in God's green earth the Sonics should lead San Antonio in Texas by 20 points at halftime, unless Tim Duncan showed up in a Paris Hilton video and had to take some time off. Yet, sure enough, the Sonics did the same thing to the Spurs they've done to every team in the league - make them play the Sonics' game.

Seriously, is there any player in the league more valuable than Danny Fortson right now? Does any of this happen if the Sonics keep Booth and don't pick up the Fort? Certainly food for thought.

Good Sign:
Mavs are 1-4 at home against teams with winning records.
Bad Sign: 2nd game of a back to back; the Diggler went for 50+ a few days ago.

Questions: How much will Finley play? Will Don Nelson continue using his "big lineup" of Erick Dampier, Nowitzki, and Alan Henderson?

Notes: "I feel like now, in the NBA, I'm basically auditioning for a job." - Ray Allen after last night's game in S.A. ... Maverick opponents have committed 50 loose ball fouls to 22 by Dallas. The Sonics are at 48-48 ... The Mavs take 42% of their shots within 0-10 seconds. The Sonics take only 32% that quick. ... In Dallas' clutch win over Minny 2 nights ago, their 3 most effective players were Stackhouse, Terry, and Henderson - all at +13 while on the court. ... Allen and Lewis aren't the only guys playing major (too major?) minutes this year. Nowitzki and Josh Howard are both averaging close to 40 mpg over the past 10 games ... Despite averaging close to 30 ppg, Nowitzki's FG % is hovering near 40% in the last couple of weeks ... The Sonics are the 3rd-best FT shooting team in the league at about 80% ... The next time someone tells you that the Sonics are winning because they "share the ball" more, tell them to check the numbers. Seattle ranks 25th in team assists. The worst team in the league? Dallas. ... Oh, and the Sonics also rank in the middle of the pack in team steals (18th), so quash that "team defense" nonsense while you're at it.

Vegas line: Dallas by 5 1/2
Over/Under: 202
Prediction: Sonics 108-Mavericks 102
Record Against the Spread: 8-3

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