A lot of interesting story lines to this game, not least of which is whether Coach Keith Smart, filling in during Nellie’s sick leave, will stick to the Nellie philosophy regarding matchups. Dallas throws a lot of wrinkles themselves into their lineups, so this game may see some interesting chess moves.
Starting at center. Not sure what’s up with Dampier, but the Mavs went with Gooden in the post last game. Do the Warriors need to matchup big with him, or could they go small right off the bat?
Regardless, I think Randolph should continue to be reserved at backup center in this game. First of all, because the Mavs play a large part of every game with Nowitzki at center. I would love to see Randolph guarding him at all times in that lineup. He has the ability to guard him out to the three point line, and the quickness to deny his drives. Secondly, because Randolph continues to be afflicted with foul trouble. I don’t want to see him give up any fouls on Gooden that he can use on Nowitzki.
The Mavs have been afflicted with injury problems at the wings. Howard is out, but Marion will probably get healthy just in time to play us. Of course! Still, the small size of some of the Mavericks smalls, and the lack of punch of some of the others, plays perfectly into the Warriors hands. Morrow should again be able to start and play a lot of minutes against the Mavericks, without getting overly punished. Will he start on Jason Kidd? I wouldn’t be surprised. Let’s see if he can make Jason Kidd a scorer.
The home Mavericks are favored by 13 in this game. But the new-look Warriors have covered the spread in their last three games. Will Monta Ellis carry onto the road his recently discovered fervor to lead this team? Hmmmmm.
Breakfast Link: In honor of Coach Nelson in his time of ill-health, Mike Massa at the SF Examiner has put up a great piece comparing the small-ball lineups of every team in the West. What if the NBA were a 6-8″ and under league? Love it.