02/17/12 2:15 pm EST
This edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” — Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews important upcoming 76ers games — features tonight’s opponent, the banged up, but red hot Dallas Mavericks.
This is going to be a very difficult game for the 76ers to win tonight. Forget for a second that Dallas has won five straight games and that Dirk has returned to his all-world form. Also forget for a second that to be honest, that the Sixers have not played that well in four of their last five contests. All things being even, the Sixers will have the same issues with Mavs that they had with the Spurs and Magic in recent losses.
In Jason Kidd the Mavs have a point guard that can run the high pick game as well as penetrate the lane for a bucket or to drop a dime. They also have a few bigs who can bang down low and pound the offensive glass. Lastly, Rick Carlisle’s bunch can stroke the 3-ball. Yeah, we know long distance assassin Jason Terry will not play tonight, but Dirk, Kidd, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter (at times) all will not hesitate to take and make 3PAs.
As we saw again on Wednesday in Orlando, this unique combination of offensive threats is the kryptonite for the Sixers usually super hero level defense. If the Sixers defend and rebound like they did on Wednesday night, Dallas will run us right out of the gym.
Still there is a significant chance the Sixers can win this game tonight. That chance comes in the fact that the Mavs are beat up and let’s face it, old. Jason Terry, Delonte West and Rodrigue Beaubois will not play tonight. Kidd is still not 100%. Lamar Odom has looked slow this year. Vince Carter…well he has played like an old man for years now. So if the Sixers can relocate their lockdown defense, get turnovers or force the Mavs into bad shots, then hopefully Collins & Co. can push the pace of this game and run Dallas into the ground. Specifically, we’ll be looking for the “Night Shift” to take advantage of the Mavs depleted bench and simply demolish Rick Carlisle’s second unit by getting out on the break for easy scores.
Ohh yeah…and Jrue Holiday better come back and play like a man possessed tonight in order to erase that debacle in O-Town from our memories.
For a little more insight into the Mavs team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Rob Mahoney from thetwomangame.com to answer four questions on the Mavs from us here at Philadunkia from an insider’s perspective.