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New York Knicks at Dallas Mavericks 10th March 2011

Thu, Mar 10, 9:46pm by Kevin Pitstock

The New York Knicks come to Texas to tangle with the Dallas Mavericks in a battle of east and west with both teams in need of wins for playoff position. The Knicks (34-29) are in the midst of a quick two game road trip while Dallas (46-18) is home for two games with the second one against Western Conference rival Los Angeles. The Mavericks rank second in the west shouting distance away from San Antonio. Tip off is at 9:30 pm at American Airlines Arena and Dallas is favored by seven points.

The Mavericks show is run by ageless point guard Jason Kidd. He is averaging only 8.5 points a game but is worth 8.3 assists and almost two steals each night. Shooting guard Jason Terry is the second leading scorer averaging 16.4 points plus four assists while Shawn Marion has been a part-time starter but is usually the sixth man and first off the bench. Marion is skilled offensively averaging 11.6 points in 27.7 minutes a game and is a superb defender. The Maverick big gun however is 7-footer Dirk Nowitski. He is averaging 23 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He is shooting 53.1 from the field this season and a fabulous 42.5 from beyond the three point arc. Other contributors for Dallas this year have been DeShawn Stevenson (6.0 points per game) and Tyson Chandler(10.4 points per game). Dallas dropped a heart-breaker on Wednesday night to New Orleans 93-92.

The new-look Knicks have played well since the addition of Carmelo Anthony winning four of their last five games. They blitzed the Utah Jazz on Monday for 131 points as Anthony scored 34 to lead his team. “Melo” gives New York a superstar presence at crunch time plus a consistent outside option. He scores 25.9 points per game and adds 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Inside the paint for the Garden-dwellers is former Phoenix Sun Amare Stoudemire who is averaging 26.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. His toughness this season has been one of the only defensive strong points as the Knicks surrender 105.4 points per game ranking them 26th in the 32-team NBA in total defense. Point guard Chauncey Billups has been solid but sidelined with an injury for over a week now. His replacement is Anthony Carter who has been decent as a sub. The Knicks get contributions from Landry Fields (10 points per game plus 6.9 boards) and Toney Douglas (9.5 points per game). Center Ronny Turiaf is a key sub for Stoudemire and adds five points and four boards nightly.

Visiting Dallas is always tough on any team. The Mavericks are 23-9 at home this year while New York does not travel well and is only 16-16 on the road. Although fresh off a two point win Wednesday night over Memphis, New York is hot but expect Dallas to demonstrate why a top team in the west is no match for a superstar led club from the east. Mavericks win 105-88.


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