Friday, March 27, 2009

Mavericks (-4) vs. Nuggets? C'mon


Tonight, good readers, marks the most anticipated matchup of basketball titans all year. They've been battling for months, and it all comes down to this. The spoils of winning are great; the consequences of defeat are even greater.

Oh, and while you're watching, don't forget to check your Blackberry for Sweet 16 score updates.
I am, of course, talking about the Nuggets-Mavericks game. AJ vs. B-dubs. Denver vs. Dallas. The Mile High City vs. Big D. Team who makes good trades vs. team that makes franchise-destroying trades and steadfastly defends them years after the fact.

March madness, indeed.

The Nuggets (46-26) are 3-0 against the Mavs this year, and hope to get two wins on this three-game road swing against Western Conference playoff contenders, in hopes of securing another Northwest Division crown and a top-four seed. The Mavs (43-28) are toiling in the eight-spot right now and just trying to fight off Phoenix for that final playoff position, with the great reward of getting swept by the Lakers.

Nene has been questionably suspended for tonight's game by the NBA for (apparently, despite the lack of public video evidence) head-butting Phoenix Suns whiner/forward Louis Amundson. (Not that Nene's absence helped the Hornets on Wednesday, but whatever.) Meanwhile, Josh Howard, Dallas' third-leading scorer, is still doubtful with an ankle injury, and Jason Kidd is questionable with old age.

So here's what I don't get. The Mavericks do have home court tonight, and obviously that helps. But they're favored by four points tonight. While the effect of home court, and how much the line should be pushed in terms of points, are issues you could argue all day, it's generally concluded that the NBA road team should be given two, maybe three, points on the spread. If that holds true tonight, I guess odds-makers think that Dallas sans Howard is better than Denver sans Nene. I didn't know they were legalizing pot in Vegas.

Let's say Howard does play, and hypothetically suppose Nene could play as well. How much is a player like Nene really worth in betting points? Two points? Maybe three? Let's be fairly generous and say four points, which would make this game a pick 'em. Again, Denver has beaten Dallas all three times this season, and historically has played the Mavericks very well. Would you really, really take Dallas to win the game tonight if Nene was in? Forget records; Denver is clearly a better team. I guess the odds-makers have put a ton of weight into Dallas' 9-0 record at the American Airlines Center since the All-Star break. But hey, never mind that other than San Antonio, the best opponent in that stretch was mighty Detroit (34-37), right? Why put too much emphasis on valuable details like that?

AJ and B-dubs will be good friends on this blog, but when it comes to important matters such as Nugs-Mavs, Broncos-Cowboys, Badgers-Sooners or Alba-Biel, war may ensue. The initial battle...commences this evening.


No comments:

Post a Comment