Tonight’s game at the Toyota Center is going to be insane!
This will be a matchup for the “insanity” ballers: “Vinsanity” and “Linsanity.” The former is Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Vince Carter, who already has 15 years of league ball under his belt. The latter is Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, who is about to tip off his second season with Houston out of his fourth in the NBA.
Upon the Mavs’ return to Texas from last week‘s out-of-state preseason games, they blast off in Rockets nation.
Both of these “Lone Star State” teams have three victories going into the third week of this 2013 preseason.
The Mavs have a 3-0 record on the road this preseason with an 0-2 mark at home thus far. They were beaten by the New Orleans Pelicans, thanks to turnovers, and the Orlando Magic also got the best of them in a less than magical outing. They did manage to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies, after minimizing turnovers, and got wins over the Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Bobcats, also on the road.
The Rockets also lost to the Pelicans in their preseason home opener but have come back with victories for the rest of their preseason games. Most recently, they won at home last Wednesday night, against the Magic, the former team of their new center, Dwight Howard, the “D12” alias who Dallas had also pursued when he left the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
The second half of the first preseason week leading into the first half of the second week were of international variety for Houston and Indy. Their overseas voyage treated the former more favorably with victories because it won both its exhibitions against the latter. First, the Rockets won as the guest team in Manila Philippines, my native country. Next, as the host team in Taipei, Taiwan, “Linsanity” put it down in his motherland.
Perhaps flying the friendly skies all the way to Asia provided the Rockets with opportunity to rest after its first home game Stateside. That could be both a disadvantage, with a long break after a long trip, and an advantage, if they used their off-game days to practice for this week. After hosting the Mavs tonight, they will visit the other Texas team, San Antonio Spurs, who are this year’s Western Conference Champions. Then they will leave Texas to visit the Grizzlies before returning to Houston to host the Bobcats.
The Mavs’ pros include having PG Jose Calderon back from injury as he helped the team tip their preseason win-loss record at two apiece to the winning side of the scale when he made his Dallas debut in Charlotte this past Saturday. Plus, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle has played more reserves while resting certain healthy key players to preserve their vitality, including “Vinsanity” against Indy last Wednesday. That was when small forward Shawn Marion, a.k.a. “The Matrix,” set the pace by leading in scoring, after he sat last Monday’s game against Orlando.
Tonight’s projected Mavericks starters include my dubbed-Dynamic Duo, “Nowellis,” power forward Dirk Nowitzki and shooting guard Monta Ellis, as well as SF Marion, center Samuel Dalembert and PG Calderon.
Houston’s projected first five lineup, aside from the aforementioned center “D12” and PG “Linsanity,” consists of PF Chandler Parsons, SF Terrance Jones and SG James Harden.
Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant, former teammate of Harden, commended the trademark-soul patched guard as one of the top 10 players in the NBA, as opposed to divo/drama king-“King LeBron James” sidekick guard Dwyane Wade of the 2012-13 NBA Champions, the Miami Heat, who the Mavs beat in the 2011 NBA Finals.