Game: Oklahoma City Thunder vs Dallas Mavericks
Location: Chesapeake Arena, OKC
Counterpart: Mavs Moneyball
The Thunder welcome the Dallas Mavericks to the ‘Peake this Sunday afternoon, the final day of the month of March. To be charitable, the month has not been kind to OKC, as the team went 6-9 and fell from 3rd in the West all the way down to their present position in 8th. How times change. Thirty days ago we were wondering if OKC could make a push to the 2nd seed and potentially face the weaker Spurs or the Clippers, who had just traded away arguably their best player in Tobias Harris.
Now? The Rockets are firmly in 3rd place, the Trail Blazers have somehow held onto 4th despite losing Jusuf Nurkic, the Clippers could play spoiler to the Rockets, and OKC is likely going to have to face the Nuggets (0-4) or the Warriors (1-2) in the 1st round of the playoffs. The only scenario where that doesn’t happen? If the Clips stumble to the finish line, as they have to face the Rockets, Warriors, and Jazz to close things out, and all 3 of those teams will be jockeying for position.
But it starts at home for the Thunder, where they have to take care of business this afternoon, and they’ll be doing so without having to face the likely Rookie of the Year:
Doncic is out tomorrow, per Carlisle. Right thigh contusion suffered early in the game against the Heat.— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) March 30, 2019
All this to say, OKC had better not sleep on the Mavs, because there may not be another head coach in the league like Rick Carlisle who relishes screwing with Russell Westbrook’s head. So keep that in the back of your mind.
Lastly, we’d be remiss to not highlight this may be the last time Dirk Nowitzki graces the floor of the ‘Peake. There have been many, many battles over the years between he and Westbrook and company. And who can forget perhaps one of the most hyper-efficient playoff games ever recorded? I love the guy, and I hope he leaves the building with some classic one-legged fadeaways... and a loss as a footnote.
Who do you think will win today?
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