90 points-in-the-paint. That’s what the Raptors gave up to the Suns on Friday. Fortunately for them, the Mavs are far more perimeter oriented. Dampier isn’t the threat that Shaq is in the paint, and the rest of the guys work outside in. Not that it matters, because ultimately the Mavs are playing for a playoff birth while the Raptors are playing for…uhm…errr….they are just playing some basketball to pass the time till golf season.

The Mavs are an interesting team. I wonder how Cuban wakes up every morning after pulling that trade last season for Kidd. He got a lifeline the first time around when Stackhouse opened his big stupid mouth, but he failed to see it as a sign, and mortgaged the future for no real good reason (it’s not like they are a contender anymore).

Dallas is coming off a pretty solid win over the Thunder, where Nowitzki dropped 41. They hold a 2 game lead for the 8th spot in the West (ahead of the Suns no less). Seems like they win the privilege of meeting the Lakers in the 1st round as Stoudemire has been lost for the season with a detached retina. They are 6-4 in their last 10, but sport a 21-8 home record.

I couldn’t decide between the 4 of them.

The Raptors just ended a two game winning streak with a drubbing at the hands of Shaq and Amundson. Uhm, this is the 2nd game of a possible 6-8 game losing streak for the Raptors which will all but drop their 2% chance of making the playoffs to 0% and we can look ahead to next year for yet another season of resentment, second guessing and wasted time.

On the bright side, the Mavericks cheerleaders are damn hot. The first thing we all notice is that they are all well endowed, I assume we probably have Cuban to thank for that. Thanks man. It was a hard choice, and I couldn’t commit to only one girl here, they are both high quality babies. May I introduce to you Jody and Jessica. Jody (the one on the left) is a rookie dancer who wants to one day own her own cajun restaurant and boasts Jason Terry as her favourite Mav. Jessica on the other hand is an Oasis fan, and loves her some Manicotti, interesting Stackhouse is her favourite Mav.

Injury Report

Raptors
Kris Humphries
Joey Graham – questionable

Mavericks
Jerry Stackhouse
Jason Terry
Shawne Williams

Match-ups

Calderon vs Kidd
The Edge: Kidd -
Calderon sucks. Kidd is old and slow, but he is a warrior. I have been taking this match-up for a couple years now.

Parker vs Wright
The Edge: Parker -
Parker was luke-warm last night, so it can swing either way, but Wright sucks and is only getting burn because Terry and Stackhouse are out of commission.

Marion vs Howard
The Edge: Marion -
This is going to be a nice match-up. Both are premiere 3′s in the league, and will be trying to bring it. Marion has been a beast for us on the boards and in the paint. His perimeter defense has been solid as well, which will come in handy as Howard likes to pop J’s from 15ft out.

Bosh vs Nowitzki
The Edge: Nowitzki -
The guy is a Raptor killer he put up 27pts and 10rebs the last time around, and I don’t see it going down much differently, especially with most of the offensive load being on his capable shoulders with Terry out. Bosh will have a big game, 23pts 9rebs, but Nowitzki gets the nod here.

Bargnani vs Dampier
The Edge: VL -
VL had a pretty solid showing against Shaq last night, and Dampier is a super watered down version.

The Line

VegasInsider.com has the Mavs at -6.5.

Prediction

The Mavs don’t need Terry and Stackhouse to beat the Raptors, they will protect home court and win by 9.

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