Forgive me for saying this, but I’m pretty excited to watch another game without Bargnani.
More importantly than being without Bargnani, I’m very excited to see that front-court I’ve been dreaming of all season – Val-Ed.
I think we should start both of them regardless of Bargnani being available or not. These guys are our future. I would rather go through another losing season (which is the case anyway) with that young combo than to win a few more games with Bargnani playing.
Bargnani does not help us win anyway (unless he becomes a 6th man of some sort); and this way at least we can see the kids develop.
The outcome? Either we start winning some games because Ed Davis at this point is much more efficient than Bargnani; OR we just end up losing enough games to get our top three pick which is protected.
I will literally throw fits – like a small child – if Bargnani comes back and walks into the starting line-up.
So what has changed since the last time the Raptors and Mavericks met? Little in Dallas; a lot in Toronto.
The Mavs are still playing well without Dirk Nowitzki – hovering around .500; while the Raptors have completely spiraled into an abyss that’s proving to be very difficult to climb out of.
“We got to be positive because the NBA is not going to feel sorry for you,” Casey told reporters Thursday. “If you don’t feel like you can win in this league, and believe you can win, that’s the most important thing. We got to believe. We got to have a belief system in place that we can win.”
For the Mavs; Dirk was expected to be back sometime mid-December. However, Rick Carlisle has now said that there is no timetable for his return.
In Dirk’s absence, OJ Mayo has stepped up – scoring 20.9 ppg on 48.9% shooting. And yes, I have to remind you that we have Landry Fields instead of him.
Mayo scored 24 points but committed nine turnovers in a 117-115 double-OT loss in Boston on Wednesday.
Updates in the camp
Alan Anderson is back from injury; while Amir Johnson is back from suspension. Kleiza, Fields, Bargnani, and Lowry are still out.
Please don’t boo Vince Carter tonight. He is so irrelevant these days, but can still burn us if he has even the slightest motivation. Vince already scored 17 points off the bench against us earlier this season.
The Mavs have won 14 of last 17 against the Raptors. They didn’t play here last season due to the lockout, but are 8-7 all time in Toronto.
The Raptors and Mavs are also competing for some kind of dance pack contest. You can vote for Kat from the Raptors’ dance crew here
Tip-off is at 7pm Eastern.