Mavericks at Raptors
Sunday 6 p.m. SN1/FAN590
Dirk Nowitzki vs. Andrea Bargnani
When the Raptors drafted Bargnani No. 1 overall in 2006, they hoped he eventually would become close to the player the 2006-07 league MVP is.
Nowitzki is the gold standard for European big men and is in the midst of another standout season for the surprising Mavericks.
Bargnani favours the three-point shot more than Nowitzki, who has gone away from that part of the game over the years, both are deadly scorers.
Few teams can score like the Mavs who are orchestrated by future hall-of-famer Jason Kidd.
A game after dealing with Steve Nash, the Raptors have to try to contain Kidd who shares many of the same gifts. The Mavs donít push the pace the way Kidd-led teams have done in the past, but are highly efficient.
Peja Stojakovic has given Dallas some three-point shooting out of the small forward spot, while Tyson Chandler has finished everything inside. Chandler is shooting a career-best 65.9% from the field after coming over in the off-season from Charlotte, after almost being dealt to Toronto.
Did you know?
Despite a spectacular 41-16 record (before last nightís game against Washington), Dallas is in second place in its division thanks to the amazing play of the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs ... Dallas has won four in a row before Saturdayís game and 14-of-15. The team started the year 24-7 before injuries hit ... Dallas is ninth in the league in offensive rating (109.5) and 12th in defensive rating (105.5). Opponents shoot 45% from the field against the Mavs, but the Mavs shoot 47%. The Raptors shoot 46.6%, opponents 48.3%, a major reason why the team is 29th in defensive rating (111.8).