Raptors-at-Mavs Podcast Preview
The Dallas Mavericks have rolled to a 3-1 record, basically just playing one poor half out of eight. They've done so with Rick Carlisle's "10 go-to-guys'' concept working well. No Dirk Nowitzki? Fine. Let O.J. Mayo score 30-plus in consecutive games. Bring Chris Kaman back from injury and rely on him to score 16 points in each of the last two - while making 16 of 19 shots. Rely on B-Wright to start. Rely on rookie Jae Crowder to play big minutes. Now endure while Shawn Marion (knee) misses a week.
The Mavs, new point guard Darren Collison says, "didn't just bring in new pieces. (Mark Cuban) brought in guys who can play.''
The Mavs haven't started 4-1 since 2007-08. But they have a good track record over 1-3 Toronto, having won three straight and 11 of the past 12 home meetings with the Raptors. They will attempt to do it tonight with no Dirk and no Marion and now no Brand, either; Elton has departed the team to be with his wife in New York for the birth of their child.
Thoughts on the teams, the coaches, the players and even the cities here, with Dino Nation Blog writer James Borbath in Toronto: