Dallas had the misfortune of opening the second half of the NBA season with a back-to-back, but the Mavericks catch a break Sunday in playing a Charlotte team in its second game in 24 hours. The Mavs are 9.5-point favorites on BetOnline NBA odds.
Mavericks May Have Lost Parsons
Dallas opened the second half with a 104-89 loss at Oklahoma City on Thursday but played much better 24 hours later with a 111-100 home win over Houston. In that one, the Mavericks had eight players score in double figures for the fourth time this season. There were even an Al-Farouq Aminu sighting as he had season highs of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki left the game for a while after hurting his elbow but returned. However, Chandler Parsons left with a sprained ankle and didn't come back. He's very questionable for this game and was to undergo an MRI on Saturday. I don't expect him to play here and that would mean more minutes for Aminu (and Richard Jefferson).
This should be the Mavericks debut of Amare Stoudemire, who signed with the team Wednesday after being bought out by the Knicks on Monday. He missed the Mavs' first two games this week so he could get adjusted to the team and "make sure I'm sharp and ready to go from the start." Stoudemire, who missed 18 of his final 25 games with New York due to various injuries, says he feels good physically. He averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds with the Knicks in 36 games. Stoudemire will anchor the second unit with Dallas, serving mostly as a backup to center Tyson Chandler but also sliding over to power forward at times to spell Nowitzki. Dallas didn't make a deal at the trade deadline, but adding Stoudemire and trading for Rajon Rondo earlier this season were quality moves. Rondo has played both games this week after missing the previous six before the break with facial injuries.
The Mavericks are 27-28-2 against the NBA betting odds and 25-31-1 'over/under.'
Hornets In Playoff Tug-Of-War
Charlotte (22-30) entered Saturday night's home game with Oklahoma City in a dogfight for one of the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets didn't do anything on Thursday's trade deadline day, while other teams fighting for a playoff spot did. Miami acquired Goran Dragic from Phoenix (but apparently lost Chris Bosh for season), Brooklyn got Thaddeus Young from Minnesota, Boston dealt for Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas. and Detroit landed Reggie Jackson from Oklahoma City.
The Hornets had been rumored for weeks in shopping disappointing Lance Stephenson but could find no takers. They may try against after the season. Charlotte made its big trade on Feb. 10 when it sent guard Gary Neal and a future second-round draft pick to Minnesota for point guard Mo Williams. That position was in need because star Kemba Walker is likely out until mid-March at least recovering from surgery on his left knee. Williams wasn't able to debut with the team before the break so he will have Saturday night. Williams averaged 12.2 points and 6.4 assists with the Wolves and it's a solid pickup. Williams is an upgrade over Brian Roberts, who had been starting in Walker's place.
In other injury news, the Hornets remain without backup center Bismack Biyombo for a least a few more games due to a knee bruise. The former No. 7 overall pick in 2011 looked like a bust but actually had shown some signs of being a solid contributor before going down in a Jan. 24 game. Meanwhile, small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed the final two games before the break with a hamstring injury but was set to play Saturday. Charlotte is a vastly better defensive team with MKG on the floor.
On the road this season, Charlotte is 14-18-2 against the spread and 12-12 'over/under' on NBA betting odds.
On Nov. 17 in Charlotte, the Mavericks were 4-point favorites on NBA odds (total of 199) and they won 107-80. Monta Ellis had 18 points and Parsons 17 points, nine rebound and six assists for Dallas. Nowitzki was held to 13 but it was a historic night as the German became only the fourth player in NBA history to score 27,000 career points with the same franchise, joining Michael Jordan (Bulls), Karl Malone (Jazz) and Kobe Bryant (Lakers). Dallas shot 62 percent in the first half to lead 67-43 at intermission. Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 18, but Al Jefferson had just six points on 3-for-12 from the field. The Hornets were without Kidd-Gilchrist. Dallas and Charlotte split last season, each winning at home. The Mavs are 18-5 all-time at home against the Charlotte franchise, so back them with your NBA picks.
NBA Free Picks: Mavericks -9.5 and 'under' 196 points. Charlotte is 5-2 ATS in its past seven in the second of a back-to-back. Dallas has covered five of its past seven against teams with a losing record. The 'under' is 4-0 in Charlotte's past four on the road. The 'under' is 6-0 in the Mavs' past six against the East.