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GAME 26/82: vs. Dallas, Open Game Thread

The Kevin Martin Experience begins tonight.

The Fresh Prince of Land Park gets his first career NBA start tonight against the Dallas Mavericks, who happen to be the third best team in the Association right now.

Making the same impact Bonzi Wells did from the off-guard position will be difficult, even if Speedracer is two inches taller and has the wingspan of a condor. Martin's man defense will be different than the body-up brand Bonzi brings, but could be effective against cocky, young and streaky Marquis Daniels. Throughout preseason, when Martin was getting solid minutes, he was getting his hands in the lane often, as well. That could help tonight.

The biggest positive changeup having Martin on the floor with the starters is that he can actually get out in transition. If the other guys can break up some passes, look for Speed to fly down the floor to get some easy buckets. It won't help the defensive glass, which continues to be a problem, but he will help on the scoreboard and might even get a decidedly pro-Martin crowd pulsating.

Kevin also gets to the line a lot - in fact, more often than any other King so far this season. If he can finish a couple And-1's, he could have a nice scoring line.

Also, you'll be happy to find out that KMart's full name is, get this, Kevin DALLAS Martin Jr. That is what we in the business call "ironic."

As downtrodden as I felt when I saw the prognosis for Bonzi and Peja, I feel somewhat upbeat tonight. That has everything to do with Speed.

There are going to be at least nine other players involved tonight, you know. Oh, sorry. To the predicted starting lineups!

PG - Jason "Second-Best Modern U of Arizona Point Guard" Terry.
SG - "Marquis in Spades" Daniels. (Is that my first Smashing Pumpkins reference on Sactown Royalty? Yeah, that's right. Bill Simmons gives you "Landslide," I give you "Marquis in Spades." Respect me, America.)
SF - Josh "Tim Duncan? Chris Paul? Whatever." Howard.
PF - Dirk "Jawbreaker" Nowitzki.
C  - Erick "There's Nothing Funny About Erick Dampier" Dampier.

PG - Mike "First Team All-U of Arizona, Baby" Bibby.
SG - Ladies and gentlemen, Kevin F*cking Martin.
SF - Not Peja Stojakovic. That's all we know.
PF - Shareef "I Can't Believe I Have to Miss The Las Vegas Bowl" Abdur-Rahim.
C  - Brad "I May Be the Only Person To Ever Ask to be Traded to Toronto, and It Has Everything To Do With Gene Keady's Combover" Miller.

The line: +7. Unless my eyes deceived me early this morning, this line started st 3. Lots of smart people on the internets.

Fun bet o' the night: Stupid and annoying Mark Cuban/Super Maloof Bros. mentions or segments. +/- 7. I hate TNT.

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: I need to see Bonzi's suit. Need. We saw Peja's threads earlier this season, and we've seen Jamal Sampson wear the same brown suit for weeks. Wait a minute, have we seen Ralph's little cuz in a uniform since preseason? I guess not. That'll be a change.

Best matchup: Bibby vs. Terry. Either one could have 30 points. In fact, I think both will have 30 points. There.

Pregame haiku:

No Wells. No Peja.
But the Fresh Prince gets the start.
Make us proud, Kevin.

7:30 start on TNT and Sports 1140.

Let's just leave you cowbell slangin' crazies with this:

Go Speedracer. Go Speedracer. Go Speedracer go.