Mavericks (33-21) vs. Magic (37-18)
Time/TV: 8 p.m./ESPN, Sun Sports
Key Matchup: Caron Butler (27.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG vs. Magic this year) vs. Vince Carter (22.1 PPG, 51.8% FG% in February)
Season Series: Tonight in Orlando; April 1 in Dallas
-Matt Barnes does all the little, dirty things Orlando will need to advance deep into the postseason.
-Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel lists his winners and losers after the trade deadline. Lots of winners in this list (and almost every list).
-Otis Smith placed some calls before the deadline but found only interest in Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass. There was nothing that would significantly improve the team and Smith decided to stand pat as the trade deadline passed.
-Adonal Foyle provides his perspective on the NBA’s collective bargaining process which began in earnest at last week’s All Star Game.
-There appears to be lots of bad blood between Josh Howard and the Mavericks in the wake of his trade to the Wizards. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports Howard broke the final straw after a night of partying in Washington, D.C. before a game there.
-Jason Kidd tells Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News that Dallas has a chance to do something special this year after adding Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood.
-Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News does not like the idea of moving a Dallas playoff or regular season home game to Cowboys Stadium. It would make the Mavericks lose their home court advantage.
-Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports Shawn Marion is excited about the opportunity to play some at the power forward — where he found a lot of success in Phoenix.
-Ted Madden of WFAA-TV examines whether Dirk Nowitzki has struggled since colliding with Houston’s Carl Landry back in December.
-After the Mavericks acquired Brendan Haywood at the deadline, Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas asks who won in Otis Smith’s Marcin Gortat/Brandon Bass poker play?
-Zach writes his reaction to Cleveland’s acquisition of Antawn Jamison. It certainly makes the Cavaliers a better team and helps them match up with the Magic.
-Eddy Rivera of Orlando Pinstriped Post talks with DallasBasketball.com’s Mike Fisher about tonight’s game.
-Eddy Rivera of Orlando Pinstriped Post asks Cavs: The Blog’s John Krolik and Hoop Data’s Tom Haberstroh about the effects the Antawn Jamison trade will have on the Cavaliers and Magic.
-Don’t forget, the Magic will honor Darrell Armstrong during tonight’s game.
-Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game reports the Mavericks are interested in signing Zydrunas Ilgauskas if the Wizards let him go. But all signs point to Ilgauskas returning to Cleveland.
-Caron Butler knows exactly when and where he discovered he loved basketball — in isolation in a juvenile detention center in Wisconsin. Butler used that experience to turn his life around. Jay Maguire of The Smoking Cuban explains what type of player and person Dallas acquired in Butler.
-Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com shows Brendan Haywood does a decent job against Dwight Howard.
-Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News says Rodrigue Beaubois, a native of Guadeloupe like Mickael Pietrus, has fallen behind Jose Barea on the depth chart because of some so-so minutes before the All-Star break. It is important to remember Beaubois is just a rookie and is still learning.
-John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes Darrell Armstrong feels honored to be recognized at Amway Arena, where he poured his heart and hustle for the Magic.
-The Magic and Mavericks will be among 11 NBA teams who will pay the luxury tax this year, reports AOL FanHouse’s Tom Ziller.
-Ziller ranks Otis Smith No. 7 in his GM Swagger rankings.
-Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star Telegram ponders where the Mavericks are as they seem to be in the netherworld of good, but not good enough to win a title.
-John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes about Otis Smith’s decision to stand pat at the trade deadline.
-Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus places the Magic third in his weekly power rankings. Doolittle says Orlando has climbed because of a more focused effort and Dwight Howard getting the ball. Dallas is now 10th.
-John Krolik, writing for Pro Basketball Talk, writes Rashard Lewis is not scared of Cleveland’s acquisition of Antawn Jamison. Krolik also believes Jamison is no guarantee that Lewis will not have a big game against the Cavaliers.