Jason Kidd is 37 years-old and playing in his 16th NBA season. Chauncey Billups is still going at 34 years-old and playing in his 13th NBA season. Both point guards are still key to their respective teams and both are doing a great job at staving off Father Time.
First things first ... for you local readers: Jeremy at Roundball Mining Company is having a giveaway for courtside seats to the Clippers vs. Nuggets game this Friday (Nov. 5) ... click here for details.
The particulars ...
Denver: 2-1 (1-0 at home, 1-1 on the road)
Dallas: 2-1 (1-1 at home, 1-0 on the road)
Denver: Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen both out.
Dallas: Rodrigue Beaubois - fractured left foot is out.
Opposition's Take: Mavs Moneyball
I don't know what's crazier:
- That both Kidd and Billups are each still competing at an elite level at a position where so much young talent seems to be thriving (Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook ...).
- That thanks to the influx of high school players (before the age limit was in place) that Al Harrington doesn't turn 31 years-old until February 17, 2011, yet he's already playing his 12th NBA season.
The thing that both the Mavericks and Nuggets are built to do right now is win. Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Caron Butler, and Brendan Haywood are all 30 years old and up. The Mavs do have an injection of youth with Jose Juan Barea, 26, but are missing exciting youngster Rodrigue Beaubois who doesn't turn 23 until February 24, 2011.
Beaubois showed some brilliance last March when he had a seven game stretch where he scored in double-figures each night and had a career night on March 27th against the Golden State Warriors when he exploded for 40 points on 15-22 shooting (9-11 from the three-point line, yes you read that right). Fortunately for Nuggets fans Beaubois is still out of the lineup with his fractured ankle, and unfortunately for basketball fans we wont get to see him tomorrow night.
We will get to see the Mavs big offseason acquision, 28 year-old Tyson Chandler who has been starting for Dallas and averaging 23.7 minutes per game, 6.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.67 blocks per game this season. When Chandler isn't on the floor, another seven footer takes his place in Haywood and if the Mavs want they can put three seven footers on the floor at once with those two and Dirk together ... everybody wants to be big for a showdown with the Lakers and the Mavs are able to do it.
Like the Nuggets (for now), the injury to Beaubois has the Mavs primarily using an eight-man rotation that expands out to nine with lighly used first year shooting guard Dominique Jones. But this is the same Mavs team as last season with a serious upgrade of Chandler in place of Erick Dampier. Denver and Dallas are very familiar with each other and each team knows what the other likes to do and now Kidd has Chandler to throw his famous lob passes to.
The Mavs have wins this season over the Charlotte Bobcats and Los Angeles Clippers and a tough loss at home to the Memphis Grizzlies (91-90). Tomorrow night's game features two teams that have playoff aspirations, but one team has a bit more stability this season than the other ... take a guess at which one?!?!
Views you can use:
- Something I've been thinking about over the past few days ... there has been talk here on Denver Stiffs about how Derrick Favors of the New Jersey Nets is a bit of a project and that it could be 3-4 years down the road until he's a reliable starter in the NBA or rather a bit more than just a budding star. Well ... not that Shelden Williams is a star, but as a young power forward now in his fifth season he's on about the same timetable that some people might see with Favors.
So, the Nuggets might have uncovered yet another gem with Williams and he might be having that breakthrough season just a bit later than normal ... time will tell. But so-far-so-good for the 27 year-old (justed turned 27 on Oct. 21) forward/center who was highly thought of when he was selected by the Atlanta Hawks back in the 2006 NBA Draft as the 5th overall pick.
- Williams ranks 6th in the NBA in rebounds with an average of 12.3 per game (tied with Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap) in 28 minutes per game ... not a bad start for a guy who has career averages of 14.1 minutes per game and 4 boards per game.
- The last two seasons J.R. Smith averaged 27.7 minutes per game ... through three games this year Smith is averaging 20.3 mpg and just 8.7 points per game ... down from his 15.4 ppg career high last season. Is this the start to a pattern because of Arron Afflalo's strong start and Smith's expiring contract? Something to keep an eye on.