The Dallas Mavericks continue a three-game homestand tonight as they take on the Portland Trail Blazers at the American Airlines Center.
For the second game of this homestand, an interesting Portland team will be the task at hand. This Northwest Division foe includes one of the best power forwards in the game in LaMarcus Aldridge, as well as one of the most exciting and promising young guards in the league thus far.
Damian Lillard, drafted as the No. 6 overall selection in this past year's NBA draft, has formed a powerful inside-outside duo with Aldridge. Lillard has scored 20 points and dished out seven assists in his first three games as an NBA pro. Oscar Robertson was the only other rookie to do such a thing. As for Aldridge, he has posted averages of 22.7 points, 9.7 boards and 3.0 assists in the early going.
Meanwhile, the Mavs have some young guards who can take on the challenge of containing Lillard. First-year Dallas guard O.J. Mayo is coming off a 30-point game Saturday night against the Charlotte Bobcats in which he hit seven three-pointers. Starting point guard Darren Collison, also in his first year with Dallas, has early season averages of 17.3 points and 7.0 assists, both career highs.
"We look to make strides, mild as they may be, and get better," said head coach Rick Carlisle of his team that includes his young starting backcourt.
"I missed the last four preseason games and the first two (regular-season games), so I'm kind of like a new player out there," Kaman said, "I'm just trying to fit in where I can and do what I can do."
On the injury front, backup guard Rodrigue Beaubois is once again a game-time decision with a sprained ankle injury.
The game can be heard on 103.3 ESPNDallas, as well as seen on television on Fox Sports Southwest.Tags: Basketball, Chris Kaman, Dallas, Dallas Mavericks, Damian Lillard, Darren Collison, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge, NBA, O.J. Mayo