Now that the Mavs have stretched their lead to seven games and have the first seed pretty much wrapped up, the importance of this game seem to have been subdued somewhat. Their last meeting seemed to have more hype. Unlike the last game, the regular season is basically over, and seeing Dirk and Josh Howard both be hurt last week has added to the "will the playoffs just get here" mentality.
Steve Nash knows that the number one seed is pretty much lost.
"This game will be a good test in that it can give us a great challenge to really work through the ups and downs we've had lately."
Gil LeBreton echoes that entertainment is the best storyline of the game, with plenty of quotes from Maverick players about how close these games always seem to be.
"The last time we lost to them, every analyst had them winning the championship. Then when they lost the next two games, they supposedly weren't as good. So at the end of the day, nobody knows."
Mike D'Antoni is going to play even smaller and faster than usual today, even starting Leandro Barbosa.
Jeff Caplan has a Kevin Willis article.