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Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers preview: the last regular season game!

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"We must go forward, not backward. Upward, not downward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

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Well folks, we've reached the end of the regular season. And what a season it has been. This isn't the time or place to look back and reminisce about the season, though. No, we've still got one game left. Sure, the two teams are locked into their playoff seeds and the starters will likely not play but dammit, the 82nd game still means something. We need a sense of finality. Think about the universe for a second, won't you? It has no end. We all exist on a tiny speck of rock, orbiting a sun that will burn out in 10 billion years or so, in an infinite universe that will continue to exist long after we are gone. Mind esplode, right? That's why we need the 82nd game of an NBA season. We can grasp its finality. It's nice, neat, and tidy. Are you feeling better now? Good. Basketball makes us all feel better so let's talk about it. On with the last game preview of the regular season!

Is Portland healthy?

I'd imagine that the population of Portland is generally physically healthy. They are big on outdoor activities and like to ride bikes. But what about the Blazers? Their outlook isn't so great. The Blazers have been hit hard with injuries of late. Wesley Matthews suffered a torn Achilles last month and is out for the remainder of the season. LaMarcus Aldridge has missed the last two games with a foot injury and, at the time of this writing, is questionable to play Wednesday night. Nicolas Batum and C.J. McCollum both left Monday's game with injuries and are questionable. Arron Afflalo has a strained shoulder and is out for one to two weeks. Dorell Wright rounds out Portland's injury cavalcade with a broken bone in his left hand that is expected to sideline him for four-to-six weeks. Good thing they are all insured! Thanks, Obama.

You know who is healthy? Yup, it's our old friend Chris Kaman. That's reason enough to watch, isn't it? Yes. Yes, it is.

Is Dallas healthy?

No. Dallas is not a healthy place when certain city leaders still think putting a toll road in between the levee's of the Trinity River is a good idea. That level of mental health is concerning. And let me tell you another thing... Oh, right, I'm supposed to be talking about the Mavericks. Whoops.

The Mavericks can best be described as heathly-ish. Chandler Parsons is still nursing a knee injury and has missed the last three games. He's probably not going to play Wednesday night and might not be ready to go for the first game of the playoffs. So, that's not promising. Devin Harris injured a toe against the Jazz on Monday and is officially listed as questionable to play against the Blazers.

Aside from those two, there aren't any other players on the roster who are officially injured. That said, THEY ARE ALL INJURED! Yes, that's right. Why else would they be getting rest before the playoffs. It's a long season and they get banged up. Who knows what kind of injuries they have played through? I don't. I'm not a doctor. I just play one on MMB when I write about injuries. At least Dallas is in better shape heading into the playoffs than Portland.

Will the starters play?

Based on the above information, I'm not sure the Blazers have any starters left. (Shh, yes I know, Damian Lillard and Robin Lopez aren't listed as injured.)

But no, there's really not any reason for either team to play their starters. Why take the risk? Besides, who doesn't want to see Joel Freeland battle with Dwight Powell in the post? I know I do.

Are Mavs Man and Champ in danger?

Yes, they are in extreme peril. Any time that notorious mascot-hating scoundrel Robin Lopez is in town, mascots should keep their heads on a swivel. I'm not sure why Lopez has a beef with mascots. It's not like they are snooty doctoral students with no prospect for future employment. Nonetheless, Lopez hates them. Of course, any person who idolizes Sideshow Bob's coiffure clearly has issues beyond a dislike of mascots.

Should you watch this game?

First, thanks for reading this far. It means a lot. Second, yes, you should watch this game. Raymond Felton is going to outplay J.J. Barea again and I think you really need to see that. Then you should re-evaluate everything you know about Rick Carlisle's rotation. I don't care if it's the last regular season game. Anything and everything up until now hasn't mattered because you demand results and frankly you aren't seeing any in a meaningless game such as this one. Change is the only option now! Felton for the present and Felton for the future!

Is this game on T.V.?

Yes it is. It's on FSSW at 7pm Central.

After this game, FSSW will just show Texas Rangers games. You'll want to avoid those unless you like playing "Name That Pitcher" and sweat-crying into your homemade ballpark nachos after yet another fruitless inning.