The Mavs will try to extend their winning streak to eight tonight against the Sacramento Kings. The Mavs last faced the Kings in the third game of the season and won handily 123-102. They Mavs have now won six straight against the Kings and 14 of their last 17.
It's Miller time
Kings center Brad Miller has been looking like 2004 Brad Miller. He got off to a slow start this season, but has come on very strong lately. In his last 10 games, he's averaging 16.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He has stepped up from injuries to various teammates and is showcasing his role as a skilled big man consistently. On the season, he is the team leader in rebounds, blocks and free-throw percentage. He is also tops in the NBA in free-throw percentage among centers with 86.9 percent.
Martin returns, Bibby should be back any time now
Kevin Martin played Saturday after missing 17 games with a groin injury. He returned with gusto and scored 25 points on 7-of-9 shooting and looks to be back in the full swing of things. He is the Kings best player, and they obviously need him back. However, it is interesting to note that they went 7-10 in the stretch that Martin didn't play, and are 7-11 in games that he has played in this season.
Mike Bibby has missed the entire season thus far due to a thumb injury. When he returns, the Kings will have a sure-handed point guard that they have definitely been missing. He had a big down year last season in which he averaged career lows in assists and shooting percentage, but still shot the three decently. He likely won't return tonight, but should be back sometime soon.
Salmons is tearing it up
The return of Kevin Martin (and potentially Mike Bibby) may bring him back down to Earth some, but John Salmons has been helping Brad Miller carry much of the load lately. Since Martin went down with his injury, Salmons has averaged 19.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Even when the Kings get back to full health, Salmons may have earned more minutes in coach Reggie Theus' rotation and he could find himself in more of a full-time role than he started the season with.
Random useless fact
Reggie Theus left New Mexico State to coach in Sacramento. In Theus' last year, the Aggies went 25-9 and 11-5 in conference. New head coach Marvin Menzies has led the Aggies to a 9-10 record, 3-1 in conference thus far.
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd