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Nowitzki’s Dallas vs. Kareem’s LA in the NBA imaginary match-up

Nowitzki vs. KareemLos Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks. February 9, 1.30pm. Staples Centre, LA.

THE Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Dirk Nowitzki saga continued on Friday when more fuel was added to the already burning fire.

Much has been said about the two seven footers this season who both continue to led their teams to victory, but Abdul-Jabbar had some strong words about his upcoming rival, calling Nowitzki a “one-trick pony” who has not had a “dominant career.”

Nowitzki has led the Mavericks to a 28-24 record this season which puts them in fifth place in the West. The big German power forward responded to the somewhat misguided comments from Abdul-Jabbar earlier today.

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“I mean, it’s actually not the first time he said some stuff,” Nowitzki said.

“I’m not sure why. I guess he’s not a big fan of my game, which is OK. But I like to think I was dominant at some point – especially on the offensive end – of my career, in my prime.”

Nowitzki is coming off a 28-point game against the Miami Heat and is the NBA’s sixth all-time leading scorer with an average of 26 points per game this season. Abdul-Jabbar is only averaging 23.4 points this season after going at an average of 30 over the last five seasons.

“It is what it is,” Nowitzki added.

“People have opinions. He’s one of the greatest ever to play the game, so I’m not going to get in a war of words. I respect his opinion. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it is what it is.”

Abdul-Jabbar might have to put his superior defensive skills to the test against Nowitzki this Tuesday as the Lakers look to keep their good home record of 22-4 in tact. Guarding the Mavericks’ top scorer will go a long way to winning the game, but Abdul-Jabbar believes Nowitzki won’t get any respect from him because he’s not a two-way player.

“Dirk Nowitzki’s shot is very hard to block, but I don’t think that he is able to have a dominant career because he can’t do other things,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

“If he could shoot like that and rebound and played defense and blocked shots, then he would have been all-around, and he would have gotten more credit. He is like a one-trick pony.”

Lakers vs. Mavericks betting and stats

When the markets opened for this game, bookmakers had the Lakers as -6.5 favourites. Since the latest media outing by Abdul-Jabbar, money has come for the Mavericks with punters expecting the Mavs’ to rally around their leader.

Lakers +138 (-5.5)
Mavericks +308 (+5.5) @ Bovada.lv

The line has come in a full point for the Mavericks which are coming off a tough road win against the Miami Heat. The Mavericks struggled on the road to begin the season with multiple losses coming to the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and LA Clippers, but they have since regained momentum on the road with some solid play.

Since starting the season 8-14, Dallas have been a good bet for punters and have netted a 68 percent return on income. The Lakers have incredibly been favoured for all but one of their games this season [a 98-116 loss to the Bulls] and there have been plenty of multi-bets running through the $1.38 for this game.

Most Lakers’ bettors see this game as just another during the season, but for Maverick bettors this game is pivotal to win just before the All Star break and is one that could sneak up on the high-flying home side.

Dallas Mavericks team stats:

Dirk Nowitzki (PF)

Points per game: 26.0
Rebounds per game: 6.5
Assists per game: 1.7

Deron Williams (PG)

Points per game: 13.9
Rebounds per game: 3.0
Assists per game: 5.3

Wesley Matthews (SG)

Points per game: 12.3
Rebounds per game: 3.0
Assists per game: 1.9

Chandler Parsons (SF)

Points per game: 12.1
Rebounds per game: 4.5
Assists per game: 2.4

Zaza Pachulia (C)

Points per game: 10.3
Rebounds per game: 11.0
Assists per game: 1.9

LA Lakers starting five stats:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (C)

Points per game: 23.4
Rebounds per game: 10.8
Assists per game: 4.5

Norm Nixon (PG)

Points per game: 17.6
Rebounds per game: 2.8
Assists per game: 7.8

Jamaal Wilkes (SF)

Points per game: 20.0
Rebounds per game: 6.4
Assists per game: 3.0

Magic Johnson (SG)

Points per game: 18.0
Rebounds per game: 7.7
Assists per game: 7.3

Jim Chones (F)

Points per game: 10.6
Rebounds per game: 6.9
Assists per game: 1.8

Based on the stats, the Lakers have the advantage as their entire starting five are proficient scorers and rebounders. The Mavericks will be relying mostly on Dirk Nowitzki, who supplies the bulk of their offense and we think he can guide the Mavericks with within the +5.5 points spread.

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