But [tonight's game] has the chance to be something very different and a fair bit more violent. Andrew Bynum is set to take on a Mavs team missing Brendan Haywood due to a nagging right knee injury, and should be expectedly dominant against the much lankier Ian Mahinmi and Brandan Wright. That tandem of reserve bigs has been great for Dallas this season, but both players lack not only Haywood’s sophistication as a post defender, but also his sheer size. Mahinmi and Wright may be cut from a thinner, more athletic mold, but it’s hard to imagine their quickness doing all that much good against a deep catch from the methodical Bynum, who has thus far been able to overpower just about any interior defender unlucky enough to be pitted against him this season.
The two times Dallas and L.A. met this year, Haywood was able to hold Bynum to averages of 18 points (on 60-percent shooting) and 15 rebounds. What — specifically — that omen holds for Mahinmi and Wright we can’t rightly know, but their exciting and flawed substitution for Haywood surely makes for one hell of an albatross.
I previewed tonight’s game against Los Angeles over at Bleacher Report’s CourtVision blog. If you’re into that sort of thing, take a gander at the piece in its entirety.