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NBA Game Previews, 11/8

Sorry to all for missing out on the previews and game thread last night, I had one of those days and just didn't have the time for either. Three games on the docket for tonight though, and two of them are on TNT, so those of you without League Pass will not be left in the cold. On to the games.

Games Thread

All times and wagons EAST!

The Games:
Washington at New Jersey 7:30pm (YES in NY, League Pass otherwise)
Detroit at Chicago 8:00pm (TNT)
Dallas at Golden State 10:30pm (TNT) 

For Previews

Washington at New Jersey 7:30pm (YES in NY)
A winless Washington comes into New Jersey to try to reverse their trend and avoid going 0-4 to start out the season, while New Jersey is carrying a 3-1 record with 361 points for and 379 against. That is to say, that the games New Jersey have won have been close, and the game the Nets lost was by a lot. New Jersey is winning by an average of 6.3 points, while Washington has been losing at a clip of 13.6 points per game.
Washington will start to win at some point, but I'm not so confident that point will be tonight. Gilbert Arenas just had his knee drained again for the second time in three weeks yesterday, Caron Butler and Gilbert are combining for a shade under 11 turnovers a game compared to a shade under 5 assists between the two, and Antawn Jamison is shooting under 30% on the year. Right now the Wizards consistently stink, while New Jersey just didn't show up to play against Toronto.
Player to watch: Gilbert Arenas-He's hurt, he's turnover prone, he's not really passing well, he's not shooting well, and the Wizards are losing. In order for Washington to start winning, Gilbert has to start playing like Gilbert. Since they're playing New Jersey, I hope that starts tonight.

Detroit at Chicago 8:00pm (TNT)
We have two teams that a month ago should've been an exciting matchup of two of the very bestt teams in the East, but today that analysis is exactly half true. An undefeated Detroit rolls into Chicago to face a winless Bulls team, and this team looks inexplicably terrible. The Bulls are 0-4, and not one of those losses is against a playoff team from last season, let alone a team that finished above .500 last year. This Bulls team is supposed to be the cream of the east and they are consistently losing to, well, losers.
Whatever the problem is, this Bulls team stinks, and Detroit is already rolling. The Pistons have used superior talent and crafty veteran experience to pull out wins thusfar, and you have to think that this Pistons' team can exploit a reeling Bulls squad for the win.
Player to watch: Kirk Hinrich-This is where the problems start for the Bulls. Captain Kirk is averaging 3 TO's per game compared to only 4 assists. He's shooting 36% from the field, but only 20% from behind the arc, and even his defense is faltering, he alloed 33 points from Cuttino Mobley in the loss on Tuesday. If this Bulls squad is going to turn around, it will begin with Kirk.  

Dallas at Golden State 10:30pm (TNT)
In what should've been a hotly anticipated playoff rematch, with undertones of animosity and revenge, we now have a winless team hosting a by all counts very good team in Dallas. I'm sure the action will still be intense, but I think this game probably holds a lot more meaning for the Mavericks. Dallas is 3-1 this season, with the one loss against Atlanta looking more and more like a fluke than a trend. I also feel like Dallas made a huge statement with their signifigant win over a very good Rockets squad. Golden State, however has not been so lucky.
Part of the Warriors problem surely lies in the losses of Stephen Jackson (suspended for first 7 games) and Jason Richardson (traded), but I don't think you can pin the 0-4 record on those guys' absence. I think, more likely, that its just been 4 tough games. Some key statistics; Golden State is shooting 32% from long range (down from 35% last year), but the kicker has been they they're allowing opponests nearly 48% shooting from behind the line, which means they're clearly just not playing good team oriented defense. The Warriors will come together, and the team will surely be better once tricaptain Stephen Jackson returns, but they will be much better when they start playing effective defense. As far as tonight goes however, Dallas to win an emotional one for the Mavs, just another loss for the Warriors.
Player to watch: Dirk Nowitzki-The goodly German has the stage set for a spectacular individual performance tonight. Pretty much the entire world hung the four losses agasint the Warriors in the first round last season on reigning league MVP Dirk Nowitzki. Its hard not to hang some of those games on his shoulders, however, because in game 6, the last time he faced off against his former coach, Dirk had 8 points on 2-13 shooting in 38 minutes of play. He may have traversed the deserts of Australia to forget about basketball but the smart money says he never came close to forgetting that last game. Nowitzki should blow up tonight, and remind everyone why he was voted league MVP last season (he hasn't put up 30 yet this year).

EDIT: To add to Golden State's problems, Matt Barnes is now out with a dislocated finger. 

Well that's it for tonight boys and girls, be sure to check back regularly for game previews nightly (well, assuming I have the time to write them) and all your general NBA needs. Be sure to check out the games thread for any thoughts/comments on the games!

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