Easy Adjustment

Jason Kidd isn't taking long to re-adjust to playing with the Dallas Mavericks.

On Monday night, Dallas fans will get a chance to see what they've missed for the last 11 years when Kidd and the Mavericks (37-19) return home to face the Chicago Bulls.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Dallas -9 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 196 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 76% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -9 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Kidd began his career in Dallas after the Mavericks selected him as the second overall pick in the 1994 draft. He averaged 13.7 points and 8.7 assists in 182 games with the Mavericks before he was traded to Phoenix in December 1996. Dallas then re-acquired him in an eight-player deal with New Jersey last Tuesday.

Kidd is coming off his best game since that trade, tallying 12 points and a season-high 17 assists as Dallas completed a four-game road trip Sunday with a 99-83 win over Minnesota, the worst team in the Western Conference.

"I will be nervous," Kidd said of his return to Dallas, "but at the same time I got the game under my belt in New Orleans, so it is just a matter of going out there and continuing to build on the last two games."

Kidd was 5-of-9 from the field and also added seven rebounds and four steals Sunday.

"He makes some passes and you think in no way will it get there," said Dirk Nowitzki, who had 29 points. "Somehow, he finds a way. It's fun."

Kidd scored a combined 10 points in his first two games with Dallas. After a slow start Sunday, he scored seven points in the final five minutes after Minnesota pulled within three.

"(Kidd) set everybody up and then when they forgot about him, he took advantage of it late," Mavs swingman Jerry Stackhouse said. "He can sense it when he has to pick it up on the scoring load."

Dallas, which has won 10 straight at home and is 23-3 this season at the American Airlines Center, is 9-1 in its last 10 home games against Chicago (22-33), which is coming off a 110-97 loss to red-hot Houston on Sunday.

The Bulls, who had 135 points in a win over Denver on Friday, had seven players score in double figures, staying close until early in the fourth quarter when Houston pulled away.

Tyrus Thomas led Chicago with 18 points and Kirk Hinrich had 10 points and 10 assists. Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes, acquired last week from Cleveland, both saw significant minutes off the bench. Hughes finished with 13 points and Gooden had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Ben Gordon, limited to only five points on 2-of-11 from the field, said it may take some time for everyone to get adjusted.

"We've got new guys in and there wasn't much chemistry," he said. "It was difficult and a tough night for me to get my rhythm."

Chicago lost 103-98 to Dallas at the United Center on Dec. 3, its 17th loss in the last 19 meetings between the teams. In Chicago's only road win against the Mavericks since the Michael Jordan era, Luol Deng scored 30 points in a 107-100 victory on Feb. 8, 2005.

Kidd is averaging 12.2 points, 9.8 assists and 7.3 rebounds in 31 career games against the Bulls.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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