Heard It Through the Grapevine 1-23-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on January 23, 2009 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

  • As spectators and fans, we often assume that hundreds of thousands/millions of dollars is enough to keep a group of guys constantly motivated.  It just doesn’t happen.  Still, having the Milwaukee Bucks spit in your face and kick you in the shins might be a place to draw the line.  Rick Carlisle is convinced that the Mavs’ woes are an issue of effort (from Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News): ““Hard play is the biggest key to winning in this league, other than having enough talent,” Carlisle said. “I love the talent on our team, but we don’t have the kind of talent to win on talent alone. That’s a fact. And most teams in the league are in the same position. We got to fight every night for wins. It’s just never easy.”"

    After watching Wednesday’s curb stomp, it’s hard to argue otherwise.  But I have some food for thought: if Carlisle is willing to place the blame on “not playing hard enough,” (and believe me, that could be quite the red herring here), is it possible that the basketball mantra against the “jump-shooting team” may not be so accurate after all?  Is it really a matter of execution rather than approach?  Madness instead of method?

    Former NBA coach Eric Musselman runs one of the best coaching blogs on the planet, and he supplements a quote from Carlisle with the following quote from the legendary Pete Carril’s book: ” “Defense is not a variable. It’s a constant. Shooting is a variable. Contesting a shot is not a variable. Skill is a variable. Work is not a variable, not a skill; it’s an attitude. Defense has to be deeply embedded in your attitude.” ” (Emphasis his)

  • Jan Hubbard of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has another article on Maverick duality: “Jason Kidd describes the Mavericks as “a little Jekyll and Hyde right now.” A little? And only right now? Kidd’s view is an accurate summary of the Mavericks not only because of their recent play, but also for the way they’ve played for much of the season. To put it another way, they seem to have an aversion to prosperity.”
  • One of the big topics after acquiring Ryan Hollins was lack of defensive discipline.  We’ve seen it a few times already.  But Hollins is saying all the right things to the media, and it sounds like it’s already a point of emphasis for him in terms of improving his game.  In the meantime, just keep your fingers crossed that Damp doesn’t get injured.  From Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: “Hollins, a 7-foot center, has played more minutes than Carroll and has exhibited his athleticism. But Hollins said he has to concentrate on reining in his boundless enthusiasm for blocking shots. “You got to use some discretion,” he said. “The one I went after [against the Bucks] was a little out of frustration. But other than that, I try to go after everything. I’d rather err on the side of aggression than laying back and being timid.” “
  • Gerald Green is one of my favorite Mavericks.  In terms of raw promise, he gives the Mavs a potential star they haven’t had since 2004 at the latests.  He’s got a helluva lot to work on at this point, but I’m glad to see that he keeps his ‘mates as entertained as he keeps me.  From Jan Hubbard of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Green outlines a possible plan for the 2010 dunk contest in Dallas: ” “He does it about twice a week,” Antoine Wright said of Green’s dunk show. “He hasn’t blown out the candle yet. But he said if he is in the dunk contest and it’s in Dallas, he wants to get a pass from a quarterback full court — full court from Tony Romo. I said, ‘You might get a 50 [perfect score] with that one.’ ” “