Heard It Through the Grapevine 1-26-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on January 26, 2009 under xOther | Read the First Comment

  • Apparently Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is as well-versed in Maverick excuses as the rest of us are.  It really was an awful set of circumstances to play what some consider to be the best team in the league, but the ‘glass half-full’ part of me was hoping for an upset.  I should know better.  From Frank Dell’Apa of The Boston Globe: ” “It’s the last game on a four-game road trip,” Rivers said of the Mavericks’ schedule, “which, on an afternoon game, I don’t know if that’s the toughest scenario you can have, but it’s close. And we were just making everything…The ball was moving, too, and our guys – there were at least eight possessions where the clock was down to five and we made two more passes and still found the guy. No one panicked.” “
  • As I noted in the recap, the defense was the big issue on Sunday.  How can the Mavs expect to beat anyone when they refuse to put hands in faces on the three-point line?  I have and never will be a head coach in the NBA, but I definitely could have briefed this team that they might want to guard the likes of Ray Allen and Eddie House out on the perimeter.  Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News continues: “Defensively, the Mavericks were poor. Combined with an uncanny shooting game by the Celtics, particularly in the first half, it was an ugly scene.  The Celtics shot 65 percent in the half, including 8-of-9 from the field by Ray Allen, who had 20 points in the half and 23 for the game. Kevin Garnett and Eddie House also had 23.  “I wasn’t happy with the defense,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “When the shots weren’t going early, it affected us defensively, and we’ve got to fight against that. It’s disappointing, but you learn from it and take something from it.” “
  • Jan Hubbard of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the really strange technical foul situation in Sunday’s depression-fest: “One of the Mavericks said the referees wanted to call a technical on owner Mark Cuban, but league rules allow technicals to be called only on players, coaches or other officials sitting on the first row. Most of the players on the bench were yelling, and it was announced the technical was on the bench. But it has to be assigned to an individual, so it was given to assistant Mario Elie. But Mavericks players said they thought it was against Dirk Nowitzki, and it’s likely to be changed when reviewed by the league.”
  • Garnett, via Jan Hubbard of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, on the task of guarding Dirk: ” “We watched a lot of tape the last couple of days,” said Garnett, who had 23 points, “and I noticed he gets a lot of space. If you give him any kind of space, he’s going to let the 3 go. That’s probably one of the most deadliest, unorthodox step-backs in the game today, and all I did was try and pressure him. Guys like Dirk, you can’t stop them. You can only slow them down.” “
  • Mike “Fish” Fisher of DallasBasketball.com describes the play that turned out to be a microcosm of the game: “With just over four minutes left in the first, the Mavs were down 15-14. Nine second later, they were down 20-14. KG scored over Dirk (a challenging match for Nowitzki), and then Dirk’s lazy inbounds was intercepted by Garnett, who was fouled on the dunk attempt. He made the first, missed the second, Boston got the offensive rebound and KG hit a jumper for his team’s fifth point in nine seconds. … and HIS fifth point in nine seconds.”
  • The differences between the Mavs and the Celtics is more a laundry list than it is a paragraph.  There are just so many things that the Celtics do right and so many things that the Mavs do wrong that it’s almost pointless; essentially you’re pointing out that Chili’s doesn’t have a good enough wine list.  It does need to be done at some point though, to get an honest evaluation of where this team is and where it’s headed.  Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News tackles the issue: “The Mavericks were incinerated by a Boston team that showed them what good ball movement and good defense are all about – teamwork. That’s an asset the Mavericks have been missing too often this season. They often have two or three players working hard on defense. That won’t get it done. What it boils down to is trust. It’s easier for a defender to get in the offensive player’s face if he knows the helping defense behind him will be there. That’s what the Celtics do.”
  • Sefko is right, but a choice quote from Kevin Garnett during Boston’s recent troubles caught the eye of Eric Musselman, and it should definitely catch the eye of Mavs fans: ” “One of the biggest tests in this league is when you lose. You learn a lot about each other. When the season is not going well, some things come out. I’ve been on losing teams, and stuff comes out. Guys don’t like each other, cats are fighting over the ball, bickering and stuff. What we learned is to do it together. That’s what brought us out of it. What really brought us back was being fundamentally sound and defense; that’s what we did from Day 1 last year.” “
  • http://- 1st

    well, dallas is not fundamentally sound on/nor defense.
    dirk was horrible, i wondered why he did not got benched.
    clearly slowfooted and tired&late, low energy.
    also wasn’t whacked in the media…

    and i think no one wants to experience what kg learned about his team as minny lost and lost and lost. :)