Heard It Through the Grapevine 2-4-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 4, 2009 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

  • We’ve talked about this so many times before, but these last few games really could be a turning point for the Mavericks’ season.  For realz this time.  The timing couldn’t be better; you want to start playing good basketball right around the All-Star break, giving the team plenty of time to run with it, figure things out, and gel.  Of course the converse could also be true, and this could just be a three-game dream before the team falls flat on its face again.  Jason Terry sums up the situation nicely, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News: ” ‘You can do something and respond and go out there and play your butt off, or you can sit back on the bench and complain,’ Terry said. ‘If you’re going to sit on the bench and complain, we’re going to leave you right on the bench. ‘We’re halfway through the season. There ain’t no turning back and thinking about what could have been. We have to play well and we have to play well now.’ “
  • This article seems to suggest that Darrell Armstrong’s hiring was almost a direct result of the Celtics blowout.  Huh.  I always figured that D.A. joining up to coach the Mavs was inevitable, and didn’t really think twice about it at the time; since his days as a Maverick the rhetoric and anecdotes always talked about his leadership and informal coaching role.  It’s hard to isolate one thing that’s cause the Mavs to win three in a row, but Armstrong’s presence shouldn’t be ignored.  He knows most of this team and he knows their tendencies.  He’s a great motivator, and, at the least, he’s given the team a breath of fresh air.
  • This is old news by now, but after yesterday’s round table on All-Star Weekend reform, I thought it merited a follow-up: TNT will host a HORSE competition as a supplement to the weekend’s festivities.  Choose your competitors wisely, TNT.  If this thing blows up, we’ll never see it again.
  • For perhaps the first time in this middle-aged season, the Mavericks have some legitimate hope.  It’s a lot to say after a three game stretch, but I’m feeling it.  They’ve had plenty of bittersweet wins and so many in-game implosions.  For three games, the Mavs haven’t just been good, they’ve been dominant.  The shots are falling, everybody’s cutting to the basket, and defense is more than just a word on the whiteboard.  I’m cranking up the overreactionizer, and I’m putting it out there: things have changed.  And now, a slightly related quote from Jan Hubbard of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “But writing them off at any time during the first 47 games of the season makes no sense — not with 35 games still left. And look at what’s happened — Andrew Bynum out 8-12 weeks in Los Angeles with a knee injury and Chris Paul day-to-day with a groin injury. The opportunity is there for the Mavericks, and so are the challenges. They have back-to-back games against playoff-level teams beginning tonight in Dallas against the Blazers and then in Utah on Thursday. Right now, you could argue that the Mavericks are playing their best basketball of the year. Then again, if we’re being consistent, it’s only a small part of a long season. There is much more to prove.”
  • Don’t look now, but Dave Berri and the Wages of Wins crew have Jason Kidd ranked at 5th in the league in Wins Produced.  The next Maverick on the list is Erick Dampier, at 38, and Dirk, at 44.
  • A few days old, but worth a read — Stephen A. Smith defends the rumors of Chris Bosh’s discontent on his blog.  Chris Bosh has denied Stephen A.’s report, but I’m not sure he had another option.  No way to know for sure exactly what was said or wasn’t said behind closed doors, and it could be a long time before the truth comes to light.  So everybody, let’s put down our torches and pitchforks.
  • New York Knicks GM Donnie Walsh would like to take this time to remind you that nabbing a big 2010 free agent isn’t exactly a walk in the park, even for the best market in the country.  From Howard Beck of The New York Times: ” “Their own teams still have the advantages,” [Walsh] said. “It’s not an easy deal two years from now to just say, ‘Oh, yeah, let’s go get one of these guys.’ ” “