Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 28, 2009 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

  • A nice article from Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times detailing how NBA players feel about the zone defense.  The Mavs warrant a specific mention as one of the teams that uses the zone in spots to disrupt key gameplans, and I have no qualms with that application.  Would the zone worsen the NBA game if used for 48 minutes?  Probably.  Penetration is what the pro game is all about, but if you sell your soul a few times to stop a crucial inbounds play or force an opposing coach to take an extra timeout, it seems worthwhile to me.  Royce from Daily Thunder made note of the Mavs’ zone in his recap: “Dallas’s defense was also very tricky. They would slip in and out of zone coverage with no warning at all. It worked really well in the fourth when Westbrook had back to back turnovers trying to drive.”
  • A cool anecdote via Eddie Sefko on the DMN Mavs Blog: “Dirk Nowitzki on Kidd’s two fourth-quarter 3-pointers: ‘It’s funny. I said to him when we were both out of the game and were on the sidelines in the fourth quarter: Do you have one shot in you? He said: Yes, that’s about all I’ve got tonight. I knew (Russell) Westbrook would leave him as soon as I turned my back, so I was able to deliver the ball to J-Kidd and he knocked it down. That’s why he’s a hall of famer for us.’”
  • Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com makes note of James Singleton’s increased role off the bench.  Given what Singleton’s been able to accomplish on the glass and his startling offensive production, he’s earned every second of playing time he’s getting.  The Mavs have yet to face a post scoring threat with Singleton as a primary contributor, and that remains my primary concern: how will Singleton match up defensively with players in prime position to take advantage of his lack of size at the 5?  Luckily for the Mavs those players are few and far between, especially off the pine.
  • The JET is officially “back on the runway,” and has been cleared for practice.  I need you back in my life, JET.
  • Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News on what I think is one of the Mavs’ biggest flaws: “…they settle for the long shot way too often. Probably the worst thing that happened was that they actually made their last two in the overtime to sack up the victory. That’s the last thing they need – thinking they can rely on the 3-ball at crunch time. The Mavericks will tell you they are shooting most of those 3-pointers in the rhythm of the game and that if they don’t take those shots, the court shrinks because the defense sags off and cuts off driving and passing lanes. That may be true. And when Jason Kidd bails them out with two of the 3-pointers in overtime, maybe it’s a case of the law of averages evening out. But you just get the feeling that the Mavericks are playing with fire.”
  • Did Gerald Green see the floor because his agent happened to stop through Dallas this week?  I wouldn’t put it outside the realm of possibility, but I’m sure the Mavs’ foul troubles had something to do with it as well.  Either way, I never mind seeing more of Green.
  • I’m sure that Rick Carlisle could pick apart the game from start to finish, but his postgame comments seemed to reflect relief (via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News): “‘Look, we got out of here alive,’ said Rick Carlisle. ‘It’s pretty much that simple. There are some things we were guilty of that put us in a bad position in the game. We’ve got to continue to address those things. But I’m happy to win.’”