Heard It Through the Grapevine 3-20-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 20, 2009 under xOther | 2 Comments to Read

Recap coming a bit later, as soon as I can get around to it on my DVR.

  • Erick Dampier, the great basketball strategist (via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News): “‘As a veteran team, we have to recognize when we keep missing shots, we’ve got to drive the ball and create something easy or get fouled,’ said center Erick Dampier, who watched the long-range assault from the bench with a sore knee…‘It’s hard for us to get back into games when we keep launching those shots, and they’re not going in and we’re not getting any easy buckets.’”  Damp missed last night’s game, and is considered day-to-day.
  • It couldn’t be working…could it?
  • Jim Reeves of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, showing some optimism: “…didn’t former coach Avery Johnson tell us that it was “a miracle” that last season’s team won that many games? Get ready for Miracle II. Get ready for the Mavs, over these final 14 games, to move up from the No. 8 seed and a first-round playoff matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers to at least seventh, maybe even sixth. Obviously the Mavs, ousted the last two years in the first round by Golden State and then New Orleans, don’t want the Lakers in the first round. But we’ve seen them play with the Spurs, and they could beat either Portland or a Tracy McGrady-less Houston in a first-round matchup. So as infuriating as the Mavs have been, as ragged as they’ve seemed at times in losing to inferior teams, in failing to show up against teams with two or three key players missing, this team might have a surprise or two left for us yet.”
  • Let’s play a little question and answer with our old pal Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Why don’t you start us off, Randy?: “Beyond a cranky basketball knee in his playing days, this guy didn’t have a “disability.” What he had was a powerful addiction. An addiction to cocaine, booze and even McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce, which when used to excess caused Roy to miss games with a bad stomach. Frivolous lawsuits are nothing new in this country, but how can a stone-cold drug addict get a financial settlement 20 years later by hiding behind an otherwise important piece of legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act?”  Because addiction is one of the disabilities protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  You can argue if addiction is a disability all you like (I’m skeptical, myself, and as usual, context means everything), but there definitely seems to be legal precedent.
  • Brett LaGree of Hoopinion: “Now, it wasn’t strictly a case of Dallas* missing open shots. Atlanta did some good things defensively, none more important than frustrating Dirk Nowitzki with physical defense. Certainly, on a different night with a different officiating crew Nowitzki would have attempted more than four free throws. Last night, though, the Hawks figured out that they could bang with Nowitzki before and after he received the ball in the high post, and, to their credit, they took full advantage even gaining the benefit of three points on technical fouls drawn as a direct result of defense on Nowitzki that he and Rick Carlisle found unduly restrictive.

    *It might have strictly been a case of Jason Terry missing open shots.

  • Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com gushes about Ryan Hollins’ night:  “I give you Ryan Hollins, forced into starting (for just the third time in his three-year career) and forced into playing 33 minutes (a career high) because Erick Dampier DNP’ed with a swollen knee. What did the 7-foot jumping jack do right? Pretty much everything, and I’m not exaggerating. He waved for the ball when he was open (and as his confidence grew, he waved for it when he wasn’t). He was an alley-oop/dunkin’ machine, scoring 13 points (yes, another career high). He challenged Atlanta drives and he was highly effective as a roaming perimeter trap defender. When he had five fouls, played smart to remain in the game for one more long stretch of minutes before finally fouling out.”
  • Brian D

    I’m pretty familiar with the laws regarding the disease model of addiction as they pertain to the ADA (since I actually receive a free college education as a direct result of them) and this case is a gross misuse of them. I can understand why the league would just want to pay out 50K and make this go away, but this should’ve been thrown out of court immediately. If for example, an employee of your company repeatedly shows up to work drunk (and claims alcoholism as an excuse), you have to give them the option of going into treatment or being fired. If after undergoing counseling the individual still displays the same behaviors, they’re fair game and you can fire their ass on the spot. It seems to me that the Mavericks fully complied with this.

    In the realm of addiction as a disease, this is tantamount to a diabetic refusing to take insulin and then demanding that his employer pay his resulting astronomical medical bills.

    Disgraceful.

  • Chaz

    The Phoenix ill-wishes are only working in that the Mavs lost a game they probably would have lost anyways. Mavs are a below .500 team on the road, so against an even team, chances are they would lose. Now if PHX starts going on a 8 or 9-game win streak, then we need to start sweating.

    Also, interesting thought about what Avery said. I was actually thinking, if we only finished a game or two back of last season, then the team really isn’t worse. They aren’t better, but I do have to say this current squad seems a bit more prepared for the future than last year’s after the trade. The team is a tad more athletic on the bench (possibly since Juwan Howard is nowhere to be seen) and a certain bad contract is another year closer to expiring. I’d love to see the Mavs hit 50 wins, and it really might take a miracle (or Houston having their seeding locked up by the final game) to get there.