Not a lot going on today, but there’s still time to play catch-up.
- Nothing on the Wizards game here, mostly because I decided to take the weekend off. Here’s the run-down: it was a no-win game. If the Mavs won (yay), then they were merely doing their jobs. If they lost, it was another breakdown against a subpar team. I’m happy that I didn’t spend Sunday ripping my hair out after another bad loss, but it is what it is. The Mavs played well without Josh, JET was money, and the Mavs put one in the win column. All important. But in context, what does it mean when the opponent is the Wizards?
- The Suns have quietly lost four straight. Mwahahahahahahaha!
- What’s wrong with the Mavs? David Moore of the Dallas Morning News is (was? It’s from this weekend) happy to tell you (click the link and take in the full article. Some great quotes in there.): “The Mavericks are vulnerable on defense because they lack speed on the perimeter. Once an opponent exploits this weakness, the break down is more pronounced because this team doesn’t communicate. You want a tangible reason why the Mavericks rarely beat good teams on the road? This is it. Watching New Orleans shoot 56 percent from the field in Thursday’s win put that in perspective.”
- No, Mavs fans; James Singleton does not approve of your wave.
- Check out the TrueHoop Network’s breakdown of the injury situations of every potential playoff team. I talk Howard and Terry, and how their injuries could affect the team this season and beyond.
- Dirk’s response when Tim MacMahon of the DMN Mavs Blog reminded him of the Mavs’ 9-2 record sans Howard earlier in the season: “‘I don’t think in that time he was out for the whole December that we played any good opponents,’ Dirk said. ‘If you look back, we had an easy stretch there and we were able to pull those games out without him. But against the big boys, you know they’re going to try to take me and Jet out of the game. We need a third weapon. We’re going to miss [Howard], but hopefully we’re going to make up for it.’”
- David Moore was on fiyah this weekend, following up his piece on the Mavs’ defense with a look into Cuban’s criticisms of the team and what it means going forward: “What is the best this team can do? No reasonable person anticipates a long playoff run. I believe that’s why Cuban said what he did last week. He knows where this season is headed. Making his comments now gives the players a chance to redeem themselves, yet lets the fans know he won’t stand pat. And don’t get too caught up in Cuban’s choice of the word “effort,” which is often a euphemism for lack of talent. I don’t care how hard the Mavericks play the rest of the way. If the team fails to get out of the first round for the third consecutive season, if it fails to even make the playoffs, how can Cuban come back with the same group? He can’t.”
- Devean George hopes to compensate for the loss of Josh Howard’s offense by amping up his own defensive work. From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News: “The Mavericks will have to defend better than they did against the Wizards, who shot 53 percent and scored 103 points. ‘When you got a guy with that big a role, everybody has to pick it up in their area,’ George said. ‘I try to pick it up on the defensive end. Guys that are 25-point scorers, I’m going to try to get them to 15 or 16. That would be my part of turning it up.’”