Josh Howard Is Ready to Rock

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 31, 2009 under News | Read the First Comment

Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

Teammates have indicated Howard has looked sharp in recent practices, but Jason Terry offered the clearest sign of Howard’s imminent return after Monday’s practice at the Target Center. “He looked great,” Terry said. “Even last week, he was good in our last hard practice. He looked confident.

“I know he felt a little bit of pain, but the biggest test will be tomorrow,” he said, referring to tonight’s game against Minnesota. “If he hits that first shot, I’ll bet he won’t feel a thing tomorrow.”

That’s the best news the Mavericks have gotten in about a week. Howard’s left ankle problem is severe enough that off-season surgery is possible. Physically and mentally, he appears to be on the upswing, and the Mavericks desperately need him if they hope to keep their slim hopes of moving up in the Western Conference seedings.

Don’t expect to be blown away tonight, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this could be the beginning (resuming?) of something beautiful to close out the season.  ‘Beat the Lakers’ beautiful?  Whoa, now.  One step at a time, eh chaps?

Sefko also had this quote from Jason Kidd on the DMN Mavs Blog:

“Just try to get him an easy shot, a wide-open shot the first go-round,” Kidd said of the game plan for the early moments of tonight’s game. “We’d like to get him an easy one going to the basket. Should that not happen, maybe just make sure it’s not a stressful shot.”

We knew Josh Howard was an emotional player, but is his night really so easily dictated by the fate of that first shot?  Theoretically, all shots are created equal.  I’m a strong advocate of game flow, and push the idea that things like confidence level and mindset are sometimes just as impactful as the quality of a defender.  The idea that Howard is a highly emotional player is hardly new, but to hear both Kidd and Terry make a specific mention of getting Howard a good look to start out the game just seems a bit odd.  Or maybe, it speaks volumes about just how vulnerable players can be to the emotional ebb and flow of a game.

  • steve

    josh howard making a cut, confidently ready for quick stebback jumpers, lane slicing and slashing, and going and maybe even getting to the basket, and some real good but not quite excellent man to man defense and good overall perimeter and help defense

    I think we need this. i think we longtime mavs diehards care about his automatic 18 and 6. And we care that we can call plays that specifically run through him.

    this way dirk doesnt have to take 29 contested jumpshots from the right elbow, jet doesnt have try and do to much.

    Howard back and healthy can, but maybe wont, lift this team to be VERY competitive and possibly scary this late in the season and into the playoffs.

    as a crazy mavs fan since i was wearing roy tarpley glasses to school; all i really want is a hard fought playoff series in which we are the ones going for the throat of the other team and not the other way around. cmon mavs let dirk and josh and terry score and the rest to play their respective roles to perfecton and lets suprime some of these folks. why the hell not.

    it all starts with one of the quietest yet most controversial mavs, JHO, bouncin’ back like it was 88!