Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on April 28, 2009 under xOther | Read the First Comment

  • GAME 5.  LET’S GO.
  • Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com: “You already know that the Mavs feel like they did some things right in defending Parker in the second half of G4 when Frenchie scored just 12 points. But here’s an insider angle for ya: The Mavs and defender Jason Kidd also feel they did some things right in the first half when Parker scored an astounding 31 points. Much of Parker’s success came from the perimeter. He didn’t kill the Mavs with layups, as he did earlier in the series. In the first half, he made 11 perimeter jumpshots. Good for him. But better he shoot jumpers than shoot layups. The Mavs will take their chances on Parker from 20. It beats Parker from 2.”
  • Howard sat out of practice yesterday, but is expected to play tonight.”
  • The Spurs are apparently refusing to sell tickets to tonight’s game to anyone living more than 50 miles from San Antonio.  I understand the point, but come on.  Not cool.  If that’s what it takes to protect an artificial homecourt advantage, I’m not sure it’s worth it.
  • Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News: “They have three chances to get it done. But that’s a fool’s way of looking at it. ‘We can’t think like that,’ center Erick Dampier said Monday. ‘We got an opportunity to end the series. They’re going to put up a fight. We’re going to put up a fight…We know it’s going to take a hard defensive effort on those guys. It’s potentially their last game of the season. They’ve been in this position before. Tim [Duncan] has four rings. We don’t want to let this linger.’”  ‘Attaboy, Damp.  If there was ever a time to show some killer instinct, it’s here and now.  The Spurs are world-famous for their walking dead act, and though the certificate of death has been signed and dated dozens of times, they’re still in this series and have an unsolvable riddle in Parker.

  • Missed this one yesterday from John Hollinger (Insider), via TrueHoop: “The most shocking thing about Saturday’s loss was seeing Tony Parker run out of gas so visibly down the stretch. He had a breakaway with just less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter when Jason Kidd and Jason Terry both caught up to him. He missed both free throws, and his only shot the rest of the way was a tired-looking 3 off the dribble into the front rim. Parker played 41 minutes and scored 43 points but had only 12 after the break and none in the final 7 minutes, 33 seconds. His teammates mustered only eight points during that stretch, allowing the Mavs to win despite getting diddly from both Dirk Nowitzki and Terry. This reinforces the dominant theme of the Spurs’ season: not enough help. Parker rarely played 41 minutes during a playoff game in past seasons, let alone 41 minutes of handling the ball for 15 to 20 seconds on nearly every possession. San Antonio got 68 points from Parker and Tim Duncan, but only 22 on 6-of-28 shooting from the others. Once Dallas clamped down on those two after halftime, the Spurs scored only 35 points in the second half.”
  • This could be the last we see of Bruce Bowen.
  • Tim Duncan, via Art Garcia of NBA.com: “We haven’t lost too many in the first round…and to be down this big is obviously different, but it is what it is. We put ourselves in this hole. It’s either stand up and try to win these games or we go home. We face reality.”
  • Bob Sturm of Inside Corner: “…allow me to say why the abrasive Carlisle is more appealing to me right now than Avery ‘08; I saw this team out-coach its opponent in a playoff series (to this juncture). I saw a Mavericks coach deploy a bench player (JJB) who gave the opponent’s coach fits (You may recall Avery had the opposite done to him in the Golden State Series). I saw a Mavericks coach require the opponent’s coach – who has 4 rings – to counter his adjustments by starting Bruce Bowen in Game 4. I saw a Mavericks coach push the Spurs coach to run up a white flag in Game 3 with 20 minutes of basketball left. And, most importantly, I saw a Mavericks coach figure out a plan when the opponent took away what the Mavs like to do offensively. That means the Mavericks have a coach in ‘09 that can do something that their coach could not do in ‘07 or ‘08; adjust to the series when the series is not adjusting to him.”  Damn straight.  Those who questioned Carlisle’s ability to coach this team coming into the season need watch nothing more than his strategic battle with Pop, or more truthfully, with his players’ psyches.  It’s tough to keep your cool and not get discouraged when Tony Parker is getting into the lane at will, but Rick has kept everyone focused, played the right counter in Barea, and deserves a lot of credit.  I have no idea how long Carlisle will be the coach of the Mavs, but for right now, he’s doing a wonderful job.
  • tcat75

    ditto your first bullet.