If it worked against Wade, then why not Kobe? The Mavs’ aggressive double-teams late in last night’s game completely took Wade out of the game, and you have to wonder how that would work against L.A.’s star among stars. From Tim MacMahon of the DMN Mavs Blog: “If the Mavs can’t climb out of the 8 seed, that might be a wise strategy against Kobe Bryant during winning time. Or maybe not. ‘I think Kobe’s got better teammates,’ Dirk said last night. ‘We had to scramble and [Udonis] Haslem was open, [Michael] Beasley was open, a lot of their guys were open. I don’t think we can do that with the Lakers. They’re just too good.’” Tim comes to the conclusion that he’d rather have Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, or Derek Fisher taking the big shots than Kobe, and on that note I agree. But I don’t know if I’d rather them shoot wide open shots, which seemed an inevitability last night even with the Mavs doing their best to rotate. You just don’t give Fisher open threes with the game in the balance, and Gasol combines a nice spot-up shot with good court sense and an ability to finish around the rim. It’s definitely an approach worth considering, but it’s an entirely different ballgame with the Lakers.
Eddie Sefko shares an anecdote of an exchange he had with Assistant Coach Terry Stotts on the DMN Mavs Blog: “…first, he handed me a sheet of paper. It had points in the paint for each NBA team, with all the playoff teams highlighted. The Mavericks, of course, are ahead of only three teams in that department. But one of the teams they are ahead of is San Antonio. ‘There’s more than one way to win games,’ Stotts said.”
I don’t wanna say I told you so, but I told you so. From the post-game quotes at Mavs Moneyball:
“14 points in 22 minutes last night, 20 points in 29 minutes tonight. What do you attribute you getting back into the groove so quickly too?[Josh Howard]: Darrell Armstrong. That’s who I’ve been working out with. He’s just a great guy for our locker room and off the court. He keeps me going and keeps this locker room going.”
Rick Carlisle on Dirk, via Jimmy Shapiro of SportsRadioInterviews.com: “He’s a great player, he’s a great player. I can’t begin to tell you what he means to our team, I just know I’ve been around some great players in my career. I got a chance to play in Boston in the mid-80’s when Bird was MVP 3 consecutive years and McHale, Parrish and Bill Walton were Hall of Famers; Dennis Johnson should be a Hall of Famer. Now I have a chance to work with two – Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd…It’s amazing to me that a guy like Dirk is underappreciated. He’s a 25 point scorer and if our record was better right now, he’d be in the conversation as a possible MVP candidate or in the top 5 or 6 at least.”
I hope this is the very last that I hear of Howard’s wrist this season, or we could have troubles in paradise yet again.
Remember that quote a month back or so from Devean George about the Mavs defensive failures being linked to a lack of communication? I certainly do, and couldn’t help but smile a bit when I read this (via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News): “‘Great team defense,’ Howard said. ‘Guys communicated, and it was great to see us flying around like that with a lot of energy, a lot of life.’”