Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on April 27, 2009 under xOther | Read the First Comment

  • Quick announcement right off the bat: Graydon and I will be back today with another live chat at 1 PM CST, so drop by here or 48 Minutes of Hell with your questions and comments about Game 4 or the series.
  • Matt Moore does a little diddy on the Spurs and usage rate.  Parker’s usage and production were expected to jump coming into this series, but Moore’s charts reveal something we’ve been learning slowly over the course of this series: aside from Duncan, he’s been getting absolutely no help.
  • Bethlehem Shoals of the Sporting Blog: “The Spurs have turned into a total enigma over this series with the Mavs. For the team whose strategy over the past decade has involved a healthy dose of consistency and professionalism, this isn’t a good thing. You’d think that bringing the series back home might give them a chance to swing the momentum and maybe start to dig their way out a 3-1 hole. But teams don’t just casually dig their way out of 3-1 holes. Especially not ones as all over the place as these Spurs. Between Manu’s absence and Duncan not really looking himself, maybe it’s best to let them bow out gracefully, and applaud the Mavs for something between an upset and a lucky draw.”
  • Something that isn’t mentioned much but deserves a headline: Antoine Wright has been contributing in a variety of ways all season long, and hasn’t griped once over his role with the team or his place in (or removal from) the starting lineup.  JET’s been lauded for his unselfishness and willingness to come off the bench, but Wright has endured just as much, if not more.  In spite of all the lineup changes, alterations in the rotation, and seemingly random drops in minutes, Wright has kept his head and his play up.
  • Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com: “If Pop decides to single-cover Jet with Roger Mason, as he did early in G4, I think Jet will break out of his slump. The Mavs believe that, too.”  Objections?  Fingers crossed that Pop sticks to his latest strategy of choice.
  • I know it’s just athletes talking to the media, but how can you read quotes from the Spurs and not get that unmistakably professional vibe? (And more here.)
  • David Moore of the Dallas Morning News: “Gush all you want about J.J. Barea. Focus on what Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry have been unable to do. Not nearly enough has been said about what Howard has done. The small forward has been the lone, consistent offensive force for the Mavericks in this series. He’s made the Spurs pay for their stubborn attachment to Nowitzki and Terry. San Antonio has thrown double-teams at Howard along the way, but he’s been able to slip through the defensive cracks to average 19.2 points. His 25 points in the team’s Game 1 victory help set the tone of this series.”
  • Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News: “Outside of the Spurs’ All-Star twosome, no Spurs’ player is averaging more than eight points this postseason. Game 4 was the low-water mark: Parker set a career playoff high with 43 points, Duncan tap-danced with a triple-double — and the Spurs still couldn’t outscore the Mavs. Parker was 18 of 29 from the field, Duncan was 7 of 13. The rest of the team was 6 of 28. ‘Tony and Tim had a huge night, and a lot of us didn’t step up to help out,’ swingman Ime Udoka said. ‘We all felt we let the team down.’ Duncan says there will be no change of plan heading into Game 5 on Tuesday at the AT&T Center. The Spurs can only hope for a change of luck.”
  • wacc_attack

    it gets to me that we’re labeled as “lucky” for getting the Spurs without Manu, with the implicit (or maybe even a straight up) assumption that with him we would be toastified. for the majority of the season we were perceived and commented on as nothing more than an average, over-achieving team. no one took notice that J-Ho missed essentially the entire season (yes he came back, but how good of a rhythm can you get in when you miss 15 games, play 5, miss 15 again?). that didn’t matter to the critics; it was chique to hate on the mavs. just look at the way we play when that cat is finally hitting his stride.