Heard It Through the PLAYOFF Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on April 18, 2009 under xOther | Read the First Comment

  • Bethlehem Shoals of The Sporting Blog: “This may be a huge, huge stretch, but I see this as Dallas’ chance to make up for the Warriors loss, or at least that time Chris Paul slew them. They’ve been under the radar for much of the season, and under Rick Carlisle have regained some of their offensive verve. Dirk, Kidd, putative Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry, and sometimes Josh Howard … there’s talent here, and maybe a little chip on their shoulder. The Spurs don’t have Manu, and Pop’s having trouble finding that ingenious solution he always does. The intra-state thing makes it even more perfect. I call upset.”  Word.
  • Remember that time JET punched Finley in the nads?
  • Eddie Sefko of the DMN Mavs Blog: “Dirk Nowitzki has a pretty good handle on things, especially when it comes to dishing out trash talk and knowing when somebody else is just blowing smoke. He thinks Gregg Popovich is blowing smoke when he says the Mavericks are playing as well as any team in the league going into the playoffs. ‘I never took Pop seriously in one interview he gave so far in, whatever, his 20 year career,’ Nowitzki said after shootaround. ‘But you know nobody ever really says anything during the playoffs. It’s all about going out there and paying hard.’”
  • DallasBasketball.com’s David Lord joins in on our roundtable fun.
  • Jakedfw of Mavs Moneyball: “The Mavs are peaking in only one way: Their offense has evolved into such a deadly weapon that it is overcoming troublesome weaknesses on defense. As you look at the last ten games of the season, it is clear that Rick Carlisle has achieved what Mavs fans desperately needed after the last three playoff series: An offense that is not only potent but varied in its attack and difficult to stop even with the preparation you see in a seven game series. The Mavs are not peaking at all on defense. They are better than they were during the entire season, but they are just as inconsistent and far from dominant or even very good. This has been hidden by the devastating effectiveness of the Mavs offense, but make no mistake: The defensive flaws are still there.”
  • Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News: “No player in the Western Conference — not even that Kobe guy — has been as red-hot as Dirk Nowitzki during the final month of the regular season. Which Spurs player will draw the black bean defensive assignment? Tim Duncan, Kurt Thomas, Drew Gooden, Bruce Bowen, Ime Udoka and, yes, even Matt Bonner will probably all get a turn. Look for the Spurs to throw the kitchen sink at Nowitzki to try and keep him off his rhythm.”  And he’s absolutely right; Dirk’s April was remarkable.  Wes Cox of Mavs Moneyball gushes about it here.
  • Just hours removed from making my own series predictions for Mavs-Spurs, I tell you that making any predictions about this series is a ridiculous idea.  Welcome to my brain…for better or worse.
  • Eric Celeste of Inside Corner: “John Hollinger has Kidd as his second-best defender of shooting guards in the league (ahead of D. Wade, which seems absurd even to me, despite Wade’s gambling nature), because he realizes what a lot of people don’t: Kidd isn’t usually the primary defender of the young quick PGs like Parker. That will fall to Terry, Barea, and maybe even the underrated contributor Antoine Wright. (Do you realize AW got almost 24 min of run a game this year?) But as Simmons and Joe House noted on the B.S. Report yesterday (and despite what Galloway asserts), you can let Parker get his 30 and still win the series. You’ve got to stop the corner 3 (the Spurs are the third-best in the league at this shot), and you’ve got to make sure Duncan doesn’t fix his creaky knees and go old-school Timmy on you, but if Kidd can shut down the 2s and 3s he plays (and he can since Manu is out), they have a great shot.”
  • Has Dirk evolved beyond the point of being stalled by double teams on the bounce?  I’d like to think so, but I wouldn’t mind if we never had to find out.  And, on that note, if you’re not hanging on Tim and Graydon’s every word at 48 Minutes of Hell, you need to revisit some of your life choices.
  • I completely agree with Fish that Finley’s revenge is the ultimate non-story for this series.  Ancient history, in fact.  Finley vs. his old team is no more important than Ben Wallace playing (or not…damn injuries) against his old team, which you probably didn’t even realize unless you really thought about it.  Players switch teams, and sometimes they end up on division rivals.  And sometimes those things happen years and years ago, to the point that imagining that player in a contemporary context brings thoughts of that new uni rather than the threads of their roots.  Finley was a damn good Maverick and is still a good player and an even better person, but there’s no blood feud here.  So let’s not draw one out, eh?
  • Jason Terry, via Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News: “It feels disrespectful when you watch those shows on TNT and ESPN, and they say, ‘Just walk through the Mavericks,’ and ‘that’s who you want to play.’ So, we’ll see if that’s who you want to play.”  The man is a quote machine.
  • If you had to say that “This is _____’s team,” who would you say?  Dirk?  Kidd?  Cuban?
  • wacc_attack

    dude, seriously? Dirk’s. no brainer. kidd is too “fresh” of a Mav (even though technically he is the oldest), and Cubes doesn’t get to suit up. Dirk is the franchise, with JET being the closest behind him (yet still a very distant 2nd)