Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on May 1, 2009 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

  • Kelly Dwyer ranks the top 20 post-lockout playoff series, and the Mavs were in an astounding five of the top ten, including top honors for Mavs-Spurs 2006.  We’ve never seen the championship parade through downtown, but don’t for a second devalue the wild ride the Mavs have taken us on in the last decade.  The series against Phoenix in ’05 and ’06, seven game classics against the Blazers and the Kings in ’03 before losing to Steve Kerr, breaking out against the Jazz in ’01, demoralizing Houston in ’05, and yes, even the losses to Miami and Golden State, were extremely interesting and entertaining basketball.  You can accuse the Mavs of a lot of things, but you should never accuse them of being boring.  Here’s Dwyer’s take on the best of the best: Simply the gold standard, for our time. Featuring an up-and-comer taking on the defending champs, this contest featured a two-point Spurs win to start it, followed by a shocking 12-point Mavs win in San Antonio. A one-point Mavs win and five-point Dallas overtime victory came next, with a one and five-point Spurs win to follow, ending with a classic Mavericks overtime win in San Antonio that featured a season-saving three-point play from Dirk Nowitzki (37 points, 15 rebounds) at the end of regulation. Lots of emphasis on point differential? You bet. This whole list is based on how great and how close the actual games were, not any sort of misty recollections or credence slipped toward teams in the final four or two slots in the playoff bracket. This list is for those who were there, watching.”
  • Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News: “So what can the Mavericks expect from George Karl’s Nuggets? Aside from the wacky factor that comes with players like Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen and J.R. Smith, a Western Conference scout who has seen the Nuggets many times this season gave us his view on the Mavericks’ opponent. Defense was one of the first things that jumped out. ‘I don’t think they’re world-beaters by any means,’ the scout said of Denver’s defense. ‘But I think they’re attentive and they’re trying to execute the defensive game plan, where before, after the first pass, it pretty much went out the window. They’re trying to get to the scheme and do what they want to do on the pick-and-rolls…And I think Chauncey [Billups] holds those guys accountable where George doesn’t have to do it all the time. It’s coming from the guys on the floor.”
  • Never you mind that 0-4 regular season record during the regular season.  Jeremy of Roundball Mining Company says “Ditto.” from the Nuggets perspective, and uses that notion to launch into a very thorough preview of the series to come.
  • J.R. Smith wants no part in reliving the “confrontation” he had with Mark Cuban earlier this season.
  • David Moore of the Dallas Morning News: “Maybe Rick Carlisle knew what he was doing all along with how he handled the Mavericks’ bench. It didn’t always seem that way to the players. None aired their complaints in public because this is not a mutinous group. But they were baffled. How could they play well one night, then not get off the bench the next? How could the coach expect them to be at their best when he didn’t allow them to be part of a consistent rotation? Carlisle should know all this. He was a role player in the NBA. Carlisle listened, but never wavered. The fruits of his approach were evident against the Spurs.”