Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 2, 2010 under xOther | 2 Comments to Read

  • Why yes, that is Tim Thomas (playing against the Mavs, oddly enough) wearing two headbands at once. (via Trey Kerby)
  • I missed this on yesterday’s Grapevine, but Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge put together a wonderful breakdown of Nicolas Batum’s defense on Dirk Saturday night. In light of Andrei Kirilenko’s performance yesterday, it’s pretty apparent that the best way to guard Dirk is still to find the longest, most athletic three around and glue him to Dirk’s hip.
  • It’s tough to pin down exactly what’s wrong with the Mavs, but Mark Cuban already has the problem diagnosed (via Tim MacMahon, Gina Miller): “I think [it's] just time of year where guys get bored…They gotta get re-energized. I think we’ve taken who we are for granted in some respects and that we can turn it on and just beat people.”
  • Fourth quarter buckets were hard to come by last night, but you know what wasn’t? Accountability. Neither Dirk nor JET shielded themselves from blame after the loss, and that’s incredibly important.
  • Doug Collins doesn’t mince words, and in this case, speaks the truth (via Barry Horn): “I think (the Mavericks) are pretty far behind the Lakers. Dirk (Nowitzki) has had a tremendous year, there’s no doubt about that. I think they really miss an effective Josh Howard. He was such a big part of that team and Jason Terry has really taken on his role. When Josh was playing well, he would get them out of the gate quickly. He got them off to great starts. He is struggling right now coming off the bench. I think from (head coach) Rick Carlisle’s standpoint, he’s been unhappy with the defensive slippage the team has had. I think he feels that they’ve lost some of that competitive toughness that they had earlier when they were winning. We’ll see if they can get that back. I don’t see them as a team that can beat the Lakers as they are constituted right now.”
  • Kelly Dwyer on the Mavs’ recurring fourth quarter problem: “This Dirk Nowitzki thing, nearly as nasty as the “Kobe Bryant thing,” is getting serious, for serious, yo. He played nine and a half fourth quarter minutes on Monday night and didn’t attempt a shot, only taking two free throws. Mainly because the Jazz used a smaller, quicker defender (Andrei Kirilenko) to effectively turn Dirk into a slowish small forward. Dirk still got his 28, and it was his 26 through three quarters that had the Mavs in it to begin with, but his inability to sustain with AK hounding him handed this game to a Jazz club that continues to look good…There are few coaches who I’d trust more to work around this nagging Nowitzki issue than Rick Carlisle, but for now the Mavs are in a tough spot.”
  • Fox Sports Southwest has video available for the press scrums for Dirk and Rick Carlisle.
  • Kyle

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned the new PA announcer as a possible reason for the Mavs home woes? As much as most of us couldn’t stand Humble Billy, he still brought a presence to the AAC. Now, we have some generic announcer who offers little home court advantage. Bring back Humble Billy, whatever the cost!

    • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

      @Kyle: Someone has mentioned it, though I can’t quite remember who. It was discussed a bit in one of the comment threads. I’m not sure I’d go as far as to credit him for home losses, but there’s no arguing that the Mavs have lost something presentation-wise. But I’m not letting the actual players off the hook that easily.