Heard It Through The Grapevine

Posted by admin on April 22, 2010 under xOther | 4 Comments to Read

  • Jesse Blanchard from 48 Minutes of Hell discusses how the Spurs adjusted to contain Dirk: “Given the same looks he has gotten in the first two games, and they have been the same despite the vastly different outcomes, on most nights Nowitzki will produce a stat line that looks like  8-17 from the field and four to five free throw attempts. A great line, but hardly unmanageable.”
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie notes that the Mavs’ Game 2 offensive performance was atypical: “Dallas was stinko, in that regard. Save for the late comeback mentioned above (after trailing for double-digits for most of the contest, the Mavs got it down to five points before Duncan and Ginobili put it away), Rick Carlisle’s team consistently failed to connect on shots that, I’m sorry, they’ve consistently made for years.”
  • Apparently, DeJuan Blair has a new nickname.
  • Spurs owner Peter Holt responds to Mark Cuban’s comments regarding “hating” the Spurs: “Listen, there might be some people in the league that are mad at him, but I’m not mad at him. Anything that raises the awareness is only good for us.”
  • Johnny Ludden of Yahoo explains Tim Duncan’s post-season focus, and with Duncan turning 34 on Sunday, Ludden spotlights the implications of Duncan’s age: “As much as anyone, Duncan settles into a rhythm in the postseason, which spares him the grind of back-to-back games. He’s at the age where any day off is a good day. Popovich’s decision to hold Duncan out of the season finale afforded him five days to rest before the playoffs. He received another two days before Game 2. ‘I’m feeling a lot better and I’m re-energized,’ Duncan said. That’s why it was imperative for the Spurs to win one of these first two games. The series now shifts to an every-other-day format, which should favor the deeper Mavs. The Spurs can’t ignore that reality, nor do they pretend Duncan is the same force he was seven seasons ago, when he won his second MVP award. Last year’s knee problems spurred him to lose 15 pounds during the summer, and no longer does he command a double team as often as he once did…But this, too, is also true: ‘He’ll never lose his skill set,’ Dirk Nowitzki said. Come Sunday, Duncan will have another birthday to celebrate, another game to play. And if the Spurs’ season needs saving again? Yes, Tim Duncan is both older and wiser. No one should think he is done.
  • As usual, Rick Carlisle kept his cool during the post-game interview.
  • Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas writes that when Kidd isn’t playing well, neither are the Mavericks.

This post was written by Blaine Zimmerman. If you’d like to contact Blaine, drop a comment or email him at bzimmerman11b[at]gmail[dot]com.

  • http://www.goodtimescomic.net Jordan

    Spurs fan here. I must say that I was very impressed with Carlisle’s demeanor after the game. You have a hell of a coach there.

  • Andrew

    Where does Blanchard figure he’s got Dirk pegged for 21 points or so a game? He’s averaged over 25 points a game in the playoffs over the course of a decade, 27 over the last two years, 30 against the Spurs this season and so on. I swear, every time Dirk has a bad game someone thinks they’ve figured out how to “stop” him. It’s a shame they haven’t mentioned it to the rest of the league, who could find have found it useful in the last 800 or so games he’s played.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Jesse Blanchard

    Actually, I have a great deal of respect for Dirk Nowitzki and I don’t profess there is a way to “stop” him. The point of my last two posts is that it is pointless and at times costly to double team him. Dirk can get his shot (a fade away jumper) over any defense. The consistency in which he hits these shots is what makes him such a dangerous and unique weapon. There is no way to stop them, you just do not compound your problems by fouling him, which can make his impact manageable (but not unfelt).

    And I agree, last night was just a bad game. But he’s just as likely to have those games as he is to go 12-14 again. I also qualified my statement with pointing out the types of shots he’s getting. The Spurs have done a decent job of eliminating his transition buckets (trailing at the three-point line). Now, those point totals will go up or down depending on the number of shots he gets off, but I suspect that same level of efficiency.

    I expect Dirk to try and drive a bit more, so the onus on the Spurs defenders will be to contest without fouling. With players like Dirk or Duncan or Ginobili, the goal is often not to shut them down, but to make them work for their points.

  • Brian

    Actually, Andrew, if you had read Blanchard’s article in its entirety you would realize that he never once claims to have a “perfect system” for containing Dirk. The article was simply about last night being a regression to the mean. In other words, things tend to shake out to a player’s averages. Dirk will have as many bad games as great games, as will any other super-star in this league (Blanchard used Jefferson’s great night as an example of this as well). Also, Dirk did score 24 points last night, only one below his average. So, if, as you say, 25 is his average, he still has some under-25 games to go before things “average out.”