Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on April 26, 2010 under xOther | 2 Comments to Read

  • Sebastian Pruiti did a fantastic job at NBA Playbook of picking out the specific ways the Spurs were able to beat the Mavs’ zone last night. For starters, combining the three-guard lineup with the zone means that Jason Kidd is often guarding the likes of DeJuan Blair, which isn’t any fun at all.
  • Johnny Ludden continues his coverage of the series with another excellent game-specific piece: “Hill and Blair felt right at home in the middle of it. Young and hungry, both from hardscrabble backgrounds, they have given the Spurs an edge, a toughness, they haven’t always had in recent years. They look the part – between the two of them they have more tattoos than the Spurs’ past three championship teams combined – and also play it. With Duncan making just a single shot and Ginobili missing 12, with Tony Parker looking almost as ordinary, Hill carried the Spurs’ offense, shedding his defenders with a series of crossovers and step-backs, throwing in five 3-pointers on his way to 29 points, just two fewer than the Spurs’ three stars totaled. The Mavs couldn’t keep a body in front of Hill or Blair, who scrapped and fought, frustrating the Dallas big men with his limitless energy…Three minutes into the second half, the Mavs led by 12. By the end of the third quarter, they were down seven, losing their grip on the game and maybe the series. Over the course of a week, Gregg Popovich’s dog pound had somehow transformed from poodle to pit bull.”
  • Kelly Dwyer, peeking Behind the Box Score: “…[the Mavs] did play sound D on Duncan. Tim missed some chippies, but he only got nine shots off, clearly a function of the Dallas defense. The Mavs just didn’t have enough shot-makers running things in the second half, as Jason Kidd’s 3-10 mark actually raised his playoff shooting percentage to 28.6 percent from the floor. Even with all these nasty stats, this might be my favorite series thus far. Competitive basketball from two teams that just don’t seem to know any better. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle should be on the hot seat for some of his rotation choices, but I’m openly rooting for seven games. Rotate accordingly, Rick.”
  • Kurt Helin at Pro Basketball Talk notes that the Mavs’ salary situation won’t allow for an easy off-season overhaul should they bow out early from the playoffs. I agree, but with one clarification: that’s never stopped Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson before. If they want to make moves and there are pieces available, they will make moves.
  • Shawn Marion, via Marc Stein: “I’ve been in this situation. It can be done. I don’t see no fat lady.”
  • According to Wayne Winston’s lineup ratings, the Mavs’ two most effective lineups have been of the three-guard variety.
  • Apparently the Suns started focusing on their defense because of Jason Terry.
  • ADDED: More glorious photo captioning courtesy of Doc Funk.
  • ADDED: Dan Devine compiled a bevy of perspectives on Caron Butler’s poor play in Game 4 for Ball Don’t Lie. (H/T Phil in the comments.)
  • ADDED: Henry Abbott, reflecting on a Hill-Beaubois parallel: “Watching that same game, I couldn’t help but marvel once again the value of young legs. Of course, in the playoffs, you can’t play anyone who makes a lot of mistakes, as some young players — including Hill, last year — do. But if you have a player who makes good decisions and has young legs … that’s awesome. Then, if you’re in Dallas, you have to wonder about the magical, but benched, Rodrique Beaubois. Was there no way to have him groomed to be ready, right now, to do such things for Dallas?”
  • ADDED: Charles Barkley thinks that Caron Butler “is probably [the Mavs'] second best player and you’ve got to play him.” Really, Chuck? Really? (H/T Ben Q. Rock)
  • Phil
  • Kirk Henderson

    Oh Phil… that yahoo article nearly sent me into a rage blackout then this made me laugh pathetically…

    “If I get an opportunity, I’m going to try to either shoot the ball or make something happen for a teammate,” he said. “Tonight, I had to be very aggressive.”

    Two things: A) Repeatedly taking contested 18-footers off the dribble seems like a flawed definition of “very aggressive” and B) That “had to” makes you wonder if Caron suffers from the same affliction as dudes like Antoine Walker(notes), whose unshakable confidence convinces them that, at any given time, they are the best player on the court and should be the one taking the shots.”