Heard It Through the Grapevine 2-3-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 3, 2009 under xOther | Read the First Comment

  • Last night’s win over the Magic was just a damn fun game to watch for Mavs fans.  Dirk was hitting shot after shot.  Kidd was threading the needle to Dampier in the lane.  Everyone was attacking the basket, and though there were plenty of mistakes, the Mavs were getting to the line and scoring efficiently.  More than anything, though, the Mavs defense did an awesome job locking down Orlando’s perimeter game.  From David Moore of The Dallas Morning News: ” “The idea is to play Dwight Howard straight up and use your size,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “If you take the easy 3s out of their game, it’s a step in the right direction.” Sound familiar? It’s the same strategy the Mavericks often use against Tim Duncan and San Antonio. Don’t give Erick Dampier any help inside, encourage the Spurs to force-feed Duncan and hope that keeps Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili from getting into rhythm. This night, it worked against Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu.
  • The Mavs absolutely killed it in the second and third quarters.  The second was all about establishing the offense and keeping the turnovers down, and in the third the Mavs used their momentum as a springboard into a big lead.  A certain second quarter stretch caught the attention of Ben Q. Rock of the Magic blog Third Quarter Collapse: “With 1:31 to play in the first half, Kidd ran a pick-and-roll with Erick Dampier. Howard failed to adequately pressure Kidd, leaving the surefire Hall-of-Famer who ranks 5th on the all-time assists leaderboard a large passing lane. Kidd bounced it through to Dampier for an easy layup. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy called timeout after that blown play, but it didn’t help. On the next possession, Kidd and Dampier once again ran a pick-and-roll. Nobody rotated to guard Dampier at the rim, allowing Kidd to lob the ball over the top of the defense for an emphatic alley-oop slam. When Erick Dampier is throwing it down like it’s 2000, you’re in for a rough night. When he’s setting screens that dislocate your All-Star point guard’s shoulder, you may be in for a rough month or so.”  In all fairness, it wasn’t a Damp screen that had Jameer Nelson running to the locker room, but you get the point.
  • Great quote of the moment, courtesy of David Moore’s game recap: ” “Right now our guys are finding ways to help each other,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “They’re finding reasons to play harder, even when the shots aren’t going in. That’s a winning formula…I’m proud of them, the last three games. The burning question is, ‘Can we handle prosperity and can we stay hungry?’ ” “
  • MAVS BUZZWORD WATCH: ” “This road trip is something to build on,” Howard said.” (emphasis mine)
  • Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com unloads some potential trade partners for the Mavs.  The usual suspects make appearances (Shawn Marion, Raymond Felton, Brad Miller) as well as some new kids on the block (Allen Iverson, Elton Brand).
  • The Lakers’ Andrew Bynum has a torn MCL, and is reportedly going to miss 8-12 weeks.  Of course Bynum’s prognosis last year was similarly optimistic, but prevented him from playing in the postseason entirely.  Dallas isn’t quite in L.A.’s league, but ESPN’s John Hollinger thinks Bynum’s injury could have significant fallout for the rest of the West.  Movers and shakers, those Lakers.  Hollinger, via Henry Abbott of TrueHoop: “It has huge implications for the next few teams below the Lakers in the standings in the West, because if he’s going to be out for the playoffs it would greatly increase those teams’ odds of winning a conference championship. That, in turn, might affect the calculus for a team like Denver or New Orleans should the opportunity to make a major short-term improvement — at long-term cost — come their way in the days leading up to the trade deadline. And it certainly would affect what type of player those teams would be looking for — basically, they would go from trying to acquire big 5s to looking more for nimble frontcourt players to face a Gasol-Odom frontcourt for L.A.”
  • Mark Cuban’s bringing in the legal big guns to go to war for him on the insider trading allegations.
  • Brandon Bass was named part of LSU’s “All-Century Team.”  Bass was one of sixteen players given the honor, and is in pretty good company with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Pete Maravich, and Bob Pettit.