Heard It Through the Grapevine 3-19-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 19, 2009 under xOther | 2 Comments to Read

  • Brandon Bass does his best Dirk impression, and I must say that it’s top notch.
  • Carlisle’s answer to the rebounding quandary: go big or go home.  Damp, Bass, and Singleton are all candidates to play big minutes.  From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:  “Carlisle has watched the Mavericks’ poor rebounding in the last three games and knows the best chance to rectify it is to keep his strongest players on the floor whenever possible. ‘[Singleton] will be in there sometimes with Damp and Dirk [Nowitzki], and we’re very big,’ Carlisle said. ‘But whoever’s out there, we’re going to have to scramble to get rebounds because the discrepancy of possessions is going to get you after awhile.’”
  • I would definitely argue that the Mavs are better than the average (median, I guess) team, but it’s hard to argue that in terms of grouping, they fall in the middle of the pack.  Apparently that makes Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News a sad, sad panda: “These Mavs aren’t nearly good enough to turn it on whenever they feel like, which they should know by now, but apparently don’t. You can’t look at this team and find reasons for hope. No one really knows if or when Josh Howard is returning from his ankle injury. And we certainly don’t know if he’ll be effective when he does come back. Then there’s the Mavs’ current defensive woes, which have forced them to play considerably more zone than they did early in the season. While the zone has been an effective tool, they struggle to rebound when they use it. That’s because once the shot goes up, each player must find an opponent to box out, which takes effort. It’s among the reasons why Detroit had 27 second-chance points, while scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter. In its last three games, Dallas has been outrebounded by an average of nine a game. ‘We have to do it collectively,’ Rick Carlisle said. ‘It has to be part of a team’s consciousness to fight for the ball. We have to do better.’”
  • The Mavs’ zone really messed with the Lakers’ offense.  So much so that they spent the majority of Monday’s two-hour practice working on how to attack it.  That, my friends, is awesome, but also exactly why it won’t work in the playoffs.
  • It’s all about perspective.  Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com looks at two teams with eerily similar records that just so happen to be playing each other tonight; one is on top of the world, and the other’s fan base is hanging their collective heads: Atlanta has 14 games to go. Eight of them are at home and six of them are on the road, and the Hawks are 40-28. Dallas has 14 games to go. Eight of them are at home and six of them are on the road, and the Mavs are 41-27. So why is Atlanta’s Josh Smith saying things like, ‘You see us out there playing with smiles on our faces and playing so hard. … Where we go this season is really up to us.’ And meanwhile, why are the Mavs having to apologize for barely beating the Pistons? Did you see what NO did last night, winning on a missed Minnesota jumper at the end? Did you see what Denver did last night, winning by the same sliver over Memphis? Well, almost no matter what the Hawks do from here, this will go down as arguably their best regular season in more than a decade. And the Mavs? The decade it littered with 50-win seasons. So some fans yawn.”
  • Enjoy the Madness today.  My bracket already took a hit and a half with LSU beating Butler and Memphis almost losing to 15-seed Cal State Northridge.  I kind of have Memphis beating UConn and going to the Final Four.  Yikes.