- Mark Cuban’s sage concern, expressed prior to the Mavs’ loss last night (via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News): “Some parts of what we do have gotten better (during the streak). I think we’ve let up a couple times instead of really focusing on what it takes to be a championship team. We try to say this is what it takes to win this game. That’s my biggest concern with this team. We try to win games instead of focusing on executing for 48 minutes so that we’re championship caliber. That’s just my concern.”
- Sebastian Pruiti broke down the Mavs’ final play from last night’s game over at NBA Playbook. It would have been tough to overcome a four-point deficit with less than 11 seconds remaining regardless, but Dallas didn’t do themselves any favors by botching the play. The primary culprit looks to be Jason Terry, though it can be tough to tell without the clipboard in hand.
- Rick Carlisle’s evaluation of last night’s game (via Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas): “They kicked our ass. I don’t know any simpler way to say it.”
- Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball: “When things looked their bleakest during the game, it was usually because Dirk Nowitzki was doing something awesome. Dirk scored 30 points on 12 of 24 shooting (3-6 3FG 3-3 FT) and it looked for a second like he was about to take the Bucks back in a time machine. His impossible looking fadeaway jumper beat the Bucks in overtime last season and he had an even better look to tie the game with :11 to go in regulation this season, but failed to convert on the 8-footer. The defense was there, but Dirk was shooting over and around every Buck all night. This time though, all he had left was a blank. For once.”
- Frank Madden of BrewHoop gave praise to Keyon Dooling, the sadly forgotten man from my recap. Damn the limits of my own self-imposed bullet format. “We easily could have gone with the more efficient CD-R here, but I’ll give the nod to Dooling, whose 16 points (4/10 fg, 3/4 threes, 4/4 ft), four assists, and no turnovers included a number of big plays that helped the Bucks stick around and eventually put the game away. His three with less than two seconds remaining in the first half kept the Bucks within nine at the break, and he followed it up by drawing a transition foul on Dirk near the third quarter horn to boot. When Nowitzki got a tech for bickering he turned it into a three point play that gave the Bucks the lead, and he later sealed it with two free throws that provided the final margin.
- Statistically speaking, the Mavs had only a 0.3% chance of successfully executing their late 12-game winning streak. Never tell them the odds.
- Apparently, the Mavs are set to win the title. Good to know.
- Andrew Unterberger is on a quest to visit every NBA arena in 60 days, and has been keeping record of his journey at The Basketball Jones. He caught the fantastic Mavs-Jazz game in Dallas this past weekend, and this bit might resonate with those who have been lucky enough to catch Mavs games at the AAC this season: “‘Do they talk up defense as much at other stadiums?’ Mat asked me at some point during the third quarter. No, not really — the AAC called out its fans to get the ‘DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE!’ chant going just about every time the Mavs trotted back on their heels downcourt, even though no one but a group of young girls in attendance seemed to pay it any mind until the fourth quarter. You gotta use that sh*t in moderation, Mavs PA guy.”
- Here’s how the $100,000 Mark Cuban gave to the city of Dallas is being used.
- Dominique Jones is a little dinged up.
- Is the intentional fouling of Brendan Haywood (a.k.a. Hack-a-Haywood) a legitimate concern? I see it as probably being a situational problem, but find it hard to believe that this is a strategy we see all too often. The combination of coaching strategy and opportunity make this a situational tactic at best, and while it may be unfortunate every now and again, it’s no epidemic.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski continues to stir the pot on the Vince Carter-to-Dallas rumors:
The proposed deal, which isn’t imminent, would send Carter, Keyon Dooling and Eduardo Najera to the Mavericks for Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse…The Mavericks have lost guard Jason Terry to a broken hand and desperately need perimeter scoring to stay a contender in the Western Conference. The Nets’ and Mavericks’ front offices engineered the Jason Kidd-Devin Harris blockbuster at the trade deadline a year ago. Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe and Mavs GM Donnie Nelson have been active trading proposals, league sources say.
So the lukewarm interest in Carter is quelled by the involvement of Josh Howard (which creates an equally problematic hole at the 3), the inclusion of non-factor Keyon Doolong, and Eddie Najera’s contract. For all of our sakes, Donnie and Cuban, please don’t pull the trigger on this one. Carter’s a decent offensive upgrade over Josh, but he nukes our cap strategy, doesn’t launch us into contention, and necessarily makes the Mavs start from scratch when they finally decide to rebuild.