Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on January 1, 2010 under xOther | Read the First Comment

  • Have you had enough of the decade rankings yet? If not, check out John Hollinger’s top ten players of the decade (Insider only), in which Dirk takes top 5 honors: “Nowitzki’s résumé lacks only an NBA title for validation; the Dwyane Wade Show in 2006 and a knee injury in 2003 eliminated his best chances. (Side note: Don’t forget that fadeaway he hit over Shaq in Game 5 in Miami before the foul call on Wade). Otherwise, he won one MVP award and had three other seasons that were MVP-caliber. He also made the All-NBA team nine years despite a surplus of quality players at his position. Additionally, Nowitzki’s teams won at least 50 games every full season this decade, capped by 67 in 2006-07; that’s a feat only Tim Duncan can match.” Hollinger also notes Jason Kidd as an honorable mention.
  • M. Haubs dubs Mavs-Spurs ’06 the most memorable playoff series of the decade, and Dirk’s 50-point performance against the Suns in the playoffs registers among the finest playoff performances of the decade.
  • Paul Swanson, the stats guy for the Minnesota Timberwolves, singled out a few “Garbage Time All-Stars,” including the Mavs’ own Kris Humphries. (via DOH)
  • Could Dirk have taken a three to potentially tie the game last night? Sure. But swinging the ball to Jason Kidd, who pump faked his way to an open look, is hardly a settling for a “contested, desperation 3.” And given the way Dirk shot the ball to close the game (Dirk had missed his last six jumpers; his last made jump shot came with 9:59 remaining in the third quarter), I was completely comfortable with his decision to give up the rock.
  • Jeff “Skin Wade” voiced his concerns over Kidd’s minutes, and while I don’t have any fears about Kidd’s durability (he’s played 80+ games over each of the last four seasons while averaging 36.4 minutes per game) I completely agree with Mike Fisher’s suggestion: “The headless-chicken nature of the Dallas offense when Kidd isn’t on the floor has occurred when [Barea] is running the point and it has occurred when Jet is running the point. But because the bulk of Roddy Beaubois’ playing time (back in the good ol’ days when he played) came at the 2, alongside Kidd. So we really haven’t seen Roddy at the 1, imposing his potentially precocious will on a defense. So are we trying to shave just a few minutes off of Kidd’s load? I’m never quite able to quantify what happens positively to a guy’s body if he plays 34 minutes a game instead of 35, but for the sake of argument. …If we’re trying to shave just a few minutes off of Kidd’s load … and if we agree that the Dallas offense doesn’t quite click when JJB or Jet are in charge … are we sure there aren’t one or two spots in occasional games in which [Beaubois] wouldn’t be helpful for one or two minutes?”
  • Dirk Nowitzki disagreed with my assessment of the zone defense’s effectiveness. I wouldn’t say that the zone was “really, really effective,” but a video review could be in order.
  • Rick Carlisle, diagnosing what went wrong when (via Eddie Sefko):  “I thought our undoing was a sluggish first quarter…They hit us with transition points and 3s, and the rest of the game was even, maybe even in our favor.”
  • What has the NBA learned this decade? Not to pay Mike Bibby $80 million, Zach Randolph $84 million, Jermaine O’Neal $126 million, and our old pal Erick Dampier $73 million.
  • Sure they can, Eddie, but they won’t.
  • In 1998, the Mavs completed one of the great fleeces in NBA history by trading the draft rights for Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor to the Milwaukee Bucks for Pat Garrity and the draft rights to a certain lanky, German power forward. The Mavs flipped Garrity in a package for Steve Nash, and the rest, as they say, is history. As for Traylor? Well, a lot has happened between then and now, but he’s currently having a rough go of it playing professionally in Italy. (Also: a Travis Best sighting!)