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Old 02-09-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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I couldn't find a place to put this so......

http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2011/0...e-loose-again/
Mavericks on the Loose Again!
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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – With the trade winds blowing in Los Angeles and attention focused seemingly everywhere else, the Dallas Mavericks have quietly gotten back to the business of mowing down the competition.
Winners of nine straight games heading into tonight’s game against Sacramento, the Mavs have clearly recovered from that little mini-tailspin last month (they lost six in a row and seven of eight) when both Caron Butler and Dirk Nowitzki went down with knee injuries.
They have won 10 of their last 11 games, the only blemish during that stretch being an 82-77 setback in Chicago Jan. 20. Included in that march are wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Hawks, Knicks and Celtics. So it’s not like they’ve been fattening up on just losing teams or anything.
The Mavs have regained that early season swagger they showed when they rolled to a 24-5 start right after Christmas and announced themselves as a legitimate challenger to the Lakers’ three-year stranglehold on the Western Conference title.
Of course, they’re still chasing their Southwest Division rivals in San Antonio.
The Spurs became just the seventh team to start a season 43-8, and still haven’t won over their own coach. “There’s still some teams playing better than we are,” Gregg Popovich told reporters after the game. “We’re not the best team in the league. Just because we have the best record doesn’t mean we have the best team. To be the best team, we have to get better defensively.”
There is no confidence crisis in Dallas. The Mavericks know they are good. They know they have as good a chance as anyone, provided they remain healthy enough, to challenge for the top spot in the West.
Dirk is playing ridiculously well, even on a knee that isn’t 100 percent, and they have the legitimate inside presence they’ve lacked in the past in Tyson Chandler. With the prospect of Roddy Beaubois returning in the coming weeks, they’ll actually get a perimeter scoring boost to go along with quality play from veteran guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.
Depth is obviously not going to be an issue, even with the injuries the Mavs have suffered this season. Shawn Marion‘s shined his role as the utility man, whether he’s coming off the bench or filling in for someone in the starting lineup. And you could do a lot worse than Brendan Haywood for your backup center.
We discussed it here before and we’ll bring it up again now: this Mavericks team is on to something. They’ve got everything in the potential champion’s notebook — talent, seasoning, depth, star power, quality coaching, top-flight organization and some intimate knowledge of what it takes to reach the top spot.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:41 AM   #2
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Nice article, and a thread like this one is long long overdue imo.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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Jason Terry wants sixth man title back and talks about winning it all: http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba...ory?id=6121812

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Old 02-14-2011, 04:53 PM   #4
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Excellent use of the random mavs article thread!
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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There's an ESPN insider about how the Mav's recent winning streak was misleading. I'd like to read that if anyone with an account cares to post it.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by muzak View Post
There's an ESPN insider about how the Mav's recent winning streak was misleading. I'd like to read that if anyone with an account cares to post it.
Would also be interested. But I'll assume it will go into the usual direction: Bad point-differential for a winning streak and subpar defense against mediocre opponents.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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Tyson Chandler has 2 T's rescinded, 4 total

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Originally Posted by Jeff Caplan
By the end of the road trip Saturday night, Mavericks center Tyson Chandler had picked up two more technical fouls -- neither of which he felt he deserved -- to give him 10 on the season.

On Monday, the league vindicated Chandler, rescinding the technicals he picked up in Wednesday's game at Sacramento and in Saturday's game at Houston.

Total number of technicals is important because players that pile up 16 during the regular season are punished with a one-game suspension. Initially, it was thought the two rescinded technicals dropped Chandler's total to eight.

However, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said that Chandler also had two other technical fouls rescinded from earlier this season, so the league ledger has Chandler for just six technicals, giving him plenty of room to blow off steam if need be without risk of suspension with 28 games to go.

The other rescinded technicals were from the season-opener on Oct. 27 against Charlotte and Jan. 12 at Indiana.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by iella View Post
Very nice - only 6/16 techs a week before the All-Star break...
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:53 PM   #9
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6/16

he has had 10 Ts called, 4 recinded
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mavs777 View Post
6/16

he has had 10 Ts called, 4 recinded
That's a lot of breathing room...
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:38 AM   #11
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can we have our MOV adjusted accordingly?

jk...
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:47 AM   #12
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Great Thread: Gives me a place to post this Peja must read from the Sacramento Bee, written when the Mavs and Peja played there, by Ailene Voisin:

Stojakovic has no regrets as injuries take their toll


By Ailene Voisin
avoisin@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 - 11:06 am
Peja Stojakovic is only 33, which is not exactly ancient by modern NBA standards. He just feels ancient.

His surgically repaired lower back will ache forever. The steel rod in his once-shattered right leg forecasts rain and snow more accurately than radar.

His balky left knee is the latest challenge to his career, to when it ends, and on what terms.

Does he make the decision or does his body dictate the finale?

After 12 seasons, the former Kings star still has dreams and aspirations, but he offers no promises.

When he returns to Arco Arena tonight – in his second game as the starting small forward of the Dallas Mavericks – it could be his final appearance in Sacramento.

"I understand the tradition, and I know where I'm at," Stojakovic said from his cell phone Tuesday afternoon. "I just want to complete the season on a good note, see if I can stay healthy and help the team with spacing and shooting. And then who knows? I love being around the game. I sometimes think … about the many injuries that took away part of my basketball career. It changed everything."

While Stojakovic is yet another example of the fragile, fickle nature of sports, he packed some terrific basketball into his many seasons. He was the Most Valuable Player of the Greek League while still in his teens; a first-round draft choice of the Kings (14th overall) in 1996; a three-time NBA All-Star, also with the Kings; a two-time champion of the Long Distance Shootout at the All-Star festivities.

During his best years in Sacramento, the muscled, 6-foot-10 Serb was a popular figure who ran the floor tirelessly and stroked beautiful threes, scampered along the baseline and spotted up in the corners, cut backdoor for layups, often the recipient of perfect passes from Vlade Divac, Chris Webber and Doug Christie. He was adequate defensively, and probably even underrated, but despite his size and strength, he remained a curiosity; he became increasingly tentative around the basket.

In retrospect, Stojakovic attributes his lack of physicality and series of health issues to a career-threatening injury he suffered while playing for PAOK in Thessaloniki. (Remember, he already had been drafted by the Kings, but was told by his father to remain in Europe for two additional seasons because of his youth).

During one Greek League game, his sore right knee suddenly buckled, the bone breaking through the skin in what then-coach Scott Skiles referred to as the most horrific sports injury he had ever witnessed.

"Everything started with the leg," said Stojakovic, who subsequently spent several months rehabilitating in Sacramento. "Not having the right balance, the right strength caused the later problems. The doctors said that threw my back off, and I was always making adjustments, favoring one (body part) to compensate for another. The back problem is the worse. My body has never been the same since the (disc) surgery in 2006."

In essence, said Stojakovic, his body began breaking down during what should have been his prime years, hampering his mobility and productivity in Indiana, New Orleans and, most recently, Toronto.

Stojakovic, who needs one more three-pointer to move into fourth place on the league's list for most three-pointers made, played two games with the Raptors before undergoing surgery to repair his left kneecap. After being sidelined for two months, he bought out the remaining months of his contract and reunited in Dallas with former Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.

"Aleka is staying in New Orleans for now because our two kids are in school, and we have a third child on the way," Stojakovic said as he tried to navigate through an unfamiliar Dallas airport. "I guess you just keep making adjustments. My parents visit us all the time from Belgrade, and they are in Sacramento often because my brother (Nasha) still lives there. He is on dialysis, and he's trying to deal with his condition."

Any regrets besides the outcome of Kings-Lakers in 2002? No regrets or complaints, he says with a laugh, though he envies Ray Allen and other aging but highly functioning veterans. Their presence is what partly inspires him to pursue another postseason, to feel part again of something special, to leave on his terms, gracefully.

"I understand the tradition," he said, "and I'll never complain. I'll know when to go. I've had a great 13 years, especially in Sacramento. The chemistry was something we'll always cherish. Great support from the city, from the fans. Believe me, I will never complain. I have had a great career."



Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/09/338...#ixzz1E0VbdOwU
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:25 AM   #13
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I like Peja...I also think the dirkster likes him. That's a good.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
Great Thread: Gives me a place to post this Peja must read from the Sacramento Bee, written when the Mavs and Peja played there, by Ailene Voisin:

Stojakovic has no regrets as injuries take their toll


By Ailene Voisin
avoisin@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 - 11:06 am
Peja Stojakovic is only 33, which is not exactly ancient by modern NBA standards. He just feels ancient.

His surgically repaired lower back will ache forever. The steel rod in his once-shattered right leg forecasts rain and snow more accurately than radar.

His balky left knee is the latest challenge to his career, to when it ends, and on what terms.

Does he make the decision or does his body dictate the finale?

After 12 seasons, the former Kings star still has dreams and aspirations, but he offers no promises.

When he returns to Arco Arena tonight – in his second game as the starting small forward of the Dallas Mavericks – it could be his final appearance in Sacramento.

"I understand the tradition, and I know where I'm at," Stojakovic said from his cell phone Tuesday afternoon. "I just want to complete the season on a good note, see if I can stay healthy and help the team with spacing and shooting. And then who knows? I love being around the game. I sometimes think … about the many injuries that took away part of my basketball career. It changed everything."

While Stojakovic is yet another example of the fragile, fickle nature of sports, he packed some terrific basketball into his many seasons. He was the Most Valuable Player of the Greek League while still in his teens; a first-round draft choice of the Kings (14th overall) in 1996; a three-time NBA All-Star, also with the Kings; a two-time champion of the Long Distance Shootout at the All-Star festivities.

During his best years in Sacramento, the muscled, 6-foot-10 Serb was a popular figure who ran the floor tirelessly and stroked beautiful threes, scampered along the baseline and spotted up in the corners, cut backdoor for layups, often the recipient of perfect passes from Vlade Divac, Chris Webber and Doug Christie. He was adequate defensively, and probably even underrated, but despite his size and strength, he remained a curiosity; he became increasingly tentative around the basket.

In retrospect, Stojakovic attributes his lack of physicality and series of health issues to a career-threatening injury he suffered while playing for PAOK in Thessaloniki. (Remember, he already had been drafted by the Kings, but was told by his father to remain in Europe for two additional seasons because of his youth).

During one Greek League game, his sore right knee suddenly buckled, the bone breaking through the skin in what then-coach Scott Skiles referred to as the most horrific sports injury he had ever witnessed.

"Everything started with the leg," said Stojakovic, who subsequently spent several months rehabilitating in Sacramento. "Not having the right balance, the right strength caused the later problems. The doctors said that threw my back off, and I was always making adjustments, favoring one (body part) to compensate for another. The back problem is the worse. My body has never been the same since the (disc) surgery in 2006."

In essence, said Stojakovic, his body began breaking down during what should have been his prime years, hampering his mobility and productivity in Indiana, New Orleans and, most recently, Toronto.

Stojakovic, who needs one more three-pointer to move into fourth place on the league's list for most three-pointers made, played two games with the Raptors before undergoing surgery to repair his left kneecap. After being sidelined for two months, he bought out the remaining months of his contract and reunited in Dallas with former Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.

"Aleka is staying in New Orleans for now because our two kids are in school, and we have a third child on the way," Stojakovic said as he tried to navigate through an unfamiliar Dallas airport. "I guess you just keep making adjustments. My parents visit us all the time from Belgrade, and they are in Sacramento often because my brother (Nasha) still lives there. He is on dialysis, and he's trying to deal with his condition."

Any regrets besides the outcome of Kings-Lakers in 2002? No regrets or complaints, he says with a laugh, though he envies Ray Allen and other aging but highly functioning veterans. Their presence is what partly inspires him to pursue another postseason, to feel part again of something special, to leave on his terms, gracefully.

"I understand the tradition," he said, "and I'll never complain. I'll know when to go. I've had a great 13 years, especially in Sacramento. The chemistry was something we'll always cherish. Great support from the city, from the fans. Believe me, I will never complain. I have had a great career."



Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/09/338...#ixzz1E0VbdOwU
Love this article. And I'd agree with ^^ dirk definitely loves the Peja. I think people around here really have the wrong idea of what he brings to the table for this team. I can't even believe people are expecting him to fill the 15-17ppg provided by Butler, not to mention all of the intangibles and defensive prowess. However, Peja WILL be extremely valuable to this team. The fact is, whether he is 1-10 or 10-10, when he is on the court, the opposing team is forced to keep a man close, which, in turn, makes everyone's job easier. Stevenson, despite his drastically improved overall 3pt percentage, is still not, and will never be a respected 3 point shooter in this league. It doesn't matter how many games he has hitting 3-4 3's, teams will still leave him to double Dirk. With Peja, that is not the case. There is a reason he is #4 (about to be #3) on the tall time list, the man can straight up wet the 3.

As far as I'm concerned, as long as he is healthy enough to step on the court and make somewhat athletic moves, he is doing his job. He is spacing the floor, making his open shots, and playing within himself. As long as Roddy does what I expect him to do, that will be all we need from Peja.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:16 AM   #15
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Great article. One can only hope.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:25 AM   #16
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The problem I see with peja (whether he's going 1-10 or 10-10) is that I think he shoots too much and too quickly. I would hope that he will become more discerning. He can get an even widerer-opener shot if he will be a little more patient as the ball moves.

It's just my initial opinion is that he gets his shot off so fast that he IS open quicker than our other shooters and so he shoots it. He's almost getting a shot up every 30seconds...That's too much imo. Looking at his other stints that's pretty much his mo...I would like to see the mavs back that down a tad, he doesn't need that on this team, he will get wide open looks.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by muzak View Post
There's an ESPN insider about how the Mav's recent winning streak was misleading. I'd like to read that if anyone with an account cares to post it.
Yes more of the same:
Quote:
With their 10-game winning streak that came to an end on Arron Afflalo's buzzer-beating jumper Thursday in Denver, the Mavericks put themselves back into the discussion of the Western Conference's best teams. Dallas now holds a half-game advantage over the Los Angeles Lakers for the West's second seed. However, a deeper look at the Mavericks' streak suggests it was much less impressive than it looks on the surface.

Dallas benefited from an easy schedule during the winning streak. Just three of the 10 teams the Mavericks beat sport above-.500 records. On top of that, Dallas hardly dominated its inferior opponents. The Mavericks skated past the New Jersey Nets by one point, the Sacramento Kings by two points and narrowly escaped the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers at home, sweating out a tying 3-point attempt in the closing seconds before handing the Cavaliers their record-setting 25th consecutive loss.

All told, Dallas played 4.4 points per game better during the winning streak than an average team would have been expected to do against the same opponents. By the same measure, the Mavericks' earlier 12-game winning streak that ended Dec. 11 was far more impressive; Dallas was 7.4 points better than average during that stretch. For that matter, the Mavericks were 6.6 points better than average on the season through Dec. 27, when Dirk Nowitzki was sidelined with a knee injury.

The most encouraging aspect of Dallas' winning streak was the way the team clicked on offense. The Mavericks posted a 116.3 offensive rating over those 10 games, which is more efficient than any team in the league has been over the course of the season. After accounting for schedule, Dallas' offense was still more prolific than it has been at any point this year. If the Mavericks can get their defense back where it was before the turn of the calendar, their play might live up to their recent record.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...ory?id=6120675
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:28 AM   #18
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Love this article. And I'd agree with ^^ dirk definitely loves the Peja. I think people around here really have the wrong idea of what he brings to the table for this team. I can't even believe people are expecting him to fill the 15-17ppg provided by Butler, not to mention all of the intangibles and defensive prowess. However, Peja WILL be extremely valuable to this team. The fact is, whether he is 1-10 or 10-10, when he is on the court, the opposing team is forced to keep a man close, which, in turn, makes everyone's job easier. Stevenson, despite his drastically improved overall 3pt percentage, is still not, and will never be a respected 3 point shooter in this league. It doesn't matter how many games he has hitting 3-4 3's, teams will still leave him to double Dirk. With Peja, that is not the case. There is a reason he is #4 (about to be #3) on the tall time list, the man can straight up wet the 3.

As far as I'm concerned, as long as he is healthy enough to step on the court and make somewhat athletic moves, he is doing his job. He is spacing the floor, making his open shots, and playing within himself. As long as Roddy does what I expect him to do, that will be all we need from Peja.
I mentioned this in another thread, but I think Peja is less of a Caron Butler replacement and more of a Tim Thomas replacement (someone we would have missed a LOT this season if Butler and Stevenson didn't have those amazing 3-point shooting stretches...)
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:19 PM   #19
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I mentioned this in another thread, but I think Peja is less of a Caron Butler replacement and more of a Tim Thomas replacement (someone we would have missed a LOT this season if Butler and Stevenson didn't have those amazing 3-point shooting stretches...)
I'd say he's an offensive improvement over ole TT, but defensively he's prolly more of a liability. And I still say we miss Stevenson. In all reality, I our bench is at it's best when Marion is playing the 3 instead of the 4. I know the numbers may show the contrary, but I think Marion is somewhat of a defensive liability against teams with big PF's, and if we could just keep him at the 3 we would be a lot better off. But alas, Thomas isn't gonna be here, so we're gonna have to make do.

People need to see this team for what it is, a damn good one, but very different from the beginning of the season. The swap of Peja for TT, and Roddy for CB is fairly significant, especially since it looks like they will both be starting (Peja and Roddy, that is). As of now - and I'm sure this will change with Roddy's return - we look much more balanced than we did early in the season, we just don't have the defensive end of the court down yet. Give Roddy and Peja a few weeks to get integrated into the system, and I think we will have a better gauge for how the FO did. In my mind, at this point, I think our FO has done EXACTLY what it should have done so far, and I LOVE the Peja signing/sighting.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:43 PM   #20
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #21
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Fun clip of Ty Chandler: Fun clip of Tyson Chandler: http://4ptsplay.blogspot.com/2011/02...e-or-game.html
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:44 PM   #22
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Great Thread: Gives me a place to post this Peja must read from the Sacramento Bee, written when the Mavs and Peja played there, by Ailene Voisin:

Stojakovic has no regrets as injuries take their toll


By Ailene Voisin
avoisin@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 - 11:06 am
Peja Stojakovic is only 33, which is not exactly ancient by modern NBA standards. He just feels ancient.

His surgically repaired lower back will ache forever. The steel rod in his once-shattered right leg forecasts rain and snow more accurately than radar.

His balky left knee is the latest challenge to his career, to when it ends, and on what terms.

Does he make the decision or does his body dictate the finale?

After 12 seasons, the former Kings star still has dreams and aspirations, but he offers no promises.

When he returns to Arco Arena tonight – in his second game as the starting small forward of the Dallas Mavericks – it could be his final appearance in Sacramento.

"I understand the tradition, and I know where I'm at," Stojakovic said from his cell phone Tuesday afternoon. "I just want to complete the season on a good note, see if I can stay healthy and help the team with spacing and shooting. And then who knows? I love being around the game. I sometimes think … about the many injuries that took away part of my basketball career. It changed everything."

While Stojakovic is yet another example of the fragile, fickle nature of sports, he packed some terrific basketball into his many seasons. He was the Most Valuable Player of the Greek League while still in his teens; a first-round draft choice of the Kings (14th overall) in 1996; a three-time NBA All-Star, also with the Kings; a two-time champion of the Long Distance Shootout at the All-Star festivities.

During his best years in Sacramento, the muscled, 6-foot-10 Serb was a popular figure who ran the floor tirelessly and stroked beautiful threes, scampered along the baseline and spotted up in the corners, cut backdoor for layups, often the recipient of perfect passes from Vlade Divac, Chris Webber and Doug Christie. He was adequate defensively, and probably even underrated, but despite his size and strength, he remained a curiosity; he became increasingly tentative around the basket.

In retrospect, Stojakovic attributes his lack of physicality and series of health issues to a career-threatening injury he suffered while playing for PAOK in Thessaloniki. (Remember, he already had been drafted by the Kings, but was told by his father to remain in Europe for two additional seasons because of his youth).

During one Greek League game, his sore right knee suddenly buckled, the bone breaking through the skin in what then-coach Scott Skiles referred to as the most horrific sports injury he had ever witnessed.

"Everything started with the leg," said Stojakovic, who subsequently spent several months rehabilitating in Sacramento. "Not having the right balance, the right strength caused the later problems. The doctors said that threw my back off, and I was always making adjustments, favoring one (body part) to compensate for another. The back problem is the worse. My body has never been the same since the (disc) surgery in 2006."

In essence, said Stojakovic, his body began breaking down during what should have been his prime years, hampering his mobility and productivity in Indiana, New Orleans and, most recently, Toronto.

Stojakovic, who needs one more three-pointer to move into fourth place on the league's list for most three-pointers made, played two games with the Raptors before undergoing surgery to repair his left kneecap. After being sidelined for two months, he bought out the remaining months of his contract and reunited in Dallas with former Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.

"Aleka is staying in New Orleans for now because our two kids are in school, and we have a third child on the way," Stojakovic said as he tried to navigate through an unfamiliar Dallas airport. "I guess you just keep making adjustments. My parents visit us all the time from Belgrade, and they are in Sacramento often because my brother (Nasha) still lives there. He is on dialysis, and he's trying to deal with his condition."

Any regrets besides the outcome of Kings-Lakers in 2002? No regrets or complaints, he says with a laugh, though he envies Ray Allen and other aging but highly functioning veterans. Their presence is what partly inspires him to pursue another postseason, to feel part again of something special, to leave on his terms, gracefully.

"I understand the tradition," he said, "and I'll never complain. I'll know when to go. I've had a great 13 years, especially in Sacramento. The chemistry was something we'll always cherish. Great support from the city, from the fans. Believe me, I will never complain. I have had a great career."



Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/09/338...#ixzz1E0VbdOwU
wow interesting perspective. thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:21 AM   #23
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Top 10 of the first half of the season: http://search.espn.go.com/s/overlay/...dims=6&start=0
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:21 AM   #24
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Top 10 of the first half of the season: http://search.espn.go.com/s/overlay/...dims=6&start=0
Nice...what a difference a Ty makes, eh? For about 10 years now mavs highlights have been game-winners by dirk or really tough shots by him. This year jkiddo, ty and lots of dunks and fast breaks. This team is older but strangely enough it plays a little younger than it has in a while.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:01 PM   #25
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This Zach Lowe article is from Monday, but he did some interesting number crunching in the lower paragraphs, trying to answer the question whether the Mavericks can be seen as contenders this year, so I figured it's still worth being posted somewhere. In addition the basic theme is surprisingly in sync with the news of the day in Mavsland (Roddy back, Butler back for playoffs?, Melo coming?):

http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011...entity-issues/

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Monday Musings: Mavs face identity issues

It remains to be seen how much and how quickly Rodrigue Beaubois can help the Mavs this season. (Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)

Valentine’s Day brings us within a week and a half of the trade deadline, and now that the Andrew Bynum-Carmelo Anthony rumors have died down, there appears to be only one elite team that has even a slight chance at striking a landscape-shaking deal in the next 10 days: the Dallas Mavericks.

They’ve been tinkering around the edges since Caron Butler went down with what was thought to be a season-ending knee injury. They signed Sasha Pavlovic and then Peja Stojakovic to fill some of the scoring void at small forward, they’ve given more minutes to J.J. Barea and Ian Mahinmi, and they’ve played Shawn Marion more at small forward. They’ve won 11 of 12 to slip past the Lakers into the second spot in the Western Conference, and they are finally primed to get Roddy Beaubois — fast becoming the Loch Ness monster of alleged impact players — back as early as Wednesday from foot surgery. And now Butler, pleased with his rehab, is talking about coming back for the playoffs.

That complicates things on many levels. Having a rotation player come back only for the postseason is always tricky because the team will have established new rotations without him and he’ll have to work himself back into game conditioning during must-win time. Remember the Jameer Nelson/Rafer Alston mess Orlando went through in 2009?

Butler’s $10.6 million expiring contract — with some sweetener attached — also represents the primary bait Dallas has to pull a deal for a big-name wing player — someone like Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton, Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace or any number of other guys who might become available as surrendering teams look to ditch long-term payroll. Those teams may also ask for Beaubois as the sweetener, but Mark Cuban has said rather loudly that the second-year guard is essentially untouchable. How much and how quickly he can help Dallas this season are still questions — ones that will only begin to be answered with about a week to go before the deadline.

The larger question, though, is: Who are the Dallas Mavericks? Is this a real championship contender?

Despite all the hype about Tyson Chandler (and few have been bigger fans of this move than I have been), the Mavs’ new stinginess and Dirk Nowitzki’s uber-efficient season, this team is, by the numbers, an almost exact replica of last year’s club — a 55-win second seed that flamed out in the first round.

The Mavs are decent at many things but elite at very few, save for avoiding fouls on defense and sticking long two-point shots on offense. Their defense, the subject of so much early-season fawning, is allowing 105.6 points per 100 possessions — good for just 12th in the league.

Last season? The Mavs allowed 106.3 points per 100 possessions — good for 12th in the league. And the illusion of improvement disappears when you consider that the league as a whole is giving up about 0.6 fewer points per 100 possessions this season.

The Dallas offense is scoring a solid 109.0 points per 100 possessions — the ninth-best mark. Last season, the Mavs scored 109.2 points per 100 possessions — 10th overall.

Add it up, and the Mavs are outscoring opponents by about three points per game — almost the exact same margin of victory as last season. Six teams have higher victory margins — much higher, in fact — and that’s not the sort of overall statistical profile associated with a championship-level team. The Mavs are once again winning more than the numbers suggest they should, mostly because they have somehow duplicated last season’s ridiculous performance in close games; Dallas is 9-3 in games decided by three or fewer points, tied with the Thunder for the best mark in the league.

The Mavs, again, look like a paper contender in the big picture. But what if that picture isn’t really accurate?

The nine games Nowitzki missed with a knee injury did enormous damage to Dallas’ profile. The Mavs went 2-7 in those games and were outscored by 53 points overall, about six per game. Take out those games, and the Mavs have outscored their opponents by about 4.9 points per game. That would still rank seventh in the league, but it puts Dallas much closer to the elite — and above the average margin last season’s Lakers posted.

There’s also this nugget, courtesy of Jonathan Tjarks at GetBuckets: Dallas is 7-3 combined against Orlando, San Antonio, Boston, Miami and the Lakers — and all three of those losses came when Nowitzki was out. The Mavs are 0-2 against Chicago, but even tossing the Bulls in among the league’s contenders, Rick Carlisle’s team is 7-2 against the league’s best with Nowitzki healthy.

And then there’s the whole thing about winning close games. The Mavs pulled this last year (9-2 in games decided by three or fewer points) and the year before (10-4), but the skeptics warned there was little evidence to suggest teams really “know how to win” close games, or that such trends carry over to the playoffs. Did consecutive first-round losses prove the skeptics right?

What you believe about Dallas depends a lot on what you believe about things like being “clutch” and knowing how to win. But even if you’re skeptical about that stuff, you have to recognize that Dallas with Dirk looks like a legitimately strong club.

If Cuban thinks the Mavs have a realistic chance to win the title, he’ll do whatever he can do boost their chances — he wants to win, and he knows Nowitzki deserves the best chance possible. But how does he get Nowitzki the best chance this season? With Beaubois, Stojakovic and the possibility of Butler returning in April? Or some other way?

May the countdown to the Feb. 24 trade deadline begin.
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10 THINGS I LIKE AND DON’T LIKE
8. J.J. Barea’s one-handed style

Lamar Odom probably has the coolest-looking arm-extended move in the league with the statue-of-liberty thing he does on hard drives down the lane, but Barea’s Nash-like one-handed scoop shot is growing on me. The little guy is playing great, in general, lately — 14 points per game on 57 percent shooting over his last 11 games — and his ability to dangle the ball in his right hand without getting stripped or rejected is always fun to watch.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:42 PM   #26
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Hollinger a believer?

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I think we need to start treating the possibility of Dallas making the conference finals with a little more respect than we have been. Right now it's no contest which team is playing better.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:48 PM   #27
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Hollinger a believer?
Only because we had a 16 point MOV - he'll go back to hating us next time we win by 2...


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Old 02-17-2011, 01:01 PM   #28
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Hollinger a believer?
HEY!

There's a thread for this: Behold, the idiocy that is John Hollinger
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:06 PM   #29
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Only because we had a 16 point MOV - he'll go back to hating us next time we win by 2...


We didn't even improve in his uber-ratings with this win . Actually slided a bit 0-o
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:40 AM   #30
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http://www.nba.com/hornets/news/sout...011_02_14.html

At the unofficial midway point of the 2010-11 regular season, Hornets.com invited writers who cover each of the other Southwest Division teams to get together and discuss what’s taken place in the league’s most competitive division thus far. Joining us once again are Dallas television play-by-play broadcaster Mark Followill, Rockets.com writer Jason Friedman, grizzlies.com writer Matt Tumbleson and writer Andrew McNeill, of the independent Spurs website “48 Minutes of Hell.”
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:32 PM   #31
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MMBs Report Cards at the All-Star Break

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Dallas heads into the long All-Star break as one the hottest team in the NBA. The Mavericks have won 12 of their last 13 games (including 13 of their last 15). The Nuggets snapped the Mavericks’ 10-game winning streak with an Arron Afflalo buzzer beater at Denver on February 10. The 10-game run marked Dallas’ second double-digit win streak this season (won 12 straight from November 20-December 11). San Antonio is the only other team with two double-digit win streaks in 2010-11.

The Mavericks recorded their 40th win before the All-Star break with the victory at Phoenix Thursday night. Dallas now stands with San Antonio, Miami and Boston as the only teams with at least 40 wins going into the All-Star break. The boys in blue currently sit in second place in the Western Conference, two-and-a-half games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and six games behind the San Antonio Spurs.

Dirk Nowitzki heads off to Los Angeles to participate in his 10th consecutive All-Star Game. Many of the other players will take family vacations, while others will get some much needed rest and relaxation. The Mavericks will not have another game until Wednesday when they host the Utah Jazz. With a nice little break, it seems fitting to look at the roster and see who is making the grade and who needs to stay after class for some extra credit.
You can read the rest at http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2011/2/...all-star-break
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:05 PM   #32
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Rebounding is part of the core system for the Mavericks. It is mixed in with defense, efficiency and health. When the effort has been there in terms of rebounding, the Mavericks have seen favorable results. "We’re doing OK with it," Coach Rick Carlisle said when addressing his team's results in the rebounding department. After going through a stretch of 10 consecutive games where they were unable to win the rebounding battle against their opponent, the Maverick have out-rebounded their opposition in seven of the last 11 games. It could be due to the opponents or just a greater emphasis has been placed in that category. The Mavericks will need to be a strong rebounding team in order to have great success in the playoffs.

Dallas ranks eighth in the league in terms of defensive rebounding with 31.7 defensive rebounds/game. They struggle to grab offensive rebounds as they only grab 9.2 offensive rebounds/game, ranking 29th in the entire league (second worst, ahead of Boston, 7.9). The Mavericks rank 17th in terms of total rebounds at 41.0 rebounds/game. When you put all of those numbers in a crock-pot and let it simmer, you come out with the fact that the Mavericks are 22-5 when they grab more boards than their opponent.

For Carlisle, rebounding is an incredibly important part of the game. "Rebounding is so important because it is one possession you have that the other team doesn’t have," Carlisle said. "In effect, each time the ball is in the air it could be a four or five-point swing." One big example of this in a recent game was against the Boston Celtics where Ray Allen had a chance to give the Celtics a 48-47 lead in the second quarter. He had a wide open three-point look and he missed it. The Mavs got the rebound and quickly ran up the floor and Jason Terry nailed a three-point basket, resulting in a six-point swing.
you can read the rest at http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2011/2/...-for-mavericks
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:45 PM   #33
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Nice stuff BG...Especially the analysis of the dirksters prowess and the increased ability of shawn/ty to grab boards. Timely with the recent discussion about the dirksters "inexcusable" rebounding efforts.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #34
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Are the Dallas Mavericks Contenders or Pretenders?
Heading into the final stretch of the regular season, the Western Conference is still stacked with talent. The difference is that this year's true talent lies at the top. The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks are the legitimate contenders in the West. There are troublesome teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets. The lower-level playoff teams should not be a major issues for the Mavericks due to youth, mismatched personnel or an impending talent implosion. The last handful of playoff runs have left the Mavericks merely as the one-and-done boys with their first round exits. So can the Mavericks truly make a deep run in the playoffs?

Having Dirk Nowitzki in the lineup will clearly go a long way in determining how far the Mavericks will ultimately go. The Mavericks are 2-7 without Nowitzki in the lineup, they are 38-9 with Nowitzki in the lineup. "We've played well so far against everybody," Nowitzki said. "We've beat everybody so far. Beat the Lakers. Beat the Heat. Beat Orlando. Beat the Celtics twice. In the West, we've beat San Antonio. So we've basically beat all the good teams in the league, so we should be ready for a great second half of the season."

Another major factor that gives the Mavericks a chance is the play of Tyson Chandler. The big man has been doing some incredible work on both ends of the floor as his average is close to mirroring a double-double, 10.5 points with the 9.4 rebounds. His energy and toughness has given the Mavs a new sense of hope. "My goal coming here was to make an impact on the team and change the culture of the team," said Chandler. "And although I feel like we’re not completely there, we’re headed in the right direction. So, I feel like we’ve done a good job so far."

If the Mavericks want to make it to the NBA finals, they will have to deal with either the San Antonio Spurs or the Los Angeles Lakers.

The San Antonio Spurs, the I-35 rivals, are playing at a ridiculously high level and they have truly been impressive. All things considered, they have also been very fortunate. The Spurs have not had to deal with significant time lost to their key players due to injuries or other issues. When you compare that to the Mavericks, they have totaled 102 games missed due to injury, suspension or illness. In addition, San Antonio has changed their philosophy by playing at a faster tempo and preserving players key players such as Tim Duncan. Will they be able to flip the switch and go back to the old-Spurs formula when it comes to playing playoff basketball?

The Spurs have built up a fear and intimidation factor across the league. The Mavericks do not fear the Spurs, nor should they. San Antonio has the best record in the league and they have a ton of depth. That is all well and good, but the records can be thrown out the window when the Mavs and the Spurs face off in the playoffs. The teams know each other inside and out and it is just a matter of who can make the most out of critical possessions to win the series. When both teams were at full strength in November, Dallas ended the Spurs' 12-game win streak in San Antonio. Dallas does know that San Antonio does not have an answer for Nowitzki. Last year's playoff series also showed that Rodrigue Beaubois could play a pivotal role in a series based on the fact that quick guards even give issues to the mighty Spurs.

When you look at the Los Angeles Lakers, they do have Kobe Bryant and he does provide plenty of problems in a seven-game series. The two-time defending championships are piling up some troubling losses, but everyone knows that the champions are just going through the motions and they will flip the switch when the playoffs come. If you are underestimating the Lakers, you are in trouble. "I think (the Lakers are) struggling a little bit. But I think after back-to-back championships, after going to July almost every year, I think they're going to be OK," Nowitzki said. "I think they're going to step it up after the break and, to me, the Lakers are still the team to beat. They're still the same team, they've got the length, they've got the talent." They have size with the forwards and centers, but Mavericks have their own size and can match up with the Lakers in that department. Los Angeles does not have a lot of depth or speed at the point guard position. The Mavericks have Jason Kidd as the starter and they can also throw JJ Barea and Rodrigue Beaubois at the Lakers. If the Lakers have issues with quick guards, the point guards off of the bench for the Mavs should give the them issues.
you can read the rest at http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2011/2/...-or-pretenders
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:33 PM   #35
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The hits just keep on keeping on BG, more good stuff... I also noticed some manly chest bumping between dirk/tyson out there. I like that, dirk has always needed to play a little bit meaner... Tyson has been huge for the culture of this team. I am a little afeard that with peja/roddy getting so many minutes now that the team will regress in that regard. Hope they keep stevenson engaged and it would be great to have caron back at least for spot duty in the playoffs..I think he's listened to in that locker room.

Maybe he could volunteer to kick someones' rear end after a game.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:34 PM   #36
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I don't know how many folks can check out mavs insider or not. But there is a pretty funny deal with jet in NYC holding a camera and doing interviews.

Both jet/deuce refer to dirk as big boy...haven't heard that one.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:27 PM   #37
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The Mavericks returned to the practice court after being off during the All-Star Break. Players returned from all around after enjoying their nice break. Coach Rick Carlisle said that Tuesday was all about opening the lungs back up and he liked what he saw in the team. "It was good," said Carlisle. "This is an important workout because we've got to get the right amount of work but we don't want to leave our game on the practice court today." The team is aware that they will be seeing a motivated Utah Jazz team and the team expects Utah to be razor sharp on Wednesday night, "They're going to compete like hell," said Carlisle.

The trade sending Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks was a topic of conversation amongst the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki is hopeful that the deals are not done. "It's great for the West," Nowitzki said. "Hopefully Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan go East next." The trade does change the culture within the Denver Nuggets orginization and it does make things a little more open in the bottom half of the Western Conference, but the Mavericks know that they are working on doing their best to improve daily. They are not necessarily focused on catching the San Antonio Spurs, but they would not mind if that were to happen. "We're going to catch them sooner or later, whether it's now or in the playoffs," Terry said Tuesday following the Mavericks' first post-All-Star break practice. "We'd rather it be in the playoffs, in the Western finals or what have you. But we're going to catch them."

Carlisle understands that the West will remain a battle, no matter if Carmelo Anthony is in the West or not. "It's the west, it's competitive," Carlisle explained. "Every night is a meaningful game and a big-time grind to compete at a high level. The most important thing is to stay in the moment, continue to work to get better and you've got to go one day at a time." One of the challenges for the team has been the ability to maintain a comfortable lead. Jason Terry attributes it to a "killer instinct." That is not to say that the Mavericks do not have a killer instinct, it is just that it comes and goes. "I think we have it," said Terry. "I think that game in Phoenix really was a statement maker for us. Coming in on a back-to-back, going in there and winning in the fashion that we did, I think this team has a killer instinct and we're going to have to bring it out every night."
rest at http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2011/2/22/2008379/practice
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:05 AM   #38
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This is from the ESPN Heat Index. Has this replaced the Daily Dime? It was usually 9 Heat items a day anyway.

Erick Dampier moves into starting lineup
February, 22, 2011
FEB 22
11:47
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By Tom Haberstroh
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MIAMI -- Back in November, Erick Dampier couldn’t find a home in the NBA. Now, he’s the starting center for one of the league’s best teams -- at least for the time being.

“Erick will be our starter for now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Tuesday night’s win over the Sacramento Kings. “That’s certainly not an indictment on Zydrunas [Ilgauskas]. This is something that’s best for our team right now."

The lineup change caught many by surprise. Speaking before the game, Spoelstra gave no indications to the media that a change was in order. Ilgauskas had been inked into the starting lineup for the Heat’s previous 47 games, beginning with the team’s Nov. 13 win over the Toronto Raptors. Dampier wasn’t even on the Heat roster then.

In his debut as the Heat's starting center, Dampier finished with five rebounds, two steals and a block in 24 minutes of action. Dampier did not take a shot from the field, marking only the second time in his 14-year career that he’s played that many minutes without an attempt from the floor.

But this is one of those times when the box score doesn’t tell the story. Despite the underwhelming stat line, Dampier did his job Tuesday night -- stopping Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins. According to game tracking by ESPN Stats & Information, Cousins missed all eleven of his shot attempts when he was guarded by Dampier. On the night, the talented rookie scored just seven points on 2-for-13 shooting after averaging 18.3 points over his previous 10 games.

Possession after possession, Dampier met Cousins outside the paint to deter the 20-year-old from settling in under the basket. Dampier was in high school when Cousins was born, but the former Mavericks center used his seniority and his size to his advantage.

“He’s a young, young guy,” Dampier said of Cousins. “I have more experience than he has. I know all the little tricks to the game. I just tried to go out there, meet him early and not let him get in his comfort zone out on the floor. He has tremendous upside in this league if he continues to work, but I think I just had his number tonight.”

Cousins isn’t the first high-scoring center Dampier has shut down recently. On Feb. 3, he got the assignment to stop Dwight Howard after the Orlando center scored a quick eight points in the first quarter. Dampier subbed in for Ilgauskas, then started the second half. Not coincidentally, Howard didn’t score a field goal after Spoelstra made the halftime adjustment.

“[Dampier] gives us a big body and a presence in the paint on both ends of the court,” Spoelstra said. “If you look at his stat line, it doesn’t look too revealing one way or another. He takes up a lot of space defensively and changes shots.”

How do you quantify a player like Dampier outside the box score? One way is to check the Heat’s numbers with him on the court. Entering Tuesday’s game, the Heat allowed just 100 points every 100 possessions with Dampier on the floor -- the team’s best mark for any single individual on the roster, according to basketballvalue.com. Opponents score 2.4 points more per 100 possessions with Dampier on the bench.

Oddly enough, taking up space might be one of Dampier’s best assets as a basketball player. Oftentimes on offense, he becomes Dwyane Wade and LeBron James’ best friend as he uses his 265-pound frame to paste defenders with his screens. And when the shots go up, he gets wide and uses his center of gravity to keep others grounded.

“He is a very good rebounder,” Spoelstra said. “And even when he doesn’t get it, he takes up a lot of space and occupies [opposing players] so other guys can go and get the rebound. He gets people open, gets his head under the rim for dishes, and also for second opportunities and tip-backs.”

The tip-back rebound is one of Dampier's signature moves. He got the rare offensive rebound-assist early in the third quarter Tuesday after Chris Bosh’s midrange jumper rimmed out. Knowing he couldn’t secure the rebound with both hands, Dampier tapped the ball out to the top of the key, where Wade was waiting. After collecting Dampier’s volleyball tap, Wade promptly nailed a 24-footer to stretch the Heat lead to 29 points.

Dampier got the start Tuesday, but things can change quickly depending on the matchup. On Tuesday, the Heat were pitted against one of the largest players in the NBA in Cousins. Against more mobile big men such as Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah and New York Knicks big man Amare Stoudemire, Spoelstra might elect to go with sparkplug Joel Anthony. Since the Heat employ three specialized centers, the starter tag might be nothing more than a temporary label.

“At the end of the day,” Spoelstra said, "we’re still going to be a three-center team.”
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:43 AM   #39
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"Hopefully Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan go East next."

I lol'd
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:36 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavs777 View Post
"Hopefully Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan go East next."

I lol'd
Dirk's great.

As for Terry's quote, I'd rather have seen him hit a few shots against the Spurs while Dirk was out and shut the hell up now vs. talking again as he prepares to hop back on Dirk's coattails to let the German do the heavy lifting.
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