Daily Links - A Little Bit Late

A little bit of injury news to start the day off.

Forward Devean George was rushed to a local hospital at 3 a.m. Tuesday with what was described as an intestinal virus, and center DJ Mbenga is expected to be sidelined two to three weeks by a strained tendon in his left foot.
Neither is of much concern. George might miss opening night and Mbenga might not have been on the roster anyway. Bonsu and Barea will probably be going to Fort Worth but that still leaves 13 men on the roster. Ager and Mbenga are the clear choices to be left off on certain nights.

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Eddie Sefko predicts how the minutes will be divided up this season.
  • Dirk Nowitzki - 36 minutes
  • Josh Howard - 30 Minutes
  • Jason Terry - 32 Minutes
  • Anthony Johnson - 20 minutes
  • DeSagana Diop - 14 Minutes
  • Jerry Stackhouse - 24 Minutes
  • Erick Dampier - 24 Minutes
  • Devin Harris - 22 Minutes
  • Greg Buckner - 18 Minutes
  • Devean George - 10 Minutes
  • Austin Croshere - 6 Minutes
  • DJ MBenga - 4 Minutes
His prediction I disagree with the most is Croshere getting just six minutes a game.

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In Art Garcia's article today, he reports that the Mavs originally hadn't planned to advertise their Western Conference Championshipness.
Mark Cuban didn't want the phrase "Western Conference champion" used in any ad campaign or printed in any official team publication when planning for the 2006-07 season. The logic, he thought, was sound.

"Our goal is a championship," he said.

No sense in reminding everyone that his team finished second. Just wipe the slate clean for the new campaign and don't look back.
I actually like this idea and wish the Mavs had stuck with it.

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David Moore's got a really good article about the importance of Howard to the Mavs. You should definitely read the whole thing.
Dirk Nowitzki remains the player most responsible for the Mavericks' success. But any improvement in his game at this stage of his career is incremental. The same goes for Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse and the veteran depth the club assembled in the wake of its loss to Miami.

Howard, Devin Harris and possibly DeSagana Diop are members of the Mavericks nucleus who possess a significant upside. Howard is the player in that group poised to make the biggest impact this season.

"He's going to take his game to another level," Terry predicted. "You can tell he worked on his shot over the summer. He's already shooting the ball a lot better. He's worked on his ball handling. He gives us another threat out there.
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And you should definitely check out part one of Bill Simmons NBA preview - part two should be up later today.
Then I figured it out: Thanks to the new "Rasheed Wallace" rule, players weren't bitching and moaning after every foul call.

By coming up with this wrinkle, was David Stern hoping to divert attention away from the fallout from last season's playoffs, when the brutal officiating brought back memories of the Allies-Nazis game in "Victory"?
I actually think the calling it the 'Tim Duncan Rule' is more appropriate, but whatever, it probably won't get called anyway.
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