Late Links

Of course the day after a big win I get swamped at work and actually have stuff to do besides post here.

Here's the best of what was out there today.

Dirk Nowitzki Press Conference
Josh Howard Press Conference
Avery Johnson Press Conference

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No further punishment for Jason Terry or Stephen Jackson. Right decision.

News on Jason Richardson should come before game six.

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Mark Cuban has no intention of selling the team if Dallas can't pull off the comeback.

"If you haven't noticed, it's been seven years and I don't have any jewelry. . . . As long as nothing happens with the league that gets me to the point where I can't deal with [NBA politics] any more, then I'm going to [keep] the Mavs. It has nothing to do with winning or losing. Not at all."
He goes on to say that he wouldn't have to sell the Mavericks to buy the Cubs. I think he'd have to be part of a large ownership group for that to be the case, but what do I know.

Cuban also had a lot of good things to say about Dirk after last night's game.
"Anytime we fall down or something doesn't go right, it's always, 'What's up with Dirk?,' " owner Mark Cuban said before the game. "I'll take what's up with Dirk every time. I stay through thick and thin, every time.

"The fact you're able to ask questions about him means he's taken that responsibility any number of times and never shirked it. That's the kind of guy you want."

It was the player Dallas got in the closing moment of Game 5.

"I love who he is," Cuban said. "It is who he is. I would be a lot more worried if he tried to react and adjust like you guys wanted him to or respond the way you guys wanted him to.

"He's a warrior. I know him. I trust him."
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JJT says Dirk doesn't get enough respect.
Let's be honest, Nowitzki remains the least respected and appreciated star in the NBA. Failure to lead the Mavericks to a victory in this series will only reinforce the notion that Nowitzki is a supremely talented player who lacks that special intangible that allows great players to carry their teams to a championship.
And he also makes a plea for Dirk to be more aggressive.
Dallas is 23-4 this season, when Nowitzki shoots at least 10 free throws.

See, those are the reasons the nine-year veteran must assert himself and be the best player on the court. Nowitzki must impose his will in Game 6 just like Baron Davis has done in every Golden State win.
That 23-4 record is less impressive if you look up that Dallas was 44-9 during the regular season when Dirk had nine or less FTA.

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Mike Fisher begs for Devin and Diop to be used more on offense.
I still have no explanation for why Devin wasn't part of the gameplan in G4, and now you see why I was so upset about it: G-State CANNOT GUARD THE RIM. And getting to the rim is what Devin does better than any other Mav. He simply MUST play, and must be allowed to play poorly, even. Luckily for the button-pushers here, he did not play poorly in G5. Devin Harris scored seven straight Mavericks' points in the fourth and finished with seven assists and 16 points - most of those the result of penetration. And `Gana played 23 minutes (that's too few) and exploded again in the plus-minus dept. with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Avery, play Devin Harris and `Gana Diop in Game 6. Please?!
Wondering how Devin was able to score 11 points in the 4th quarter and get to the rim over and over again? It was because Golden State was double teaming (almost triple teaming) Dirk without the ball. Wondering why it took until the 4th quarter of game five for that to be exploited? Me too.
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