The Sunday Links

I didn't get to this yesterday, but at halftime of the Lakers game Dirk apparently gave some sort of fiery speech to the team. Everyone is making a big deal out of this.

Whatever happened, the Mavericks had their best quarter of the season in the third. They shot 68 percent and forced seven turnovers. The Mavericks shot 19 times in the third quarter, and only one came from 3-point land.
And of course, Dirk says it was nothing.
Nowitzki, of course, downplayed his discussion at the half, joking that "I gave a tremendous speech. I said, 'Let's win the game.' "

"I'm not talking about it," he said. "There's nothing to talk about. It was nothing special."
Hey, I think it's great, but I also don't know if Dirk giving half time speeches really makes Dallas more of a contender...

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It doesn't sound like Carmelo Anthony is going to play today.

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Jeff Caplan has second quarter report and makes note of the defensive improvements.
At the end of the first quarter of the season, the Mavs ranked 14th in scoring defense (100.1 points), 12th in field-goal defense (45.7 percent) and 26th in 3-point defense (37.7).

The second quarter has seen marked improvement: 10th in scoring defense (96.5), tied for 14th in field-goal defense (45.1) and 15th in 3-point defense (36.0).
He also quotes Avery as saying his ideal score is the Mavs winning 100 to 89.

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Big articles on Devin Harris in both of the papers today. (Caplan's | Sefko's). They are both about how much he's improved this season.

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The guys over at DallasBasketball.com have good look at the Mavs through the first half.

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I'm surprised more wasn't made of these comments by Phil Jackson after the game on Friday.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson didn't want to leave Friday's seven-point Mavericks win without addressing the 59 fouls and 76 free throws that occurred in the game.

"We knew it was going to be like that," Jackson said. "They like to do that here. The coach gets on the referee. They get the referees kind of animated, and there's a lot of focus on that in this organization.

"So when you come in here, there's a lot of fouls called. The Mavs play that kind of game, so you've got to be real careful because it can change the concept of how you are playing."
Whatever Phil...

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This Day in Mavs History
1998 Dallas out-scored Cleveland 9-2 in overtime. 2 points set the opponent low for fewest points in an overtime.
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