Thursday Morning Links

The Mavs have been inconsistent all season, and I knew eventually trends would start to emerge.  One finally is, this team doesn't play defense -- not can't, don't.

"It's just embarrassing," Dirk Nowitzki said. "It was no defense at all. They got whatever they wanted - wide-open shots, drives, layups."

Kelly Dwyer confirms what Mavs fans saw.

But Dallas, it was weird; they just stopped playing basketball in the second quarter. Just stopped playing defense. Didn't want to be there, apparently.

There was a moment in third quarter where the Bucks actually missed a shot.  Dirk, Dampier, and Wright were the only people around the basket for the rebound since most of Milwaukee had already run back on defense.  So what happened? Gadzuric walked up to the basket, and while all three of the Mavs stood on the ground watching the ball come down, he simply jumped a few inches untouched and tipped it in.  The whole game in one play.

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Jason Kidd is always good for quotes.

"We're a Jekyll and Hyde right now," he said. "That's the personality of this team. We show and sometimes we don't show. We have to find out how to be consistent. When we don't show, we're not going to beat anybody.

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Eddie Sefko says losses like that will heat up the trade rumors, but Mark Cuban tries to end one of them.

"We're not trading Josh [Howard] for Shawn Marion," he said, two days after saying he has no intentions of trading Dirk Nowitzki. "And that's no disrespect to Shawn Marion. He's a great player."

It reminds me of last season.  Cuban and Donnie Nelson repeatedly squashed the Harris/Kidd rumors and then Dallas got embarrassed in New Jersey.  Two days later the trade was made.  Not saying we're about to see a Marion/Howard trade, but after last year there is no reason think Cuban's comments on trade speculation mean much.

Mike Fisher has a really good analysis of Josh Howard trade stuff.


Well, Cuban -- who says openly he believes Josh to be a better player than Marion -- will argue that there is no point. And specific to this rumor, let's go with that.

That still leaves the possibility of a change for the sake of change. But I find that to be a difficult sell. Ideally, the next trade (or, as our David Lord referred to it, "The Trade'') should either make the Mavs a better team as it chases an upper-rung playoff berth, or a younger team as it attempts to qualify for this year's tournament while also aligning its ducks for the future.

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And JFE actually has Mavs article saying the team isn't good or bad.

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