Some quick links on a busy Wednesday afternoon:
- Dallas is on the slide now, but don't worry, it's just a matter of time. As in, more of it on the court for Elton Brand. John Hollinger agrees, and so do I. No offense to Troy Murphy, but Brand getting 40% less playing time than a dude who was on the street two weeks ago is, to put it kindly, strange.
- Speaking of Hollinger, or "Trollinger" for those who love to hate(or hate to hate) him, a certain beverage/condiment makes his list of surprise early-season performers. So, uh...see? He does say nice things about the Mavs.
- Some potential changes to the Mavs' starting lineup: at small forward, it looks like Crowder is out and Dahntay Jones in, and at center, it seems Kaman will get another start, this time in place of Brandan Wright. Eddie Sefko also has a note suggesting Bernard James might start in place of Elton Brand, but I have yet to see that reprinted elsewhere, so it may just be wishful thinking on his part. Starting James would certainly be a bold "shakeup" move for Carlisle. James is currently top 10 among centers in rebound rate, though it is an admittedly small sample size. The other four frontcourt players(Kaman, Brand, Murphy, Wright) are all outside the top 25 for their positions.
- Mark Cuban says he's "OK" with a 4-4 record, though I very much doubt he or anyone else in the organization actually is.
- Cuban also says he belives with Shawn Marion in the lineup, Dallas wins those last two games. Certainly, Marion would have helped on the glass.
- Dwain Price quotes Darren Collison as saying the next game "is a must win for us", though Rick Carlisle pumps the breaks on that talk.
- Carlisle talks about the froncourt combo of ex-Clippers Kaman and Brand, who have a history together and, on paper anyway, would seem capable of playing together, but curiously have not done so much as of yet. Carlisle mentioned in the preseason that he wasn't happy with the way the two were playing together on defense, so hopefully if and when they see the court together for extended stretches whatever issues were there will have been resolved.
- As those who watched the game probably saw, Dirk is pretty sick of waiting to get on the court, but as MMB's Josh Bowe has said, don't panic. If Dirk can learn to be patient, so can we.