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Thursday 10/12 Links

Sefko has an article about Devin Harris missing time this preseason. While the injury is annoying, I don't consider a dramatic setback like Sefko seems to.

Harris' injury - the team is calling it a strain that will cost him seven to 10 days - is a setback, not only for the team but particularly for Harris, who made big strides in the playoffs last season.

Harris, entering his third season, says he hasn't necessarily turned any corners yet.

Young players, and Harris still falls into that category at 23, can't afford to have their growth curve flatten out.
In the "briefly" section of that article, Sefko reports that Avery Johnson has decided that if the 6'9" Ndudi Ebi makes the team it will be as a power forward.

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Jean-Jacques Taylor lobbies for Dirk to sit out the entire preseason.
Nowitzki, a perennial All-Star, has established himself as one of the NBA's top five players. Coaches and players throughout the league respect his game, so he has nothing to prove - or gain - by playing even 20 minutes a night in the preseason.

So sit him on the bench, it's OK if he pouts because Avery won't play him. Since Oct. 13, 2004, Nowitzki has played in 219 basketball games. That's a lot of wear and tear on bones and joints.
For the most part I agree. I'd probably like to see him play about 15 minutes in each of the final two games - that's it. Who cares if he starts cold? We know where he'll end up.

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David Moore has a mailbag up and touches on a lot of things including the contract status of Josh Howard.
From Cuban's standpoint, Howard will be a restricted free agent next season if he doesn't sign an extension. Cuban can still retain Howard's rights by matching another club's offer. In Cuban's mind, I'm not sure he sees much of a downside to having a good, young player motivated all season to get his first big contract.

That appears to be what's happening here.
Hmmm, not sure I buy the idea of purposely setting up a contract year performance. While it can motivate some players to have career seasons it can also lead a player to try and play through injuries. Besides, "contract years" are usually reserved for players who are considered underperformers - Josh Howard certainly isn't that.