Mavs have their final preseason game of the year tonight in San Antonio. Sefko reports that Erick Dampier will sit out his fifth game in a row but that Josh Howard is ready to go after missing the game in Pittsburgh. And apparently you can forget all of that talk about this game tonight being a game of chess before the Spurs and Mavs meet to open the regular season.
The Mavs did take their third consecutive preseason victory Thursday, 83-81 over Cleveland. The game included 30-minute stints by Nowitzki (17 points) and DeSagana Diop (seven rebounds), and other than the absences of Josh Howard and Dampier, the division of minutes closely resembled a regular-season rotation.
Johnson found a silver lining in the extra minutes logged by newcomers Devean George, Greg Buckner, Austin Croshere, Anthony Johnson and rookie Maurice Ager, saying it helped with their adjustment process.
It's sounding like Jose Barea has officially made the team. From Art Garcia:
Rosters are due Monday.
"I feel pretty good about my chances," Barea said. "I had a good practice today, too. I feel more comfortable every time I get on the floor now."
Eddie Sefko continues to write about everything besides basketball for the DMN blog. Today he thrills us with a story about Brad Davis and sandwiches.
Charley Rosen has a breakdown on the Southwest division and made some really interesting comments about the Mavs.
In the most recent GM survey, seven answered that Avery Johnson was the best manager/motivator in the NBA, and there were a couple of things in the Dallas Morning News today that made it abundantly clear why. First there is this article by Sefko about Jason Terry.
He was going through a tough time late in his first season with the Mavericks. He'd already been through a coaching change. Then one morning on the road in Beantown, the phone rang. It was Avery Johnson, who had recently taken over for Don Nelson.
"He thought he was getting traded," Johnson said.
Over coffee and eggs, Johnson quickly put his point guard at ease. While Terry was trying to figure out how to replace a local legend after Steve Nash left, Johnson saw all the potential in the world. The only thing Terry needed was to be himself and play the game his way.
"That was a good heart-to-heart," Terry recalled. "He told me what he thought I needed to do to be successful with this team."
"I really liked him and we gave him some things to work on," Johnson said. "And he appreciated the way we handled it. If you want to be a first-class organization, it's not just with winning games. You have to do it all the way 'round. I've had coaches that didn't cut me, that sent other people. So I wanted to tell him myself."