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Thursday Blizzard Links

Eleven in a row is cool, but now the streak actually means something. San Antonio lost to the Jazz last night and the Mavs are in first place by a .5 game. Crazy month.

I'd love to say the Mavs have regained their rightful spot in the standings and will just stay there until the playoffs begin, but I'll be real. Dallas and San Antonio will battle for the spot until the last week or two of the season. Should be fun.

Onto the links...

First off, I was on the HoopsAddict podcast after the game with Ryan to talk about the Game. You can listen to that here. Unfortunately my cell phone sucks and it sounds like I'm on a speaker phone in a car going 200mph.

Our conversation starts off with Dirk Nowitzki who as you know walked off the court in the first quarter with "blurred vision". After getting checked out it was determined that Dirk has a bruised retina which isn't as bad as it sounds.

It's nothing major, so hopefully I could be back in action Friday," he [Dirk] said.

He didn't have any problems Tuesday at practice or during Wednesday morning's shootaround. Nowitzki told the training staff during the early part of the game that something wasn't right.

"My peripheral vision was totally off," he said. "I couldn't really see the rest of the guys out there. It was a little freaky.

"I never had anything like it, so I was a little nervous," Nowitzki said. "I didn't know what was going on."
Sefko was impressed by the way the bench stepped up.
This was a night when everybody chipped in, and it showed by us scoring 117 points," said Anthony Johnson, who had eight of the Mavs' 24 assists (they had only seven turnovers). "We didn't really know what was going on with Dirk. But when you lose one guy, that gives an opportunity for other guys to step up."

Everybody did their part. Erick Dampier had a double-double by the midpoint of the third quarter. Josh Howard - playing power forward much of the night after Nowitzki left - was filling up the basket, eclipsing his season high before the third quarter was done and finishing with a game-best 26. Jerry Stackhouse added 23.

Sefko also has a little bit on the Mavs fast starts as of late.
The Mavs jumped ahead 21-4 and had 38 points and a 15-point lead after the opening 12 minutes. It was the second time in a week they had 21 points before the opponent could get past five. They were up 21-3 against New Orleans on Saturday.

"That's a good sign," coach Avery Johnson said. "When you have the crowd going, it's always good to have a fast start."

The Mavericks have scored at least 33 points in the first quarter of their last four games. They have averaged 35.8 points and surrendered only 21.3 in those periods.
Last nights fast start had a lot to do with dirk who was 3-4 for shooting and had 6 rebounds before leaving.