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Wednesday Links

The Mavs took care of business at home last night. San Antonio didn't - and the Mavs are now back in first place in the Southwest division.

Not only that but the Mavs have the best record in the NBA. For all the Mavs perceived problems so far (Jason Terry's struggles, no consistent second scorer, Anthony Johnson and Austin Croshere disappointing, injuries to Stack and Howard) the Mavs have won a lot of games. Keep that in mind before criticizing anything about this teams holes too harshly.

Josh Howard won Western Conference player of the week.

Howard registered averages of 22.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 blocks in helping Dallas, winners of six in a row, to a 3-0 week.
Both Chuck Carlton of the DMN and Avery Johnson agree it's a sign Howard belongs at the all-star game.
"If anybody is going to give him a fair chance ... " Johnson said. "Forget about anybody in our organization. Whether you like us or don't like us, if you're really a basketball person and measuring what he doing with everybody else, then I don't think it will be a tough sell."
Dwain Price writes about Josh Howard as well. Not only does his coach think Howard is an all-star but his teammates do as well.
"We're not anywhere near the team we are now without Josh Howard," Buckner said. "Everybody knows about Dirk and everybody kind of forgets about Josh, but Josh is definitely an All-Star player."

Injury Update: Jerry Stackhouse was a late scratch from yesterday's game. He'll practice today and is expected to play on Thursday.


Around the NBA: Tracy McGrady returned for Houston last night. He scored 19 in 39 minutes, but he shot 7 of 22 and had seven turnovers as the Rockets fell to the Pacers.

Iverson led the Nuggets over Boston with 28 points and 13 assists.

And my favorite story from yesterday - Jason Kidd is mad at the officials.
"We come to work, and we work extremely hard at this, only for the officials to screw us," Kidd said. "We fought, but that doesn't mean anything when you have the officials take over the game like that. You go with the Three Blind Mice, and it's just sad that Tom (Washington) screwed up that game for us."