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Saturday Stuff

Art Garcia and Eddie Sefko both have articles about Dirk's clutch shot against the Suns. Dirk was confident.

"I'm still the leader of this team, and what a leader does is score big baskets," Nowitzki said Friday. "Or if you don't score, make something happen for your teammates."
"I feel confident if I got a good look at the basket, that it goes in no matter what time is on the clock," Nowitzki said. "If it's early in the first quarter or late in the game, if I have a pretty good look, I'm confident I have a pretty good shot at making it."
And Avery is confident in Dirk.
"If he had missed it and we would have been in the same situation in overtime, he would have gotten it again and he would have taken it with confidence," Johnson said. "I don't think Dirk's psyche fluctuates maybe as much as it did three or four years ago."

Jean-Jacques Taylor tries to write about basketball but doesn't do to well. His article is about the Mavs backcourt combo of Devin Harris and Jason Terry being one of the best in the league - and I'm fine with that. There were just a few statements I thought were kind of weird.
These days, he can hit an open jumper. Harris already has made more 3-point baskets than he made all of last season. Defenses must acknowledge his jump shot, giving Harris the option to drive past defenders when they contest his shot, and when he gets into the lane, his decision-making has improved significantly. All you have to do is look at his assist-to-turnover ratio (121-62).
That to me sounds like someone who isn't watching the games. Yes, Harris has made more jumpshots this season, but that's simply because he's been attempting more. And that's good, Harris is good enough to shoot jumphots and it's important that he do so. He seems to have more confidence in his shot this year, but it's still not pretty and defenses are not even close to acknowledging Harris as a jump shooting threat like Taylor says.

And Taylor is right that Devin's decision making has improved. He's averaging an assist more per game this season and has developed a pretty good chemistry with Dampier. What's odd about JJT's argument is that Devin's assist-to-turnover ratio of (121-62)(1.96) is only good for 47th in the league.

Oh well.

Moe Ager

Down in the D-League: Maurice Ager came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 21 points. He shot 7-12 but only 5-10 from the free throw line. He also added four rebounds and four assists.

Starter Mensah-Bonsu was good as well, leading the team in rebounds with 10. Pops also had 16 points on 6-7 shooting and blocked two shots.

In five games for the Flyers, Mensah-Bonsu has started four averaging 11.4 points and nine rebounds per game.


Injury Update: Jerry Stackhouse practiced yesterday and is questionable for tonight's game. He might be saved for tomorrow's game in Denver.

Diop did not practice because he was still feeling woozy from a collision with Shawn Marion. He's expected to play tonight.


I loved this story at the bottom of Art Garcia's article today.
Point guard Jose Barea put on a brief dunking exhibition after practice. The 6-foot rookie from Northeastern twice did the lob-and-catch made famous by Dallas native Spud Webb at the 1986 slam dunk contest at Reunion Arena.

Barea's teammates were mildly impressed.

"We've got performing midgets," Anthony Johnson joked.

Around the NBA: Atlanta scored just 68 points in a loss to Houston. McGrady had 13 points in 28 minutes.

Kobe Bryant attempted 45 shots and scored 58 points as the Lakers lost in triple overtime to Charlotte. Adam Morrison shot 1-15 for the Bobcats.

And former Mavs Darrell Armstrong beat the Pistons with a last second free throw. It was his only point of the game.