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Thursday Morning Links

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Hey, San Antonio lost last night. And while the division is by no means won, it's hard to catch a team that's winning 80% of their games like Dallas is. Also good news, the team that beat the Spurs last night was the Lakers, who Dallas plays tonight. That's a really tough back-to-back.


David Moore says the Mavs slow start was good for the team. Not because it made them stronger, but because they don't have to answer questions about something I mentioned yesterday.

Erase the 0-4 start and the Mavericks would be on pace to equal or pass the 72-10 record the Bulls fashioned 11 seasons ago.
Johnson doesn't smile now. He apparently underwent a procedure to paralyze those muscles once he became a head coach. Can you imagine how on edge Johnson would be, how tense it would be around the team, if he was forced to deal with the sideshow that comes with a push to win 70 games?

Art Garcia has Dirk down for MVP.
The case for Nowitzki is an obvious sell. He's the best player on the team with the league's best record. He's also been the Mavs' only All-Star the past two seasons.
So does Avery.
"There are a lot of guys out there," he said. "What he's doing night in and night out, I wouldn't take anybody else over him."
And so does Tim Cowlishaw.
Nowitzki has developed into the all-around player who most critics thought as recently as the 2005 playoffs he would never become. Even coach Avery Johnson was hard-pressed recently to find an area in which Nowitzki needed to make significant improvement.

He's the best player on the best team in the NBA. Some voters, taking a flawed viewpoint of what makes an MVP, will vote for him simply on that basis.

Down in the D-League: Jose Barea didn't get his double-double so he isn't allowed to rejoin the team yet. He only went for 28 points and 8 assists in 28 minutes. He was 9-16 from the field, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. To go along with his eight assist he had five turnovers and four rebounds. Not a bad debut.

Mensah-Bonsu led the team in rebounds with just six and had 16 points of his own.


Around the NBA: Rumors abound that Indiana made yesterdays trade to load up for Corey Maggette.
According to three NBA executives, the Pacers are now in talks to move Dunleavy to the Los Angeles Clippers for dynamic swingman Corey Maggette. Indiana has been after Maggette since last season when they were looking to trade Ron Artest.
I hope that's true, because I don't want the Spurs to get him.

Phoenix beat Houston last night. The Rockets were not only without Yao, but T-Mac sat out with (drumroll please) a tweaked back.