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According to Avery Johnson defense was just as bad as the offense against Chicago.

"This is the lowest-rated defensive game we've had in our history [according to the Mavs' coaching staff's rating]," coach Avery Johnson said. "I haven't seen many of those [bad performances] on the good teams that I played on and this good team that I've coached.

"That's a rare deal, that night where you're just flat-lining everything."
So the worst defensive performance ever, 31% shooting, and in the game with a couple of minutes left. Wow. If only Dallas had had the second worst defensive game in history.

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Sefko points out the Mavs next five games.
Seems like every time the Mavericks actually lose a game, they look up and help is on the way.

This time, it's five consecutive games against losing teams, a generous portion of lightweights coming up on the schedule, which should do wonders for cleansing the palate after their loss in Chicago.
The next five are: vs. the Kings, vs. the Sonics, at Memphis, vs Minnesota, vs Memphis.

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Mark Cuban knows why Dirk isn't in the All-Star game. Those damn commies!
"It's an international vote, and internationally there's a whole lot of communists voting, and they always just vote the party line," Cuban said. "I bet you [former Mavs forward] Wang Zhizhi [who is from China] got some write-in votes."
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NBA.com's John Hareas writes why Dirk is MVP. That's part of a very thorough mid-season awards special which you can see all of here.

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The NBA announced that winners of last years skills events at the All-Star will defend their title this year. That means Dirk is in the three-point shootout again this season, which is cool. Nate Robinson in the dunk contest - not cool.

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Eddie Sefko mailbag from a couple of days ago. I always miss these because they aren't getting emailed to me despite signing up about four times.

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Down in the D-League Go vote Pops and Barea into the D-League All-Star game. That game will be televised on NBATV.

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Around the NBA: The Spurs beat the Grizzlies and Tim Duncan was one block shy of a triple-double.

Jamal Crawford scored 52 for the Knicks as they beat Shaq and Dwyane Wade. Crawford made 16 shots in a row during that game - Josh Howard missed 16 shots against the Bulls.