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Mavs Media Day

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It was Mavs media day today. Know how I know? Awkward photos! And those are nothing - I'd love to know th ad wizard at the Jazz who thought flaming balls were a good idea. And we can all be thankful we aren't Blazers fans. Why not keep going...

This picture of Shaq is one of my favorites for some reason.

Don't you just love Stephen Jackson.

What's the story behind the weird glasses in Miami? Seriously.

I get annoyed just looking at these guys.

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Darrell Armstrong is now officially on the market. Most reports indicate that Armstrong will be joining the Mavs in training camp. Personally, I would love for DA to comeback to Dallas. He was leader of the team, he was funny, and he seemed to spark every comeback of the 05-06 season. What I don't want is for the Mavs to have to open up a roster sport for a guy that i just here for locker room chemistry. That's what phony coaching positions are for, and I hope that's what ends up happening here.

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Jan Hubbard and David Moore had Avery Johnson articles this morning that shared most of the same quotes.

This one was the most interesting to me.

That backcourt is a pretty dangerous weapon for us. I don't think it's a backcourt that you can play for big minutes and play every game against every team because you're too small. And that backcourt doesn't help up on the boards as much as we should. That's a pretty dangerous tandem, but we're going to continue to utilize it in bits and pieces. I think we're going to have to get bigger and stronger at the two guard to really go to the next level, but a lot of that will be determined in training camp.
That seems to really put Terry's role this year in question. And he seems fine with that. Mike Fisher has some short interview recaps posted, and he asked Jason Terry about his place on the team this season.
"The 1, the 2, off the bench, be a leader, whatever Avery wants me to do,’’ said a smiling Terry. "I understand more than ever what a privilege it is just to have this job. It’s a joy.’’
Also from Fisher's interviews was this great story.
During a photo shoot featuring the Mavs’ "stars,’’ the support staff gathered Dirk, Josh, Jet and Devin for a pose. Just before the "click,’’ Dirk stopped the proceedings.

"Hey, JJ!’’ he barked at third-string point guard JJ Barea. "Get in here!’’
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Transcripts of interviews with Avery, Dirk, and Terry at Mavs.com.

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I hadn't done the math yet, but if Dampier doesn't come back until mid-Decmber he will miss 25 games. Yikes!
"I’m still at the point I can’t do much," Dampier said. "I just started to do a little running on the court last week. I’m trying to keep my conditioning. Hopefully over the next couple weeks, as we continue to rehab and do the strength and conditioning part, it will definitely get better."
As of right now, the Mavs will start the season with no back up center and a combination Nick Fazekas and Brandon Bass backing up Dirk. That's a little bit scary.

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Mike Fisher has an article about Avery wanting to embrace an underdog mentality this season.
"No one is going to pick us," the Mavs coach claimed as the Mavs opened training camp. "We can go 82-0 this year and we're still going to be the underdog. There is no pressure on our team. We just need to go out there and play and have some fun."...

OK. Sure. But isn’t a message that screams "We’re Not That Good’’ sort of anti-motivational?

No, says Jason Terry, "because don’t get me wrong; we still have high expectations for ourselves. We still want to have a good regular season and we still want to win a championship. But the pressure is off. I mean, last year we lost in the first round. How are we going to do worse than that, not make the playoffs?’’
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Marc Stein has the Mavs starting the season at number six in his power rankings.

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Around the NBA: Amare Stoudemire suddenly had his knee scoped today. The Suns say it's nothing, but it's most certainly something to keep an eye on.

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This Day in Mavs History
2002 Dallas signed restricted free agent Michael Redd to a 4 year, $12 million offer sheet. Milwaukee had 15 days to match the offer. Milwaukee would match the offer 10/14/02 and, thus, Redd would remain with Milwaukee.
That one still stings.