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Warriors Gameday Links

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I hope Dallas wins this game tonight...

So does Josh Howard.

A sprained right ankle is trying to keep him out of tonight's lineup. He didn't go through the entirety of Wednesday's practice, but he's receiving treatment and optimistically icing the ankle non-stop.

"That lets you know what I really want to do," Howard said, who positively proclaimed tonight's game to be a big one. "You know it is. You know we're going to want this win bad, especially on their home court. For them to beat us [in the playoffs], they came out on fire, but it's a new year and we're going to go out there and get a win."

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Sefko thinks we'll see a small lineup tonight.

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Avery Johnson says tonight is "not going to be a litmus test for our season", but he is curious to see how the offense performs against the Golden State Zone.
As much as I want to sit here and talk about defense, defense, defense," Johnson said, "I really want to see how we have improved offensively."

The Mavs averaged 98.5 points in the first-round loss and twice didn't reach 90. The Warriors' zone defense caused major problems. New assistant coach Paul Westphal has reduced the number of plays the Mavs could run against zones, stressing quality over quantity.

"We had seven different things we could run," Devin Harris said. "It was too much stuff going on at once."

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David Moore looks at how the Golden State series influenced the Mavs offseason moves.
The Warriors are the reason Jason Terry is now a sixth man, as the Mavericks want more size and defense in the backcourt next to Devin Harris. Golden State is the reason the club flirted with Chris Webber and P.J. Brown, signed Brandon Bass and Juwan Howard and drafted Nick Fazekas. The goal is to place a decent scoring threat at center so teams don't ignore the position and place an extra interior defender on Nowitzki.

Rave all you want about Jackson's defense on Nowitzki. It was tenacious. But the reason Nowitzki couldn't take advantage of his size in the low post is that he was also shadowed by Andris Biedrins, Al Harrington or whoever else was at center for the Warriors. The Mavericks were playing 4-on-5 on every possession.
It seems a bit much to say the Mavs made all their roster changes based on matchups against one team.

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Art Garcia has a quote from Avery Johnson that I didn't see anywhere else, and it makes me think we'll see Josh Howard tonight for sure.
Avery Johnson had this to say about Howard: "He wasn’t 100 percent, but we’ll take Josh at any percent."
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Eddie Sefko wonders if Dirk, Josh Howard, and Jason Terry can all average 20 points this season.
A three-headed scoring monster of Nowitzki, Howard and Terry is not only possible, but almost expected. It was tough to do in the past when Nowitzki had to score 25-plus for the Mavericks to be successful.

But Howard has evolved into an All-Star. And Terry has more scoring options as the sixth man than he had as a starter.

"We're going to always look at him as our first option," Howard said of Nowitzki. "But we have so many different options that anybody can give you 20 and 10. For me and Jet, of course we're going to try to keep our scoring the same and be there to help Dirk however we can. But I think there's about six guys who can get you 20 here."
I wouldn't bet on it happening -- neither Josh Howard nor Jason Terry have ever averaged 20 points in a season.

I think Josh Howard has a very real chance this season, but Terry will have a difficult time accomplishing 20ppg off the bench. There hasn't been a Sixth Man of the Year winner who averaged 20+ since Ricky Pierce in 1990.

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Jen Engel talked to Reggie Miller about Dirk, and nothing that interesting came out of it.

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Sefko's latest mailbag.

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This Day in Mavs History
1980 Dick Motta coached his 1,000 game. He also got his first ejection as coach for Dallas as he was ejected with 2:08 left in the game.