I hope Dallas wins this game tonight...
So does Josh Howard.
"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."
Sefko thinks we'll see a small lineup tonight.
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.
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."
David Moore looks at how the Golden State series influenced the Mavs offseason moves.
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.
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.
Eddie Sefko wonders if Dirk, Josh Howard, and Jason Terry can all average 20 points this season.
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 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.
Jen Engel talked to Reggie Miller about Dirk, and nothing that interesting came out of it.
Sefko's latest mailbag.
This Day in Mavs History