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Back in the Saddle Again Links

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Things are back to normal at work this week, which means I have time to waste!

In the fourth quarter against the Rockets on Saturday, it looked like things might be getting back to normal for the Mavs too. In fact, Dallas has won four of their last five and Jan Hubbard says the Mavs are happier than they have been so far this season.

There have been some ugly moments in all five of those games (no defense vs Utah, can't close out the Knicks, blown out by the Raptors, Dirk scores 7 against the Hornets, and Diop/Dampier combining for just 5 rebounds and 0 blocks in 39 minutes against Houston), but at least Dallas is winning again.

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One BIG bright spot in the last five? Josh Howard.

Howard in the Last Five
MPG FG PCT 3P PCT PPG RPG
39.2 52.9% 52.6% 25.2 7.4


It's led Eddie Sefko to say the Howard is emerging as the teams MVP.
Howard is establishing himself as the Mavericks' most versatile player. That doesn't mean he's replaced Dirk Nowitzki as the team's MVP, although he might be headed in that direction for this season, anyway.

But Howard has arrived as one of those rare NBA players who can knock down a 3-point shot, slash to the rim and scare opponents with his midrange jump shot – a lost art in today's NBA as players either shoot away from the perimeter or go for highlight-reel slams.
Bethlehem Shoals chimed in with similar thoughts in a letter to Howard.
If your play stays at this high a level, teammates will notice. After that, the league will notice. After that, the media will notice. No need to speak out of turn, force your shots, or mess with what on-court chemistry the team has left.

Chances are, you will still come off as the Mavs' most important player. And not in some kind of back-handed, Shawn Marion-like way that only matters to sports writers. Anyone with their television on can see how much you make happen.

Dirk can be the head, you can provide the heart. In the long run, that's the best way to help yourself and the team.
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Sefko's statistical week in review

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Must read article by Mike Fisher where he gets answers to a lot of the questions on the minds of Mavs fans. He asked Del Harris about the defense, asked Avery if Bass could start, asked Cuban if Stackhouse shoots too much etc...

You want to read this.

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Cuban says there are no talks with the Nets about Kidd, and there aren't going to be in the future either.

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This Day in Mavs History
1997 Signed Eric Riley to a 1 year contract.