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Sunday Links

Dirk and Terry didn't weren't able to win the three point shootout, but there was a Mav who came home with hardware. Pops Mensah-Bonsu won the D-League All-Star game MVP. He easily led both teams in scoring with 30 points, and with the help of about nine dunks he was able to shoot 11-13 from the field. He also got to the line quite a bit where he made 8 of 12.

The thing that impressed me the most about him is how comfortable he is away from the basket. At one point he actually pulled off LeBron's patented move of running into the lane with his head down, holding the basketball like a running back, then making an off balanced layup. Looking at the box scored I had always assumed most of his point came from putbacks on offensive rebounds. I was wrong. He is an offensive weapon, and he knows how to finish. When he caught the ball underneath the basket and did a quick pump fake before jumping straight up for an easy reverse jam I was left wondering why our centers don't do that.

The other thing I was impressed by is how well he understands his place with the Mavs and what it will take to improve it.

"I'm a Maverick," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I'm going to be a Maverick. As competitive as I am, I am not really mad that I'm not getting a lot of time because we obviously have the best power forward in the game (Dirk Nowitzki) and the best team in the NBA. So I can't complain about not getting a lot of minutes. My time will come. I have to pay my dues."

"I think the question about me is whether I can guard multiple positions," said Mensah-Bonsu, who has averaged 15 points a game for Fort Worth under coach Sidney Moncrief. "I think what coach (Johnson) wants from me is more experience. I haven't been playing basketball too long, so my basketball I.Q. - I'm increasing that every day."
If Pops can learn to defend 3's and smaller 4's in the NBA he'll be in the league for a long time. It was hard to judge his defense yesterday with it being an all-star game, but it definitely looked like he could be a very good piece in a zone defense for the Mavs right now.


Here's a short interview with Dirk from ESPN radio yesterday. Nothing funny happens this time though.


Art Garcia has good article on Josh Howard's first All-Star appearance.
"It's been a long road for me to be able to grow these last four years and make it to this level," he said.

The All-Star moniker carries extra responsibility. Howard admits it's one accepted by "big-game guys." It also changes the way those who put on their first All-Star uniform view themselves.

Doug Collins remembers walking into the Spectrum locker room as a first-time All-Star in 1976. Drafted three years earlier by the Philadelphia 76ers, Collins looked around at all those players he emulated, and it clicked.

"I had a feeling all of a sudden that I belonged," said Collins, currently a TNT analyst. "I'm with this group. I've made the All-Star team, and now I feel I can look at these guys eye to eye and feel that I'm a part of this.

Sefko writes about Dirk and his future in the Hall of Fame.
"He's going to be a Hall of Fame player," says Detroit coach Flip Saunders, who saw Nowitzki's career jostle, parallel and eventually surpass Kevin Garnett's when Saunders was coaching Minnesota. "And I think he'll go down in history as probably the best-shooting 7-foot forward that's ever played. When you say that, I think it's a pretty good ranking."

Naturally, opinions will rely heavily on how much jewelry he accumulates.

"People always measure you by that and, whether that's right or wrong, it'll be part of the measurement for sure," says San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. "He's definitely a Hall of Famer. He'll definitely be one of the best forwards to ever play the position because he has not only established himself as one of the top players in the league, but he's improved."
At the end of the article Sefko projects out Dirk's career totals and had Dirk finishing as fifth in scoring all time and third in 3 pointers made. Sefko just multiplied Dirks career numbers by two which is flawed beyond belief.


David Moore has an article similar to Garcia's about how Josh Howard has gone from overlooked in the draft to All-Star.
There were 28 players selected ahead of Howard. Twenty-four of them have not been named All-Stars.

Do the names Reece Gaines and Carlos Delfino mean anything to you? I didn't think so.

Gaines was taken 14 picks before Howard. Delfino went four slots earlier.
Moore also did his own Power Rankings.


Randy Galloway applauds Mark Cuban for being quieter this season.


Dirk was the best man at his sister's wedding in Vegas Friday night.


Devin Harris has another entry in his 'diary' for the Star-Telegram and writes about his favorite players to watch, past and present.


Joe Garza has interesting article comparing the cast of Ocean's Eleven to NBA All-Stars.


And Dwain Price has a Tim Hardaway article for those of you aren't tired of hearing about that yet.