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Tuesday Links

Tim Cowlishaw, whom you may have seen doing NASCAR coverage for ESPN over the weekend, writes that the Mavs are far more entertaining than the All-Star Game.

The All-Star Game has nothing to do with what is best about the NBA.

What's best is the Phoenix Suns at full speed. It's Gilbert Arenas with the clock ticking down. It's Kobe Bryant doing anything and everything at both ends of the floor to will the Lakers into a top-four spot in the West.

And the best of the best is the Mavericks.

Their 44-9 record is insane. For one thing, it means that since that little 0-4 scare they threw at you coming out of the blocks, they are 44-5. That's one win shy of playing .900 basketball for 50 games.
Quite a contrast from the Star-Telegram's Jennifer Floyd-Engel who said on the radio last week that this Mavs team was "boring".


Art Garcia has some quotes from Mavs about the final third of the season. But this is what caught my eye.
In the sprint to the playoffs, the NBA-leading Mavs (44-9) have separated from the pack. For a franchise with just one outright division title, the Southwest Division might already be won.

San Antonio, the Mavs' closest pursuer, sits nine games back at 35-18. The Mavs would have to go 20-9 (.690) to finish with 18 losses, with the Spurs going undefeated (29-0) to forge a tie.
Even though I already knew that, it looks even more impressive and impossible in words.


Around the NBA: Dwain Price looks at the possible deadline deals. The Jason Kidd to LAL rumors are heating up big time, but I'm not sure LA really has the pieces to make it happen.

Steve Nash is going to return tonight after missing the last four.