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Wednesday Suns Game Links

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Sounds like the Mavs will definitely be ready to play tonight (as opposed to Monday night).

"We want to get back on the court," he said. "We don't like to lose. After a four-day break, we came on the road and split. It wasn't perfect. But our men are not satisfied with their performance [against Golden State] in any category."
I know it's already been said by a lot people, but if the streak had to end, and it did, the game before Phoenix was a great time for it to happen. Dallas was going to show up to play against Phoenix regardless, but add in the embarrassment of having just been run off the court by a sub .500 team and it adds up to a Mavs team that not only has something to prove, but is angry to boot.

Having the loss come against Golden State had a benefit as well. The Warriors play at the fastest pace in the NBA which is a great test for the Suns, 3rd fastest in the league. Sure, Dallas filed the test (the transition defense was nonexistent), but I'm sure it served as a valuable lesson.

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Sefko has an expected article on the friendship of Nash and Dirk and how they've blossomed in MVP's after being separated.

Funny Dirk and Nash video

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Art Garcia has a good recap of the third quarter of the season (the last 21 games). Dallas was 19-2 (.905) over that period, but it's nor surprise that Avery wasn't completely happy.
"We've got a lot of things to work on," coach Avery Johnson said without an ounce of hyperbole.

We regressed in two areas, but, boy, we made progress in four areas," Johnson said without much elaboration. "We made some progress in little detail areas we teach, and I can see them try to implement it in a game."

Despite racking up wins in record fashion, Johnson listed several games -- Milwaukee (Feb. 13), Houston (Feb. 15) and Cleveland (March 1) -- that could have gone either way. The Mavs just happened to win them all.

But he didn't want to downplay all the victories.

"There are other games that I can point to where we were awfully good," Johnson said, adding that's happened about 70 percent of the time during this quarter.
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Tim Leger says Dallas-Phoenix is the best rivalry in the NBA.
"It was Dallas-San Antonio for a while, it was Miami-Detroit, but right now Dallas-Phoenix has to be the best matchup in the game. One team might win 70 games, the other might win 65. One team was 33-2 over one span (Phoenix) and the other was 36-2 (Dallas).

"They play exciting basketball, and there is plenty of intrigue between the two franchises. Right now, it just doesn’t get any better."
I'd still take Dallas/San Antonio myself -- more bad blood. I hate the Spurs. Do I hate the Suns? Not really, they're just annoying.

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Around the NBA: SB Nation now has a Knicks blog.

San Antonio - winners of 13 in a row.

Miami beat Utah despite Jason Williams leading the team in scoring with 15 points.

Michael Jordan is going to fire Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff when the season is over and MJ wants to find a coach like Avery Johnson.
"Great teaching skills, patience and a vocal leader: All three of those are very important with a young team.

Teaching skills to make sure their talent is used properly within a team concept. The vocal skills to calmly maintain the direction of the organization. And the patience to wait for our young kids to develop.

It doesn't have to be an existing coach; it can be some young start-up coach. (Dallas') Avery Johnson is a good example: He studied the game, never coached and cultivated (the Mavericks) into a very successful program. He's an example of the type of coach I would love to find."