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Thursday Morning Stuff

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Quite a few good performances last night, including DeSagana Diop who had his first NBA double-double.

Gana was sitting at his locker when we came and decided he was going big time on us. "I've got to shower," he said, pretending not to want to do interviews. "I'm like Dirk."

Hold on, Cowboy. The tongue-in-cheek nickname of "Gana Buckets" was in full use in the locker room on this night. It seemed appropriate after the rare offensive display.

Avery doesn't demand scoring from Diop, just energy. "We visited about it a couple days ago," AJ said. "I'm doing what I can do to help and he's doing what he can."

"I wasn't trying to score like that," Gana said modestly. "I was just doing what I do. Sometimes the ball comes to you."
It was also nice to see the rookies hold their own, particularly J.J. Barea who is not only short, but also good at basketball.

It sounds like we'll be seeing more of the rookies as the season winds down.
"It's been a long season at this point, and at the same time, you cannot get some of your young guys experience like this," Johnson said. "There's no practice, summer-league game that you can get to match the experience of playing in a real NBA game. The more you can take advantage of it, do it."

Devean George talks about the benefit of games like this.
Johnson wanted to play several personnel groups together, in particular Jason Terry, Devean George and Josh Howard. In essence, Johnson wanted to see what works and what doesn't.

"We all need to play together, because in playoff situations, you never know what may happen," George said. "Foul trouble or guys not playing as well or injuries or whatever the case may be, so everyone has to use this time, not as a relaxing time, but as a time to get sharp and to try to get on the same page."
Terry, Howard, and George shared the court for about 15 minutes last night and Dallas was -2 over that time.