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Tuesday Links

Kevin Sherrington has an article about how Dirk being out could help Dallas because they will have to start playing differently. He never really says how exactly. But would you rather have Dirk for the next 12 games or not have Dirk for the next 12 games? The only way Dirk's absence could help is if every player realizes they have to start trying harder and then actually does. The good news is that there is massive room for improvement in that department.

I'm sure there are some of you out there who would rather not have Dirk because you've given up anyway and just want the draft pick. Sherrington got to that too.

Now, the Mavs in the lottery doesn't mean Michael Beasley's coming to Dallas. But an interesting point guard - Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, D.J. Augustin, Tywon Lawson, maybe Darren Collison - could be available. One of them could spend a year as an understudy to Kidd and perhaps provide a long-term answer.

Of course, that assumes Johnson would like any point guard, but that's a diatribe for another day.
Randy Galloway also has an article exploring the lottery possibility.

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Art Garcia asked Dirk about the possibility of missing the playoffs and got the type of answer you would expect. 'We're not thinking about that etc...'

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Chris Mannix at SI.com thinks Avery has to give Jason Kidd complete control for Dallas to have chance without Dirk.
Though Johnson's more traditional offense is different than the Nets' Princeton-based motion system, it doesn't take long for an experienced player like Kidd to learn it. Johnson has certainly loosened the reins more with Kidd than he did with Harris, but he has not given the 14-year veteran the freedom to run the offense, leading some to question how much Johnson trusts Kidd in that role.

Johnson has to trust Kidd now. In order for the Mavs to maintain their standing in Nowitzki's absence, Kidd must carry them.
Mike Fisher agrees and breaks down five ways it can be done. This is a must read.

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Here's a 8 minute interview with Erick Dampier for a local sports show -- filmed after the loss to the Lakers.

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Dallas has dropped to 14th in Stein's latest power rankings.

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Around the NBA: Golden State lost to the Lakers in OT and Denver beat Memphis.

That puts Dallas 1.5 games up on Denver for the 8th spot.

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This Day in Mavs History
2002 With the Clippers' loss to San Antonio, Dallas clinched a playoff berth.