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A case of the Monday Monday's

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More pre-season rankings of the West from Hoopsworld.com, though this came out a few days ago before the Artest trade was announced, they still had Houston one spot higher than Dallas.

6. Dallas Mavericks - How much does future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd have left in the tank? Maverick fans had better hope quite a bit because he's going to have to be at his absolute best for Dallas to have any chance of rising into one of the top-four spots in the West. There's no doubt Dirk Nowitzki is still a stud, but the West is just far too tough for Dallas to be considered an elite team. The big question for Dallas is whether or not Josh Howard will return next season, and how much of an impact will new coach Rick Carlisle have on a team that was in disarray at the end of last season.

I wont list the rest here, but tell you they had Phx and Denver at the 7 an 8. Not sure how much creditbility can be given to someone who puts the Nuggets in at 8, with a team thats arguably much worse than what they had last year, and with up and coming teams like Portland and dare I say even the Clippers. Seems like we go through this though ever year with the Nuggets though.

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Chad Ford's talks about the winners and losers of the off-season so far, guess which category Dallas falls under?

Dallas Mavericks
Two seasons ago, the Mavericks were an elite team in the NBA and had the league's best record. Coming into this season, the Mavs no longer look like a contender. In fact, there's a chance they might not even be a playoff team in the wild, wild West.

The Mavs still have Dirk Nowitzki, but the rest of the team is fairly underwhelming. The addition of Jason Kidd at the trade deadline last season looks like an awful move in retrospect. It's unclear whether Kidd really has the juice left to be an elite point guard.

Josh Howard's brushes with controversy over his comments on smoking marijuana and a charge of drag racing this summer haven't helped. And that huge $30 million-plus contract that they gave DeSagana Diop will come back to haunt them the same way that $60 million-plus contract they gave to Erick Dampier did.

The Mavs were actively trying to get their hands on Ron Artest, but, like the Rockets, it was more an act of desperation than a savvy basketball move. Maybe head coach Rick Carlisle can turn things around, but as it stands right now, a team in need of a major overhaul to get back into title contention did too little and risks falling into irrelevancy.

Not too surprised here. My biggest beef with this is the Diop signing comment here. Diop's $30 million contract, who is probably the starter of this team, will haunt us like Damp's $60 million? How?

Mike Fisher didnt find this article too amusing either, and broke down every sentence of what Chad said here.

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Josh Howard's arrest has many talking, even Cuban himself, in a not so direct approach to the Howard issue.

Matt Carter over at Showboating has his opinion as to what to do with Josh.

Even though a member of my own favorite team is involved in this incident, I think this is a great chance for the Mavericks or the NBA to take a stand. Howard should be fined and suspended a game for his actions, especially when you consider he could have easily been seriously injured. If there was one wrong move the guy might have never been able to play again, let alont live a normal life. Someone has to hold athletes up to a high standard, simply because they play such a vital role in today’s culture.

Thats a bit of an extreme reaction in handling this, if you ask me... still, one has to think that you can only encourage and talk things out so much, before one needs to be put in time-out. Though I think the Mavs doing this at this point, would cause a bigger problem than what it actually is.

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Kidd had a pretty short and sweet game the other night. Seems as though Paul and Williams outstanding play (though Paul's was shady at best on the defensive end the other night) could keep Kidd parked on the bench, as Kidd didnt play any of the 2nd half Sunday morning. Though one can't underestimate the importance of having a leader like Kidd on the team, Paul and Williams are just that much better right now... mostly because they can score effectively and play the half court offensive much more efficiently than Kidd can.