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The Monday Links

Howard returns to Mavs, finds motivation from critics | Art Garcia
"No, if anything he needs to come say something to me," Howard said. "I heard Jeff Van Gundy tried to stick up for me. [Jackson] don't know what it's like in my shoes. I had two major surgeries. I don't give a [flip] if he was Mark Jackson back in the day. "Stuff like that is just extra motivation. I just go out and play ball. I guess he's trying to live through me."

Defense makes the difference for Dallas Mavericks this season | DMN
They addressed defense in the off-season, adding Marion and his far-reaching wingspan and SMU-ex Quinton Ross, whose strength is being a perimeter pest. "Just by adding those two players, we're already a better defensive team," Dirk Nowitzki said. "We've made a conscious effort to be better defensively. We're doing well defensively, and we're rotating for each other and scrambling and the defense has been fun to watch." |Mavs Monday Donuts: J-Ho, Nellie & 'Balls'
We're not finished with The Josh Watch, you know. Dallas will have to monitor pain and swelling and the medical team will have to listen to J-Ho, who, remember, following his successful debut Saturday in the win over Toronto, said he still "isn't 100 percent."