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NYE Roundup

Dallas leads the pack in competitive Southwest Division | Art Garcia -
Dallas leads the series 2-1 and the division, while also checking in with the second-best record in the Western Conference at 22-9. According to the man who runs the Rockets, the Mavs are stocked and the class of the once-mighty Southwest. They've got an MVP contender (Dirk Nowitzki), future Hall of Famer (Jason Kidd), Sixth Man award winner (Jason Terry), Defensive Player of the Year hopeful (Shawn Marion) and a wild card who may be the team's most versatile player (Josh Howard). Sounds like an unbeatable combo.

Mavs' Howard playing through pain | DMN Blog
Coach Rick Carlisle said Wednesday that Howard tweaked his hamstring at Denver on Sunday and the Mavericks have been handling it gingerly since. "He came back and played, but we held him out of contact (Tuesday),'' Carlisle said. "He did some things today, but we'll cross our fingers and hope he's OK.''

McGrady not on Dallas Mavericks' radar | DMN
"We definitely owe them one," Erick Dampier said. "We didn't play the way we wanted to play against them in the last game." Asked if he could feel the Rockets' pain for not having Yao Ming or McGrady because of injuries and playing-time disputes, Dampier said: "Who? If those guys aren't on the floor, we don't know them this year."

Mavs Donuts: From 'Professional' To 'Psychosomatic' |
The Western Conference Mavs are, in some circles, considered a "good" team that probably isn't really going anywhere. The Eastern Conference Hawks are, in most circles, considered a "potentially great" team that is a club that bears watching at it scales the heights. The Mavs are 22-9. The Hawks are 21-10.