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The Friday Links

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Eddie Sefko has an article with some good quotes on the progress JJ Barea has made this season.

"His ability to get to the rim is something he's always had," Carlisle said. "I'm more impressed with the fact that he's getting the ball in the lane under control and making a lot of plays for other people. He's eliminated a lot of the turnovers and situations where he gets up in the air and gets charges.

"I never questioned his ability to get shots and get to the rim. I'm really more pleased at the progress he's made as a playmaker."

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Fisher has his daily donuts with some pre-Hornets game analysis/predictions.

Dallas will utilize a zone defense, the purpose being to force Chris Paul to do his damage as a perimeter shooter. CP3 will attempt to defy the laws of basketball by single-handedly penetrating into the zone, and once he's on the run and in the lane will unleash an arsenal of clever teardrop-type shots or, with the shot-blockers drawn to him, will uncork an arsenal of alley-oop passes that are indefensible once he's inside.

Can Dallas' perimeter zone defenders keep from penetrating in the first place, fulfilling the whole purpose of even playing zone? If the answer is "yes,'' Dallas wins.

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And Sefko also says Dallas just need to become an average defensive team.

Dallas is currently 17th in the league in defensive efficiency -- behind the other seven playoff teams in the West.