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The Saturday Cleanup

Team NewOrleans Utah
Dallas Phoenix
Record 47-28 46-30 45-31 42-34
GB 12.5 14 15 18
4/4 - - - -
4/6 - - - -
4/7 @MIA - - -
4/9 - - - -
4/10 @DAL @SAS NO @MEM
4/11 - GS - @MIN
4/12 DAL - @NO -
4/14 - @LAK - -
4/15 @SAS - HOU GS

It's easy to panic or give up after a blown chance like that last night, but I think it's really important realize what is around Dallas.  The Mavs have major problems -- that really can't be denied.  But they are still in eighth.  The reason Dallas is in 8th and not 9th is because Phoenix has even more problems.  The reason Dallas is still only one game back of Utah for seventh is because they have a lot of problems too. 

So while Dallas was losing at Memphis, Utah was doing something even more pathetic -- losing at home to Minnesota.  New Orleans lost last night to a Golden State team that only dressed seven players...

And, I think,  Dallas has an easier remaining schedule than any of those teams.

So that puts it in perspective, but it doesn't really excuse Dallas for last night.

"I mean, we can say whatever we want to say," guard Antoine Wright said. "But when you come out here and lay an egg against Memphis, I mean, it definitely doesn't show that we're applying our words to our actions."

"Unacceptable," Wright said. "We all have to take responsibility for this.

Fisher has his game recap and notes that Kidd and Dirk both couldn't get things done in the final five minutes.

The UberMan finished 14-of-26 for 35 points and its a mighty purty boxscore.

But if you are a more discerning Dirk observer? You wonder how he missed those three free throws. You wonder how in the fourth quarter he backed in for high-percentage looks but missed his final five shots.

As we predicted, Kidd guarded O.J. Mayo in the most critical stretch of the game. And all Mayo did was score seven straight points in the fourth as he took the offensive baton from Rudy Gay. (Gay totaled 27 and Mayo 19.) Memphis' point guard, Mike Conley, was responsible for 25 points. Meanwhile, Kidd could only counter with 3-of-9 shooting and nine points to go with his 10 assists. And the bushel of clever steals, slap-happy stops and dare-him-to-launch clutch late makes that we've come to expect?

Poof. They disappeared.


David Moore has a short article on Josh Howard missing the game.

There haven't been any quotes on this, but I think they almost certainly decided to hold Josh out of a game they thought would win to make sure he would be good for Phoenix.  That kind of backfired. J5 had this to say.

"It's in my best interests not to hurt myself," Howard said. "I need to take a little time and get ready for the next game. It's an important game. That's it."

Ignoring the first part of that quote, which I don't think is worth reading anything into, the second part does seem to indicate he sat out last night with an eye towards Phoenix.


Fisher has his morning donuts and, among other things, wonders why Ryan Hollins didn't play last night.

While the roster includes Hollins and Green, that doesn't mean the rotation has to. Why didn't Hollins play against the long and athletic Grizz?

I don't know.

It's in my best interests not to hurt myself while trying to understand the rotation.