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Some Saturday Links

Disaster alert for Dallas defense | Tim MacMahon - ESPNDallas
The Mavericks have morphed into a poor defensive team this month. It's not a coincidence that this occurred when the effusion in Erick Dampier's left knee flared up. The stats during a 13-game stretch are pretty ugly: The Mavs have allowed 101.4 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting while going 7-6.

Mavs need Terry to start and finish strong | Tim MacMahon - ESPNDallas
ut Terry has failed to get a field goal in the other three fourth quarters during his stretch as a starter. His scoreless fourth quarter in the 50-point rout of the Knicks obviously isn't a concern, but he went a combined 0-of-7 from the floor in the final frames of losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns.

Fourth-quarter stumble proves Mavericks are still adjusting | DMN
"We got plenty of people on the team who can score," Terry said. "We got to make sure we do what we do to score. It's unbelievable to me that we've come half of the season and we still look like we're searching in the fourth quarter. It's not that hard. "We've got to get the ball into people's hands who can put it in the basket, bottom line."

Not exactly the Dallas Mavericks - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
Thursday night against Phoenix, Nowitzki didn't touch the ball after the 5:53 mark. The Mavericks essentially played a Dirk-less fourth quarter in a very tight game they should have won.

NBA: Checking in with NBA scouts - ESPN
Dallas' interest in Sacramento's Kevin Martin was last week's big trade topic, but the Kings keep saying that Martin is not available. And while Washington's Caron Butler and Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala are most certainly available, one plugged-in source insisted this week that the Mavs have real reservations about trading Howard for Butler and are hesitant regarding Iguodala as well largely because of the four years and $56 million left on the Philly swingman's contract after this season.

NBA trade season: 10 teams most likely to make a deal - ESPN
But the Mavs don't have the kind of young talent or draft picks normally needed to sweeten such trades. Because of the Kidd trade, the Nets own the Mavericks' first-round pick this year. Therefore, given NBA rules, the next first-round pick they can trade is their 2012 pick, which doesn't have much value now.