That was a monster win for this team that once again demonstrated the intestinal fortitude of the 2005 Mavericks. The third quarter was not a pleasant one for the Mavs as Detroit turned up their physical play and dunked on the Mavs repeatedly. The Wallace brothers (who are brothers, but not brothers) dominated the meek Mavs front line. But, to our delight, the Mavs turned it around with big shots (Devin Harris nailing a 3 at the 3rd quarter buzzer) and big defense. The way they closed the deal in the 4th quarter on the home court of the world champion gives you reason to believe in these guys once again. Very nicely done, boys.
Since the coaching adjustment, some have really taken huge strides forward. For example, Keith Van Horn, who most of us thought would not get off the bench once Nelson left, has seen his production soar:
11 games under Nelson = 24.8 minutes, 10.3 ppg, 5.1 rebounds
6 games under Johnson = 24 minutes, 17.1 ppg, 4.1 rebounds
Look at the numbers of Devin Harris, the rookie point guard, under each coach:
Nelson: 15.3 minutes per game, 6.0 ppg, 2.2 apg, 43% FG
Johnson: 19.1 minutes per game, 11.0 ppg, 3.0 apg, 59% FG
Meanwhile, Marquis Daniels has taken an odd step backwards. In his last 5 games, he is still playing decent minutes (20.6 min per game), but his numbers have greatly declined. For the season, he has averaged 10.4 ppg and 4.1 rpg while shooting 43.6%. However, in his last 5 games, his numbers have dropped to 3.8 ppg and 1.8 rpg while shooting 29% from the field. He had 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 0 assists in 15 minutes last night, and with Stackhouse about to return you have to wonder where Daniels is going to play if his productivity continues to disappear.
DMN on the Mavs win …
Detroit News not impressed with Pistons effort …
It was the third bad loss in four games for the Pistons, the second in the last three at home, which drew boos from the sellout Palace crowd.
"You can't spot that team (17 points) unless you are going to play perfect basketball the rest of the way," acting head coach Gar Heard said.
They weren't perfect, but they were pretty good from the 1:57 mark of the second quarter to the three-minute mark of the third. They outscored the Mavericks 32-16.
They were within two with 3.6 seconds left in the quarter when Devin Harris took the inbounds pass, sped right past Carlos Arroyo and drained a 26-footer as time expired.
Rangers ponder the future of Kinsler …
What am I going to do with this kid?" manager Buck Showalter asked after watching Ian Kinsler slash a double into the right-field corner during a hit-and-run drill Sunday. It is becoming an increasingly difficult question to answer.
Obviously, the Rangers prefer to send Kinsler to Triple A -- a level he has yet to play -- for a little more seasoning. But Kinsler's ability to seemingly do everything right and veteran infielder Mark DeRosa's slow spring have Showalter and the Rangers considering all options, including keeping Kinsler to start the season.
Kinsler went into Monday's Cactus League game against San Francisco hitting .349 with eight doubles, a homer and seven RBI in 43 at-bats. DeRosa was hitting .206 with two doubles and an RBI in 34 at-bats.
Kinsler does make the Rangers a better team, but bet on DeRosa. The Rangers realize that with third baseman Hank Blalock, shortstop Michael Young and second baseman Alfonso Soriano all expected to play 150-plus games, there would be little chance for Kinsler to get at-bats.
Chris Young grabs #3 in the rotation …
Atkins cracks Kobe …Then backs off and blames the media…
First-year Lakers guard Chucky Atkins was asked before Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers what offseason moves he'd make to improve the team.
"I ain't no GM. Ask Kobe. He's the GM. It's his team," Atkins said.
The 30-year-old Atkins seemed to backtrack almost immediately. Following the Lakers' 96-89 loss to the 76ers, he acknowledged that while confidence and morale were down, team members were "too professional to point fingers."
Following Monday's practice, Atkins acknowledged it was "very possible" that what he meant to say wasn't what came out, although he insisted the reporter questioning him had been trying to get him to say something negative about Bryant for weeks.
"I don't think you should try to divide my team," Atkins said. "We're not going to splinter. Kobe's my man. Me and Kobe have developed a relationship where anything I have to say to him, I can say to his face. I'm in a no-win situation."
Los Angeles has dropped eight straight, the second-longest losing streak since moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960.
FC Dallas gain Vanney and and lose Corey Gibbs on the back line for ’05 …
Fun with vasectomies …
A good column questioning Landon Donovan’s spine …
Rivera and Johnson reach deal over jersey number …
Cowboys center Al Johnson has agreed to let veteran right guard Marco Rivera have No. 62 for an undisclosed amount.
"Let's just say it wasn't free," said Johnson, who will now wear No. 55.
Regarding his new number, Johnson said, "I just thought it looked cool."
Johnson wore No. 72 at Wisconsin.
Also, defensive tackle Jason Ferguson will wear No. 66, and cornerback Anthony Henry will be No. 42.