Dallas Pounds Miami …
"This," said Shaquille O'Neal, "was just a good old-fashioned Texas beat down."
The Heat never led and never had a chance after halftime.
The Mavericks were able to rest their starters, which should come in handy tonight in Denver.
"This is the best job in the world right now," Josh Howard said. "We're playing great team basketball right now."
Emphasis on team. They can tie the franchise record for consecutive wins tonight, but nobody was worried about that Thursday. Stopping the Heat was the only concern. And they did. They scored 33 points off 19 turnovers and also knocked in 56 percent of their shots, including 11-of-16 from 3-point range.
Getting to the NBA Finals remains a dream for the Mavericks. But if they ever make it there, the hard evidence so far indicates they would breeze by the Eastern Conference representative. Ten weeks ago, they hammered the East-leading Detroit Pistons by 37 points. This blowout was one point shy of that.
Cowlishaw says Mavs are the best right now ….and I tend to believe him..
Since Stackhouse came back into the lineup, Dallas is 20-3. That's why with Stackhouse coming off the bench and doing the kinds of things he did Thursday, such as hitting huge 3-point shots at the ends of the first two quarters, the Mavericks are the best team in the NBA.
There's little argument right now. They have been better with Stackhouse in the lineup than Detroit has been, than San Antonio has been, than any other team on the planet has been.
The Heat players were calling them that Thursday night, causing Stackhouse to remark, "The way they got beat, I know why they feel that way."
We don't know if it can last until June. We don't know how much the Mavericks' big advantage over opponents, which is that great scoring depth, will be diminished in the postseason when games on back-to-back nights do not exist, and the team with the
best five or best seven players usually wins.
But what is important is being seeded first or at least winning your division.
Johnson is trying to guide the Mavericks where they have never been, which is the NBA Finals. To get there, it's a really, really good idea to win your division and be seeded first or second in the West.
Over the last 10 years, six No. 1 seeds and three No. 2s have represented the West in the Finals. The only aberration was the 2002 Lakers, who were seeded third. But they were also two-time defending champions who knew how to get it done in the postseason.
Miami Paper draws conclusions from Mavericks pounding …
Consider it truth in advertising.
Even before his team took the court Thursday night for what would turn into a 112-76 loss to the Mavericks, Heat coach Pat Riley hardly cast this as a battle of equals.
"We're a winning team," he said with a tone of resignation. "Right now, that's all we are."
And then there are the teams like Dallas, well-honed championship contenders that can impose their will and considerable talent on mere winning teams.
Just as it has been against Phoenix and San Antonio, the Heat found itself playing an opponent at another level, with Dallas extending its winning streak to 13.
"That was painful, absolutely painful," a visibly disappointed Riley said when it was over. "I coached an absolutely terrible game."
The Phoenix Coyotes situation is clearly one that is sweeping the nation in a less than flattering way. Rick Tocchet has ruined his life in a way that his affiliation with hockey will take 2nd seat to whether he will be in prison the next several years. As for Wayne Gretzky’s involvement, I will be quick to suggest that I find him to be a saint. So, if I give him a huge benefit of the doubt, you must forgive me.
Here is an email I got from a dude who emails me about twice a year to tell me how much he hates my work:
Subject: you should be embarrassed!
Date: 2/9/2006 7:38:16 PM Central Standard Time
while i rarely listen to your program, i did tune-in today and heard you rally-to-the-defense-of-the-nhl-and-gretsky.
what a performance -- one that would, no doubt, make the best defense attorney envious. you should be commended.
apologists, however, are the worst kind of fan, in any sport. but that seems to be your childish nature, regardless of the sport.
you are the type person the former soviet union would call -- "a useful idiot". (i know i probably lost you there, as that analogy sailed right over your head).
however sad, i was not terribly suprised you went out of your way to look for any excuse to minimize what is rapidly becoming a sordid tale of woe, as feces is spread across the face of a barely recognized professional sport on the american sports scene.
hear you have the greatest player in hockey, complicit in aiding and abetting his assistant coach, wife and corrupt new jersey cop -- in their gambling ties with organized crime (aka the MOB).
your naivete is freightening and further illustrates your lack of credibility in discussing sports.
having said that though, i guess more should not be expected from some non-descript, two-bit clown that grew up in rural wisconsin and attended some rural, no-name, right-wing college in western (nowheresville) virginia.
pity the fools!!
I thought we were quick to suggest that a) this is bad for Tocchet and the NHL and b) an issue that I don't care about unless they were betting on hockey. I stand behind that. Gambling in this country is a joke, as 50% of gambling is fine, and 50% of gambling is not. Of course, throwing games and running gambling rings with organized crime is way over the line. But, if a hockey player can bet $1,000 in Vegas on the Super Bowl, I guess I don't care. If he uses a website in the Virgin Islands, I don't care. If his assistant coach takes the bet, that is over the line but only because the assistant coach should not be a bookie, not because I think a hockey player betting football is a big deal. Sue me.
Here is an interesting blog from Eklund: and his blog …
A good source who has known Gretzky for years chimes in...."Ask yourself this...if you are Wayne Gretzky and are worried enough to keep your name out of the ring, would you go to your WIFE? Remember you have all kinds of people around you, you have all kinds of money to hire someone else to place bets if that`s what you wanted to do, why the hell would you use your wife`s name? Remember you are supposedly thinking enough to keep your name off the list...do you think Gretzky said, `I know I`ll place bets in my wife`s name...no one will ever tie that to me! This conspiracy and comparison to Pete Rose is ludicrous. Wayne`s standing in the sports world and hockey is something he takes seriously...He feels honored to be `the great one,` he works hard for the sport and is a great ambassador...I don`t think anyone can question that."
Does Wayne have troubles here? Absolutely, if these wire tap rumors are true and he did know of the ring, then he wasn`t straight when asked the other day if he knew of it....I`m sure Wayne is kicking himself for not saying "no comment" and talking without a lawyer present. Tocchet too. Bottom line is until you have had a throng of reporters accusing your wife of illegal doings it is hard to tell how any of us would react.
Here is Gretzky’s statement …
POSTGAME STATEMENT FROM COYOTES HEAD COACH WAYNE GRETZKY
“Well, before I start first of all I want to say that first and foremost I’m not going anywhere.
I am still going to coach the Phoenix Coyotes.
I did nothing wrong, or nothing that has to do with anything along the lines of betting; that never happened.
I’m going to Italy on Sunday to be with Team Canada and be a part of the Olympic games.
Thirdly, lastly, I’m going to say it one more time, like I said the other night; I didn’t bet, didn’t happen, not gonna happen, hasn’t happened, it’s not something that I have done.
So in saying all that I appreciate everyone’s support; a lot of great friends that have said a lot of nice things. I’ve felt like the last three days I’ve defended myself over something that absolutely, unequivocally, I was not involved with.
In saying all that I hope you appreciate that the last three days have been horrible. I’m just too tired mentally and physically to talk anymore about it. There is nothing for me to talk about.
And if you have any questions for people that are involved, contact them.
At the risk of being naïve, I am tempted to say that someone with Wayne’s credibility talking with that amount of conviction leads me to think he might be telling the truth. On the other hand, I have never thought so highly of any athlete, and therefore perhaps my opinion shouldn’t matter to the Panzer Division.
Oh, by the way, The Coyotes got pounded by Dallas last night …
That much was obvious from the way the Stars, who have won eight of nine games, dominated play and received contributions from throughout the lineup.
No one was more conspicuous than Kapanen, who had only five goals this season -- two in his past 29 games -- entering Thursday.
"We like [Kapanen's] game when he's not scoring, but when he does score, he just jumps out at you," coach Dave Tippett said. "He had a great game."
In goal, Johan Hedberg was everything the Stars could ask of a backup who starts a couple of games a month. He stopped 35 shots for his ninth victory in 13 games this season.
At the other end, winger Bill Guerin -- who had scored only two goals in 34 games and was on an 18-game goal-scoring drought before Monday -- scored for the second consecutive game, starting the Dallas barrage.
Jose Theodore fails drug test….for PROPECIA! …
Dr. David Mulder, the team physician, said yesterday that Theodore, who tested positive for the hair-restoration drug Propecia, has been taking the drug for "eight or nine years," with his knowledge and approval.
The drug was banned by WADA effective Jan.1, 2005, but there were a number of warnings posted on websites telling of the ban months before that. Propecia is not an anabolic steroid and does not have performance-enhancing benefits, but it can act as a masking agent.
"He has been taking it on the advice of a dermatologist," Mulder said. "And he has had very good success and feels it has helped hair growth and prevented further loss and has taken it with my knowledge."
Theodore faces the possibility of a two-year ban from international hockey, pending his appeal to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. No date has been scheduled for the hearing.
"I always like my hair real long and I like to keep it long as long as possible," Theodore, 29, said last night.
"I don't feel I have anything to hide. It's not something that I got on the black market. It was a prescription from the doctor for eight years, so I don't feel uncomfortable by anything."
Perhaps, we can cut the guy some slack and let him try to keep his hair!
David Carr retained and paid his $8 million bonus …
Finally, the Olympics begin tonight. Why don’t I care? I am sure I will be into the Olympic hockey, and if I fly by and downhill skiing is going on I will no doubt hit the brakes on the remote, but this used to be the signature event of my childhood. And yet, this weekend, I am not sure I have any sense of anticipation at all.
Is this everyone, or just me?
PS: Make Sure you swing by Sportsbybrooks.com today and enjoy the Dan McDowell gallery...