Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Quickie

Overslept today. Oops. This is going to be more of the scribes than it will be of me: Happy Friday. By the way, what a week for this blog. We had a career high on Tuesday of 6,331 hits on the site. Way to go.

Avery looks to counter in Game 2

"Transition defense," Johnson said.

"Transition defense. Transition defense. Transition defense.

"Made or missed [shots], transition defense. We looked like a team without a system. And that's my fault."

He was not smiling, not trying to be funny. He was genuinely ticked off, as were his players.

The Mavericks were blitzed for 32 fast-break points and 72 points in the paint. Although the Mavericks got 74 points in the paint, they still were blistered by Steve Nash and the Suns' incessant running game.

"Obviously, we can't have guys standing in the corner ... admiring their shots," Dirk Nowitzki said. "This is not the series to do it. We got to sprint back and pick up whoever guy's in your area, even if it's not the matchup you want.

"It [Game 1] wasn't really a defensive effort. They got whatever they wanted. They got, like, 100 points in transition. They got whatever they wanted. So defense was very nonexistent."

Nowitzki, by the way, was asked whether Game 2 ranks as a must-win situation.

"Obviously," he said.

Oddly, Kevin Blackistone is ready to count on Marquis Daniels …Wow.

For a spell, Daniels became somewhat of an afterthought. In his third year, he had to prove himself all over again.

What better proving ground for Daniels, however, than right now, especially with Howard hobbled Wednesday in the Mavericks' stunning loss to the Suns in the Western Conference finals' opener at American Airlines Center? If he does shine, the likelihood that the Mavericks advance to the NBA Finals will grow exponentially.

But Daniels' final attempt to make a play Wednesday – lobbing the basketball beyond anyone's reach, including 7-foot Dirk Nowitzki – was not a great last impression.
"That was kinda strange," Daniels said of his incompletion.

It should be pointed out, however, that there was only a prayer of a chance for the Mavericks to save the game. Just half a second was left. If only Daniels could've been more like a faith healer than, unfairly, some sort of goat.

In Phoenix, They circle the wagons around Raja

The Suns are using all of this as reference points and general reassurance.

"You know what? I haven't heard anybody say a word or feel bad for the team because of what happened to Raja," D'Antoni said. "I guarantee you that James (Jones), Leandro (Barbosa) and Eddie (House) are not over there saying, 'Oh, shoot.' They're saying, 'Oh, good. Now I can go bust somebody.' "

That's nice, but what really helps is the skill and brainpower of Nash. He will recalculate the team's options, recalibrate the attack and make it possible for the replacement parts to succeed. Besides, at their core, the Suns are visionary and lethal because of a simple combination: They are a great shooting team with a great deal of intelligence. They know how to get open. They know how to space the floor. They know how to beat stupid teams that possess more talent.

"We started dealing with this in training camp when we lost Amaré (Stoudemire), when the naysayers came out and said we weren't going to be a playoff team," Bell said. "Then we lost Kurt (Thomas). We lost Brian Grant. LB (Barbosa) was missing for four weeks or so. Go down the list, and when guys go out, we just don't hang our heads. . . . We just go out and play."

It's not going to be easy. It may be that the titillating triumph in Game 1 is as good as it gets in the 2006 postseason. Except these Suns don't blow away in a windstorm and don't run away from shadows.

At a time like this, those traits come in handy.

Nevin breaks out and saves the day ….

Phil Nevin could not remember another moment in his career as exciting.

A walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.

His entire team waiting at home plate to swarm him with excited congratulations.
An 8-7 Rangers victory over the division rival Oakland A's, delivered with his bat by a home run off A's closer Huston Street, to put the Rangers up two games in the American League West. The A's have now lost six straight games.

"To be honest with you, I don't get that emotional," Nevin said. "On the positive side anyway, I don't think I've ever been that emotional on a baseball field....For this team, it was a heck of a moment."

The moment was made that much more thrilling for Nevin because the month has been a nightmare.

He spent the first few weeks in a deep offensive slump, then showed up at the ballpark Tuesday to learn he would no longer be the Rangers' everyday DH and would cede at-bats to rookie Jason Botts. He got another look in the lineup Thursday, with Oakland lefty Brad Halsey on the mound, but began the game 0-for-4.

Nevin, who is in the final year of a four-year, $34 million contract, had to wonder what his future was with Texas. How could he show he should be in the lineup in limited opportunities?

To get the team a win, in a game they had trailed 7-0 midway through the sixth inning, was huge.

Matt Hughes to destroy Royce Gracie on PPV Saturday Night

UFC continues to grow

The UFC, which is now owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, has witnessed tremendous growth over the past year, mainly due to its popularity among young male adults and the success of their reality television series, "The Ultimate Fighter" on SpikeTV.
"We can't be denied anymore … we are a real sport," said White on a recent conference call.

Since Zuffa, LLC and White took over, UFC has seen its popularity reach new heights. The reality television show has received higher ratings than both NBA and NHL playoff games when aired up against one another. More importantly the Internet and mainstream media are helping it grow.

"We are pulling in the numbers," White said. "The male 18-34 demographic that all newspapers are trying to get to read their papers. Our Web site is a real machine for us. We get a lot of hits. They can't go anywhere else to read it. So they come to us. More mainstream newspapers are coming to us to cover us like they would do boxing. They are noticing a difference in readership because of the UFC."

By popular demand, here is the Any Given Sunday Speech

Facts about Jack Bauer

Nash and Dirk’s duet

Not excited enough for the Western Conference Finals tonight? Well, if this video doesn’t pump you up, nothing will.

Apparently, it’s Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, back in their teammate days, singing a song to their friend Simon, whoever the heck that is. It just hasn’t been the same since these guys were dorking it out together.


MrSimic said...

Mavs 105, Suns 100.

Anonymous said...

I'm ready to give Quisey a try, but counting on him is going a bit far.

And Bob, you've got to inSturminate your blog better if you want to keep up that readership growth.

Mavs by 10+ tonight...

bigphil32 said...

Om my God, how freaking gay was the Nash/Dirk clip????!!! Also, i think that Dirk is wearing a Shwan Bradley jersey backwards!!!!!! Genius......


Fake Sturm said...

We must protect this house!!!! and other SPORTZZZZ cliches. I called for the help of Quisy about a week ago when Jet was out, and I was disappointed. Avery has no faith in him, and for some reason has lost all faith in Diop. I think we will see Dirk playing the 5 tonight and another episode of the Devin Harris show. This kid will be unstoppable once he starts getting some respect.

The line Monday night was Dallas -6 and I definitely lost 100 units on that. Tonight it has jumped to 7.5! That seems like a lot to me even with the "must win" label on it.


Anonymous said...

Go Mavs!
However how can you not help but love a guy like Nash who can't touch the rim but is making the rest of the NBA his bitch.


Anonymous said...

Diop couldn't guard a 30 year old with plantar fasciitis, how is he supposed to guard a guy like Marion that's twice as fast and 3x as athletic? I like Diop, but he's only really useful against the bigger, slower centers(like Shaq) and even then he tends to pick up a lot of fouls since he goes for the pump fake all the time. He's definitely a work in progress.


Luis M said...

speaking of gay clips...

did anyone see the shot of barbosa kissing boris diaw near the end of game 1. i forgot to bring this up and not sure if it came up on the air, but i figure it would make the blog, if anyones has the game TiVo'd you'll see the kiss, i think it comes in the final 3 minutes if not the final minute.

and the key tonight is not diop or damp or daniels, its transition defense, i know that has been repeated over and over but the key is to stop the suns from passes up court so quickly after a made mavs shot or a suns rebound. you need to cut that pass off. so whoever is nearest to nash needs to stay in his passing lane. they will probably adjust by making two passes to in the back court then a long pass up court. the key is getting back but stopping that pass. they can not allow to the suns to pass the ball upcourt, they need to force them to dribble it up court.

mavs 115 suns 101
go mavs!
now go home and get you shine box!

Sugarbottom said...

Mavs 112, Suns 106

Andy Douthitt said...

This is the start of the Championship run tonight...

We will get back on D.

We will get Dirk to go to the line often.

We will hold Nash to under 25 points.

We will hold Diop to under 20.

We will hold Van Horn to under 10 minutes (I hope)

we will win.

I am still very nervous, but I have confidence that we will be tied going to Pheonix.

Brandon at GSR said...

Run the two-man game with Devin and Dirk.

Then start kicking it out to Terry to bury some three's.

And get back on defense.

Dallas 113, Phoenix 102 (They always have a Game 2 letdown).

Fake Sturm said...

Bold prediction Andy...
Hold Diop to under 20, I dont know if you meant minutes or points, but I dont think he will get either.

I dont think thats Dirk and Nash in that clip.

Wes Mantooth said...

Two things are needed to win:

1. Transition D

2. Attack the rim

You can form layup line on the Suns D. Don't settle for outside shots, and keep the ball out or KVH's hands. Dirk, Devin, Quisy, Terry, Stack, and Josh (if he can go) can all attack the rim and either get the layup, dunk or go to the line. Hell, my short, slow, white, spare ass may even be able to get a layup on that sh*tty D. Jump shots just play into the Suns transition game with the long rebounds.

Mavs SHOULD win BIG.

F the Suns.
F Nash.

mr. t said...

I second your comments.
The man-crush on Van Horn MUST end tonight.

Anonymous said...

Since Zuffa, LLC and White took over, UFC has seen its popularity reach new heights. The reality television show has received higher ratings than both NBA and NHL playoff games when aired up against one another.

Gary Bettman killed hockey. OLN is pi$$ing on its grave. But the NBA playoffs? Are those national numbers? Guess I better pull my kids out of the Y and start kicking the crap of them.

Anonymous said...

How about Josh Powell, or Mbenga getting a look at in this series. Josh might the most athletic power forward the Mavs have and Mbenga may be the most athletic center Dallas has. The just need to rebound and get back on defense.


Anonymous said...

Well, at least Gordo's guitar has become famous...

Brad said...

I agree with Wes. It seems like they can/should make an effort to get to the rim pretty much every time.

This suns team just doesn't foul, and if you put one of the starters in a position where they have 3 fouls early on, I don't think they're going to know what to do with that. Van Horn needs to ball fake those jumpers and drive on 'em!

But mostly, they just need to beat the hell out of Marion and Nash. If this whole "they're beat up" theory is going to become even remotely true, it needs to happen VERY soon.

Because the Mavs are in trouble. Here's hoping Harris finds some consistency...

mr. t said...

Hold on! Josh Powell? What? What about Podkolzin? Let's just put him in for about 15 minutes. Dudes, this is the playoffs. The bench should see less minutes, not just test a few things. Risk/Reward- Powell may give you what, 6 points, 4 rebounds at best. Or 0 points, 3 fouls at worst.

Anonymous said...

I agree, and after Podkilzin goes in, lets put Avery and Del Harris in and let Cuban coach the havent lived until youve seen Del Harris back someone down on the low post and then spin away....swish...

shawn in Lville said...

I am not a basketball genius, but on a made shot could who ever is under the basket guard the inbound pass so that the inbounder has to work a little to get it to nash? I would think that would give the D at least another second to get back before the ball is past half court. That second could be quite a big difference. That may also prevent the trailing player from spotting up at the top of the key to nail the 3, if a defender is trailing the play as well. I know this will make it 4 on 4 and give nash room to create, but I think it may help.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I'd rather see Powell out there on defense than Van Horn, who was announced to be a starter for tonight. Powell can help on defense against Diaw and his not going to take any air ball 3's.

Anonymous said...

Go Mavs go.

Brian said...

Go Oilers!!!!
F*** OLN

Rick Bentley said...

Isn't Simon that douche that hangs out with Frankenstein Cuban all the time?

cracker1743 said...

Sounds like Hasselhoff fell off the wagon. said...

couldnt find ur email this morning and tried to call. Im not sure if you guys have discussed Barkleys comments after game 4 against the suns but its worth a visit. its about sticking things in the other teams booty and "kicking they ass on the road." take a listen its hilarious !