What a great road win in Portland last night for the Mavs. Wow. They now sit at 28-13 at the half way point, which of course equates to a 56 win season. Not bad for a team that Steve Kerr had missing the playoffs. Dirk went for 24-15-6, and scored 20+ points for the 16th game in a row.
Nowitzki has absolutely taken the next step since his little buddy Steve Nash left town. Without question, he has taken ownership of this team, and now looks far more willing to battle and more willing to lead this Mavericks team. His clash with Zach Randolph is another example of Dirk not backing down to anyone in this league no matter how physical they get.
Check out the numbers:
Year PPG RPG APG
03-04 21.8 8.7 2.7
04-05 27.1 10.0 2.8
Are these the numbers of a NBA MVP? Don’t know, and honestly, don’t care. The bottom line is that Dirk has become the superstar that this team so desperately needed him to become. He no longer drifts through some games, and is seldom denied the ball at crunch time. Maybe most importantly, defense is not a language he does not understand anymore. He is one of only 4 players in the top 30 in the league in steals and blocks.
At the age of 26, he appears to be on the verge of joining the brightest stars in the league. And the Mavericks will be in Title contention as long as he is at this level.
Roy Wiliams single again ...
Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland has been hit by reports she's called off her engagement to American football star Roy Williams.
The 23-year-old Dilemma singer had been planning to walk down the aisle with the Dallas Cowboys star, 24, in March.
And while invitations had already gone out, guests are being called and notified that the wedding has been cancelled.
Mavs 95, Trailblazers 88 …
Mavericks notes …
The Mavericks have imposed a one-dunk limit on Dirk Nowitzki in practice the day of a game. After his one dunk Wednesday, coach Avery Johnson jumped off the scorer’s table and yelled that he would double the fine if Nowitzki did it again. “I give him one dunk every shootaround because otherwise he’ll dunk it five times,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to save that energy for the game.”
And now, the column of the year. If you read one column today, this is the one.
Jim Reeves says what needs to be said about the Rangers brass …
Part of the problem is that Hicks hasn't done what he promised to do, funnel at least some of the money saved from the free-agency departures of Pudge Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro, the trade of Alex Rodriguez and the selling of The Ballpark naming rights, back into the team via free agency. The ill-conceived Carlos Delgado offer and the belated interest in Magglio Ordonez notwithstanding, it hasn't happened.
Instead, if the Rangers stick to Hicks' original plan of around a $52 million payroll, they'll rank in the bottom third, maybe the bottom fourth, of teams in baseball. That's embarrassing for a top -five-market team and betrays the public trust.
But the problem goes beyond money. It goes straight to integrity and credibility. Hicks' financial pockets may be threadbare, but they're brimming over with gold compared to the credibility he and Hart have with Rangers fans.
But, wait, Reevo is not done. There is more!
The Rangers do more spin-doctoring than political pundits after a presidential debate. Give it up. Change the philosophy of the organization. Start building it on integrity and credibility.
None of the Big Three are bad guys. On the contrary, they're all, in their own way, pretty darn likable. Somehow, though, they've collectively decided that if it takes deception and manipulation to succeed as an organization, then that makes it A-OK. Hey, isn't that the way the government operates, too (and that applies to Republicans and Democrats)?
Here's a word of warning: It's not OK. It's not acceptable.
If the Rangers seriously want to quit leaking fans, they have to first patch up their credibility.
The work starts at the top.
Mickey’s Top 10 reasons the Cowboys are not in the Super Bowl , and yes, I am amazed that he can pick only 10, too…
Mark Stein with interesting Avery/Dampier news …
Avery Johnson, who already has more practice-floor pull than any other assistant coach in the league, hasn't been shy as the Mavericks' interim coach, either.
Filling in for Don Nelson as Nellie recovers from shoulder surgery, Johnson could be heard through the walls after Sunday's victory over Denver loudly -- loudly -- lecturing center Erick Dampier from an office adjacent to the Dallas locker room.
Unlike point guard Jason Terry, who looks more comfortable and effective with his new team every week, Dampier has frustrated the Mavs with his penchant for moping when he doesn't get touches or minutes. And while Dampier's presence down low has undeniably solidified the Dallas defense, it's understandable why Johnson especially would be rankled, given his lead role in recruiting Dampier to Dallas after they played together in Golden State.
The good news? Dampier, who has been playing on a sore knee, responded to the scolding with his ninth double-double of the season (13 points, 14 rebounds) in Monday's road loss to the Clippers.
Out of Town Links:
I know you have been wondering, “what does Antoine Walker think about the Super Bowl?” Here you go …I am happy we can provide you will this valuable information…
Eva Longoria visits Spurs vs. Blazers …
The most exciting news at the Rose Garden wasn't the petite brunette in Section 112. Sure, Eva Longoria, star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," made a stylish impression and clapped her hands each time her boyfriend, Spurs guard Tony Parker, touched the ball.
Greatest story out of Super Bowl XXXIX so far: Player called off construction site …
Jeff Thomason showed up for work Monday morning at a construction company in New Jersey, when he got the phone call that changed his life - for two weeks, anyway.
Thomason, a journeyman NFL tight end who hasn't played since the 2002 season, was asked by Eagles coach Andy Reid if he wouldn't mind playing in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Welcome to your wildest dreams, Everyman. You're going to Jacksonville.
"It's incredible," Thomason said yesterday. "I'm probably the luckiest guy in the world."
He had no idea he would be the guy to replace three-time Pro Bowl tight end Chad Lewis, who suffered a foot injury catching his second touchdown pass in Sunday's 27-10 win over the Falcons. Working as a project manager for Toll Brothers, Thomason asked his boss if he could use his two weeks' vacation a little earlier than expected. "When I get back," he said, "I'll have to work a year straight without vacation."
But at least he'll get a handsome salary moonlighting. If the Eagles beat New England, he'll make $63,000. If they lose, he still gets $31,500. "I know how hard it is to earn a buck in the real world," he said. "I've worked a lot of hours."
Kornheiser unleashes on Jacksonville …
How did Jacksonville get the Super Bowl? What, Tuscaloosa was booked?
If going to Jacksonville for a week is the reward New England and Philadelphia get for being the best teams in the NFL this year, Peyton Manning ought to be happy he didn't get there. Imagine how Manning would have felt, having to play all year in Indianapolis, and then landing in Jacksonville? Which gods would he have offended to get that killer quinella?
The NFL must see itself as handing out some sort of charity when it awards the Super Bowl to any place other than New Orleans, Miami and Southern California. Because, believe me, nobody wants the game to be anywhere but there. So when the NFL insists on putting it in outposts like Detroit, Houston or Minneapolis, people ask, "Are you guys nuts?" But when you pick Jacksonville, people are agape and say, "Who in Jacksonville has a photo of Tagliabue with a goat?"
Harry Carson has had enough of the HOF …