The Mavericks and Pistons won't have a fire-and-brimstone rivalry unless they someday meet in the Finals. But since the Pistons got whacked by 37 points at American Airlines Center – their first loss this season after starting 8-0 – tonight's months-removed meeting at The Palace of Auburn Hills offers an intriguing story line.
Add the Mavericks' quest for credibility, and it has the chance to be a fun evening.
"Dallas is good," Detroit's Richard Hamilton said. "Their record speaks for itself. But when everybody was telling us we had an opportunity for 70 wins, [I said] if we don't win a championship, that's not a successful season for us.
"Whatever you do in the regular season is easy. You really got to step up in the playoffs. Until you do that, the regular season really doesn't mean anything."
Hard to miss that message if you're the Mavericks, although they would like to think averaging 57 wins the last five seasons means something. And it does, just like being on pace to win 63 games this season is an achievement.
But Rasheed Wallace amplified Hamilton's point.
"They've had good records the last few years," he said, "but weren't able to go far into the playoffs. That's one of the knocks people are saying about them."
Cowlishaw on the MVP campaign of the big German …
The Dirk Nowitzki-for-MVP bandwagon gets rolling at full speed tonight when the Mavericks face the Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills with the stakes being ...
Wait a minute. The Who-for-What?
Perhaps we should take this thing one step at a time. These are, after all, the Dallas Mavericks.
In a quarter of a century, the Mavericks have never produced a Most Valuable Player candidate, let alone an MVP. Goodness, this team's never even had an MIP which, if you aren't paying attention, is Most Improved Player. Current Maverick Darrell Armstrong won that honor in Orlando in 1999, just so you know.
The Mavericks never had a first-team All-NBA player until Nowitzki cracked through that barrier a year ago.
He hasn’t made anyone forget Ken Hitchcock…yet, but he has done a fine job and now, the Stars extend Dave Tippett and entire staff for another year …
Volquez shelled in his last start …and folks, the 5th starter race is turning comical…But, in case you forgot where I am on this: Juan Dominguez was 6 out of 10 quality starts last August and September. Give him the ball. And Honestly, a trade for that 5th arm is the best option…
Right-hander Edinson Volquez might have pitched himself out of the competition for the final spot in the rotation.
He had a horrid 38-pitch first inning that deteriorated into a six-run rally by the Mariners. Volquez, who allowed Milwaukee five runs in two innings Wednesday, fell apart after consecutive infield hits to start the game. The Mariners sent 10 batters to the plate and had five straight hits at one point.
Right-hander Juan Dominguez will try again to gain some degree of momentum today when he faces Oakland in Phoenix. Right-hander R.A. Dickey, who threw six shutout innings Friday, will pitch an inning or two and is scheduled to come back Saturday and start the exhibition finale. The schedule would put Dickey on pace to start the fifth game of the season.
Astros wrestle with Insurance Company over Bagwell …
NFL officials realized there was too much fun in the NFL ….
New Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens, who, in 2000, celebrated a pair of touchdowns on the midfield star at Texas Stadium, will be allowed to celebrate in the Eagles' end zone at Lincoln Financial Field this season. But, if a new rule limiting players' celebrations is passed this week, Owens won't be able to use the football as a prop or go down to the ground.
His celebration also can't be deemed excessive.
"He better hurry up," said Falcons general manager Rich McKay, the co-chairman of the competition committee.
The rule will be enforced by a 15-yard penalty and is subject to a fine.
Billy Packer: college basketball ambassador of kindness …
SI reporter: "How difficult a sell would a Florida-LSU final be on the West Coast or even here in New York, where the SEC means something way different from the Southeastern Conference?"
Packer: "The SEC means something different?"
SI: "Securities and Exchange Commission."
Packer: "You need to get around the country a little bit and not be so parochial about being in New York. You [don't] sound like Sports Illustrated and more like a horse's [behind]."
Russell nailed all 4 ….
Russell Pleasant of Bellevue, Neb., was one of four people out of 3 million entrants in an ESPN.com contest to pick all the teams in this year's Final Four: LSU, Florida, UCLA and George Mason.
Pleasant said there was no secret method to picking the 11th-seeded Patriots. "I got them confused with George Washington," the 46-year-old said yesterday.
"I was filling in my bracket on the job and trying to do it pretty quick," Pleasant said. "When I got done, I said, 'Was that George Mason or George Washington?' "
According to statistics provided by ESPN, 1,854 of the 3 million brackets had George Mason making the Final Four.
In a rule Cowboys fans should like, Steelers’ Dan Rooney tries to get ticket-buying policies of teams that don’t have their own fans abolished …This is long overdue. Memo to Cardinals, Lions, Chargers, etc: If you don’t like it that the Steelers, Cowboys, Packers, and Giants fans buy all of your tickets when their teams come to town, then try selling them to your own fans!
Dan Rooney has proposed a rule that would prevent teams from making fans buy tickets to other games if they want to purchase one for a specific high-profile contest.
It is an obvious attempt to stop Steelers opponents on the road from forcing the team's fans to buy tickets to other games if they want to purchase a ticket to the game against the Steelers. The Bengals and Chargers were among those teams on the Steelers' schedule last year who had those policies. The proposal is given little chance of passing.
Lovie Smith not extended; but wildly underpaid …
Lovie Smith has two years left on his contract, but the Bears have decided not to extend or renegotiate it even though Smith is the lowest-paid head coach in the NFL at $1.35 million a year.
Still cautious after a bad experience redoing the contract of previous coach Dick Jauron, club President Ted Phillips said he wants to see another good year from NFL coach of the year Smith before he opens discussions about a new contract.
In only two seasons, Smith's market-value contract is out of date. Suddenly the dean of coaches in the NFC North, he will make less than Minnesota's Brad Childress and Detroit's Rod Marinelli—each $2 million a year—and less than Green Bay's Mike McCarthy ($1.9 million)—all starting their first seasons as head coaches.
By delaying a contract extension, the Bears will lose money if Smith has another good year, even though the perception now is they are trying to save money. "It's not about the money," Phillips said.
Drew Henson = good QB? …
And after two games in NFL Europe, he's the league's leading passer and his team is undefeated.
"It felt really good just to be back running the show," said Henson, who last was an unquestioned starter in 2000 as a junior at U-M. "Being under center is the most exciting thing for me, to be in the flow of the game, make plays to help the team when the game is on the line and be out there in the fourth quarter."
Henson said he hadn't played in the fourth quarter of a game since August, when he got some clean-up duty in an exhibition game with the Dallas Cowboys.
In two years with the Cowboys, Henson has played in seven regular-season NFL games -- all in 2004. Last season, he roamed the sidelines behind coach Bill Parcells as a third-stringer and eventually expressed an interest in going to Europe to get some playing experience.
"Dallas told me to get used to being on the field, game situations and running an offense," Henson said. "The playing part will take care of itself."
Henson, 26, beat out former Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang for the starting job in Germany. He has played the first, third and fourth quarters in the first two games and played well.
He leads NFL Europe with a 91.3 passer rating, with 22 completions in 35 attempts for 229 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions. In Saturday's 22-0 victory over the Berlin Thunder, he was 17-for-24 for 171 yards and a TD.
P1 Nick Earl at Old Trafford (home of the evil Manchester United)…
great column on Tired sports debates …
Aggie Fans in a nutshell …Very amusing…
Yesterday, NBA Fights. Today, Best mound charges! …
Kip Dynamite in the news …
Big for this Cowboys fan loyalty …
Top 20 Dallas Stars prospects according to Hockey Future.com …
I have received quite a few emails regarding the Cowboys trading up to #2 with the Saints and having their choice of Matt Leinart or Vince Young. This is a popular idea from Cowboys fans, so I thought I would answer the idea on the blog.
The price is absurd.
According to Gil Brandt, Here is the points chart for the value of each pick in the draft. And here is what I found:
New Orleans = 2nd pick of the draft - 2600 points
Dallas Picks in the 2006 NFL Draft and points for each pick
7-207 8 =All picks total 1563 points
It would basically require 1st and 2nd in 2006, and the 1st and 2nd in 2007 to get to #2 to take Vince Young. And that price is way too expensive if you ask me.
UFC Fans, rejoice! The following are videos featuring UFC guys versus normal people. And don’t think for a second that we are not trying to secure someone to choke out a certain member of our show….
Joe Rogan versus Myspace challenger …
Joe Rogan chokes out radio dj …
Randy Couture chokes out traffic chick …