Thursday Night Thoughts


A bit late on this one but here are some thoughts on last night’s doubleheader:

Dallas/Denver: I know the public and probably Coup are sick of me roasting the Mavericks but the truth is out. Dallas is not very good. I raised a lot of questions yesterday before this game and wondered if Dallas was going to be able to finally play some defense. That answer was no and now they have lost three of their last four games. Their biggest problem is they are giving up way too many points. They have no perimeter defense…does anyone else remember when Josh Howard drew comparisons to Scottie Pippen? Because he shouldn’t have, people were blowing by him left and right last night. The Mavs are not holding people to 80 or 90 anymore, instead they are letting people come in and basically do what they want. This is completely different from last year. Charles Barkley said it best when said ‘Dallas is a team in trouble’.

Denver on the other hand finally got some production from guys not named AI or Carmelo. Iverson by the way has played really excellent basketball the last two games. He continues to finally ignore the temptation of the three-point line and is penetrating at will. He’s not settling to get his own jumper, a jumper he can get whatever he wants. Instead he’s getting to the line (13 attempts last night) and dishing it out (12 assists) which gets guys like Kleiza (23 points) and K-Mart (18 and 7) going. When he is doing that the Nuggets look like a completely different team. But when settles into ‘I’m going to shoot threes and pullups’ mode then the rest of the guys kind of stagnate.

Portland/Miami: Whose role players are going to show up? Portland’s did in a big way. Travis Outlaw and James Jones again combined for 30+ off the bench, including 4 threes from Jones. I for one did not see Jones coming in and making this much noise for us to be honest. I knew he was athletic and I knew he could shoot but when he is on fire…he’s on fire. We have to keep him. I’m also not going to lie it is crazy to see Travis Outlaw actually show the potential we saw in him…in a Blazers uni. Nights like last night make it a lot easier to sleep as a Blazer fan as you see the potential and know you’re getting an automatic upgrade next year.

For Miami…can’t feel bad for them one bit. Pat Riley can talk all he wants about how this team can’t play defense. Forget about how D-Wade needs to carry them or that Shaq is over the hill…Pat Riley engineered this team. And this off-season he failed them. He allowed Kapono and Posey (their only threats from deep) to walk away and get nothing in return. He signed Smush Parker only to rip his confidence away and then send him away from the team. One of their big moves was signing Anfernee friggin Hardaway. They lost out on free agent after free agent and made a superficial panic trade to get Ricky Davis. The Heat don’t really play great defense. I mean D-Wade is guarding Steve Blake? Ricky Davis is on Roy? Come on now. It’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better for Miami.

By the way did anyone else get the feeling that when they showed Nate’s halftime speech he was constantly thinking in the back of his head ‘Oh shit I’m on TV I gotta watch it.’