The Mavs point guard will be at the Arlington Academy Sports & Outdoors store across from the Parks mall on Monday from 6-7 p.m. While you're there be sure to register for the Countdown to Tipoff Sweepstakes sponsored by Academy.
NBA.com's poll of general managers revealed that Dirk's poor playoffs last season really tainted opinions of him around the league. Not a single GM voted for Dirk in the category: Who will win the MVP? That means not even Mavs GM Donnie Nelson voted for Dirk. LeBron James got the bulk of the votes, followed by Tim Duncan and Kobe.
The Mavs say a MRI this morning revealed a moderate sprain to Josh Howard's left wrist. There was no indication on how long he might be out, but since it's his left wrist and his two-game suspension keeps him grounded until Nov. 3, it would figure that Howard will be in the lineup against the Kings for the home opener. Still, no official word on that, however.
What a tough preseason for Howard, who was pretty spectactular on both ends of the floor. First he had he run-in with Brad Miller that netted to two-game suspension, now this.
Although, in both cases, it seems the action could have been prevented. This time he bit hard, I mean hard, on Ben Gordon's pump fake. He bit so hard that he hurdled Gordon, who ducked down a bit, and went flailing to the floor head first and injuring the wrist.
Jamal Sampson was the first casualty at Mavs camp Monday. The team waived the center after an ankle sprain took him out of action and ended his brief stay. It's too bad he couldn't get on the court because the Mavs need help at center.
They'll open the season with DeSagana Diop as the only true center. Basically a bucket-a-game scorer, Diop will be backed up by Brandon Bass, most likely, perhaps Nick Fazekas if he earns playing time and Dirk Nowitzki will have to take some time down there, too.
Who knows, maybe 6-7 Darvin Ham has shown enough to bump someone off the 15-man roster and get his nose dirty at the center spot. That's doubtful, but, hey, Avery really likes his hard-hat approach.
Jason Terry won't play in tonight's preseason game against the Hornets at the AAC. Nothing's wrong with Terry, he's just taking the night off as part of coach Avery Johnson's rotation of rest.
DJ Mbenga is getting closer to playing. He won't go tonight, but Avery said there's a good chance he could play in the preseason finale on Tuesday against Chicago. Still, Avery said he's not very confident that DJ can bring much for the start of the regular season. That's too bad since Erick Dampier is out getting his shoulder healthy leaving 7-foot DeSagana Diop as the team's lone true center.
The NBA has just announced that Josh Howard has been suspended two games without pay for the forearm to the back of the head of Sacramento's Brad Miller in the preseason game on Tuesday. Surprisingly, Miller, who initiated the problem when he shoved Devin Harris to the floor, was not suspended.The Mavericks will not be happy about this. Avery alluded the other day that the NBA should also take a good look at the instigator.
Howard will miss the season opener at Cleveland on Oct. 31 and then the game at Atlanta on Nov. 2. He'll be back for the home opener on Nov. 3 against -- guess who -- Brad Miller and the Kings.
If the thought of Kobe Bryant in a Mavs uniform is high on Avery Johnson's mind, he isn't letting. When asked how much attention he's paying to that situation before the Mavs face the Rockets, he said:
"Not much. Right now I'm trying to get Nick Fazekas to make an open 16-footer and to get JJ Barea to not turn the ball over and figure out who I'm going to start at the 2-spot, try to get Diop well, he's been sick twice now, I'm coming here against a 7-foot-6, 350-pound center [Yao Ming, who's really onlly 310] and Darvin Ham is going to have to try to control him, so that's what I'm thinking about right now."
Whew. That's a lot to think about. But, I bet somewhere in the back of his head (or the very front) he's got Kobe on his mind.
Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse won't play tonight against the Rockets. Stack had a touch of a stomach bug earlier today -- he thinks it might have been from those Gulf oysters. "I don't know if the Gulf is really where I want to eat oysters from," Stackhouse said.
So get a look at tonight's starting lineup:
Devin Harris, Moe Ager, Eddie Jones, Darvin Ham and Nick Fazekas.
Take a good look because you won't see that lineup again.
Meanwhile, the Rockets, who haven't played in a week, trotted out their regular lineup: T-Mac, Yao, Rafer Alston, Shane Battier and Chuck Hayes.
After seven minutes of play: Rockets 26, Mavs 6. Surely Avery will find a learning tool in there somewhere.
So I just read a blurb in Florida Today that the agent for P.J. Brown, who would be Mark Bartelstein, has informed Orlando GM Otis Smith that, hark, P.J. Brown is going to retire after all.
Wow, it sure took a long time for P.J. to weigh his options. He had suitors, including the Mavs, and the Suns would probably still gladly take him since they traded away Kurt Thomas to cut salary and some inside help.
Congratulations on your decision P.J. Here's to retirement.