Eddie Sefko joins us at 1 p.m., but ask your questions now and he will have them when he arrives. Thanks for your readership!
by SportsDayDFW 12/12/2012 5:27:24 PM
OK folks. Major laptop issues. Fully expect to hear a loud bang and see a puff of smoke any minute. I'm on a little early because I have to take advantage of this time now when the confounded machine is actually working. Until I get a few questions, I'll pontificate on some things from this morning's shootaround in Boston.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 6:46:10 PM
As this is 12/12/12, I suspect there are going to be some weird things going on tonight at the Garden. Shawn Marion (strained right groin muscle) is back and will be starting at power forward. Chris Kaman reports that his sprained left ankle is improved, although it's still not 100 percent. He can't believe he's back in action and didn't have to miss a game. "When it happened, I thought it was two or three weeks," he said. "That's what it's been in the past. But the training staff here is great. The ice they had me use every couple of hours made all the difference."
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 6:48:25 PM
By the way, the Mavericks are going to have a rough time of it tonight trying to guard Rajon Rondo. He's turned into one of the best point guards in the league and by far the best true point who looks to dish the ball before shooting it. He's a triple-double threat every time he steps on the court and it's going to be interesting to see how the Mavericks try to defend him.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 6:50:02 PM
By the way, I got an email question from one of the regulars (you know who you are) about Drew Gooden and whether the Mavericks have or should have any interest in him. Milwaukee has gone to more youth, but he's still a functional rebounder and since that is the Mavericks' biggest problem right now, Gooden would make some sense. I haven't gone in to check his salary status but I seem to remember him being on the last year of his deal or maybe having re-signed for one year. If that's the case, he'd be a nice addition, assuming the Mavericks don't have to give up anything of consequence.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 6:53:22 PM
This road trip that starts tonight looks like a tough one, just like they all are. Tough, but not impossible. Kind of like the last one they were on. They got side swiped by the Clippers in the opener of last week's three-game trip. Then they rebounded with two nice wins over teams they no doubt will be vying with for a playoff spot down the road.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 6:55:15 PM
They would be well advised not to overreact to anything that happens tonight in Boston. A blowout, a tough loss or a win doesn't mean the road trip's success or failure has been decided.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 6:55:54 PM
Random thought: Derek Fisher is a good dude. I've known this for years. Since he's the leader of the players' association and has been a good player for many years, I've had the chance to talk with him when he was a Laker or Jazzer. Just a good, down-to-earth guy who can still beat you on the court if you sleep on him.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 6:57:38 PM
My gut says the Mavericks because they have played a little better so far than a lot of people expected and when Nowitzki returns, after an understandable break-in period, they should be tougher to beat than they are now. But Boston has yet to find its best stride and while their bench is nothing to get excited about, they do have a heck of a starting lineup, albeit an old one. The problem in the East is that Miami and New York and, before it's over, Chicago, will all be tough to beat when the playoffs roll around. For that reason, I'd say the Mavericks' ceiling is slightly higher than the Celtics'.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 7:01:24 PM
Wishful thinking. I'd say keep your eye on that Denver home game on Dec. 28. And that's purely a guess. Nowitzki is doing a lot of work right now. Lifting lots of weights, doing a little basketball stuff and some running. But he's not on the lip of the cup for returning.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 7:03:17 PM
They do travel in luxury, I'll say that. The travel in the East is not bad. It's a little tougher going to Canada with the delays for customs and immigration, but the Mavericks have a full day to recover in Toronto on Thursday. That's a game they should win, but they have not played well in Toronto in the past. So if they go 2-1 on this trip, it'll be a huge success. Even 1-2 wouldn't be the end of the world. And by the way, they usually play very well in Boston. I expect tonight to be a very competitive game.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 7:06:12 PM
Both of them are ground-bound guys. So yeah, in that respect, they are similar athletes. But Kidd obviously had a better skill set to start with than Fisher did. That's just common sense. Fisher, however, has done a great job of becoming a settling influence for all the teams he's played for, just as Kidd has done. Fisher also is just as good a 3-point shooter as Kidd. The leadership, that comes with time and Fisher already has made inroads there. The Mavericks are lucky to have him. Just look at the record since he joined the team (4-1).
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 7:08:54 PM
No year will ever be harder than the brawl year in Indy, when Ron Artest and half of the Pacers' team got suspended for much of the season. That was brutal. This is challenging, but I don't even think it's the toughest year he's had in Dallas. That came in his first year in Dallas.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 7:10:20 PM
Oops, computer started beeping at me....got it stopped. As I was saying, his first year was a difficult one, even though they went 50-32 and made it to the second round of the playoffs. And after the second year here, there were some fools out there wondering if he'd make it through the third season. He won a championship that year. So he's no stranger to adversity. This is just one of those times that keep life interesting.
by Eddie Sefko 12/12/2012 7:11:59 PM