Chancey is hurting, and so is Josh Howard. Just in different ways. Chauncey has been taking treatments on a bruised thigh for the past month. Josh Howard on the other hand has been playing like a monster over the past month, during which the Mavericks have won 16 of 18 including 12 straight. Howard has been a huge part of their success recently, averaging 22 points and 7 rebounds over the past 5 games. The Mavs have passed the Spurs for tops in the West and are closing in on Detroit for the best record in the league. That’s right folks, the Pistons are not as far ahead anymore, especially after dropping their first back-to-back games since March of 2004. That’s pretty amazing if you think about it. Nearly two years without losing more than one game in a row. The well oiled machine is starting to show a little wear, which isn’t surprising during an NBA season, but it usually hits a little earlier. They’re off pace for 70 wins, but that’s probably a good thing for the Pistons – less to think about. They’re a team that doesn’t care about the regular season, as long as they have their seeding set up for the playoffs. They want the championship, anything less is considered failure. I bet it’s a lot of fun to be a Pistons fan these days. To not be concerned with a few losses here and there throughout the season, but only concerned about who you’re going to play in the Finals. I remember when I had those expectations for this team. It was great! It was exciting and fun and it was very easy to shake off losses because frankly, they didn’t matter, not until the playoffs. Of course in the end, my team didn’t even make the playoffs, which was ultimately disappointing. Will that happen to the Pistons? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ah…man, I crack myself up.
Anyways, back to Dallas. They’re playing defense. Avery should win coach of the year, like all the jack-ass experts say, and he should win it running away if they end up stealing the #1 seed from the Spurs. The only way he shouldn’t win it is if Flip breaks the Bulls 72-win record – going undefeated for the rest of the way. There was talk early that he wasn’t gonna be the guy, but he’s gotten his players to buy into his system and that team is flourishing. They lose Michael Finley, who I felt, was going to be a tough guy to replace, but then Josh Howard put his hand up in class and asked about the homework. Mike wasn’t a bad defender, but he wasn’t as good as Josh Howard. They got a little younger and a little more athletic and dumped a ridiculous amount of contract. Damp even looks like he cares – a little bit anyways. Dirk is having himself another MVP season without Steve Nash and Jason Terry has finally gotten comfortable.
Now wait a minute, I’m not counting San Antonio out…
They’ll be there. They haven’t played as well as they can so far this season, mostly due to various injuries. Manu and Timmy D have been hobbled this season, while Tony Parker has shown he’s the real deal. Many a night TP has been wiping his butt with the opposition. He’s leading the league in Point in the Paint, and is 4th in FG% - at point guard! I hate him as much as the next guy, but there’s no denying he’s a player and, in the words of Stuart Scott; M-m-m-m-m-m-m-oookie! Okay, well maybe not, but you get my drift.