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10. Avery Johnson’s secret loyalty to the Spurs. #6 ain’t getting retired in Dallas! 9. As much as everyone talks about the Mavs’ improved D (and it has improved), the main reason for their opponents’ lower scoring average this season is their much slower pace. Statistics don’t lie, but they sure can fool you. 8. They start Degasana “No O” Diop at center, and they bring Erick “Worst Contract Ever”…

The look on Avery Johnson’s face, and the final score, says it all. (Props to Drew for catching this, and to TiVo for making screen capture possible.) UPDATE: Various news sources have reported on the incident, but surprisingly, all express uncertainty about whether Horry actually bit Stackhouse. From ESPN: The Mavericks believe Horry bit Stackhouse during the scuffle, which Horry denied. Replays showed Horry possibly biting Stackhouse’s arm. “We saw…

What do you expect when the worst team in the league plays the reigning NBA Champions on their home court? Said Stephon Marbury, New York’s top scorer, who managed only 2 points on 1-for-9 shooting, “They pretty much did whatever they wanted to do in the second half.” Michael Finley made a season-high five three-pointers, and finished with 22 points in 22 minutes. The Spurs shot a season-best 62.5% from…

Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers, once again, proved that they can beat the best teams in the NBA, at least at home. Cleveland is an impressive 14-2 against winning teams, and that count now includes the San Antonio Spurs, who they beat by 14. But what about against teams who are under .500? They’re just 5-5, and LeBron James knows that’s not acceptable. “We have to grow up,” James said….

For the first time since Nov. 14, Marc Stein ranks the Spurs #1 in ESPN’s Power Rankings: San Antonio, not Dallas, is the team from Texas that bumps the Detroit Pistons. The Mavericks were a likely candidate after a 13-game win streak and a 36-point spanking of Miami, but the Spurs have capitalized on Dallas’ setback Friday at Denver to claim the league’s longest active win streak — with nine…

One game. That is all that now separates the 40-10 San Antonio Spurs from the 41-9 Detroit Pistons. But the two best teams in the NBA now appear to be on diverging paths, since getting off to to the best starts in their respective franchise histories. Today both the Spurs and the Pistons played in nailbiters. But while the Spurs came back from 5 points down with 1:35 left to…

These exchanges between Jim Durham and Bill Walton were overheard during last night’s Spurs-Nets game on ESPN: DURHAM: So, if you shoot it better than anybody else, and you defend it better than anybody else, what’s left? WALTON: The championship. DURHAM: [Laughter] There you go. WALTON: Which they already are. And they’re a better team this year. The addition of Finley, the addition of Van Exel, the maturation of Nazr…

Some bitches gonna get penetrated at this year’s All-Star Game: And as usual (yawn), some playas is gonna get played by the Big Easy: *I’m crazy basketball-head man! I have a basketball for a head! That’s crazy! Now gimme some candy! Personally, I’m glad to see TP get this recognition. He’s really taken strides this year despite all the potential distractions, and he’s been the most consistent player on the…

Liz Robbins writes in The New York Times (“Parker Gets All-Star Nod and Needed Validation“): Tony Parker worked the red carpet two weeks ago and appeared on “Oprah” this week with his companion, the actress Eva Longoria. He is a budding rapper in France, his home country, and has won two N.B.A. championships in his first four seasons as the San Antonio Spurs’ point guard. But something was missing from…

Recently, this crude depiction of Spurs player Sean Marks (all praise is due to AlKiwi) appeared in an Oakland newspaper: We in the Kiwi community are sick of being inundated with images of violent and uncoordinated New Zealanders. The most glaring example of this is that celebrated piece of Hollywood blasphemy, The Lord of the Rings, which was simply a smear campaign against New Zealand orchestrated by the infidels at…