Monday, April 21, 2008

Dirk needed a (bulky) wing man

Enforcers used to be part of the NBA game. The dying breed included guys like Rick Mahorn, Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason not that long ago.

The league has cleaned up the game, so the days of the punishing bruiser are gone. But that doesn’t mean guys can’t stand up for a teammate when the time comes.

Avery Johnson would have liked a certain big body to throw his weight around when Dirk Nowitzki and David West traded technicals at the end of Game 1.

“We need players to not back down from anybody,” Johnson said. “That’s what the playoffs are all about. More than Dirk doing something about it, I would have liked for somebody else on the team, preferably in the center position, to do something about it.”

Did he mean Erick Dampier or Brandon Bass? Dampier wasn’t in the game during the altercation. Bass was.

Johnson: “Was that clear enough?” We’re not sure.

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