What if it turns out Malik Allen was the most important of Dallas' trade with the Nets?

We're Still Better Than the Clippers!

I went to Mavericks 103, Clippers 90 last night, and came away with some distinct impressions:

Fresh off his three-hour appearance on The Michael Irvin Show, Adam “Pacman” Jones was on hand with a guy who was I was told was his “marketing guru.” Pacman, who I -- at all of 5-foot-8 -- looked straight in the eye, was cordial … before hopping into a white limo and off into the Dallas night to who knows where. “Nice to meet you, man,” Jones told me in an exclusive one-on-one interview that lasted all of 14 seconds.

Coincidentally (I think), I also bumped into Cowboys’ vice president of nepotism, Jerry Jones Jr. When I joked to JJJ that his “newest player” was in the house, he only smiled. Which, I believe, translates into “not yet, but soon.”

It’d be a real shame if Dallas somehow misses the playoffs. Because, just last week, ABC sent a 45-person production crew -- led by Little Miss Sunshine director Jonathan Dayton -- to town to film a series of post-season promos featuring the Mavs.

If Jason Kidd consistently pushed the ball like that (eight assists, two three-pointers) and if Josh Howard consistently shot the ball like that (32 points), Dirk Nowitzki’s injury wouldn’t be so devastating. But they don’t. And it is.

It was Avery Johnson’s birthday. He joked that he was 27. Funny guy, that Avery.

How do you know when your Mavs’ season has gone awry? When they trot out a second-quarter lineup of Tyronn Lue, Antoine Wright, Devean George, Malik Allen and Brandon Bass, to face an opposing squad that includes their top draft pick, Nick Fazekas.

Dallas Morning News blogger Tim McMahon, who again was banned from the Mavs’ locker room, asked Avery 90 minutes before tip-off who would replace Dirk in the starting lineup. After momentarily giving McMahon a hard time, Johnson grudingly conceded, “Allen.”

For what it’s worth, I predict McMahon and all bloggers will be allowed back in Dallas’ locker room by the end of the regular season. Don’t ask me how I know. Just know that I know. --Richie Whitt

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