Howard was hero vs. Spurs last season

DALLAS -- Does anybody miss Josh Howard?

Didn’t think so.

However, with the Mavs about to meet the Spurs in the first round again, it’s only fair to recall Howard’s contribution to last season’s series win. He averaged an efficient 18.8 points per game and was called the series MVP by coaches and teammates.

The Spurs executed their defensive mission by limiting the damage done by Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry during that series. Howard made San Antonio pay, a major reason why the Spurs’ season was done after five games.

Might the Spurs have a similar strategy in this series?

“Pop is still Pop,” Jason Kidd said. “They’re going to pay a lot of attention to Dirk and Jet. We’ve got to make sure that the other guys are ready to knock down shots.”

Caron Butler, come on down. You, too, Shawn Marion.