by Marcel Mutoni

It’s pretty standard behavior for athletes and coaches to find excuses when they come up short, especially under the harsh glare of the postseason.

For the Mavericks, the target is pretty easy to find after their latest Playoff flameout: Josh Howard and his bong.

“Yeah,” Dirk said. “Obviously, very disappointing what happened in the playoffs — bad timing. I think in the playoffs it’s really time to focus on basketball and not let distractions come up.

So I’m very, very disappointed with the timing of the whole thing, but I still try to keep them all together, try to make everybody play as hard as they can. But it wasn’t good enough.”

Yes, I’m sure Howard’s candor about his habitual drug use was a pain in the rear to deal with, but was it enough for the team to lose focus in a Playoff series? Methinks not.

Whatever happened to admitting that you simply got beat by a better squad?