Heard It Through the Grapevine 1-29-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on January 29, 2009 under xOther | 16 Comments to Read

  • What a difference a defense makes.  Well, and a lackthereof for Golden State.  But should you be at all surprised that Don Nelson, in a showing of accountability and egotism, made it all about the Warriors?  From Tim MacMahon of The Dallas Morning News Blog: ” “You can credit their defense if you want,” Nellie said, “but I would think it’s our lack of movement and execution and a whole bunch of other things.” “
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie seems to agree: “Kudos to the Mavs for putting up 117 points in their first game after a tough road trip, but that was a freakin’ lay-up line.”
  • If you merely say that the Mavs are inconsistent on defense, you probably aren’t doing them justice.  Their defensive efficiency over the course of the season reads like a seismograph.  But Jeff Caplan of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram chimes in with a bewildering stat: “Mavs coach Rick Carlisle consistently emphasizes the most glaring statistic of the season to underscore his team’s defensive inconsistency. No team in the league owns a greater disparity in the points it allows in wins vs. losses. When the Mavericks are victorious, they give up, on average, fewer than 92 points. When they lose, it balloons to nearly 110.”
  • One of the things I love about Rick Carlisle’s system as opposed to Avery’s is that it’s more of a meritocracy.  Dirk, JET, and Kidd are largely going to get their minutes.  But otherwise, if you’re working hard, in a rhythm, and playing smart (in practice and in games), you’re going to get some burn.  But if you’re turning the ball over, not playing defense, and making mental mistakes, you’ll get a comfy seat on the bench.  What did this mean for last night’s game?  It means Carlisle gives Dampier a chance to play his game against teams going small.  Sometimes it works (Warriors), and sometimes it doesn’t (Knicks).  But the important thing is that he’s getting that chance, and based on Damp’s performance last night, it can make quite a difference.  From Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: ” “When they go little, make them play on the inside and see what happens,” said Dampier, explaining that it’s just as important to make a small-ball opponent match up with you, rather than vice-versa. “One of their little guys is going to have to guard me. I just tried to be a presence with rebounding and defense.” ”
  • The Mark Cuban-Don Nelson court proceedings are still drawing headlines.  Yuck.
  • Would you believe me if I said the Mavs have won four of their last six games?
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News talks about re-signing Kidd in a Q&A: “I’d say there’s a decent chance that Kidd signs a one-year deal with the Mavericks for $10 million or $12 million. That leaves the 2010 cap space unchanged and gives the Mavericks a point guard to hold the fort until Dwyane Wade gets here. Oops, I’m sorry. Did I write that out loud?”I’ve been wondering about Wade myself.  He’s a phenomenal talent, one of the best players in the league in fact, but assuming that losing a Finals series is a sore wound that never really goes away, how does everyone feel about the idea of going after Wade?  Are the Mavericks in enough of a hole that any great player will do?  Or are there still those among us willing to “stick to their principles” and stick their noses up at the concept of attaining that “flopper?”  Personally, I think anyone would be crazy to turn down a player of Wade’s caliber, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a Mavs fan with a long memory disagree.
  • The Mavs are a good team.  That’s where you have to draw the line, though.  So when the Mavs’ front office refuses to throw in the hat and blow up the team on a gut response to a big loss, they’re probably in the right.  Stepping away from the message board fodder, Nelson and Cuban have made us all aware that they don’t intend to rebuild, don’t intend to cash in on Dirk, and don’t intend to ship out Josh.  The Mavs are among the eyes looking towards 2010, and until then it’s more about adding small pieces than making a big splash.  From Jim Reeves of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram: ” “I don’t want to take that card away from Mark in 2010, because he’s shown he’s capable of pulling a rabbit out of his hat.” That’s why the Mavs will approach deals with caution this season, especially when it comes to adding big-money contracts. It’s why they’ll just as carefully think long and hard about whether to re-sign Jason Kidd when his contract expires, or exercise their 2010-11 option on Josh Howard’s contract. What the Mavs won’t do — not while the Dirk Window is still open — is step back into a rebuilding phase.”
  • Jeff Caplan of The Forth Worth Star-Telegram, from Assistant Coach Armstrong: ” “I thought it would be a great opportunity for not only myself, but for guys that I played with [for me] to come up here and hopefully motivate them and push them to another level,” Armstrong said. “One thing about it, I was a leader on the floor when I played. I was a leader in the locker room and a leader on the bench. Avery [Johnson] gave me a lot of leeway to say things and the guys always responded…That was a good sign, not only for me, but for our team and for our players. That’s why I decided to come back and take on this opportunity and this challenge.” “
  • EDIT: Forgot one.  Austin Burton of Dime Magazine declares the Mavs one of five “Fake Contenders.”  I don’t know who he’s been talking to, but I haven’t heard the words “contender” and “Mavs” in the same sentence (barring negatives and/or expletives) in what seems like a long time.  From Dime: “Kidd can’t guard Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Deron Williams, Brandon Roy (when Portland goes big) or any other fast point guard in the West. Howard isn’t as good as he was even two years ago. Dirk has his postseason demons. They don’t even use Jerry Stackhouse anymore, one of their better clutch scorers. Since winning Game Two of the ‘06 Finals, the Mavs have gone 3-12 in the postseason.”

    I refuse to respond to the Stack comment, but I do have one question: if the Mavs are a “Fake Contender,” how is Portland not included?  Their defense is pretty porous as well, and though Kidd can’t guard Chris Paul, neither can Steve Blake.  Their power forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, has a tendency to linger just out of the paint, nailing it from midrange.  Joel Przybilla is good for interior D, and Oden is going through the ups and downs of a rookie year.  I dare not poke Brandon Roy with a stick, because I think he’s great, but what makes Portland so much more legit than Dallas?

  • Brian D

    Man, the Dwyane Wade idea makes me want to vomit. At the same time, I can’t deny how intriguing a pairing of Wade and Dirk would be. Forgetting the fact that I’m pretty sure they hate each other, having Dirk and Wade would make the Mavs legit contenders again, regardless of who else was left on the roster.

    But, even if the Mavs did win a championship with Wade…..would anyone else feel strange about it? I’m pretty sure it would be a bittersweet for me to watch Wade lead us to a championship.

  • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

    It would definitely be a bit awkward, especially with the post-championship squabble between Dirk, Cuban, and Wade through the media. I’m sure seeing Wade in a Mavs uni would make more than a few stomachs curl, but I also think that watching his stepback jumper swish time after time is one hell of an antacid.

    I say that if we can get Wade in Dallas, do it. Period.

  • Julio

    If you think Wade is going to Dallas you must be a moron. After what Mark Cuban said about him on his blog and Dirk not giving them any credit for winning 4 straight games saying they gave it away rather than saying the Heat outplayed them and won the last game on their home court your an idiot. The only other city Wade will go to besides Miami is Chicago and I don’t see that happening either. Wade is a Miami Heatian for life!! Dirk is a choke artist, end of story.

  • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

    You might be surprised at what great players will consider doing in order to play for a winning team. Even if you do think Dirk is a choke artist, he’s a mighty fine player, and the combination of the two smells like an instant contender.

    The Cavs are doing everything they can to convince LeBron to stay in 2010, but are the Heat? They fell into Beasley, traded for a malcontent Marion, found a gem in Chalmers, and signed James Jones. Is that really the kind of pitch that’s going to keep a premier player like Wade around for a long-term deal?

  • Edmond

    There’s no way Dwyane Wade is going to Dallas…but if he were, you should be salivating. I guarantee you it would take the Mavs fanbase about 5 seconds to get over any prior feelings

  • MP

    In the list of 2010 suitors for Wade, Dallas is just about the last possible place he could end up. Also, if you haven’t noticed, the Heat have nearly the same record as the Mavs with a harder strength of schedule.

    If Wade had to choose, would he rather build around some great potential in Miami or sign with an aging team that has proved it can’t make clutch shots when their post-season depends on it? Good luck even making the playoffs in the next couple years, while Wade and his kids are already on a fast track to the second round.

  • Rio

    I laugh at your comments on this article. DWade murdered the mavs back in 06, you guys should’ve seen the parade we had here in Miami. Wade dislike Cuban, Riley dislike Cuban, Arison (Heat owner) dislike Cuban. So the point is…Stop dreaming about the Idea of Wade wearing a mavericks uniform, it just wouldn’t look right and everybody knows it. Wade will retire a Miami Heat. mark my words, you Dallas SUCKERS!

  • Kevin Fix

    A few things, Dirk drops 50 on the Suns in the biggest game of the West Finals but then he has some 20/10 series’ that they lose and suddenly he’s a choker, I don’t really understand it. He did like 29 and 12 against NO last year but nobody remembers that. Sometimes defenses play him well and shut him down somewhat but how is that choking? He’s just not a Jordan or Bird level talent that can’t be stopped.
    Second, this Wade to Dallas won’t happen. Dallas will not be enough under the cap in 2010. Howard has a team option for 11.8 million which I assume Dallas will pick up or extend. Dirk has a player option for 21.5 million, and he’ll be 32 (I would assume he’ll pick up the option). If both of those things happen they’ll already be at about $60 million unless they can dump Damp or Terry (unlikely at their ages). The reason the Mavs pretend they’ll have cap room is to make the Kidd/Harris trade seem less terrible.

  • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

    Last possible place? Dallas is a good market with a solid fanbase, a winning pedigree, and an owner who has shown that he’s willing to pamper his players.

    In theory, signing with potential over age is a sound argument. But in 2010, Wade will be in the middle of his prime. The only reason Miami is about even with Dallas now is because of Wade. He’s that good. So if he’s given the opportunity to play for a team like the one I described, one that also happens to have Dirk Nowitzki and possibly Josh Howard…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be the “last possible place” he would go. Superstars don’t like being on their own, so unless Beas picks up his game quick (and I mean as a legit starter, which right now he is not) or Chalmers becomes a revelation, keeping him in Miami could be more difficult than you think.

    And please: you can trash the Mavs all you’d like, but please, please, please make arguments with backing. I can think of literally two playoff games in which the Mavs failed to hit “clutch” shots. They’ve lost playoff games, and some of them were close, but who hasn’t?

  • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

    Rio had another comment, but I’ve had to edit some grown-up words out of it:

    “BTW Rob ***-honey, don’t hate on the Heat’s supporting cast, Beasleay, Chalmers, Jones, Cook, have talent, and they have a future. Just b/c your team let go of yours (Davin Harris) doesn’t give you the right to hate. How does it feel that Harris has become an All-star with the Nets? it sucks *** just like the Mavs do, and we will prove it when the Heat face you. lol”

    In the future, try to avoid the really coarse language, especially words that are particularly offensive to specific groups of people. It’s beyond rude, and it’s not funny.

  • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

    Sorry to comment three times in a row, BUT…

    Kevin: A few things.
    1. Dirk has already said he will opt-out and take less money if it means the Mavs get him some help. So we could be looking at a slightly lower number for Dirk.

    2. The last year of Dampier’s deal (2010-2011) is HIGHLY conditional. Most of the guaranteed money requires him to put up certain numbers and/or requires him to make a certain number of All-Star appearances as a Mav. It hasn’t happened. I don’t have all the details on it, but I know it’s nowhere near $13 mil guaranteed.

    3. I imagine the Mavs would move Howard if it really came down to that. Plus with Kidd possibly signing a one-year deal after this season, the Mavs have plenty of cap flex.

    It’s all about flexibility, not necessarily space. If the Mavs get nibbles on their line, it should be well within their power to wiggle what they’ve got into considerable cap space.

  • Rio

    Rob Mahoney, It’s funny How you contradict yourself when telling me:

    “In the future, try to avoid the really coarse language, especially words that are particularly offensive to specific groups of people. It’s beyond rude, and it’s not funny.”

    But what about this statement posted on your side:

    “The Cavs are doing everything they can to convince LeBron to stay in 2010, but are the Heat? They fell into Beasley, traded for a malcontent Marion, found a gem in Chalmers, and signed James Jones. Is that really the kind of pitch that’s going to keep a premier player like Wade around for a long-term deal?”

    First of all, If you want to dream about the idea of Wade POSSIBLY joining the Mavs in two years so be it, people have better things to do. Second, The Heat didn’t just “fell into Beasley”. He just recently turned 20 years old, He probably has more offensive talent than any Maverick for god’s sake, the only reason he is our sixth man, is to bring him along, and learn the system behind the veterans. Example: If he were to be in the shoes of Rose, He’ll be averaging 25ppg,7reb,and 3ass with no exaggeration hands down, but that’s not the case in our team. Third, Chalmers is not just a gem, he is the steal of the draft, and what do you know about Marion, I speak to the man at least once a week, and He is happy with the organization, he knows his role with the Heat, and wishes to retire a Miami Heat.

    The 2010 free agency class is going to be intriguing. I sincerely don’t see Wade, EVER wearing a Mavericks jersey. Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, are the top cities when speaking of the market.
    you’re right, “Superstars don’t like to be alone” but, then again, Beasley, and Chalmers will have plenty of playoff experience under their belts by then and don’t forget: The team has flexibility, The team has Pat Riley to make any move to keep Wade happy, and trust me everything is under control.”If they still want me here, I will retire a miami heat” Wade said, “I won’t let anybody else take away what I’ve already builded here in Miami” (you can find that in the Miami Herald by the way).

    You want more back-up to support my facts? I can send you plenty of links by e-mail so you can go and surf through it, maybe that’ll keep you entertained while waiting to see what happens in 2010.

    GO HEAT.


    We’ll see you Mavs on saturday.

  • Kevin Fix

    I am a Mavs fan but honestly when Dirk was saying he’d opt out to take less money to win I didn’t necessarily look at that as a good thing for the Mavs. They’re youngest core player is going to be like 31 unless they resign Bass which will take even more off the 2010 cap. They’re gonna be in pretty rough shape, everyone is probably just gonna get a little worse each year. Wouldn’t he honestly want to follow Lebron if he wants to win? I guess I don’t really know anything about what in Dampier’s contract is only partially guaranteed, how does that work as far as the cap in the preseason when they’re signing players? In my opinion the core is just too old right now to really rebuild by 2010 unless they want to blow it up now so they could package Damp and Jet with Howard and Dirk. I just can’t see Wade wanting to sign there as well, but maybe if they miss the playoffs this year they can strike a #1 in the lottery. Random question, is the 2010 pick that goes to NJ protected?

  • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

    A few things, and then we’ll move on:

    Rio: This wasn’t intended to be a post daydreaming about D-Wade in Dallas. Just pointing out that the Mavs should have some cap room and he’ll undeniably be on their radar.

    Beasley and Chalmers are incredibly talented players (but Beas more offensively talented than Dirk? Come on.), and I like their games a lot, but in the NBA it’s all about having the right players hit their prime at the same time. It’s not a completely necessary part of a title contender, but it sure helps. And the reason Beasley is the sixth man is because his defense gives Spoelstra a migraine.
    Kevin: It would be very difficult for any team to sign two max players, like LeBron and Wade. VERY difficult.

    I’m not entirely sure how Damp’s deal is going to work, but I’m sure we’ll get more details as 2010 approaches.

    The Mavs aren’t really trying to rebuild as much as they’re trying to retool. Mark Cuban keeps bringing up the example of the Celtics; the team hopes to make a big splash with one more piece and form some kind of supergroup.

    The 2010 pick is completely unprotected.


    Wade will probably stay in Miami. I’m just pointing out the options from our end, and when a name like Wade pops up it deserves some thought and a proper look.

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  • http://jefflouella.com/mp3/fussball/ fussball

    Gute Arbeit hier! Gute Inhalte.