Heard It Through the Grapevine 2-23-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 23, 2009 under xOther | 5 Comments to Read

  • Major lack of game recapping o’er the weekend; I got caught up in things.  The Kings blow-out had plenty of bright spots (James Singleton and Brandon Bass are the mad note), but it’s exactly the kind of win that has obscured proper evaluation of this team all season long.  The Mavs really blew it against the Rockets, and there isn’t really another way to slice it.  Jason Kidd was all shook up (again) by a quicker point guard, and even a super-human performance from J.J. Barea couldn’t change the fact that when Dirk struggles, the Mavs struggle.  Is it fair to make that kind of assessment with Terry already out of the lineup?  Probably not, but it’s not about fairness anymore.  Still, kudos to the team for going absolutely bananas in the second.  Bass and Barea have been kickin’ it for two games straight, and it’s a pity that those efforts were wasted in Friday’s loss.
  • DallasBasketball.com’s David Lord continues to debunk some myths about the Summer of 2010.  Namely, that the Mavs can build a contender around the core of Dirk and a 2010 big-timer.  It’s okay guys, just breathe.  Take it easy.  Lord has a contingency plan, and a sound one at that, which actually hinges greatly on what the Mavs can wrangle together this summer in the low-competition, and hopefully low-priced free agent market.  Great stuff.
  • Brandon Bass, J.J. Barea, and occasionally Gerald Green are classified as the Mavs’ ‘young guys.’  Bass and Barea have validated their potential for improvement with their play, steadily showing advancements in their games across the board.  Green gets by on a seemingly limitless upside that makes him dreamy.  But in light of Antoine Wright’s recent surge, is it about time we throw him into the mix?  He’s only 24 years old, and he’s already disregarded as a known quantity.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone, and I’m doing some serious reevaluating regarding Wright’s ceiling.  I’ve always thought that there were two types of “defensive stoppers” in this game: those that are legitimately good at defense, and those that just aren’t good at anything else.  I feared Wright might be the latter, but since JET’s injury he’s been better on both sides of the ball.  He’s still incredibly mortal, but it’s looking more and more like the ‘glass half-empty’ analysis of Wright’s future is more a product of confidence and consistent minutes than it is lack of talent.  On a slightly related note, a nameless Dallas Morning News author (I’m pretty sure it’s Sefko) talks about the importance of getting the young guys into a flow going forward: “But getting young players in meaningful situations provides an invaluable learning tool. The goal, of course, is that the younger players will be more comfortable in tough situations when the stakes rise later in the season and in the playoffs. ‘They’ve been in that situation a lot this year,’ coach Rick Carlisle said. ‘They’ve helped us finish off a lot of games with wins. We have confidence in those guys.’”
  • Aside from a reference that would seem to indicate that Jason Kidd was wearing his own version of “The Puffy Shirt,” Jan Hubbard of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram caught up with Dirk after the game against Sacramento to ask a single question: “I assured him quickly, however, that the interview would be short and that I wanted to ask a serious question: ‘Do you believe you will be a Maverick for life?’ ‘Mark knows I want to be,’ Nowitzki said of owner Mark Cuban. ‘That’s all we’ve talked about for the last couple of years. I’d love to stay here but I think we made it pretty clear that this franchise wants to win a championship. So at some point, if you can’t reach your goal, changes come with that. I understand the business…We’ve been trying for a lot of years now. If we lose in the first round again this year or next year, who knows what can happen? But I’d love to end my career here.’”
  • A “source” thinks the Mavs will try to re-sign Kidd.  Novel idea, that.
  • Charles

    Don’t let Wright’s recent production lull you into a false sense of hope. He did the same thing last season for the Nets, had a great first month where he was attacking and all over the floor, then quickly dropped off.

    It’s nice to look at things from the “glass half-full” perspective, though.

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

    I know, I know. But take a look at his stats in games where he has played at least 30 minutes as a Mav:

    14 PPG, 51.8% FG, 42.3% 3FG%, 2.8 RPG (meh), 2.0 APG (eh), 1.4 SPG, 1.0 TOPG. Not awesome, but not bad, either.

    If he’s consistent in attacking the basket, I’ll hold on to my optimism.

  • wacc_attack

    how many games is that over, rob? im sure we could find 5 games over which shawn bradley’s numbers make him look like dwight howard (not saying thats what you’re doing, just curious how many games that would be).

    wright is growing on me; one of the few semi-decent sized guys we have who will drive to the basket.

  • Charles

    It’s actually a decent sample size of around 10 games, and our record in those games isn’t too shabby, which really surprised me.

    The man has talent, but I’ve followed him ever since he’s been in the league and he’s never been a consistent presence over the course of an entire season.

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

    No, he really hasn’t, and I don’t expect him to be. Right now, Wright is a place-holder for JET. I’m now thinking that he can be more than that. Is he an All-Star? Not even close, but he can fill a few holes on this team if his offensive mentality persists and his defense continues to improve.

    Even ten games isn’t a big enough sample size to extrapolate, but I wouldn’t mind getting a better look at Wright by expanding that sample. That’s all I’m asking for.