Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on September 17, 2010 under xOther | 5 Comments to Read

  • Can the Mavs beat the Lakers? A definitive answer from within the Dallas organization.
  • Erick Dampier is making his list and checking it twice. Certain to be considered: Miami and Houston. A possible surprise: Atlanta. I’ve heard Utah may be interested as well, but I haven’t the faintest idea if there’s any reciprocation.
  • Josh Howard, on why the Wizards “took a gamble” on him for the coming season, and how the Wizards stack up with Howard’s former teams in terms of talent (via HoopsHype): “[The Wizards] see a natural-born leader. They got a guy that loves to win games, loves to play, has a total enjoyment for the game… I appreciate that they gave me the chance and I will take advantage of it...Oh, talent-wise the sky is the limit for this team. It’s a young team. Blatche, McGee, Nick Young, No. 1 pick John Wall and a host of other guys. These guys have tremendous upside. If we stay focused and stay dedicated to the game, the sky is the limit for them. I think that’s one other reason they brought me in here – to be a leader. I think I can take those guys on the right path.”
  • Mike Prada of Bullets Forever takes a look forward at what’s in store for Howard over the coming season.
  • Here, you can cast your vote for the top Mavs of all time at each traditional position, but the race has long been decided: Steve Nash, Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre, Dirk Nowitzki, and Roy Tarpley should win-out easily. There are other good candidates — Michael Finley, Derek Harper, and Jason Kidd among them, but those five were clear favorites from the tip. (EDIT: I stand corrected. Finley has surged to take the lead at SG. I love Fin, and I’m still shocked.)
  • For a journey down the other path, Tom Haberstroh, ESPN Insider, a fellow contributor at Hardwood Paroxysm, and one of the invaluable minds at HoopData, has identified the five worst statistical tenures for players of each and every team. Dallas’ bottom five: Devean George (’07-’09), Scott Lloyd (’81-’83), Darrell Armstrong (’05-’06), Bill Wennington (’86-’90), and Elston Turner (’82-’84). My initial reaction: isn’t there any way we could come up with a harsher distinction than “worst Maverick ever” for George? My secondary reaction: Armstrong doesn’t deserve to be on this list at all, if for no other reason than the role he played in the Mavs’ comeback, overtime win against the Toronto Raptors in February of 2006.
  • Haberstroh also continued his fine series exploring the statistical implications of position on HP, and it’s worth your time.
  • According to a report by Sport97, Jessie Begarin, a Guadaloupean and participant in Rodrigue Beaubois’ camp, was invited to tryout with the Texas Legends and his since been invited to Mavericks training camp. If this report is indeed true, you could be looking at a future Legend (capital L, y’all). (via DOH at Mavs Moneyball) EDIT: According to Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com, the Mavs/Legends don’t have any plans for Begarin after all.
  • Akis Yerocostas conducted an interesting exercise at his blog, Pick and Scroll, in which he launched a hypothetical expansion draft. I was consulted as an unofficial representative of the Mavs, in order to choose which players to “protect” for the purposes of the draft. See who I selected and who he ended up drafting here.
  • Tim Thomas, on his wife’s health (via Earl K. Sneed): “She’s healthy, she’s getting better. I don’t want people to think that she’s on her deathbed. I just want everybody to know we’re doing fine. She’s doing better. Who knows, if she gets better then maybe I’ll give it another try.”
  • This commercial for NBA 2k11 has nothing to do with the Mavs whatsoever, but is glorious nonetheless. Plus, the 2k series makes a mean game, to boot.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois goes shopping…at the MavGear headquarters.
  • Former Maverick Malik Allen will go to training camp with the Orlando Magic this season.
  • http://twitter.com/KirkSeriousFace Kirk Henderson

    Finley is in the lead with 45% as of right now at the SG position. Two possible reasons for this: 1.) People don't know thier history (shocking) and 2.) People are pissed at Blackman for coaching another team in the world Championships

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

      Thanks, Kirk. I've edited accordingly.

  • tcat75

    Why isn't Harper the greatest Maverick PG? Isn't he like the franchise leader in a majority of stats and was a great player on the team for years? A lot longer than Nash, for sure. This is an honest question; when you get born in the 90's its hard to be an expert on the Maverick teams throughout the years.

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

      For the record, I wasn't born in the 90s. Squeezed by that one.

      If you're debating Harper's merits against Nash's, he does have longevity; his 11 seasons with the Mavs nearly double Nash's six. However, if you look at the quality of those seasons, you'll find that Steve was a more productive and efficient Maverick, even if Harper had a far longer tenure.

      Nash's assist rate is much higher than Harper's, indicating that it's not just the Don Nelson Mavs' pace that led to Steve's higher assist averages. Nash was also a ridiculously efficient shooter (not quite reaching the same heights he's reached in Phoenix, mind you, but .600+ true shooting percentage in three of his six seasons as a Mav is pretty damn impressive) and overall scorer, which is very important considering the similar point totals of the two guards. They were putting up similar season totals in points, but Nash was using far fewer shots to get there.

      In fact, you can do this pretty much across any and all statistical categories. Harp was a slightly (and I do mean slightly) better rebounder and was a bit better at keeping his turnovers down, but other than that, Nash trumps him in nearly every statistical regard.

      Sure, if you'd like to look at which players are the franchise leaders in individual counting stat categories, Harper does lead the Mavs all-time in steals, assists…and turnovers. Shawn Bradley also leads the Mavs all-time in blocks, but I don't exactly feel like I should be voting him in as the team's all-time center, y'know? Harper's place on those leaderboards is a testament to his extended and productive time with the franchise, but I just don't see his longevity as a Mav as a reason to discount Nash's seasons, which were better by most objective measures.

      The two experienced similar levels of team success during their Maverick tenures, so I don't feel compelled to give the edge one way or another. Both had stretches of successful, yet title-less playoff runs, and I don't think either player was demonstratively more or less instrumental to their team's performance during those seasons.

      So while I appreciate Harp's 11 seasons in Dallas, I appreciate Nash's higher performance standards even more.

      • tcat75

        Just to make sure we have clarity: I was born in the 90's (I'm not quite 17), and so I never watched the Mavericks before just a few years ago. My sentence was quite confusing, I see now, as I reread it. My bad.

        As for the Nash/Harper debate, sometimes I forget he was with Dallas for 6 years (again this goes back to my age). It often seems to me like his stay here was brief, but he was a key cog in the Mavericks system for a long time. And as for Nash's effectiveness and overall awesomeness, I can totally relate. The amazes me…I remember watching him in the playoffs drain midrange jumper after midrange jumper like it was nothing, despite the fact that he was having to arc them way over the defender just to get them off.

        And I suppose that if Tarpley is the greatest center, despite barely playing more than 3 full seasons if you add his games up, then longevity is not all that big of a factor. 6 years for Nash is long enough to be the “greatest”, I'll agree on that.