Rorschach: Part One

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 12, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment


Quick associations can really describe a situation in its purest form. An immediate reaction to something can really get down to the core, the essence and really establish what is what. Less can sometimes truly be more.

Again, we’ve got some time on our hands hear, so we’re going to look at each of the components of the Mavs in 2013-14 and give an instant, one word reaction to them. It will be the first word that comes to mind when a player/person is presented. After that, a brief explanation for the initial response will come up.

Gersson Rosas will get a pass for this go round, considering we don’t know that much about him.

With all of that in mind, here is the first round of analysis.

DeJuan Blair:

One word: Resemblance

When news of the signing of DeJuan Blair started to come around, many people made a comparison between Blair and Elton Brand. Both have played amongst the land of the trees with lack of optimal size. They both have used their frames as weapons to help live amongst the giants of the NBA. Brand averaged 7.2 points and 6.0 rebounds as an undersized backup center last season for the Mavs. He didn’t necessarily deliver in the defensive department as many expected, but that was mainly due to having to handle a larger than expected responsibility in that area due to the lack of help on the perimeter.

The Mavs will hope that a chip on Blair’s shoulder will bring a nastiness in the paint. Blair isn’t bashful about banging around in the post. Dallas won’t really have to draw up a lot of plays for him on offense as he’s often done his damage from putbacks or junk buckets when the offense breaks down. With the hopes of better defense on the perimeter [that's still up for debate], the Mavs will hope they’ve found a younger version of Brand in Blair.

Jose Calderon

One word: Vision

Calderon’s assist percentage last year between his time with Toronto and Detroit was 39.8. That’s better than any full year Jason Kidd was with the Mavs in his second stint in Dallas. The veteran point guard is good at what he does: directing traffic on offense and hitting jumpers. With Darren Collison, Derek Fisher and Mike James trying to operate the point guard position last year, Calderon will be a much-welcomed sight to the Mavs. Making Dirk Nowitzki’s life easier is an extreme priority for the Mavs and Calderon should be a very helpful option. He will have his limits on defense, but Calderon will work wonders for the Mavs on offense.

When you have weapons such as Nowitzki and Monta Ellis working on offense, you need that guy on the wing who will make you pay with a long-range jumper. The 31-year-old guard shot a league-best .461 percent from long range last season.

Rick Carlisle

One word: Scientist

Carlisle’s psychology degree from Virginia will likely get some more work this season as he has another new set of players to work with. He’s done a masterful job of doing the best he can with the hand he’s been dealt over recent years. He’s also done a good job of giving butt slaps and stern messages when both have been needed. Likely, his biggest challenge will be incorporating Monta Ellis into the mix and having the dynamic guard buy into the team’s system. That’s not to say it’s a foregone conclusion that Ellis is doomed to fail in Dallas, but history has suggested that it will take a lot of work. Carlisle has often stressed that anything centered around the NBA involves work. This situation will be no different.

Carlisle mastered tweaking his rotation in 2011 and that lead to championship results. Training camp and the early portion of the season will be critical for him and his staff as they try to establish the right rotation and proper combination of players that can maximize the results for the team.

Vince Carter

One word: Motor

Carter likes to ‘Rev it Up’ when he throws down a dunk, but his motor will be key for the Mavs this coming season. It’s been stated multiple times, but Carter was arguably the team’s most consistent option last season. He had his coach and the team’s owner call him a “Warrior” due to his ability to step up and give everything he had for his teammates on a night-by-night basis.

Carter will turn 37 near the mid-point of the season. He’s done a tremendous job embracing his role with the Mavs and also keeping his body in the proper shape to endure the rigors of the season. In the final year of his deal with the Mavs, he’s still chasing his first NBA title. He’ll be hungry and motivated.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University. Bryan channels his inner-Clark Kent on a day-to-day basis. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.