Down the Trail

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 5, 2013 under Commentary, News | 2 Comments to Read

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Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweeted that the Mavs were informed that they were informed they were out of the running for Dwight Howard.

Mark Cuban informed ESPNDallas.com and other media that they were officially out of the mix. “Got word we are out of the DH sweepstakes. We gave it a shot and it didn’t work out . It was truly an experience. At some point I will post our video and presentation we made.”

“I have no idea what team he is going to,” Cuban wrote in the e-mail. “They wouldn’t tell me.”

“We gave it a shot and it didn’t work out. It was truly an experience. … So it’s on to Plan B.”

USA Today was informed that the Houston Rockets would be the team that Dwight Howard picked as his next team to play for. Yahoo! Sports learned that Dwight Howard hasn’t informed anyone that he has made a final decision and that it is between Houston and Los Angeles. The chaos still continues.

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Audio Goodies

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 3, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Episode 75 of the Mavericks Outsider Report is here.

For those who don’t know, MOR is a podcast entirely devoted to your Dallas Mavericks.

Judgement day is near. But first, a lot of talking and no signatures during the free-agency waiting period. Circumstances dictate that this is a make or break summer for the Mavs as it relates to “breaking up” the 2011 squad. We kick it off right with two of our favorite Mavs experts, Mark Followill and Jeff “Skin” Wade joining us.

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Keep Up

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 1, 2013 under Commentary, News | Read the First Comment

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As free agency has officially begun, it’s time to keep track of what is going on. In terms of general updates, there were a few things that went down while you were sleeping.

Here we go.

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Under the Microscope

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 30, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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This is it. This is the moment that everyone has been waiting for. As it was apparent that the Mavs weren’t going to make the first time in over a decade, everyone circled July 1st on their calendar. They waited to see if the Mavs could really make progress on improving their team.

Some are waiting to say “I told you so” and that dismantling the championship team was a mistake. Over the weekend, I’ve looked over that roster again and the results and I still stand by my belief that that captured lightning in a bottle and Dirk Nowitzki had one of the greatest playoff runs the league has ever seen. As the Miami Heat celebrate their second championship, Dirk and those Mavs will know that they “got ‘em.”

History may or may not remember the 2011 Mavs for what they did and mainly remember what the Heat didn’t do, but there’s no way to erase the fact that Nowitzki was the baddest man on a basketball court that summer.

Last season was a disappointing one as the Mavs wandered through the wilderness of mediocrity. Nowitzki’s injury derailed the season from the get-go. Despite that, the Mavs were able to find a way to stay playoff relevant until the final week of the season. That shows that Dirk and a cast of characters can be a playoff team, but the front office must now make their move and secure more reliable weapons for their star. “We’re trying to accumulate high quality, high character, high energy, high motor, skilled players to put around Dirk Nowitzki,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the draft. “He’s still one of the greatest players in the game and we’ve got to enhance his ability to do what he does.

“We’ve got to enhance the opportunity to keep him playing as long as possible because he loves to play and he’s great. To do that effectively, we’ve got to get the best guys possible around him. That’s a priority and it’ll continue to be one this summer.”

Now is the time. Let’s look at everything under the free agency microscope.

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Rank Them: Centers

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 29, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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With two days until free agency begins, it’s time to officially start naming names as ideal targets for free agency. This week, The Two Man Game will go through each position and determine who appears to be ideal fits for the Mavs.

Money is always an issue, but the Mavs will have their share of cap space to work with. Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will not be mentioned on these lists because it’s blatantly obvious that they would be on the top of their respective lists, but they’re still long shots to come to Dallas.

 Meshing all the pieces is just as important of a part of deciding on the pieces. The number one option at shooting guard might not be an ideal match with the number one option at small forward. These rankings will be solely on my own projections. A quick blurb from Editor-in-Chief Rob Mahoney’s free agency primer on the SI.com’s Point Forward will be mentioned for each player.

Note: This is under the premise of bringing Brandan Wright back to be your primary big man off the bench. If the money stays within Ian Mahinmi’s range of four years, $16 million, it makes too much sense to bring him back.

Let’s look at the free agent options at the center position.

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Instant Remarks, Part One

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 28, 2013 under Commentary, Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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There were intriguing notes that came shortly after the draft was completed. Speaking to different sources, the Mavs were ready to select any of the point guards out of Trey Burke, CJ McCollum or Michael-Carter Williams if they fell to 13. According to one specific source, the Mavs were ready to trade up into the top 10 if one player they targeted fell one more spot.

Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson spoke after the draft.

Here is the quoteboard for Rick Carlisle’s comments to the media.

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Miami Vice

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 27, 2013 under Commentary, News | Be the First to Comment

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The draft ended up shaking out in a way that the Mavs nearly had their choice of the top level point guards. Minnesota selected Trey Burke and that started a ripple effect which led to the top point guards being taken off the table. When it was time to make the pick, the Mavs selected Kelly Olynyk and ultimately traded his rights to the Boston Celtics.

As part of the deal to obtain the 13th pick, Boston gave Dallas two future second-round picks, both coming in 2014. The Celtics (drafting for the Mavs) selected Lucas Nogueira  <and his fantastic hair>.  If you’re still following, the Mavs then traded Jared Cunningham and the 18th pick from the Atlanta Hawks.

The Mavs ultimately decided that Shane Larkin out of Miami would be their man.

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Draft Tracker

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Commentary, News | Be the First to Comment

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Today is the first big day of the offseason for the Mavs and the rest of the league. Donnie Nelson had the funny saying, “If my lips are moving I’m lying.” That’s something to keep in mind as the draft approaches.

Social media is a gift and curse. The day of the draft is a gift for social media as you can keep track of everything that is presented. With so many things that can change between now and the actual draft, The Two Man Game will keep you covered leading up to the draft. Consider this a hub of sorts, providing you with the information that is being presented. It will be a stop you can make to stay in the loop with everything if you can’t keep up with the information. Read more of this article »

A Link To The Past

Posted by Ian Levy on under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

This old man

Every year Dan Feldman, of the TrueHoop Network blog, Piston Powered, organizes a mock draft including all the sites in the Network. One representative from each site makes the hypothetical picks for their team, and this year I represented The Two Man Game and the Dallas Mavericks. This is a straight draft and there are no provisions for trading picks, you simply select the player that best makes sense for your team at that position. With the 13th pick, I selected Michael Carter-Williams from Syracuse University.

Since he declared for the draft, Carter-Williams has been linked to the Mavericks in a variety of rumors, although very rarely with any substance attached. If you’re not familiar with his game, he’s a 6-5 point guard with questionable shooting ability. His percentages — 39.3% from the field and 29.4% on three-pointers — reflect not so much a broken shooting form as an undeveloped sense of what makes a good shot. He’s a solid passer, smooth in transition and capable of creating good looks for both himself and teammates out of the pick-and-roll. Although his defensive capabilities come with all the standard questions of someone who spent his entire collegiate career playing in Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, his length and athleticism suggest the ability to defend multiple positions, most more than adequately.

I know Carter-Williams is not the most exciting pick; while he may have the potential to contribute right away, it will mostly be in complementary ways. He projects to be a solid NBA player, but nothing about his game screams “instant-star.” The Mavericks are in the indelicate position of trying to compete at a high level in the immediate, for the sake of Dirk Nowitzki’s twilight, while still building for the future. It’s an incredibly complicated balancing act and one that doesn’t have a great historical track record of working out. In fitting Carter-Williams into this context he probably lands more of the future side of the equation. Using the 13th pick in the draft to build mostly for a later incarnation of the team inevitably takes something away from Nowitzki’s present, and I would completely understand if fans or the organization feel that is too high a cost.

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Rank Them: Power Forwards

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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With five days until free agency begins, it’s time to officially start naming names as ideal targets for free agency. This week, The Two Man Game will go through each position and determine who appears to be ideal fits for the Mavs.

Money is always an issue, but the Mavs will have their share of cap space to work with.

Meshing all the pieces is just as important of a part of deciding on the pieces. The number one option at shooting guard might not be an ideal match with the number one option at small forward. These rankings will be solely on my own projections. A quick blurb from Editor-in-Chief Rob Mahoney’s free agency primer on the SI.com’s Point Forward will be mentioned for each player.

Note: It’s clear that Dirk Nowitzki is the man at the power forward position for Dallas. They have options such as Shawn Marion and, if they bring him back, Brandan Wright who can log minutes at the four spot. They will only be looking for a backup. Outside of the first option on here, the Mavs are likely better off just working with Marion and Wright at the spot. If not, these are intriguing names to keep an eye on.

Let’s look at the free agent options at the power forward position.

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