A Door Opens, A Door Possibly Closes

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on October 26, 2012 under Commentary, News | Read the First Comment

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After playing a total of 83 minutes in 14 regular season games for the Miami Heat and being released after being a training camp invitee by the San Antonio Spurs, Eddy Curry has now joined the Dallas Mavericks. He was claimed through waivers by the Mavericks on Thursday afternoon. Curry, 29, has been widely regarded as one of the most disappointing players in recent league history. Whatever the reason has been, Curry has never lived up to the promise he had when he was selected fourth overall in the 2001 Draft. In a weird series of coincidences, Tyson Chandler joined Curry as he was selected second overall in the draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, who immediately traded his draft rights to the Bulls for…Elton Brand.

“He did a nice job this morning in shootaround,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Curry. “This is a good opportunity for him and for us.” Curry (7-0, 295) has played in 525 games, 411 starts, with Chicago, New York and Miami.He holds career averages of 13.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 24.9 minutes per game while shooting 54.5 percent from the field. “I feel great about it,” Curry said at the team’s shootaround. “Obviously, it’s a great organization with great players. It’s a great opportunity.

“I’m just going out there and play. I know what I can do and they’re giving me the opportunity to do it. I’m just going to make the best of it.”

Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reported that the Mavericks would waive guard Delonte West in order to make room to acquire Curry. West was suspended for the second time, this time indefinitely, within a span of 10 days. As was the case the first time, West was suspended due to performing conduct detrimental to the team. “We have suspended Delonte for conduct detrimental to the team,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said in a statement. “The suspension is effective immediately and no other statements will be issued.”

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Shutting It Down (The Waiting Game Ends)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on October 19, 2012 under News | 5 Comments to Read

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News broke on Friday afternoon that Dirk Nowitzki underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his bothersome right knee Friday. The waiting game is officially over. According to the organization, the surgery was performed at Texas Sports Medicine by team orthopedic surgeon T.O. Souryal. Nowitzki is expected to resume on-court activities within approximately six weeks. “We’ve been preparing for this possibility,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said on Friday afternoon. “It’s never going to be easy to lose a game-changer for six weeks. We know that, but we’re going to have to make up for that in other areas. We’re going to have to play with grit, guts and we’re going to have to raise our level of efficiency in all areas.”

After having his knee drained on multiple occasions during the preseason and speculating if he could continue to work through the issue, Dirk decided to shut it down and begin the healing process. Dirk has been known as a machine as he’s had the ability to recover quickly from injuries, but this will push the boundary of that status, especially when it involves the knee. Carlisle did lighten to mood by sharing his own experience with the procedure, which was done during the 2010-11 season. “If it ‘s any comfort to you, I had a scope two years ago and I was back playing ping pong within six weeks,” Carlisle said. “It didn’t affect my game at all.”

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The Dirk Waiting Game Shall Continue

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on October 15, 2012 under News | Be the First to Comment

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Coach Rick Carlisle sat down before Monday’s preseason home opener against Houston and said: “Dirk’s not playing tonight. He’ll talk to you after the game. Next subject.’’ Dirk Nowitzki would reveal after the 123-104 victory over the Houston Rockets that he will re-evaluate his knee in the next few days and likely come to a decision next week on what the next step is. “The knee hasn’t really responded great over the last couple of days,” Nowitzki said to the media. “The good news is that it (the swelling) isn’t as much as it was last week in Barcelona.”

Dirk participated in the team’s morning shootaround, but was held back due to the right knee. The big man was seen working out on the elliptical after coach Carlisle had his pregame meeting with the media.

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Help Wanted, Inquire Within

Posted by Rob Mahoney on October 8, 2012 under News | 3 Comments to Read

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UPDATE: This job posting has been closed; many thanks to all that applied.

With the commencement of the exhibition schedule, the long dormant basketball season has met a welcome alarm. Actual, meaningful NBA games will be played before we know it, and this blog will be back up at regular season speed.

There’s just one tiny problem. Beginning this season, I’ll no longer be contributing to this blog as a writer. That leaves a bit of a void; in taking on a purely editorial role, I’ll soon cede this stage to a writing cast that’s yet to be fully determined. We already have a few contributors in the works, but this site is very much in need of basketball scribes who are able to contribute regularly and are interested in covering the Dallas Mavericks.

If you meet both of those vague criteria, then you could be just what I’m looking for. If you don’t quite fit but know somehow who might, then please, pass this message along. We’re looking for proven basketball writers, relative newcomers, would-be analysts, hoops-obsessed essayists, and budding statisticians. Don’t be deterred from applying based on some minor factor; It’s a simple enough application process for a simple enough gig, and all are welcome to make their case.

All that’s needed from prospective applicants is an email to thetwomangame[at]gmail.com, complete with the following:

  1. Some information about yourself, your background, and your writing experience.
  2. Some explanation of your weekday schedule. Do you have a full-time job? Are you a student? How often would you be able and willing to write?
  3. A few writing samples that you feel are indicative of your ability and style. If you don’t have any NBA-specific writing experience, feel free to put together some thoughts on a Mavs-related topic of choice.

Note: These positions will be unpaid. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, then no hard feelings. But otherwise, this platform can still be incredibly useful to up-and-coming writers looking to break onto the NBA scene or reinforce their brand.

There is currently no deadline for applications, but keep in mind that once this void is filled, that’s that; the search could theoretically wrap at any time, so be sure to submit your emails as soon as possible.

I’m looking forward to filling out this staff, and better yet: to meet those who will hopefully come to define the next era of this blog’s life.

Wandering

Posted by Rob Mahoney on under News | 5 Comments to Read

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Today is an odd day.

i’m thrilled to announce that as of this week, I’ll be joining SI.com’s NBA staff — along with the tremendous Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge and CBS Sports — to take over Zach Lowe’s stead at The Point Forward. Yet on the heels of that announcement comes another, more somber note; after three years and change of commentary, recaps, and finding ways to justify the performance of Erick Dampier, I’ll be stepping down as the lead writer of this fair blog. This isn’t an actual goodbye, per se, but an acknowledgement of a transition; I’ll still be involved here at The Two Man Game as editor-in-chief, but this is likely the last you’ll have to deal with my written indulgences in this particular space.

This day would be much more difficult if I weren’t still able to claim to be a member of both The Two Man Game and the TrueHoop Network, but I’ll be hanging around. I’ll still be coordinating all of the coverage here and writing elsewhere. I’ll still be available on Twitter (@RobMahoney) and via email (thetwomangame[at]gmail.com). I’ll still be a member of the THN family. The specifics of the coverage here may change, but only in the way that all things eventually do.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to write The Two Man Game, and I can’t thank you all enough for lending me your attention and feeding this site with your comments. I sincerely hope that you’ve enjoyed your stops here — however frequent or infrequent, lengthy or brief — and that you’ll be back to check out all that we have in store going forward. The Two Man Game rolls on, even without my blathering, but this seemed an appropriate time nonetheless to thank you all for everything this site is, was, and will someday become. You all make The Two Man Game work, and while I know that means a lot to the TrueHoop Network as a whole, it means far more to me.

Regards,
Rob Mahoney

Another Term

Posted by Rob Mahoney on May 15, 2012 under Commentary, News | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks, without even the slightest hesitation, have now executed the easiest and most predictable item on their off-season agenda. According to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News (and as confirmed by team release), a four-year contract extension for Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is now complete, removing even the slightest possibility that such a brilliant basketball mind could somehow stray from Dallas.

Calls don’t come much easier than this one; there’s only a small cut of NBA coaches who make a tangibly positive impact on their team’s play, and Carlisle happens to be one of them. While many coaches are tempted by the safety of formula, Carlisle finds — and ultimately succumbs to — allure in flexibility. Consistent roles are among the great red herrings of professional basketball, and its to Carlisle’s credit that he’s dispensed with that farce and pushed for basketball players to be basketball players, without worry or need for self-defeating promises. I’m sure many in the NBA would feel safe in knowing that their position on a particular team is never questioned, but Carlisle’s rotational philosophy is empowered by freedom.

If sitting a scorer for the sake of defense is called for, he does it. If playing his starting center just 12 minutes a night gives his team the best chance to win, he won’t hesitate. If an oddly constructed zone defense makes the most sense for his defensive personnel, he’ll thwart convention. Carlisle isn’t just valuable because he makes the right moves, but because he has the audacity to attempt all of the moves. He’s wrong plenty, but his desires to shift his lineups and manipulate the game aren’t at all misplaced, and his team is ultimately best served by his uncanny ability and unending willingness to change directions.

The Mavericks have a catch in Carlisle, and that’s no less true now than it was last June. He’s a premium commodity in a middle-heavy pool, and what he may lack in mystique, he more than makes up for in ingenuity.

What’s Another Erlenmeyer Flask?

Posted by Rob Mahoney on December 19, 2011 under Commentary, News, Roster Moves | Be the First to Comment

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Another day, another low-key signing by the Mavs with a potential payoff far greater than the risk. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Dallas is currently finalizing a two-year deal for former New Jersey Net and Texas Legend Sean Williams. It’s not a spectacular acquisition, but Williams — who wore out his NBA welcome during his tour in New Jersey from 2007-2010 — steps in as an immediate impact shot blocker with the potential to be a more complete defender.

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Turning the Crank

Posted by Rob Mahoney on December 11, 2011 under News, Roster Moves | 6 Comments to Read

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Things…appear to have taken a bit of a turn.

According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the possible three-team deal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers is now dead, and Lamar Odom — who was set to go to New Orleans as a part of the transaction — will instead be sent to Dallas in exchange for the traded player exception created by Dallas in the Tyson Chandler deal. Or, in a less convoluted way: the Mavs have turned the inevitable, gainless departure of a prized free agent into the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.

No matter how you slice or dice that transaction, you’ll arrive at the same conclusion: that’s a hell of a move.

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Bones on Bones

Posted by Rob Mahoney on December 10, 2011 under Commentary, News, Roster Moves | 2 Comments to Read

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The Mavs weren’t expected to make much commotion during this year’s abridged free agency, but they’ve already made one move in anticipation of another. The Knicks’ acquisition of Tyson Chandler — originally designed to be an outright free agent signing — has officially been processed as a three-team, sign-and-trade endeavor, scoring Dallas an $11 million trade exception, a protected second round pick (via Washington), and the imminently waivable Andy Rautins. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Mavs are already working to use that traded player exception to acquire Samuel Dalembert on a one-year deal via sign-and-trade with Sacramento.

It’s a lot of hustle and bustle (especially when coupled with Dallas’ signing of Brandan Wright, and likely acquisition on Vince Carter) for a team largely anticipated to stand pat, but it’s worth waiting for the smoke to clear before we take full stock in Dallas’ off-season haul. Trade exceptions, by nature, are transitory tools; they’re only worth what a team is able to gain with them, and we’ll have a better grasp of the yield from the Chandler sign-and-trade as soon as Dalembert makes his decision. The Mavs are hardly the only team pursuing him; Stein also noted that Houston was interested in acquiring Dalembert if the Rockets’ other options fell through, meaning the Mavs’ next play could lean on the reconstruction and upcoming review of the Chris Paul blockbuster.

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Kindly Ignore the Electric Sheep

Posted by Rob Mahoney on under Commentary, News | 17 Comments to Read

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Before we begin, let’s all take a deep breath.

From Sam Amick of SI.com:

Orlando PR man Joel Glass calls to inform that D. Howard’s agent now has permission to speak w/ Lakers, Nets, & Mavs about possible trade.

Stop. Right. There.

Stop daydreaming over the thought of Dirk Nowitzki being paired with a frontcourt partner even more productive than he is. Erase the thought that the Tyson Chandler free agent saga — while unfortunate in its own way — could ultimately give way to the greatest era of Mavericks basketball yet. Toss away the notion that the Mavs are currently in legitimate running to net another superstar, be it Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, or Deron Williams.

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