The small forward position actually provides the most depth the Mavs had over the course of the season. The only change they saw was the addition of rookie Jae Crowder. Vince Carter was in his second year with the organization, and Shawn Marion was once again the starting small forward.
The position evaluation continues. We will be looking at each position on the floor and determine where things went wrong and what needs to change or areas of need from each position. Again, names will be named soon.
The point guard position has been covered, and it is now time to evaluate the shooting guard position. With Jason Terry departing in free agency during the offseason, a scoring punch was a major necessity. Waiting things out ultimately worked in the favor of the Mavs as they were able to sign O.J. Mayo at a reasonable price.
While the position can be a dime a dozen spot, the Mavs have had quite the challenge of being able to have a capable and consistent person man the position. Like Darren Collison, Mayo provided a major source of optimism going into the season. A guard in his mid-20s coming into town with still untapped potential would make anyone excited.
This week, we’re going to look at each position on the floor and determine where things went wrong and what needs to change or areas of need from each position. Names will be named soon. Before you can do that, you at least need to assess, digest and progress.
This was easily the most unstable position for the Mavs during the season. Going back to the real start of the season, the offseason, the instability began. Dallas felt like they had Jason Kidd and Delonte West to sure up the position only to find out they’d have neither of them at the start of the season. Kidd bailed on Dallas at the last minute to join up with the New York Knicks. Due to multiple suspensions due to performing conduct detrimental to the team, West was released before the start of the season.
They then decided to make a trade with the Indiana Pacers, acquiring Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones for Ian Mahinmi. There were hopes of him being the point guard of the future.
Do you need superstars to succeed? That is the question.
Outside Dallas’ magical one-superstar title run in 2011, many of the champions of the past decade have been littered with teams with more than one superstar or one with a platoon of super role players.
There is a team that emerged this season that had me wondering if they had a blueprint that the Mavs might want to look in to. That team was the Denver Nuggets. They were the most unrecognized team to have a 13-game winning streak in the history of the NBA. Unfortunately, they were streaking as the Miami Heat went on what turned out to be a 27-game winning streak. Miami had the second longest winning streak in NBA history, only surpassed by the Lakers’ 33-game winning streak in the 1971–72 season.
Looking over Quoteboards allows you to refresh your memory over buzz comments that were made. There’s one that has stuck in my mind and has me wondering.
This is what Mark Cuban said when the front office has to decide the worth of perspective free agents versus years and money and deciding whether or not to pursue:
“We don’t try to win the summer. We don’t try to say okay, we’re going to give a guy a lot of money. He’s got to be worth the money. There are guys that are team difference makers and none of these guys that you’ve mentioned (like Goran Dragic) went to a team and that signed as a free agent and turned them around. What kind of impact would he have on your team? End of story. That’s it. How many games can he win me, if at all? If he’s not going to be a difference-maker why would you do it (sign him to a lengthy contract)?
“I have to look at Donnie and Rick. Donnie’s going to say don’t do it and Rick’s going to say don’t do it. I’m going to say to Donnie, should we do it? And he’ll say no. Teams sign guys all the time that they end up having to get rid of all the time. And it’s just a different animal when you’re trading for him and you get off a guy and you have to take bad contracts to get a good contract. We’re wide open for whatever puts us in a position to get a difference maker and if we can’t then we’ll deal with whatever it is.”
The Mavs front office has always been known as a group of outside the box thinkers. They’re willing to come up with three or four-team deals that many other organizations are willing to try to come up with. With that as a known attribute, I wonder if they have another theory that could build even more flexibility this offseason.
Shawn Marion has an Early Termination Option on his the final year of his deal which is this coming season. If he exercised the option, he would be turning down roughly $9,316,796 and test the free agent market. We discussed yesterday the odds and ends of Dallas’ cap situation. At 34, Marion is still considered one of the best perimeter defenders the league has to offer. You can look back over the last two seasons and see that he has dynamic versatility as a defender. He’s guarded the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, but he’s also mixed it up by guarding power forwards such as Blake Griffin and also point guards such as Chris Paul. There are few elite defenders in the league that have that range of defensive ability in the league.
Dollars and sense. When it comes down to it, that’s what it is all about.
There is a lot of work ahead for the Mavs as they look to make the 2012-13 season an aberration and not the new norm in the new CBA world. It is a new world for the Mavs, and everyone else in the league, as everyone continues to adapt to what the implications are with the new CBA. I think Donnie Nelson hit the nail on the head when he discussed it during his exit interview. “It’s not like the good old days where there’s all kind of financial freedom where you can sign checks into the wind,” Nelson said.
It is a big summer, and the Mavs will have to trust their instincts based on all they work they do and they are currently doing.
After a week of recharging the battery, it’s back to work. It’s certainly different not covering a team during the playoffs. Even if the Mavs snuck in as the 8th seed in the West, a direct path to another 4-0 sweep would still have them playing around this time.
Before tackling the challenges of what to do this summer and going forward, it’s worth looking back and getting a little flustered when looking back at the games that slipped away from the Mavs. There are 10 games that really could’ve changed the course for Dallas. If they win just five of the 10, they likely find themselves in the playoffs.
Let’s look back, and get weird.
For those who don’t know, MOR a podcast entirely devoted to your Dallas Mavericks.
The end of the regular season passes without a Mavericks playoff game for the first time since 2000. It’s already time to move on from this season and look ahead to what the Mavericks can do to make sure this year is just a minor bump in the road.
But first, we want to cover Rick Carlisle’s entertaining post-game O.J. Mayo commentary, and the thoughts shared by Mark Cuban following the team’s mathematical elimination from the playoff picture. Then, we look forward by pulling out the oldest segment we have – Buy, Sell, Hold – to run through Mavericks’ free agents and possible free agent acquisitions. The end result shows that there are more holes to fill than money to spend. We take a quick run through the playoffs in NBA Nuggets, and we close with some talk about Lamar Odom and VIP floor tickets.
Intro – Banter / Rick on OJ
22:45 – Cuban’s Concession Speech
42:10 – Buy, Sell, Hold (Current Mavs)
1:03:25 – Buy, Sell, Hold (Potential Free Agent Signings)
1:28:35 – NBA Nuggets, Playoff Edition
1:24:08 – Yelling at Lamar Odom from Baller Seats / Closing Thoughts
Catch us again shortly after the draft in June as we have our “Judgement Day” episode. We’ll have the Mavs Jedi Council in the house to really dig in and figure out if Dallas made the right move(s) during the draft, and is prepared for the pivotal summer that is staring them directly in the face.
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.
The Rundown is back. Every Monday during the regular season (unless there’s a better feature to run with), The Rundown will chronicle the week that was for the Mavs, as well as let you know what is coming up for the boys in blue, with a unique spin. Simply put, it is your Monday catch-up on all things with the Dallas Mavericks.
The end is here. The 2012-13 season for the Dallas Mavericks is officially over. There is some solace that the Mavs were able to finish the season with a record of 41-41. They became the 13th team in NBA history to be 10 games below .500 in a season and finish at .500 or better. The most recent team to achieve that feat before the Mavs was 2010-11 Philadelphia 76ers. The last Western Conference team was 1980-81 Portland Trail Blazers.
That’s a great accomplishment for a team that looked dead in the water back in December and January. That being said, there’s a lot of work to be done this summer for the Mavs if they want to get back to where they were just two years ago. They don’t need to be the number one overall seed in the Western Conference, but they need to get into a spot where they’re not having to scratch and claw just to have a chance to make the playoffs. There will be plenty of time to dissect what the Mavs can do this summer to fix what is ailing them. For now, let’s just look at what exactly happened this season.