Playing to the Narrative

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 27, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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One of the driving forces in sports today is the idea of the narrative. By definition, a narrative is the representation in art of an event or story. Narratives can be on the nose, but they can often be lazy cookie cutter analysis. That said, it can be quite a driving force in storytelling.

LeBron James had the narrative of being unable to come up clutch. With the game on the line, James would often pass to an open teammate for a game-winning shot. Even though it was the fundamentally sound play, James was lambasted by the media for not taking the last shot. Kobe Bryant is often cited as a clutch player when he’s often missed more game-winning shots than he’s made. Dirk Nowitzki has had his own narrative as many labeled him soft and said he couldn’t be a player that could lead a team to a title.

With a new cast of characters, there’s already a set of narratives in place for all of them. Will they hold true or will they be broken? In order to decide, it’s wise to establish what the narratives are.

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Your Name is All You Have

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 25, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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According to various reports, the NBA is considering the Miami Heat and Brookyn Nets to wear special nickname jerseys for a game this season. The natural progression leads to wondering what these type of jerseys would look like for the Dallas Mavericks.

There is a lot of backlash coming from this reported suggestion. Many don’t like the idea of nicknames taking over for the name on the back of the jersey. Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshal cited that there is a special value to having his name on the back of his jersey as he is playing and representing his family. It’a a bit of a quandary the league is in with this.

The league is probably the best compared to the rest of pro sports in America, even better than the machine that is the NFL, when it comes to marketing their stars and pushing the envelope in fashion and general apparel.

There are a lot of issues when it comes to the nicknames such as not every player having a nickname or the PG-13-inization of some names. The nickname for Andrei Kirilenko (AK-47) comes to mind.

The league is slowly approaching a time where ads will be on their jerseys. Honestly, the first step in terms of altering names on jerseys was going with Twitter account names as opposed to nicknames. I’m sure that’s still coming down the trail.

Anyway, back to the idea of looking what the jerseys would look like for the Mavs.

Let’s look at the ones we know that are a given.

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Running the Weave: Underrated

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 20, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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The crew at the Two Man Game continues to run the weave.

On Monday, the crew assembled and gave their insight on who they prefer out of Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel as the young point guard prospect to keep for the immediate future. The results were mixed. We’ll have to see how the season plays out for those two young guards as they embark on their first lap through the NBA.

This next question takes a look at the players that were in the mix at last week’s introductory press conference.

Let’s see what the crew had to say.

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Rorschach: Part Three

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 14, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Almost done with the Rorschach test of the 2013-14 Mavs roster.

Monta Ellis is the big free agent acquisition for the Mavs this summer. Devin Harris is the comeback kid who has now matured over time. Bernard James is the second-year center who is looking to keep growing into a role in the NBA. Shane Larkin is the team’s first-round draft pick who has something to prove. Ricky Ledo is the team’s second-round draft pick who has potential to be a scoring machine.

Let’s take a look of each of them in a little more detail.

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Summer Thoughts Continued

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 7, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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As we discussed last week, there are plenty of things to cover with the Mavs. Considering the time of the year, that might come as a shock but there’s been a lot of movement within the organization during the off-season.

Let’s roll with the next part of the Mavs Q&A.

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Mavericks Cut Center Bernard James

Posted by Kirk Henderson on July 20, 2013 under News | Read the First Comment

Happy Trails
In the wake of signing center Samuel Dalembert, the Dallas Mavericks have been forced to cut Bernard James. More from Mark Stein

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Las Vegas Summer League: A Primer, Part Two

Posted by Kirk Henderson on July 12, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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In case you missed our earlier chat with Ridiculous Upside contributor Dakota Schmidt, check it out here.

Earlier this afternoon I was able to get Jonathan Tjarks (@JonathanTjarks), he of SB Nation, where he provides NBA Draft coverage and Maverick coverage, and of Real GM, where he writes about both the NCAA and NBA. Though he’s not been to Summer League before, Jonathan is well versed on both the current Dallas players and the various NBA hopefuls which make up the team.

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Las Vegas Summer League: A Primer

Posted by Kirk Henderson on under Previews | Read the First Comment

Prospect

With the start of Las Vegas Summer League today, I decided to reach out to a couple few people on the basketball blogosphere who have a better handle on the NBA Summer Leagues and developmental basketball as a whole. Though I’ve been watching the Mavericks for years, this will be the first time I’ve really paid attention to the Mavericks Summer League roster. Learning what to look for, what to expect, and what to hope for is important when placing value on Summer League performances.

My first exchange was with Ridiculous Upside writer Dakota Schmidt (@Dakota_Schmidt).  While Dakota also contributes to Behind the Bucks Pass and Rufus on Fire, I reached out to him because he spends an inordinate amount of time following developmental basketball.

Check out the roster here, noting that there has been a late addition of Jackie Carmichael

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Passing Thoughts

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 14, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Needless to say, there’s a lot of free time on my hands. I like to think when I have a lot of free time. I like to think when I do not have a lot of free time. With that in mind, I’ve sat and wondered about various subjects revolving around the Mavs. I went ahead and got my fingers working on the keyboard and came up with questions and answers about the Mavs. Here are 10 of the questions and answers now. I will share the other 10 later this week.

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A Glimpse of Greatness

Posted by David Hopkins on April 9, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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“Know me… and know fear.” – Galactus, Devourer of Worlds

This offseason, Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson will need to look at the current roster and evaluate which players are a priority. It’s difficult to decide if a good game represents a glimpse of greatness or a fleeting moment. In other words: should we expect more from them or are these anomalies, outliers, from subpar players? Of course, consistency would be nice, but so few of the new players this season were consistent.

To help Cuban and Nelson, I offer my rundown of “best games” from the players who had their first season in Dallas (thus, no Brandan Wright, but I already covered him last week). I also limited my list to players who had significant minutes this season (no Anthony Morrow or Jared Cunningham).

Elton Brand
Best game: December 1st vs. Detroit, Mavs win 92 to 77
Stats of note: 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks
From the game recap, Kirk Henderson wrote: “A healthy round of applause for Elton Brand (17 points, 12 rebounds) is in order. While its exciting to see Mayo shoot well, seeing Brand hit those 10 to 15 foot jump shots was such a relief. Last season Brand shot a fantastic 45% clip from that section of the floor and was a big reason many were initially so excited to pair him with Dirk who would, in theory, open up the floor for Brand the way he has for so many others. Prior to tonight’s game though, Brand has shot an absurd 23% from that range. Tonight Brand hit three shots in that area and it forced the Detroit defense to close out on him, thus opening the floor for his five makes at the rim.” “Brand’s confidence on offense bled over into his defense; his four blocks helped keep the momentum in favor of the Mavericks. Pairing him with Bernard James (six points, 3 rebounds) was a different look for Dallas in the second quarter. It’s probably a rare sight though, both Brand and James are around 6’9″ and Carlisle was looking to steal minutes while Chris Kaman was in foul trouble.”
My thoughts: Elton Brand averages a double-double per 36 minutes, but he’s not going to get 36 minutes from the Mavericks. While he may be the most balanced (offensive and defensive) player on the Mavs—with Shawn Marion certainly in that mix—Brand isn’t going to be a high priority in the off season.

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