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: Upgrade or Downgrade

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 23, 2013 under Commentary | 4 Comments to Read

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We wrap up the staff’s Q&A this week with a rather simple question. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the various voices giving their insight on the topics.

We’ve got a great staff here at The Two Man Game. I can’t thank them enough for their contributions towards this. They were the driving force for the project.

Let’s run the weave one more time.

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Running the Wave: New Blood

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 21, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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With the new wave of players, the sense of excitement is palatable. With the American Airlines Center dormant for the first time during the playoffs since Mark Cuban took over the team, the Mavs made another attempt to reload their roster. There are some very intriguing names that have been added to the mix.

With the new players up for discussion again, the Two Man Game crew answers another question relating to them.

Once again, it’s time to run the weave.

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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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Summer Thoughts

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 2, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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With the Las Vegas Summer League over and in the rear-view mirror, the basketball activity period is officially shifting towards the hibernation phase. Crumbs will be thrown to those who can’t get enough of the NBA as there will be a few signings that will be done to fill out rosters, the schedule will be announced and we’ll start to hear about training camp information. Unfortunately, the dead time of the NBA year has to come. It doesn’t leave me with much to do (what am I going to do, try to watch TV? No, thank you).

If I’m not going to dust off my remote and actually try to watch TV shows that everyone loves, I’ll keep thinking about basketball. A lot has actually happened over the last few days/weeks and that has led me to do what I do: wonder and try to assess things. That usually leads to questions and answers. It’s been a few weeks since the Q&A format has been used.

Here is the first batch of questions and subsequent (and questionable) answers.

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Toe injury to Harris scraps deal with Mavericks, Dalembert remains top target

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

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What a day in Mavsland. This courtesy of ESPN’s Marc Stein:

Left to Ponder

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 8, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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The Mavs came up short in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, over the weekend. The quickly shifted their focus to plan B (or whatever letter), and have made moves to give a little more insight for what the Mavs are looking to do this offseason.

Questions lead to answers and answers lead to more questions. It’s a vicious circle. Let’s go over some key notes as we head into the next phase of free agency.

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Welcome Back?

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 6, 2013 under Commentary, News | Be the First to Comment

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The Mavs aren’t bringing the band back together, but it does appear that they are bringing a piece from their past back. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that the Mavs and Devin Harris are closing in a three-year deal in the $9 million range. For those who don’t remember, prior to the 2004 draft, Washington and Dallas consummated a deal that ultimately sent the No. 5 pick in that draft, Harris, to Dallas. Harris played three-and-a-half seasons in Dallas before being traded to New Jersey as part of the blockbuster trade that sent Jason Kidd back to the Mavs.

Harris went on to spend four years in New Jersey before being traded to Utah as part of the deal that sent Deron Williams to the Nets. He spent two years in Utah before he was traded to Atlanta. This was rare because a start point guard was not involved in the trade. He was traded in exchange for Marvin Williams.

Harris holds career averages of 12.8 points, 4.9 assists on .441 percent shooting from the field. He played in 58 games for the Hawks and averaged 9.9 points, 4.9 assists on .438 shooting in 2012-2013. Atlanta was 35-23 when Harris played and 24-10 in games that he started. Atlanta was 21-6 when Harris played 25-or-more minutes and 20-8 when he scored in double figures, including 4-0 when he score at least 20 points.

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