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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Forget Me Not

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 23, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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In today’s society, we often look for the next big thing or look to say something has served its purpose and it is then time to move away from it. Sometimes, people get lazy and fail to recognize what is still directly in front of them. It feels like Dirk Nowitzki is the latest victim of this circumstance.

Earlier in the month, NBA.com asked their bloggers to predict which player born outside the United States would be have the biggest 2013-14 season? It seemed like most of the bloggers, outside of Lang Whitaker, went ahead and tried to peg the next big thing. It’s kind of funny to see how everyone is looking for the next big thing, mainly due to what Nowitzki was able to do over the course of his career, and equally downplayed what he still could have left in the tank.

The tossing to the side doesn’t end there. Surprisingly, Nowitzki couldn’t get the love from the international folks, either. Again, in another informal poll, 38 players – why 38 – participating in this year’s EuroBasket tournament were asked who were the Top 5 European basketball players of all time. Nowitzki ended up being ranked fifth on the list.

Drazen Petrovic (Croatia), Tony Parker (France), Arvydas Sabonis (Lithuania) and Dejan Bodiroga (Serbia) all ranked ahead of Nowitzki in the results. It’s hard to segment a player’s career just based on what they did in international play, completely ignoring what they did or didn’t do at the highest level of the sport, but that seems to be what was done when coming up with the results.

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Fortune Faded

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 9, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Maybe that should actually be, how the perceived mighty have fallen. Remember when Roddy Beaubois was a player that wasn’t available?

“With a few exceptions,” owner Mark Cuban said back in early 2011 when it came to the possibility of holding on to Beaubois.

The reason for the short leash on making Beaubois available was due to his potential, which he displayed in his rookie season back in 2009-10. He averaged 7.1 points in 12.5 minutes per game. He also shot an incredible .518 percent from the field, .409 percent from 3-point range and .808 percent from the free throw line. With those shooting percentages, he became the first rookie in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range, and 80 percent from the free throw line.

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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 Weave: Dirk Nowitzki

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 22, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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As everyone knows, the Dallas Mavericks begin and end with Dirk Nowitzki. As the face of the franchise, the Tall Baller From the G sets the tone. He has another new cast of characters around him this season. At age 35, the hope is Nowitzki can stay healthy and avoid missing a large chunk of the season as he did last year due to knee surgery.

With Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki is the only man on the 15-man roster who has an NBA championship on his resume. With a new group of players, Nowitzki will have to help show them how to approach the pursuit of winning it all.

After coming off his lowest scoring average since his rookie season, doubters are swirling around Nowitzki, wondering if he has enough left to be a superstar. Whether or not Dirk Nowitzki has enough left to be a top-level leader is the question that’s posed to the staff as they run the weave.

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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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Running the Weave: Young Point Guards

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 19, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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Let’s be honest: we have some diverse writers on board here at the Two Man Game. The diversity is awesome and creates some unique content with the Mavs as the point of emphasis. The writers can see eye to eye on a variety of topics and they can also come up with some pretty unique answers to the same question.

With the summer slowly coming to an end, I wanted to touch base with my colleagues on a variety of topics revolving around the Mavs and pick their brain to see what answers they would share. Through teamwork and synergy, we’re running the weave on the Mavs and their offseason. I’ve shared my opinion on a variety of topics this offseason, but it’s time to hear what the rest of the staff has to say.

With that, here is a the first question that was posed to the TMG staff. Hope you enjoy.

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Rorschach: Part Four

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 15, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Here is the final part to the Rorschach test of the 2013-14 Mavs roster.

Shawn Marion has been the team’s basketball spackle, helping alleviate whatever issue the team is having. Gal Mekel, the second Israeli player in NBA history, was the team’s first free agent acquisition of the summer. Dirk Nowitzki is the man who emerges from the phone booth. Brandan Wright is the returning big man who provided a strong spark off the bench last season.

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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