Instant Remarks, Part One

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 28, 2013 under Commentary, Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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There were intriguing notes that came shortly after the draft was completed. Speaking to different sources, the Mavs were ready to select any of the point guards out of Trey Burke, CJ McCollum or Michael-Carter Williams if they fell to 13. According to one specific source, the Mavs were ready to trade up into the top 10 if one player they targeted fell one more spot.

Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson spoke after the draft.

Here is the quoteboard for Rick Carlisle’s comments to the media.

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Real Talk

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Interviews, News | Be the First to Comment

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In a surprising move, Dirk Nowitzki spoke prior to the draft on a variety of topics. Here is what he had to say.

Here is Dirk’s pre-draft Quoteboard.

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A Link To The Past

Posted by Ian Levy on June 27, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

This old man

Every year Dan Feldman, of the TrueHoop Network blog, Piston Powered, organizes a mock draft including all the sites in the Network. One representative from each site makes the hypothetical picks for their team, and this year I represented The Two Man Game and the Dallas Mavericks. This is a straight draft and there are no provisions for trading picks, you simply select the player that best makes sense for your team at that position. With the 13th pick, I selected Michael Carter-Williams from Syracuse University.

Since he declared for the draft, Carter-Williams has been linked to the Mavericks in a variety of rumors, although very rarely with any substance attached. If you’re not familiar with his game, he’s a 6-5 point guard with questionable shooting ability. His percentages — 39.3% from the field and 29.4% on three-pointers — reflect not so much a broken shooting form as an undeveloped sense of what makes a good shot. He’s a solid passer, smooth in transition and capable of creating good looks for both himself and teammates out of the pick-and-roll. Although his defensive capabilities come with all the standard questions of someone who spent his entire collegiate career playing in Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, his length and athleticism suggest the ability to defend multiple positions, most more than adequately.

I know Carter-Williams is not the most exciting pick; while he may have the potential to contribute right away, it will mostly be in complementary ways. He projects to be a solid NBA player, but nothing about his game screams “instant-star.” The Mavericks are in the indelicate position of trying to compete at a high level in the immediate, for the sake of Dirk Nowitzki’s twilight, while still building for the future. It’s an incredibly complicated balancing act and one that doesn’t have a great historical track record of working out. In fitting Carter-Williams into this context he probably lands more of the future side of the equation. Using the 13th pick in the draft to build mostly for a later incarnation of the team inevitably takes something away from Nowitzki’s present, and I would completely understand if fans or the organization feel that is too high a cost.

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Rank Them: Power Forwards

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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With five days until free agency begins, it’s time to officially start naming names as ideal targets for free agency. This week, The Two Man Game will go through each position and determine who appears to be ideal fits for the Mavs.

Money is always an issue, but the Mavs will have their share of cap space to work with.

Meshing all the pieces is just as important of a part of deciding on the pieces. The number one option at shooting guard might not be an ideal match with the number one option at small forward. These rankings will be solely on my own projections. A quick blurb from Editor-in-Chief Rob Mahoney’s free agency primer on the SI.com’s Point Forward will be mentioned for each player.

Note: It’s clear that Dirk Nowitzki is the man at the power forward position for Dallas. They have options such as Shawn Marion and, if they bring him back, Brandan Wright who can log minutes at the four spot. They will only be looking for a backup. Outside of the first option on here, the Mavs are likely better off just working with Marion and Wright at the spot. If not, these are intriguing names to keep an eye on.

Let’s look at the free agent options at the power forward position.

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Rank Them: Point Guards

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 24, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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With seven days until free agency begins, it’s time to officially start naming names as ideal targets for free agency. This week, The Two Man Game will go through each position and determine who appears to be ideal fits for the Mavs.

Money is always an issue, but the Mavs will have their share of cap space to work with. Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will not be mentioned on these lists because it’s blatantly obvious that they would be on the top of their respective lists, but they’re still long shots to come to Dallas.

 Meshing all the pieces together is just as important of a part of deciding on the pieces. The number one option at shooting guard might not be an ideal match with the number one option at small forward. These rankings will be solely on my own projections. A quick blurb from Editor-in-Chief Rob Mahoney’s free agency primer on the SI.com’s Point Forward will be mentioned for each player.

It’s apparent that the point guard position is the most important position the Mavs will need to take care of this summer. There were countless amounts of times over the year where they looked disorganized on offense and couldn’t execute the simple task of getting Dirk Nowitzki the ball. Getting a point guard who can handle the offense is an extreme priority this summer.

Let’s look at the free agent options at the point guard option.

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Floptastic

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 19, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Flopping has been a major source of conversation during these playoffs. There have been multiple instances, so much to the point that the league has had to invoke a new ant-flopping policy. The purpose of the policy was designed to put an end to the flopping. It certainly hasn’t worked as we saw Heat forward Chris Bosh get fined $5,000 for violating the policy in Game 4 of the Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

Mark Cuban has stepped up, as he usually does, and is willing to take a chance on trying to provide more information to help the cause. The Cuban-owned company Radical Hoops Ltd. awarded a grant of more than $100,000 to fund the 18-month research study at SMU, Dallas. “The physics just don’t support the way we call things,” Cuban said while speaking to KTCK-AM earlier this week.

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The More You Know

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 17, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Mark Cuban was once again on the radio, this time on KCTK-AM, to further explain the summer of intrigue for the Mavs. He spoke about the work he’s done in regards to flopping. That will be discussed later this week. The more pressing issues are geared towards free agency and the draft, both rapidly approaching.

Here is the Quoteboard with highlights of Cuban’s appearance on The Ticket in regards to free agency and the draft.

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Outside the Box: Valley of the Sun

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 12, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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This week, The Two Man Game will start looking at what the Mavs could do as another pivotal summer is upon them. Mark Cuban has said there are different ways or “permutations” to ensure the Mavs won’t have a failure of a summer if they are unable to land a big fish acquisition.

Dirk Nowitzki said Cuban is “all-in” on this summer, and committed to bringing the franchise back to where it belongs. There are traditional ways to do that but there are also outside the box ways of doing that. We’ll look at five potential angles the Mavs could work that would be considered outside the box.

The Phoenix Suns have not made the playoffs over the last three seasons. That includes last season where they had the worst record in the entire Western Conference. They’re presently a team without a star, that really doesn’t have a direction or vision on how to improve their situation. They’re a mess.

They do have two intriguing pieces in Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat that could be of some use to the Mavs. Dragic likely appears the less realistic due to his contract. Dallas already had hesitations about him as a point guard (which I still don’t exactly understand), so I’m guessing they wouldn’t want to bring him on under the deal that Phoenix signed him to. That leaves Marcin Gortat.

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Outside the Box: Guaranteed Surprises

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 11, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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This week, The Two Man Game will start looking at what the Mavs could do as another pivotal summer is upon them. Mark Cuban has said there are different ways or “permutations” to ensure the Mavs won’t have a failure of a summer if they are unable to land a big fish acquisition.

Dirk Nowitzki said Cuban is “all-in” on this summer, and committed to bringing the franchise back to where it belongs. There are traditional ways to do that but there are also outside the box ways of doing that. We’ll look at five potential angles the Mavs could work that would be considered outside the box.

Times are tough for many teams around the league in a new CBA world. There are two teams in the Eastern Conference who find themselves in a bit of a bind but in two very different ways.

The Boston Celtics are a team with a bloated payroll (giving Jason Terry a three-year, $15.675 million dollar deal is an example of how money can add up in a hurry). They did hit an unfortunate break in terms of an injury during the month of January as it was announced the Rajon Rondo suffered an ACL injury and would be out of action for the duration of the season. Boston is getting older and teams around them are getting better.

The Toronto Raptors are also a team with a bloated payroll. To make their situation worse than Boston’s, they flat out stink. The Raptors tied for the worst record in the Atlantic Division. They have just over $27 million committed between Rudy Gay and DeMar Derozan. They also still have someone impersonating a basketball player in Andrea Bargnani as he is collecting a salary of $10.7 million this coming season. The only thing worse than being in a cap bind: being in a cap bind and being terrible.

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Outside the Box: Setting the Pace

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 10, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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This week, The Two Man Game will start looking at what the Mavs could do as another pivotal summer is upon them. Mark Cuban has said there are different ways or “permutations” to ensure the Mavs won’t have a failure of a summer if they are unable to land a big fish acquisition.

Dirk Nowitzki said Cuban is “all-in” on this summer, and committed to bringing the franchise back to where it belongs. There are traditional ways to do that but there are also outside the box ways of doing that. We’ll look at five potential angles the Mavs could work that would be considered outside the box.

The Indiana Pacers continued their development with their new core this season as they took the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. They were able to do that without the services of Danny Granger. Granger missed the first half of this season with patellar tendinosis after undergoing a second injection to treat the injury back in October. He played for a brief stint of only five games back in February, only to see the injury flare up again. He ended up having surgery on the knee and was out for the remainder of the season.

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