Standard Operating Procedure

Posted by Kirk Henderson on September 19, 2013 under Commentary | 7 Comments to Read

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During the chase for Dwight Howard, one recurring theme that kept popping up was how would Dwight’s back surgery affect his game?

Last season was not pretty for Howard. Though he had surgery in April of 2012, he spent most of the 2012-2013 season looking off, mainly in his timing as well as his athletic ability. Before the injury, one of Howard’s strengths was his help defense, particularly in cleaning up his teammate’s mistakes near the rim. Though he showed sparks towards the end of the year, the 2012-2013 season left us with more questions than answers as he headed into free agency. Read more of this article »

Money Plays

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 13, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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For those who didn’t notice, I wrote a blog post series for ESPN Dallas over the last two weeks. It was with the premise that the NBA is a game that’s played on the floor as well as a game that’s played via spreadsheets and calculators. With more punitive actions directed towards them when going over the salary cap, franchises must do a better job of finding talent that can outperform the contracts that were given to them.

I took some heat for the grading I did over the course of the series. The heat mainly generated from not going below a B- on the grades. When you really look at it, the deals that they gave out as a whole were not bad. The players might or might not be the ones you were hoping for, but the deals they were signed to weren’t bad in comparison to the rest of the market.

Keep in mind, the Mavs had to operate under their Plan B, C and D options because Dwight Howard decided to go elsewhere. They the equivalent of max-out money to spend with Howard, Paul and the rest of the big name players off the market and they did the best they could with what was out on the market.

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Behind the Curtain

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 5, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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When asked at the end of the season about his level of commitment about improving the team, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said, “If they don’t know by now that I’m doing everything I can, they’re never going to know.”

He also said that sometime in the summer that clarity would come. The clarity came on Saturday night on his blog (blogmaverick.com) with his missive about where things are now with the team and their pursuit of Dwight Howard. Whether you see it as a detailed analysis of the inner workings of the organization, rationalizing how the last three summers have played out or playing defense, this is a good way to show “how the sausage is made” or what Cuban is honestly thinking.

If you haven’t seen the blog post, you can see it in its entirety here.

The unprecedented access he gives the fans and media and his approach, in general, is so unique. Analysts around the league have already chimed in and there has been one consistent word that has popped up: fascinating. What makes him the kind of owner that he is his willingness to lay all the cards on the table for everyone to see. Cuban doesn’t hide, nor does he shy away.

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Clearing Doubt

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 22, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made a surprise appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Galloway and Company show Monday afternoon to discuss a plethora of topics. The first one was the team’s hiring of Gersson Rosas from Houston to be the team’s new general manager. He discussed his comments a little more about how the team might be better off without Dwight Howard. He also discussed the biggest gripe he has about analysts who are downplaying the Mavs going into this coming season.

Here is the quoteboard from Cuban’s appearance on Galloway and Company.

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Down the Trail

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 5, 2013 under Commentary, News | 2 Comments to Read

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Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweeted that the Mavs were informed that they were informed they were out of the running for Dwight Howard.

Mark Cuban informed ESPNDallas.com and other media that they were officially out of the mix. “Got word we are out of the DH sweepstakes. We gave it a shot and it didn’t work out . It was truly an experience. At some point I will post our video and presentation we made.”

“I have no idea what team he is going to,” Cuban wrote in the e-mail. “They wouldn’t tell me.”

“We gave it a shot and it didn’t work out. It was truly an experience. … So it’s on to Plan B.”

USA Today was informed that the Houston Rockets would be the team that Dwight Howard picked as his next team to play for. Yahoo! Sports learned that Dwight Howard hasn’t informed anyone that he has made a final decision and that it is between Houston and Los Angeles. The chaos still continues.

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Audio Goodies

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 3, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Episode 75 of the Mavericks Outsider Report is here.

For those who don’t know, MOR is a podcast entirely devoted to your Dallas Mavericks.

Judgement day is near. But first, a lot of talking and no signatures during the free-agency waiting period. Circumstances dictate that this is a make or break summer for the Mavs as it relates to “breaking up” the 2011 squad. We kick it off right with two of our favorite Mavs experts, Mark Followill and Jeff “Skin” Wade joining us.

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Under the Microscope

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 30, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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This is it. This is the moment that everyone has been waiting for. As it was apparent that the Mavs weren’t going to make the first time in over a decade, everyone circled July 1st on their calendar. They waited to see if the Mavs could really make progress on improving their team.

Some are waiting to say “I told you so” and that dismantling the championship team was a mistake. Over the weekend, I’ve looked over that roster again and the results and I still stand by my belief that that captured lightning in a bottle and Dirk Nowitzki had one of the greatest playoff runs the league has ever seen. As the Miami Heat celebrate their second championship, Dirk and those Mavs will know that they “got ‘em.”

History may or may not remember the 2011 Mavs for what they did and mainly remember what the Heat didn’t do, but there’s no way to erase the fact that Nowitzki was the baddest man on a basketball court that summer.

Last season was a disappointing one as the Mavs wandered through the wilderness of mediocrity. Nowitzki’s injury derailed the season from the get-go. Despite that, the Mavs were able to find a way to stay playoff relevant until the final week of the season. That shows that Dirk and a cast of characters can be a playoff team, but the front office must now make their move and secure more reliable weapons for their star. “We’re trying to accumulate high quality, high character, high energy, high motor, skilled players to put around Dirk Nowitzki,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the draft. “He’s still one of the greatest players in the game and we’ve got to enhance his ability to do what he does.

“We’ve got to enhance the opportunity to keep him playing as long as possible because he loves to play and he’s great. To do that effectively, we’ve got to get the best guys possible around him. That’s a priority and it’ll continue to be one this summer.”

Now is the time. Let’s look at everything under the free agency microscope.

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Real Talk

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 28, 2013 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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Miami Vice

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 27, 2013 under Commentary, News | Be the First to Comment

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The draft ended up shaking out in a way that the Mavs nearly had their choice of the top level point guards. Minnesota selected Trey Burke and that started a ripple effect which led to the top point guards being taken off the table. When it was time to make the pick, the Mavs selected Kelly Olynyk and ultimately traded his rights to the Boston Celtics.

As part of the deal to obtain the 13th pick, Boston gave Dallas two future second-round picks, both coming in 2014. The Celtics (drafting for the Mavs) selected Lucas Nogueira  <and his fantastic hair>.  If you’re still following, the Mavs then traded Jared Cunningham and the 18th pick from the Atlanta Hawks.

The Mavs ultimately decided that Shane Larkin out of Miami would be their man.

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Outside the Box: Rocket Launched

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 13, 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.

There is a big fish in Dwight Howard that has mainly been linked to three teams: the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. While both Dallas and Houston have been linked, Los Angeles is still in the driver’s seat when it comes to landing Howard as they have the extra year and nearly $30 million dollars that they can offer the prized big man.

The one thing that Houston has on their side is a situation that’s suited for Howard to where he can slide right in and join a team that is already built to make a run in the playoffs. He would just be a major enhancement. It would be a situation where he’s going to help build something, not fix it.

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