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.
Thermodynamics (n.) – the science concerned with the relations between heat and mechanical energy
Welcome to the first-ever installment of Thermodynamics, the newest weekly column here at The Two Man Game.
Don’t let the esoteric title fool you — this won’t be a physics dissertation. I’d be catastrophically underqualified for that. No, this here is a good old-fashioned basketball column. Each Thursday, I’ll be recapping the Mavs’ three hottest and three coldest performances from the previous week’s games (for our purposes, the game-week will span from the previous Thursday through the Wednesday night before publication). Let’s get to it.
Week 1 (@Lakers, @Jazz)
1) Point Guards
It was a terrific debut week for Mavs’ newcomer Darren Collison, and a tantalizing faux-debut for Roddy “Fourth-Year Rookie” Beaubois. Taking over the starting point-guard role, Collison showed a skillset we haven’t seen since the Devin Harris era. The Indiana Pacers transplant finished the week with very solid numbers: 17.0 PPG, 14-for-24 (58% FG) shooting, 5.5 APG, and just 1.5 turnovers per contest. Meanwhile, Beaubois produced nicely as Collison’s backup. He chipped in 9.5 PPG, shot 7-for-13 (54% FG) from the field, and turned over the rock just once in over 30 minutes of total playing time. Both guys controlled the pace well, especially Collison (although he hit a bit of a wall in the second half in Utah). And to top it off, Beaubois produced two picturesque moments when he picked the pocket of 92-year-old Lakers guard Steve Nash for an easy layup, and then did nearly the same thing in Utah the next night.
You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- It begins with defense. From season to season, as the Mavericks’ roster changes, grows, and bends, the theme of strong, systemic defensive style remains the same under the tutelage of Coach Rick Carlisle. Despite missing two of the team’s better offensive players in Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman, the team’s energy never waned defensively. Darren Collison (17 points, four assists, 8-12 FG) spring-boarded along the perimeter, harrying Steve Nash (seven points, four assists, 3-9 FG) to a dismal performance. Shawn Marion (5-11 FG, 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists) played like the defensive-focused Hall-of-Famer he is. And Elton Brand (eight points, 11 rebounds, 3-10 FG) served as a constant breath of isolation defense fresh air. Brand bothered Dwight Howard (19 points, 10 rebounds, 8-12 FG, 3-14 FT) at every turn, and managed to limit his and other Lakers’ bigs opportunities to dominate the game for any significant stretch.
- The Mavericks’ offensive cohesion was a surprise of the most pleasant kind. Nine Mavericks’ players had seven points or more, and apart from O.J. Mayo’s late game struggles, almost no player’s production came with a dose of moderate inefficiency. The ball moved with crispness, best exemplified by a late-game play in which Darren Collison passed to a cleverly positioned Elton Brand near the elbow, who in turn quickly passed to a rolling Shawn Marion for a smooth dunk. This transition from a two-man game situation to an immediate matchup advantage, simply through an act of positioning by Brand and the team’s general offensive flow, was a brief, pretty moment of basketball, and one that nicely summed up a night of fun movement.
- Jae Crowder (eight points, 3-7 FG) and Rodrigue Beaubois (11 points, five assists, 4-8 FG) provided a seamless transition between Mavericks’ rotations through their energized play, both offensively and defensively. Crowder and Beaubois are perhaps the two most exciting players on the team until Nowitzki returns, so their success provided a welcome sight of hope for concerned Mavericks’ fans.
- Beaubois’ five assists actually led the team, highlighting a fairly strong performance in only 17 minutes of action.
- It must be noted that this Lakers’ team is not yet fully formed and clearly lacks chemistry at the moment, but it is equally worth noting how much vitality a less-than-healthy Mavericks’ exuded in juxtaposition to the Lakers.
- Eddy Curry (3-7 FG, seven points, four rebounds) and Brandan Wright (14 points, five rebounds, 5-5 FG) must also be commended for their efforts in the place of the injured Chris Kaman, as both filled in admirably in their own way. Wright finished gracefully and efficiently at the rim as he always does (while exceeding expectations, which he also has a knack for doing), and Curry provided a moderately effective defensive presence for stretches of the game.
- An important key to the Mavericks’ victory was how well the team collectively played to its own strengths. Collison and Beaubois used their speed and mid-range game, Marion found space for those oft-used six-foot floaters, Wright demonstrated the advantages of wingspan near the rim, and Brand helped move the ball between the perimeter and key with quickness and alacrity.
- How the Mavericks react to an unexpected victory will be very telling in regards to the team’s continued chances until Nowitzki returns. Rhythm existed on both offense and defense tonight to an almost astounding extent – is the team capable of producing a similar effort on back-to-back nights without the overwhelming talent needed to coast?
The Rundown is back. Every Monday, The Rundown will chronicle the week that was for the Mavericks, as well as let you know what is coming up for the boys in blue, with a unique spin. Simply put, it is your Monday catch-up on all things with the Dallas Mavericks.
If you thought you saw it all in The Rundown last week, you’ve got another thing coming. The news kept on coming for the Mavericks (most of it being unfavorable). Another chapter in the Delonte West saga was written, and new Mavericks came walking through the doors of the American Airlines Center. As the preseason wrapped up and the regular season is approaching, let’s take a look at the week for the Mavericks.
It’s reunion night as Brendan Haywood returns as the Charlotte Bobcats face the Dallas Mavericks play in the preseason finale. Bobcats center Brendan Haywood played in 154 games. started 81, for the Mavericks over the course of two-and-a-half seasons from 2010-12, averaging 5.4 points and 5.9 rebounds. Haywood was a member of the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA championship team. We will see the debut of Eddy Curry for the Mavericks. He should get extended minutes as Elton Brand sits due to be given the night off.
As of 6:15 pm, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Melvin Ely had not arrived at the arena.
Here are notes of interest as the Mavericks face the Bobcats.
After playing a total of 83 minutes in 14 regular season games for the Miami Heat and being released after being a training camp invitee by the San Antonio Spurs, Eddy Curry has now joined the Dallas Mavericks. He was claimed through waivers by the Mavericks on Thursday afternoon. Curry, 29, has been widely regarded as one of the most disappointing players in recent league history. Whatever the reason has been, Curry has never lived up to the promise he had when he was selected fourth overall in the 2001 Draft. In a weird series of coincidences, Tyson Chandler joined Curry as he was selected second overall in the draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, who immediately traded his draft rights to the Bulls for…Elton Brand.
“He did a nice job this morning in shootaround,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Curry. “This is a good opportunity for him and for us.” Curry (7-0, 295) has played in 525 games, 411 starts, with Chicago, New York and Miami.He holds career averages of 13.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 24.9 minutes per game while shooting 54.5 percent from the field. “I feel great about it,” Curry said at the team’s shootaround. “Obviously, it’s a great organization with great players. It’s a great opportunity.
“I’m just going out there and play. I know what I can do and they’re giving me the opportunity to do it. I’m just going to make the best of it.”
Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reported that the Mavericks would waive guard Delonte West in order to make room to acquire Curry. West was suspended for the second time, this time indefinitely, within a span of 10 days. As was the case the first time, West was suspended due to performing conduct detrimental to the team. “We have suspended Delonte for conduct detrimental to the team,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said in a statement. “The suspension is effective immediately and no other statements will be issued.”
- Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones: “If Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd were a wrestling tag team, their combined age would be 71.”
- Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse: “Dirk Nowitzki has a seen a lot of basketball. Entering Wednesday, he had played in 923 career NBA games. He had no clue who the guy guarding him was at the start of his 924th game. ‘I actually did not. I had no idea,’ Nowitzki said. The 13-year veteran Dallas forward wasn’t alone. Mavericks center Tyson Chandler also had zero knowledge of the guy wearing No. 0 and starting at forward for the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. ‘I didn’t know who he was before the game and, for a while, when he kept hitting jump shots, I was trying to figure out who he was,’ Chandler said.”
- Dallas Mavericks: you got dunked off.
- It seems like ages since Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry were both Bulls, but Chandler still has a pretty clear soft spot for his former teammate. (via Henry Abbott)
- Matt Moore of CBS Sports’ NBA Facts and Rumors: “The trap we often fall into when evaluating great performances is that somehow, the defense was useless. That they were pathetically overmatched by the greatness we just witnessed. But in truth, it’s often a great performance in the face of great defense. Great players hit tough shots and figure out a way to get it done. And that’s what Dirk Nowitzki did against a surprisingly good defensive approach from the Nuggets. Rookie Gary Forbes and Al Harrington did everything they could, had position, got a hand in his face, and Nowitzki just kept working them over with the fadeaway. There were a few times when questionable switches and assignments doomed the Nuggets. J.R. Smith trying to defend Dirk? Aaron Afflalo? That’s not going to work, kids. He may be “Euro-soft” or whatever (averaging 9.8 rebounds this season), but he’s still 7 feet. And he took advantage of it.”
- Dirk Nowitzki, as Fabio-esque smutty romance novel cover boy.
- I recently joined Brian Doolittle on his radio show, At the Buzzer, to preview the Mavs’ season and the Southwest Division. Check it out if you’re into that sort of thing.
- From the Elias Sports Bureau, via Marc Stein of ESPN Dallas: “Wednesday’s victory in Denver marked the 21st time in Jason Kidd’s career that he registered at least a dozen assists while managing no more than one field goal. Which is, obscure as it sounds, an NBA record.”