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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Box Score — Play-By-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow
You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- How many teams have lost in NBA history after scoring 127 points in regulation?
- Not many, if any, and the Mavericks didn’t join that barely existent or nonexistent group on Monday.
- Dirk Nowitzki (7-11 FG, 2-2 3PT, 22 points, six rebounds, five assists) has been fantastic since the All-Star Break. Nothing emphasizes that more than watching him make difficult, long jumpers that anyone else would have absolutely no chance of making.
- There are few basketball sights more comforting than seeing Dirk pump-fake, create no separation, wait, and drain a long-two regardless of any normal reality otherwise embodied.
- As I noted the other day, the success of the Mavericks exists in a purely offensive context at this point, and the key to achieving that context is threes.
- The Mavericks made 13 of 22 attempts from beyond the arc and did so with some unusual style.
- O.J. Mayo (7-11 FG, 3-4 3PT, 17 points, four assists, one turnover) took the open looks the defense allowed and smartly rejected the ones they didn’t.
- Mayo made several uncharacteristic passes to open cutters and used his pump-faking ability wisely. When he flows and decides carefully within the offense, few defenses can contend with the Mavericks’ offensive potency.
- Tonight also displayed how easily Darren Collison (10-14 FG, 24 points, five assists) can decimate an opponent off the pick-and-roll and in transition when the stars align correctly. Collison’s pull-up-from-mid-range game emanated basketball lethality tonight and duly expressed the importance of transitional space in regards to his skill set.
- The Hawks radiated listless lethargy tonight, striving clumsily to find consistent stops but failing upon the presentation of nearly every key moment.
- Teams that don’t get back in transition or defend perimeter opportunities tend to struggle against this iteration of the 2012-2013 Mavericks, and the Hawks’ performance falls nicely in line with that category.
- The Chris Kaman (7-11 FG, 14 points, seven rebounds) situation remains an intriguing oddity, as Kaman may play virtually no minutes or 21, like tonight, if he’s scoring well and the game trends in an offensive direction.
- He and Brandan Wright (5-9 FG, 12 points, eight rebounds) are a perfect scoring center tandem for a fast-paced contest like this one – they combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds in 42 collective minutes.
- Finally, if anyone wants to caption this, I’d love to read such a response. Beard battles don’t get much better than Nowitzki-Johnson.