Playing to the Narrative

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 27, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read


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


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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Rorschach: Part Two

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


The Rorschach test of the 2013-14 Mavs roster continues.

Jae Crowder comes in after seeing what life in the NBA really means. Mark Cuban dusts himself off after striking out on another max-out free agent. Samuel Dalembert steps in as the new starting center for the Mavs. Wayne Ellington provides the team one of potentially multiple value signings they made for their bench this season.

Let’s take a look of each of them in a little more detail.

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The Difference, Summer League Edition: Mavericks 80, Bobcats 86

Posted by Kirk Henderson on July 14, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment


Box Score — Play-by-Play

The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin. Summer League is less about wins and losses and more about trying to determine what players can contribute on the NBA level.

  • If there was ever any question as to why unproven big men often go high in the NBA draft, the Mavericks-Bobcats game was brief refresher. Cody Zeller (21 points, 13 rebounds), widely regarded as skilled but with serious questions about how his athleticism would translate, punished Dallas from the opening tip. With Maverick center Bernard James missing the game with an undisclosed illness, the various unheralded big men on the Maverick roster were left to try to slow the number four over all draft pick. Interestingly enough, the smaller, quicker Jae Crowder was the only Maverick with any really success slowing Zeller down. It’s unclear what, if anything, the various Dallas Summer League big men would bring to an NBA roster. N’Diaye plays hard but seems unsure of himself, Dewayne Dedmon looks out his element (I’m not sure he has an element), and Christian Watford seems undersized and the release on his jumper is very slow. Jackie Carmichael showed a bit with his ability to finish around the rim, but still looked completely out-matched by the more talented Charlotte big men. Read more of this article »

Las Vegas Summer League: A Primer, Part Two

Posted by Kirk Henderson on July 12, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment


In case you missed our earlier chat with Ridiculous Upside contributor Dakota Schmidt, check it out here.

Earlier this afternoon I was able to get Jonathan Tjarks (@JonathanTjarks), he of SB Nation, where he provides NBA Draft coverage and Maverick coverage, and of Real GM, where he writes about both the NCAA and NBA. Though he’s not been to Summer League before, Jonathan is well versed on both the current Dallas players and the various NBA hopefuls which make up the team.

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Las Vegas Summer League: A Primer

Posted by Kirk Henderson on under Previews | Read the First Comment


With the start of Las Vegas Summer League today, I decided to reach out to a couple few people on the basketball blogosphere who have a better handle on the NBA Summer Leagues and developmental basketball as a whole. Though I’ve been watching the Mavericks for years, this will be the first time I’ve really paid attention to the Mavericks Summer League roster. Learning what to look for, what to expect, and what to hope for is important when placing value on Summer League performances.

My first exchange was with Ridiculous Upside writer Dakota Schmidt (@Dakota_Schmidt).  While Dakota also contributes to Behind the Bucks Pass and Rufus on Fire, I reached out to him because he spends an inordinate amount of time following developmental basketball.

Check out the roster here, noting that there has been a late addition of Jackie Carmichael

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Rank Them: Small Forwards

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 26, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment


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’s Point Forward will be mentioned for each player.

The small forward position represents the strong position for the Mavs in terms of depth. That said, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Jae Crowder could easily be moved in a perfect trade comes.

Let’s look at the free agents at the small forward position. Read more of this article »

Passing Thoughts

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 14, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment


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.

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Small Talk

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 8, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

The small forward position actually provides the most depth the Mavs had over the course of the season. The only change they saw was the addition of rookie Jae Crowder. Vince Carter was in his second year with the organization, and Shawn Marion was once again the starting small forward.

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Closing Remarks, Part Two

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 18, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment


Exit interviews are a time to say goodbye and get a jump start on the summer. Elton Brand came to the Dallas Mavericks in a unique way. The Philadelphia 76ers decided to use the one-time amnesty provision, foregoing the final $18.1 million owed to Brand in the last year of his five-year contract and not having it count against their luxury tax or salary cap. Always the opportunists, the Mavs claimed Brand off waivers with a winning bid of $2.1 million. It was a rough start for him, but he proved to be a versatile threat for the team on both ends of the floor.

Jae Crowder was taken 34th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Through a draft night-trade with the Mavs, he was sent to Dallas, along with 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham and 33rd overall pick Bernard James, in exchange for 17th overall pick Tyler Zeller and Kelenna Azubuike. He emerged as a nice asset for the Mavs. Over the course of the season he contributed in a variety of ways and found himself within the rotation.

It is unknown if Brand will return to the Mavs. Crowder is signed through next season, but could still be seen as a tradeable asset. Here is the quoteboard for Elton Brand and Jae Crowder’s exit interviews.

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