Kidding Around

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 4, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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It’s time to answer some more questions in regards to the Mavs. This week, we’ll be covering different angles of the offseason for the Mavs, via the questions and answers format. Again, questions can be sent via the comments section and on Twitter.

We start this batch of questions with a specific theme and that will be Jason Kidd. This week, the point guard of the championship roster of 2011 decided to call it a career after 19 seasons of NBA duty.

Dirk Nowitzki took to Twitter @swish41 to react to the news of Kidd’s retirement.

Kidd certainly means a lot of Nowitzki as the acquisition of the veteran point guard back in 2008 was instrumental in building the championship squad that won the title in improbable fashion over the Miami Heat.

With his career now over and the clock starting with his announcement as a Hall of Famer likely to be announced in five years, let’s look at five questions and answers in regards to J-Kidd.

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Former Maverick Jason Kidd to Retire

Posted by Kirk Henderson on June 3, 2013 under News | Be the First to Comment

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12,091 assists and 1,391 games later, former Maverick Jason Kidd has announced his retirement according to the Public Relations twitter feed of the New York Knicks.

His retirement ends a 19 year playing career spanning stints with the Mavericks, Suns, Nets, and Knicks. Drafted by the Mavericks second over all in the 1994 draft out of the University of California, Kidd’s career spanned two generations of NBA players. Kidd appeared on 10 all star games, five All-NBA first teams, nine All-NBA defense teams, had three final appearances, and won two gold medals to go along with his 2011 Championship ring.

After a three year stint in Dallas to start his career, Kidd rejoined Dallas during the 2008 season. Kidd was key to the 2011 title team, orchestrating the offense and hitting just enough outside shots to keep opposing defenses honest. When his contract ended the summer of 2012, Kidd had a handshake deal in place with owner Mark Cuban before changing his mind and opting to sign a three year deal with the New York Knicks. Prior to his move to the Knicks, there had been some talk of his joining the Dallas front office after his retirement.

Kidd’s retirement does come as a bit of a surprise, considering he had long vocalized his desire to play 20 full years in the NBA. However, he failed to score a single point in his final 10 games with the Knicks. His effectiveness declined rapidly as the season progressed.

Kidd retires 2nd all time in assists, 3rd in three point field goals, second in steals and is a first ballot Hall of Fame candidate. We here at the Two Man Game are sorry to see him go, but thank him for his contributions to Maverick basketball history.

Answered Questions

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 24, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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There have been a lot of positive remarks about the questions and answers series that has started during the offseason. I think people are just thirsty for Mavs information or debate, but we’ll continue running with the series. If you ever have questions you want tossed into future a batch, you can always send them through Twitter or through the comments section.

This batch provides a good mixture of looking back, looking ahead and evaluating who the true gambles are this offseason with free agency. If Dirk and Carlisle were your kids and you had to pick one as your favorite, who would you pick? Wait, parents don’t have to pick a favorite child? Oh, that’s good to know for the future. Anyways, a variation of that topic is brought up.

For now, here are 10 more questions and answers about the Mavs.

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Picture This

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 23, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Information is power. Getting seduced by information is dangerous. There is the clichéd saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, there were three photos that popped up last week that are very relevant in the Mavs’ universe. They provide information, two more interesting than the other.

The first one came on Friday morning as owner Mark Cuban reinforced his point to the fans that he is committed to making this past season as an aberration as opposed to the new norm.

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Money Talks

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 20, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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The game of basketball has turned into the business of basketball. Players are still slowly learning that fact. Fans should understand that now. The 2010-11 Mavs are a great example of how business could get in the way of a good thing.

Dallas won the title that year and decided that it wasn’t a safe risk to “bring the band back” for another run at the title. Giving the core a chance to defend their title would have been enjoyable, but there was clear and reasonable logic behind the move the front office made. Mark Cuban has gotten a lot of heat for that decision, but the results of the playoffs this year suggest he was right for letting everyone go. As the Conference Finals are in motion, the Indiana Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi is the lone former Mav from the championship roster who still is playing.

Let’s look at what the Mavs would have theoretically had to do to bring most of the band back. Remember, Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic are out of the league now. That leaves J.J. Barea, Caron Butler, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Ian Mahinmi, DeShawn Stevenson and Jason Terry. One guy to remember but won’t exactly be figured into this equation – Corey Brewer. He signed a three-year, $9,177,000 deal. He is now a free agent.

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Size (Does or Doesn’t) Matter

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 16, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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Point guard or center: Where do the Mavs focus their attention this summer? That is the question. Last week, we covered how both positions were clearly below expectations for the Mavs and that they need to replenish those positions with upgrades.

I posed the hypothetical question to ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon during one of our Bloom and Doom sessions during the year about whether Tyson Chandler or J.J. Barea would have been more valuable to Dallas during this season.

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Point of No Return

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 6, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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This week, we’re going to look at each position on the floor and determine where things went wrong and what needs to change or areas of need from each position. Names will be named soon. Before you can do that, you at least need to assess, digest and progress.

This was easily the most unstable position for the Mavs during the season. Going back to the real start of the season, the offseason, the instability began. Dallas felt like they had Jason Kidd and Delonte West to sure up the position only to find out they’d have neither of them at the start of the season. Kidd bailed on Dallas at the last minute to join up with the New York Knicks. Due to multiple suspensions due to performing conduct detrimental to the team, West was released before the start of the season.

They then decided to make a trade with the Indiana Pacers, acquiring Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones for Ian Mahinmi. There were hopes of him being the point guard of the future.

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Mining for Gold: Part Two

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 16, 2013 under Interviews | 2 Comments to Read

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Mark Cuban was at it again with his open discussion with the media prior to the team’s game against the Denver Nuggets. His squadron was out of playoff contention, a position the team hasn’t been in for quite some time. This season definitely leaves him angry that he’s in a position that he’s not used to being in. He’s been knocked down and he’s motivated to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Even more so than the discussion prior to the game against the Suns, Cuban opened up even more to reporters about his team’s disappointing year and what needs to happen going forward. He also had some high praise for one of his veterans. Here is the quoteboard for Mark Cuban for the game prior to the game against the Denver Nuggets.

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Just Business

Posted by Brian Rubaie on March 20, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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One of the oldest sayings regarding the National Basketball Association is that it is, above all, a business. Fans who forget this lesson by becoming emotionally attached to a particular player are often left with only hurt feelings and outdated jerseys to commemorate the old days.

Many Mavericks fans faced this situation when Tyson Chandler, a popular fan favorite, was allowed to leave town, followed by Mavericks stalwart Jason Terry the following year. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban responded to criticism by arguing that he had an obligation to do what was best for the team, placing its long-term interests ahead of the desire to retain popular players.

There is nothing wrong with Cuban’s principles, as the NBA is indeed a business. Getting tied down to aging stars is bad business and often spells ruin for a franchise. Principles, however, are only as good as they are consistent. The departures of point guards Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher to contenders received an emotionally-charged reaction from Cuban, whose response displayed a degree of emotional hurt rarely revealed publicly by NBA GMs. His reaction, while justified, is unbefitting of the high standards he has led the organization to establish.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 93, Los Angeles Clippers 99

Posted by Kirk Henderson on January 10, 2013 under Recaps | 3 Comments to Read

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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.

  • At halftime, Dallas had four more offensive rebounds than the Clippers, gathering eight to the Clipper’s four. In the third quarter alone, the Mavericks gave up eight, and three more in the final quarter. Two of those three came on one possession for the Clippers with around a minute left and the Clippers up 97-93. Caron Butler moved Carter underneath the rim and took the rebound away from he and Dirk Nowitzki for the first rebound. For the second, Butler got the rebound because Carter made no effort to box him out. Carter’s been a solid rebounder this year, but this sequence is indicative of the Maverick inability to close games.
  • With 2:19 left in the third quarter, Dallas held a 75-65 lead. At the 10:42 mark in the fourth, the Clippers had tied the game 76-76. Then, by the 6:45 mark in the fourth the Clippers had taken a 90-83 lead. In just over seven and a half minutes, the Clippers managed a seventeen point swing on a 25 to eight run.
  • This loss is maddening, mainly because for most of the game, Dallas did all the right things against the Clippers. They packed the paint to prevent any “Lob City” style dunks. The defense forced Blake Griffin (15 points, 13 rebounds) into a number of tough shots and also into committing six turnovers. Darren Collison (22 points, six assists) punished LA’s lackadaisical attempt at transition defense. And this is all with Dirk, Mayo, and Kaman shooting a combined 15 of 40 from the field. But when Chris Paul (19 points, 16 assists) decided to assert himself when Dallas went up by 10 in the third, the feeling of the game changed immediately.
  • The shot select of Chris Kaman (nine points, four rebounds) is frustrating to watch. He took twelve shots tonight, including seven jumpers of the 12 to 17 foot variety. He hit two of those jumpers. He’s at his best when he attacks the rim through his crafty post play. For some reason, he has the green light to shoot far too many mid-range or fade away jump shots and it’s really doing the team a disservice. Kaman has such good moves, but doesn’t use them nearly enough.
  • Carlisle’s in a rough spot with his crunch time line ups. In the final minutes tonight he finally went with the Dirk-Brand combination I’ve been hoping for, with Collison, Mayo, and Carter rounding out the starting five. The trouble spot in particular is the small forward position. On the one hand, Marion gives Dallas superb defense, excellent movement without the ball, and a certain “je ne sais quoi”. On the other hand, Carter brings outside shooting, pick and roll ball handling, and the ability to take and make tough shots. Tonight, Carlisle opted to go with Carter. It did not work out.
  • To a certain degree, Dallas fans (myself included) have been spoiled by great point guard play for a long time. Jason Kidd, the great Steve Nash, followed by the solid Devin Harris, then Jason Kidd again. Darren Collison has had his ups and downs but one thing he’s not fantastic at is pin point passing. In the second quarter, he threw a truly aweful ally-oop pass to Shawn Marion who was wide open and was unable to catch and convert due to the low quality of the pass. I hate to pick nits in a game where Collison was really excellent, but in games that come down to detail execution, the little things can really add up.

Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog.