Forget Me Not

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 23, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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In today’s society, we often look for the next big thing or look to say something has served its purpose and it is then time to move away from it. Sometimes, people get lazy and fail to recognize what is still directly in front of them. It feels like Dirk Nowitzki is the latest victim of this circumstance.

Earlier in the month, NBA.com asked their bloggers to predict which player born outside the United States would be have the biggest 2013-14 season? It seemed like most of the bloggers, outside of Lang Whitaker, went ahead and tried to peg the next big thing. It’s kind of funny to see how everyone is looking for the next big thing, mainly due to what Nowitzki was able to do over the course of his career, and equally downplayed what he still could have left in the tank.

The tossing to the side doesn’t end there. Surprisingly, Nowitzki couldn’t get the love from the international folks, either. Again, in another informal poll, 38 players – why 38 – participating in this year’s EuroBasket tournament were asked who were the Top 5 European basketball players of all time. Nowitzki ended up being ranked fifth on the list.

Drazen Petrovic (Croatia), Tony Parker (France), Arvydas Sabonis (Lithuania) and Dejan Bodiroga (Serbia) all ranked ahead of Nowitzki in the results. It’s hard to segment a player’s career just based on what they did in international play, completely ignoring what they did or didn’t do at the highest level of the sport, but that seems to be what was done when coming up with the results.

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Roar of Approval

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 16, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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I can’t say that I’ve been lucky enough to visit every NBA arena during my time as a blogger. The ones I have been to have their own uniqueness to them. The different areas around the league provide different types of entertainment and have different degrees of fan interaction on game nights. If you talk to most people who travel around the league, they will tell you that the Dallas Mavericks provide a top-notch “show” for their fans.

“This is a focus of the Mavs,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban told the Two Man Game via email. “People come to games to have a unique experience. We want to leverage all the elements that we can so that every fans has a memorable time.”

Whether it is the Mavs Maniaacs, Mavs Dancers or funny videos on the big screen, the Mavs make sure the fans who come to the game are entertained.

That entertainment factor is something that is certainty lacking in arenas I’ve been to over my four years of covering the NBA. The thing that separates the Mavs from a vast majority of the league is their ability to keep you entertained when the game stops for a timeout.

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Fortune Faded

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 9, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Maybe that should actually be, how the perceived mighty have fallen. Remember when Roddy Beaubois was a player that wasn’t available?

“With a few exceptions,” owner Mark Cuban said back in early 2011 when it came to the possibility of holding on to Beaubois.

The reason for the short leash on making Beaubois available was due to his potential, which he displayed in his rookie season back in 2009-10. He averaged 7.1 points in 12.5 minutes per game. He also shot an incredible .518 percent from the field, .409 percent from 3-point range and .808 percent from the free throw line. With those shooting percentages, he became the first rookie in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range, and 80 percent from the free throw line.

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Running the Weave: Dirk Nowitzki

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 22, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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As everyone knows, the Dallas Mavericks begin and end with Dirk Nowitzki. As the face of the franchise, the Tall Baller From the G sets the tone. He has another new cast of characters around him this season. At age 35, the hope is Nowitzki can stay healthy and avoid missing a large chunk of the season as he did last year due to knee surgery.

With Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki is the only man on the 15-man roster who has an NBA championship on his resume. With a new group of players, Nowitzki will have to help show them how to approach the pursuit of winning it all.

After coming off his lowest scoring average since his rookie season, doubters are swirling around Nowitzki, wondering if he has enough left to be a superstar. Whether or not Dirk Nowitzki has enough left to be a top-level leader is the question that’s posed to the staff as they run the weave.

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Rorschach: Part Two

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

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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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Summer Thoughts Continued

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 7, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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As we discussed last week, there are plenty of things to cover with the Mavs. Considering the time of the year, that might come as a shock but there’s been a lot of movement within the organization during the off-season.

Let’s roll with the next part of the Mavs Q&A.

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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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Ripple Effect

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 31, 2013 under Commentary, Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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Many expected the time during the Las Vegas Summer League to mainly just be centered on the prospects as they were looking to show the Mavs made the right decision in making a commitment to them. It would also be geared towards the ones that were trying to prove they deserve an opportunity to go to training camp.

Instead, the time saw those games being played with major shifts in the main roster being made. Probably the biggest shakeup saw the Mavs bring a new person into their front office mix. The team agreed in principle with Houston Rockets vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas to become the franchise’s new general manager.

Rosas, 35, began his nine-year tenure with the Rockets as a video coordinator and scout, and rising to executive vice president of basketball operations. With Rosas as general manager of Houston’s D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the team won two championships and reached a third league finals.

One thing is certain: if you want to make it through the ranks as a front office type in the NBA, you probably need to start as a video coordinator. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s claim to fame was the fact he started as the video coordinator for the Heat and emerged as now one of the best coach’s in the league.

The move really raised some eyebrows. What did this mean for president Donnie Nelson? He was essentially the de factor general manager since 2005, when his father, Don, left the franchise. Was there going to be a shift in the collective balance of power within the organization? Owner Mark Cuban joined Galloway and Company on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM last week and communicated about the move in more details.

It’s time to decode what he was actually saying.

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Jury’s Still Out

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 29, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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Handing the figurative keys to the castle to a player has always been a skeptical kind of move, in my opinion. For the Mavs, that’s one of the things with the pursuit of Dwight Howard that was kind of perplexing to me. There was one line of thinking that was suggesting that part of the pitch to Dwight Howard would be that Dwight would be able to help select the pieces to the 2014-2015 roster, once the Mavs would have much more cap space to work with in the summer of 2014.

Part of Mark Cuban’s two-year plan in regards to a superstar would be that they would have to make due with a roster with someone like Dwight in the mix and build towards 2014-2015 when the contracts of Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter come off the books.

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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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