The Rundown, Volume XV

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 25, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Read the First Comment

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The Rundown is back. Every Monday (unless there’s a better feature to run with), 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.

The week was highlighted with trade rumors, determining if Dirk Nowitzki’s basketball game was dead and actual basketball. As usual, it was an up and down week for the Mavericks. The final game before the Rundown, against the Los Angeles Lakers, might prove to be the moment where people might need to find nails for the 2012-13 coffin for Dallas. There’s still time for them and they’re not mathematically out of the picture, but that loss against the Lakers will hurt in a big way. Let’s take a look at the week for that was for Dallas.

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Seeing Into the Future

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Interviews | 2 Comments to Read

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Dirk Nowitzki is truly a once in a lifetime basketball player. He revolutionized the power forward position. In addition to that, he helped break the stigma or label that all European players were considered spot up shooters and soft. He’s also a once in a lifetime player because he makes himself so open to the media. Take the game against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was once again another game where the Mavericks were unable to execute down the stretch. It was a nationally televised game against one of the league’s most prominent teams. It had two of the league’s recent NBA champions dueling from the uncomfortable position of being outside the playoff picture. It had the feel of a playoff game.

The loss by the Mavericks really put them behind the 8-ball in their chase to make the playoffs. It was an opportunity lost as Dallas ultimately spoiled Dirk’s best game of the season. Whether they win big or lose in heartbreaking fashion, Dirk always steps up and lets the media talk to him (unless the media decides to call a truce and give the Tall Baller From the G a night off). For those who don’t know, players really only talk for one, two, maybe three minutes and then they’re done and they don’t have to talk after every game. Not Dirk. After the game against the Lakers, Dirk spoke to the main pool of media for just about five minutes. He answered questions about how he felt, how it was a frustrating loss and other items (some that don’t always make sense). Dirk finished his interview and got himself ready to leave the locker room. From time to time, select media members will stay and linger to gather more information.

This second round of discussion lasted for nearly seven minutes. Again, seven minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but he’s being asked questions about a variety of topics and he answers every single one of them and doesn’t hold back. As he scratches his still-developing beard and plays with his wedding ring, Dirk looked into the future and opened up about how he might be hanging around the league longer than people expected. He talked about the CBA, Kobe Bryant and bear hugs.

Here is a special kind of Quoteboard. Enjoy Dirk.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 111, Orlando Magic 96

Posted by Kirk Henderson on February 21, 2013 under Recaps | 6 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.

  • With 2:03 in the third quarter and Dallas down 79-73, Darren Collison took a three point shot which rebounded badly off of the front of the rim. Vince Carter made an attempt at a tip out and Shawn Marion and J.J. Redick chased the rebound past half court. Marion saved the ball from going out, slapping it towards an open O.J. Mayo. Oddly, Mayo did not react to the ball bouncing towards him. Jameer Nelson hustled and beat Mayo to the ball and passed to a cutting Redick for a lay in. Somehow, Mayo recovered defensively and blocked Redick’s lay up attempt. Mayo grabbed the rebound, drove the length of the floor and found Carter for an ally-oop dunk. This play, and the following Carter three pointer, brought the momentum back to Dallas in a game they could not afford to lose.
  • I rewound and watched this particular sequence five times. As delightful as the end result was, that Mayo was even beaten to the ball by Nelson is inexcusable. Mayo was closer, but made no attempt to get the ball. The Maverick announcing crew made no mention of this initial lack of effort and I wonder if they would have had Redick converted the lay in. Though the narrative will be “O.J Mayo’s effort saved the day” and it did, apparently Dirk pointed out post game that Mayo should’ve gotten to the ball before Nelson. In a way, it felt like the O.J. Mayo experience in a nutshell: unbelievable poor decision making followed by a high light reel play.
  • Vince Carter had a season high assist night, dishing eight out in a mere 26 minutes and only posting one turnover. His best assist occurred in the fourth quarter: Carter stole an outlet after an Orlando rebound and whipped a behind the back pass to Shawn Marion for a dunk.
  • The Mavericks have the league’s worst point differential in the first six minutes of a game this season. An emphasis on getting off to a good start was an apparent sticking point during all star break practices. The Mavericks answered the call, outscoring Orlando 22-14 in the first six plus minutes and scored 51 points in the first 15 minutes of game action.
  • On Tuesday, Grantland’s Zach Lowe mentioned Darren Collison’s atrocious defense, saying Collison is “lost on defense, prone to confusion and especially to veering way off course negotiating picks. Point guard defense matters, and Collison’s is a big net negative.” Early in the season it felt as if the main Maverick problem was the lack of a solid rim protector (and because I pine for Tyson Chandler). As the season has progressed it’s become glaringly obvious that the Maverick back court would have a hard time staying in front of a bolted down park bench. Orlando is not a good basketball team and that the Mavericks had trouble stopping their penetration all night long is really concerning.
  • Elton Brand (17 points on 6 of 9 shooting) showed his value repeatedly against the Magic. His shot making abilities bolster the Dallas offense, particularly on nights when the Big German’s shot won’t fall. At the end of the first quarter, he scored on three straight possessions: a face up jumper from the left block, a driving lay up after facing up on the same block, and a fall away jumper from the free throw line. His lift may be limited, but in the right situations he can carve up a defense.
  • For some reason, I felt Chris Kaman looked like a giant substitute history teacher with his bench wardrobe. Get well soon, Mr. Kaman.
  • During the week long break, I spent a fair amount of time watching Dirk Nowitzki highlights from the 2011 title run.  To call him a different player now is a mild understatement. The level of explosive strength in his legs simply isn’t there in his moves this season. That’s an obvious side effect of his knee surgery, but it’s also been two seasons without a training camp for Nowitzki. Dirk hasn’t been ready to play in a way that he’d be satisfied with since the summer of 2011. It’s clear in the way he’s shooting, and while he looked better before the all star break, a 4 for 13 shooting night for 12 points is not a the kind of game Dallas can get from Dirk if they expect to make any sort of run for the final playoff spot.
  • Mike James (12 points, four assists) received back up point guard minutes and his numbers were solid. I think we’d all prefer Roddy Beaubois at this point, mainly because decent statistical nights like this one seem to bolster the confidence Jones has in himself. Prior to the game against Orlando, Jones was shooting a dreadful 26.9% from the field.
  • Case and point with Collison’s defense happened with 3:29 in the first quarter. Jameer Nelson saw Collison open himself up defensively as he anticipated a high screen.  Nelson simply drove to the basket, right past a bewildered Collison. Shawn Marion had to leave his man and rotate to the driving Nelson, who passed to a wide open DeQuan Jones for a dunk.
  • The rare jump shot from Brandan Wright (eight points, eight rebounds) is something to see. He jumps very high and when he took and made one in the forth quarter on the right baseline, the ball nearly went out of the TV camera’s range, so high was his shot arc.
  • One of the simplest defensive principles when trying to stop fast break is this: you must make the ball handler make a decision. With five minutes in the first, Shawn Marion grabbed a defensive rebound and pushed the ball up the floor. He was facing a three on two with Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo on the wings. Oddly, the two Magic defenders stuck with Mayo and Collison, never forcing Marion to do so much as alter his direction. Marion drove the length of the floor and finished with a monstrous dunk.
  • Dirk has been reduced to a jump shooter this season. His shots tonight all came within the flow of the Dallas offense, but the offense doesn’t seem to end up with Dirk getting the ball, back to the basket, in his former sweet spots. It’s unclear to me whether this is by design, a matter of the Dallas guards being unable to make entry passes, or if Dirk isn’t working for the ball the way he used to. Against the Magic, Dirk did not take a single shot closer than 12 feet from the rim.
  • Watching J.J. Redick move without the ball is entertaining. There wasn’t a single Maverick assigned to him tonight that had much success at all in staying in front of him. His career numbers compared to O.J. Mayo are not that different, but Mayo could learn a thing or two from Redick about how to get the most out of his talent.
  • This recap seems overly negative for a game Dallas won by 15. It was a close game from the 2nd quarter until the 5 minute mark of the fourth, when Carter hit a three to push the Dallas lead up to seven points. Within three and a half minutes the lead ballooned up to 18 points. This late game 14-0 run masked a number of problems which aren’t going away for the Mavericks.

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.

 

Asset Management

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 14, 2013 under Commentary | 5 Comments to Read

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The trade deadline is always an interesting time for the Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban has always said two things when it comes to that time of the year: the team will always be opportunistic and don’t believe what you hear or read when it comes to them. The team is at a crossroads. The chances of making the playoffs are slim and the team has to do what they can to ensure they don’t waste any more time off of Dirk Nowitzki’s career. The deadline on the 21st is one way they can help build for the futre. How do the Mavericks assess things as the trade deadline approaches? Let’s look at the assets and what could be out there.

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A Fantastic Fiasco

Posted by David Hopkins on February 5, 2013 under Commentary | 8 Comments to Read

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“Please. Please. We beg of you – have mercy. Have mercy on all our souls.” – Pastor Mike

“No.” – Galactus, Devourer of Worlds

Another blow out.

These losses are frustrating because they tell us very little about the team we have on our hands, except that it’s not a very good team right now. Are the Mavs better than their record? Worse? It’s hard to say. Blow outs usually represent such a monumental collapse on both ends of the floor. The result is so bewildering; it can be hard to diagnose. The rhetoric sounds like this: “the shots just weren’t falling,” “we got caught off guard,” “you have to give the other team credit,” “we need to be more aggressive,” “we need to play our game” and a host of other one-liners that tell you nothing. Players and coaches show their displeasure, frustration, and promise to turn things around.

On one hand, the Mavs are five games away from tying for the worst record in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, at their current place in the standings, they gain little from failure. The draft lottery odds are not in their favor. As a team management strategy and general life philosophy, I do not believe purposely tanking a season is a good idea. The cautionary tales are too numerous: so many teams that flounder at the bottom simply stay there. Fans and sports experts alike write about the “mediocrity treadmill.” But I would rather be a team that’s on the mediocrity treadmill than wallowing in the gutters of the NBA standings. (Is that a mixed metaphor?)

On the other hand, the Mavs are five and a half games away from tying for the eighth playoff spot—with Houston, Portland, and the Lakers also competing for that same spot. Let’s say the Mavs fight hard and against all odds, they get the eighth spot. Sure, it’s a moral victory—something to take into the next season. However, let’s look at who they would most likely run into during the postseason.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 91, Oklahoma City Thunder 112

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

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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.

  • I spent most of the game watching and rewatching plays that involved O.J. Mayo (eight points, six assists). His five turnovers were inexcusable. After a rough stretch in December and a horrible game against Miami to start the year, Mayo seemed to get his turnovers under control. Over this road trip, however, he managed to turn the ball over just under four times a game. He started this game with a turnover when he didn’t see Kevin Durant in the passing lane on the game’s second possession. His final turnover occurred when he lost the ball on an out of bounds play. These turnover are due to lack of focus and when Mayo isn’t focused he really hurts the Mavericks.
  • There should be no question why Vince Carter was not traded recently to the Grizzlies during the Memphis-Toronto trade talks. He’s simply too important. Since Dallas does not seem to have a functional back up point guard, his passing ability is necessary to the Dallas bench. That he can get off a shot whenever he chooses is also vital. The offense bogged down with alarming regularity against the Thunder with no one able to get to the rim.
  • Dirk is now 11 for 41 from the field in the three games he’s played against the Thunder. It’s easy to read into this, though. The first game he shot 3 for 11, which was one of his first games back from his surgery. The second game Dirk shot 4 for 19, and still looked to be missing his legs. This third game he was forced to take a number of low percentages looks late in the shot clock because Dallas was having trouble getting any sort of clean look at the basket.
  • Bernard James set a new career high with four blocks to go along with his two points and six rebounds. His timing is really impressive.
  • The quiet dominance of Kevin Durant was on full display against Dallas. 19 points on 11 shots, 10 rebounds, and four assists in only 28 minutes of action. That he’s only 24 is simply unfair.
  • Not to continue to pick on Mayo, but his understanding of team defense is non-existent. In the second quarter he was guarding Kevin Martin (17 points) who was on the weak side wing. Kevin Durant was on the other wing, with the ball. Martin made a simple back cut and Durant found him wide open under the goal for a dunk. Mayo had no idea Martin had cut until it was way too late. A similar play happened a few possessions later when he got caught watching Durant. Thabo Sefolosha slipped behind Mayo and Durant found Sefolosha for a lay up which he missed. Mayo gets caught watching the ball a lot and as a result he’s often late on rotations, particularly when “helping the helper”. Helping the helper means rotating to a teammate’s defensive assignment when that teammate is forced to rotate elsewhere, often due to penetration.
  • In the first two match ups Darren Collison played very well, scoring 32 and 15 points respectively. Midway through the second quarter the Thunder opted to go very small, with Durant playing power forward. Durant switched onto Collison repeatedly during the Dallas high pick and roll action and shut down Collison, blocking his shot aggressivley on one possession. Between this and Russell Westbrook’s challenging defense, Collison stopped probing the lane early and the Dallas offense suffered.
  • Serge Ibaka (12 points, five rebounds) took and made his 8th three of the year. That’s a pretty good indication of how well the Thunder offense was clicking.
  • Mayo’s not the only one who needs a course in defensive awareness. In the second quarter Nick Collison was on the left wing being guarded by Dirk. Jae Crowder was guarding Kevin Durant, who was close to the left corner a few feet away. For some reason Crowder decided to leave Durant briefly  acting as if he was going to trap Nick Collison with Dirk. This was a really, really poor decision as Durant recognized what Crowder was thinking and cut to the basket. Collison threw a simple bounce pass between Dirk and Crowder which Durant caught and dunked it with a foul from Wright. It’s usually a good idea to not leave a MVP candidate wide open for a cut on the baseline.
  • Additionally, there was no way Brandan Wright was going to be able to block Durant as he slashed, mainly due to him being Durant, but also due to the angle Durant took to the basket. Wright has to be smarter than this. Either be in place earlier to challenge the shot better (unlikely since Wright seemed as surprised as everyone else that Durant was left open to cut) or just let the dunk go.
  • It’s interesting to watch how Darren Collison plays with contact. Against the Suns, he went into a zone late, scoring often in the fourth quarter, including one shot where he absorbed contact to finish a touch jumper. Against the Thunder he seemed to shy away from it and he missed three of his four attempts in the lane. One instance in third stands out: a posted up Dirk found a cutting Collison, who actively avoided contact in the paint and blew the layup/jump shot attempt.
  • Coach Carlisle opted to go with Mike James (two points, two turnovers) first when looking for back up point guard minutes. I cannot understand why. Mike James may offer value in a mentoring role, but I don’t see the downside of playing Roddy Beaubois (seven points, two assists). Carlisle tried James, then Dominique Jones (fifteen points) and finally gave Roddy a shot in the fourth.
  • The wealth of riches that is the Thunder bench borders on absurd. Reggie Jackson and Eric Maynor are excellent back up point options. Former number two over all pick Hasheem Thabeet is effective in limited minutes. Perry Jones was initially projected as a number one over all pick. Jeremy Lamb, who isn’t even with the team at the moment, has lottery level talent, should he ever develop. Daniel Orton, a former University of Kentucky player with John Wall and Demarcus Cousins, isn’t even able to get on the floor.
  • Dallas has an 8-19 record on the road. With 34 games yet to play this season, Dallas still has two extended road trips. Starting with the last game in February, the Mavericks play seven of eight on the road. They also have a four game during their last ten regular season games.
  • Watching how Westbrook attacks the rim is at once exhilarating and terrifying. His shot chart shows that he made it a point to get to the rim against Dallas, taking 10 of his 16 shots at the rim.
  • Outside of Bernard James, the main bright spot for Dallas was Shawn Marion’s 23 points on 10 of 14 shooting. He had everything working from the opening tip and even managed to hit a wing three, his third of the season. Strangely,  he’s hit all three of these shots in 2013 after not making any during the 2012 portion of the season.
  • The shot selection of Jae Crowder continues to confuse. Against the Thunder he shot 3 for 11, which is a little below his usual road field goal percentage of 31%. Eight of his 11 shots were well outside the paint, mostly in the 15 to 18 foot range. Beyond 10 feet, Crowder is shooting 33% for the year. I didn’t follow Crowder in college, but the stats-based community was excited to see him land in Dallas. I cannot imagine the role of jump shooting wing was the vision for him.
  • Strange that Dahntay Jones only saw eight minutes of action, all of it in garbage time. I assume Carlisle thought Crowder’s strength might have made a difference on Durant, but I would have liked to seen Jones get a crack at defending Durant. Jones comes with the added bonus that he doesn’t take as many maddening shots as Crowder does.
  • Part of why Brandan Wright (four points, seven rebounds) is a marginal player on the Dallas bench is his inability to set screens consistently in the pick and roll. Its not that he doesn’t want to, but his frame is so slight he does not provide any sort of obstacle when the Dallas opponent has athletic defenders. This was illistrated in the second quarter when O.J. Mayo and Wright tried to run a pick and roll three or four times. The Thunder hedge man was able to deter Mayo and the man guarding Mayo was able to step over Wright’s screen in no time. Finally, Mayo picked up his dribble and made an errant pass which Kevin Martin picked off.
  • There was technical assessed to Kendrick Perkins (seven points, seven rebounds) in the second quarter. Play had stopped due to a Dirk foul on Russell Westbrook. Perkins made a point to seek out and body up to Jae Crowder, who had apparently talked a little trash to Perkins after hitting a shot on the ensuing possession. Crowder talking trash was stupid itself, but for Perkins to decide it warranted him playing the tough guy and getting a technical foul is silly. Oklahoma City was up 25 at that point. I do understand not taking guff, but that was poor judgement.
  • Oddly enough, Dallas still has a 19.3% chance of making the playoffs this year according to the Hollinger Playoff Odds predictor.

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

 

Quoteboard: San Antonio Spurs 113, Dallas Mavericks 107

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on January 26, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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San Antonio hit the ground running and never looked back as they had a convincing 113-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs are now on a seven-game winning streak. Spurs big man DeJuan Blair went 8-of-9 from the field in the opening half and led all scorers with 17 points in 11 first-half minutes. Blair finished with a season-high 22 points on the night. His previous high was 19 vs. Denver on Nov. 17, 2012. Tony Parker had a game-high 23 points and a game-high 10 assists.

Roddy Beaubois tallied a season-high 19 points to go along with three rebounds, two assists and a block in 16 minutes off the bench against the Spurs on Friday. His previous high was 11 points in season-opener at the L.A. Lakers Oct. 30. It was his highest scoring game since Mar. 13, 2012 vs. Washington (19 points). As ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon noted during the game, the 19 points Roddy had against the Spurs was more than he did during the month of December (15). Before the game against the Spurs, the last time Roddy was the outright leading scorer for Dallas was March 2, 2012 on the road against New Orleans. He had 25 in the loss to the Hornets.

Elton Brand started at center in place of Chris Kaman. It was his 14th start of the season, 844th career, but his first since Dec. 6, 2012 at Phoenix. It was also just his second start at the center position. The Mavericks used their 16th different starting lineup of the season in their 43rd game of the year. Brand totaled eight points to go along with a season-high-tying 13 rebounds in 25 minutes. He grabbed 13 boards for the second time in his last three games, 13 vs. Oklahoma City on Jan. 18. He also pulled down 10-plus boards for the third time in his last four games, seventh time this season. Brand failed to score in double figures for the first time in his last six games. He is averaging 12.2 points and 9.5 rebounds over the last six games.

Here is the quoteboard for the loss to the Spurs.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 114, Oklahoma City Thunder 117

Posted by Kirk Henderson on January 19, 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.

  • Games this close are often decided by earlier events rather than just the final plays (giving up points to end every quarter but the 4th or giving up 18 offensive rebounds, to name two examples). However, the Mike James (10 points, three turnovers) contested three point shot at the top of the key with six seconds left was quite horrible. Obviously, that wasn’t the play Carlisle drew up, so why did James elect to take such a low percentage shot with six seconds left on the clock? Better yet, why did James get 22 minutes of playing time, including all of crunch time and over time? Darren Collison played an excellent game, contributing 15 points, four rebounds, six assists, and three great steals. Carlisle may point to the fact that James has better range than Collison, but at that late stage in the game, shouldn’t the Mavericks want their best distributor on the floor?
  • Kevin Durant (52 points, 21-for-21 at the FT line) is a breathtaking basketball player. Durant managed this season’s first 50+ point game while shooting a rather poor 13-for-31 from the field. His final shot over Shawn Marion, a runner from about 12 feet out, was defended perfectly, but Durant is so big and graceful Marion never had a chance. In many ways he’s simply an evolutionary Dirk Nowitzki (with a healthy dose of Tracy McGrady). His mid post play is terrifying because with his length and quickness he seems to always make the right decision.
  • The mental miscues are really exacerbated after close loss. The Mavericks forgetting to box out Russell Westbrook on the final shot attempt before the half. O.J Mayo missing a fast break lay in instead of waiting for the last shot, which lead to a Durant three to close out the third. Not fouling Serge Ibaka or Thabo Sefolosha instead of Durant when Ibaka got an offensive rebound with 18 seconds left in regulation. Mike James throwing the ball into the stands at the 2:26 mark of overtime. These are only the highlights. All of the mistakes added up and came back to haunt Dallas.

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.

 

Eye on the Market

Posted by Brian Rubaie on January 16, 2013 under Commentary, Roster Moves | Read the First Comment

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Changes are coming to the Mavericks roster. Contrary to the suggestion made by Bill Simmons on NBA Countdown that the Mavericks would catch “lottery-itis” and shelve Dirk, owner Mark Cuban has made it clear that he isn’t content to embrace a year without a trip to the playoffs. “There’s a one hundred percent chance that we’re going to try to do something,” Cuban told Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Soon after, Cuban told Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas that the Mavericks are “letting everybody know that the ‘Bank of Cuban’ is open.”  Some caveats, such as the unwillingness to deal Dirk or “to do a trade just to do a trade,” were explicit, while others, such as retaining O.J. Mayo, are widely assumed. Those assurances aside, the future of Dallas is as unclear as it has been in recent memory. Cuban, blessed with extra salary cap space and a treasure trove of expiring contracts, will confront two inter-related questions: when to act and who to target.

There is pressure on Cuban to act quickly. The fan base is in disarray as it watches a team defending a 12-season playoff streak slip towards the bottom of the Western Conference. Dallas is still five games behind the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, even after winning three straight, and the playoff window is shrinking quickly as the February 21st trade deadline looms. Aside from making the playoffs, Dallas wants to maximize every moment of Dirk’s last few productive years and demonstrate progress to potential free agents over the summer. Cuban also wants to quickly capitalize on the desire of other teams to avoid the costly repercussions of the luxury tax.

While the case for acting quickly has merit, Cuban would be wise to be patient and wait until the summer to make any big moves. The playoff streak is a mark of pride but it’s isn’t worth sacrificing operating room over the summer to impossibly chase. It is also of little comfort to fans when the season ends: streak or no streak, sneaking into the playoffs and being swept by Oklahoma City last year felt little better than the prospect of missing the playoffs this season. Meanwhile, a big signing could easily reverse those feelings and reignite disaffected ticket-holders. Cuban is wise to capitalize on the upcoming luxury tax but the looming hike won’t exert significant pressure on other owners to act until summer arrives. Dallas would avoid further mid-season roster turnover and find a significantly stronger group of available free agents if it waits patiently.

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Open for Business

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Leading up to the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 12, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said there was a “100 percent chance we’re going to try to look to do something,” in regards to trying to make a deal before the Feb. 21 trade deadline. It will be the same story for the Mavericks as they will be opportunistic and aggressively pursue trade avenues throughout the league.

Just two days later, Cuban chimed in again. “We’re letting everybody know the Bank of Cuban’s open,” Cuban told reporters. “And if it’s the right deal, we don’t mind taking back money. But we’re not going to do a trade just to do a trade. It’s got to be worthwhile.”

Based on the track history for the Mavericks, there’s an awfully strong chance Cuban’s 100 percent estimation that they’ll do something is accurate. To date, the front office hasn’t suggested that there is anyone in particular they’re zeroing in on. Cuban has consistently laid out his game plan, which he honestly doesn’t have to do, on how they set everything up to be ready to refresh their blueprint based on how the CBA changed things. Now, Cuban is ready to once again be in a position to pounce if an opportunity comes to the forefront. It’s clear that he’s doing his due diligence. “Every day, I’m going through rosters, trying to come up with ideas for Donnie,” Cuban said.

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