Playing to the Narrative

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

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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

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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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Running the Wave: New Blood

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 21, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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With the new wave of players, the sense of excitement is palatable. With the American Airlines Center dormant for the first time during the playoffs since Mark Cuban took over the team, the Mavs made another attempt to reload their roster. There are some very intriguing names that have been added to the mix.

With the new players up for discussion again, the Two Man Game crew answers another question relating to them.

Once again, it’s time to run the weave.

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Running the Weave: Underrated

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 20, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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The crew at the Two Man Game continues to run the weave.

On Monday, the crew assembled and gave their insight on who they prefer out of Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel as the young point guard prospect to keep for the immediate future. The results were mixed. We’ll have to see how the season plays out for those two young guards as they embark on their first lap through the NBA.

This next question takes a look at the players that were in the mix at last week’s introductory press conference.

Let’s see what the crew had to say.

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Rorschach: Part Three

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

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Almost done with the Rorschach test of the 2013-14 Mavs roster.

Monta Ellis is the big free agent acquisition for the Mavs this summer. Devin Harris is the comeback kid who has now matured over time. Bernard James is the second-year center who is looking to keep growing into a role in the NBA. Shane Larkin is the team’s first-round draft pick who has something to prove. Ricky Ledo is the team’s second-round draft pick who has potential to be a scoring machine.

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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Summer Thoughts

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 2, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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With the Las Vegas Summer League over and in the rear-view mirror, the basketball activity period is officially shifting towards the hibernation phase. Crumbs will be thrown to those who can’t get enough of the NBA as there will be a few signings that will be done to fill out rosters, the schedule will be announced and we’ll start to hear about training camp information. Unfortunately, the dead time of the NBA year has to come. It doesn’t leave me with much to do (what am I going to do, try to watch TV? No, thank you).

If I’m not going to dust off my remote and actually try to watch TV shows that everyone loves, I’ll keep thinking about basketball. A lot has actually happened over the last few days/weeks and that has led me to do what I do: wonder and try to assess things. That usually leads to questions and answers. It’s been a few weeks since the Q&A format has been used.

Here is the first batch of questions and subsequent (and questionable) answers.

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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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The Thoroughly Unremarkable Death Of Plan Powder

Posted by Connor Huchton on July 15, 2013 under Commentary, Roster Moves | 8 Comments to Read

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There is always a plan in the mind of the fan. There is always a plan in the mind of the analyst. There is always a plan in the mind of the GM. There is always a plan in the mind of the owner. There is always a plan in the mind of the player.

This much, we can know.

It is almost astonishing to consider how rarely these carefully laid plans of ours coalesce with the course of reality. Every NBA season ends with only one happy ending. The building of teams is no different. And yet, we strive forwards, expecting, hoping.

The reactions to the Monta Ellis signing, mine included, are filled with sentiments of exaggerated woe and disbelief. The Mavericks have now failed to sign Tyson Chandler (two seasons ago, and quite willingly) Deron Williams (last season), failed to sign Dwight Howard, failed to sign Andrew Bynum, failed to sign Andre Iguodala, failed to sign Nikola Pekovic, and failed to address most major team needs. They have however, signed several aging guards and now one Monta Ellis.

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