Left to Wonder

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

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The questions are the answers! Okay, maybe they’re not, but we have more questions that need to be answered. Based off the last set of questions, you have to look at the negative (likely more realistic) outlook of chasing the big fish. I also look back at the playoffs and determine who caught my eye in terms of potential targets for the Mavs.

Let’s go.

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The Difference: Golden State Warriors 111, Dallas Mavericks 87

Posted by James Herbert on March 11, 2012 under Recaps | Read the First Comment

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.

  • There aren’t a lot of positives to take from a loss like this, except for the fact that it’s probably not all that representative of anything. The reality: the Mavs are now the third team this season to lose all three games of a back-to-back-to-back. At 23-20, they’ve dropped eight of ten and would occupy the West’s final playoff spot if the season ended today. Fortunately, the season doesn’t end today. This brutal stretch of nine games in 12 nights is over and I’m closer to the Mark Cuban “these losses are meaningless” school of thought than the “Dallas is a disaster” stance that clean-shaven Sam Mitchell took on NBA TV Friday night. Brendan Haywood will be back soon, Delonte West after that, and we’ll look for incremental improvements over the next month or so.
  • Oh, Jason Kidd will be back soon, too. He was a late scratch. No need to play the soon-to-be 39-year-old on three straight nights. This meant we were treated to a starting backcourt of Jason Terry and Dominique Jones, with Rodrigue Beaubois and Vince Carter theoretically adding scoring punch off the bench. For JET, it was his first start since last January. For Jones, it was the first of his career. Also, this was Terry’s 1000th career regular season game.
  • For the second night in a row, Dallas looked old and slow and fell behind early to a non-playoff team. The Warriors scored the first six points of the game and Rick Carlisle took his first timeout with 6:31 left in the first, down 11-5. The Mavs’ legs were dragging from the opening tip, while the Warriors, who hadn’t played since Wednesday, were full of energy, even if it wasn’t always channeled correctly. The Mavs started the first quarter shooting 2-13 and finished it 6-22.
  • That energy I talked about? Much of it came from Ekpe Udoh, who was running and jumping and contesting shots all over the place. Early in the first, he challenged a Dirk Nowitzki jumper, then blocked Ian Mahinmi’s follow attempt. He blocked a Nowitzki shot a few possessions later. He should become a Serge Ibaka-like league-wide fan favorite as soon as the Warriors are relevant.
  • The first quarter wasn’t all one-sided and it wasn’t just the Mavericks being sloppy — both teams had six turnovers in the opening frame. After that timeout with 6:31 left, Rodrigue Beaubois and Lamar Odom checked in. Both immediately hit threes and tied the game at 11. But in the last 3:31, Golden State went on a 13-2 run. For the rest of the game, Dallas was playing catch-up.

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Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 23, 2010 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 11, 2010 under xOther | 2 Comments to Read

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Draft Ranges

Posted by Rob Mahoney on May 30, 2009 under xOther | 5 Comments to Read

The Mavs don’t have a very good track record when it comes to finding value late in the draft, though selecting Josh Howard with the final pick in the first round back in 2003.  But the stakes have never been higher, with the Mavs’ few young assets weighing their options in free agency and the Mavs’ 2010 pick in the hands of the New Jersey Nets.  This one counts big time, and it’s up to the management and the scouting team to find the diamond in the rough.

It’s tough, but hardly impossible.  Quality players pass right under the noses of many a team year after year, leaving latent value late in the draft.  The Mavs pick at 22, which is just a shade closer to the lottery than to the Mavs’ customary position at the draft’s tail.

Here are the picks at 22 this decade:

2008 – Courtney Lee
2007 – Jared Dudley
2006 – Marcus Williams
2005 – Jarrett Jack
2004 – Viktor Khryapa
2003 – Zoran Planinic
2002 – Casey Jacobsen
2001 – Jeryl Sasser
2000 – Donnell Harvey

Three of those players (Courtney Lee, Jared Dudley, Jarrett Jack) have shown rotation player chops.  Lee is the most notable as the starting 2 guard of an impressive Orlando team just one win away from the Finals.  In fact, if the Mavs could magically re-draft Lee this year, they’d be in pretty good shape.

Just for fun, here are picks in the late first round (20+) :

2008
Courtney Lee (22)
Nicolas Batum (25)

2007
Wilson Chandler (23)
Rudy Fernandez (24)
Aaron Brooks (26)

2006
Renaldo Balkman (20)
Rajon Rondo (21)
Kyle Lowry (23)
Shannon Brown (25)
Jordan Farmar (26)

2005
Jarrett Jack (20)
Nate Robinson (21)
Francisco Garcia (23)
Jason Maxiell (26)
Linas Kleiza (27)
David Lee (30)

2004
Jameer Nelson (20)
Delonte West (24)
Kevin Martin (26)

2003
Boris Diaw (21)
Travis Outlaw (23)
Kendrick Perkins (27)
Leandro Barbosa (28)
Josh Howard (29)

2002
Tayshaun Prince (23)
Nenad Krstic (24)
John Salmons (26)

2001
Brendan Haywood (20)
Gerald Wallace (25)
Jamaal Tinsley (27)
Tony Parker (28)

2000
Morris Peterson (21)

It’s certainly worth noting that even the 2005 draft, predicted to be a weak draft class among pundits and largely looked at as a failure in comparison to its contemporaries, still produced productive players late in the first round.  Blake Griffin is no Tim Duncan and the consolation prizes may have their flaws, but that doesn’t mean true commodities can’t be found late in the first.

Next week I’ll start examining potential picks for the Mavs, starting with those rumored and confirmed to have scheduled workouts with the team.  Some of those players seem poised for success on the pro level, and others may not even be top competitors in the D-League.  As fans, we can only hope that MGMT not only makes the right decision in assessing the talent of a potential pick, but also in picking talented players to fill holes in the Mavs’ rotation.

Heard It Through the Grapevine 2-24-09

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 24, 2009 under xOther | Read the First Comment

  • A wild, wild night in the lig.  Devin Harris hit what many are calling “the shot of the year,” and I don’t think I can disagree.  Nate Robinson scored 41 points off the bench, made a game-clinching layup, and has my head spinning.  Carlos Boozer returned for the Jazz, and scored 2 points (technically he didn’t make a basket; it was a Josh Smith goaltend) to go with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers.  Tyson Chandler returned for the Hornets, and notched 15 points and 10 rebounds (albeit along with 5 turnovers).  The Nuggets were absolutely punked by the Celtics sans Kevin Garnett.  Wacky.
  • Jerry Stackhouse is down already…just as I was planning to publish a “What Should We Really Expect From Stack?” post.  Oh, bother.  I wasn’t terribly optimistic about his potential to return to his former self, and maybe these type of delays are a blessing in disguise to help us temper our expectations.  Or maybe we’re just delaying the inevitable, and Stack’s eventual return will be accompanied by his blinders-on offensive mentality, only without the usual production.  Fun.  I’m hoping that Carlisle keeps his cool and does the same thing he’s done all season: refuse to accept the ‘given.’  It was given that Stack was going to be a contributor on this team, but he has to prove himself just as every other player on the roster did.  He didn’t seem all that pleased with Stack’s play early in the season, and one can only hope that he makes stack earn his way into the game rather than handing it to him.
  • Jake of Mavs Moneyball compares the Mavs’ defense to the Spurs’.  For most of the season, the Mavs matched up more favorably than you’d think.  Part of that can be attributed to the fact that the Spurs defense isn’t quite what it once was.  It does show that the Mavs have been subtly improving on that end since their midseason meltdown, but Jake is certainly right in assessing that the D doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.
  • David Moore, with a friendly reminder on the DMN Mavs Blog: The trend extends even further. The Mavericks are 4-13 on the road against the best in the West since Jason Kidd’s arrival last February.
  • Tom Ziller warns you to “discount the Jazz at your own peril.”
  • Moore’s article for the Dallas Morning News continues with the same basic message, but goes further.  Could the loss to the Rockets actually prove to be a stepping stone for Dallas’ road success to come?:”‘The formula has got to be there. You’ve got to play consistently on defense and rebound. Offensively, you’ve got to be efficient and you’ve got to score enough points.’ [Carlisle said.] That’s the problem. The Mavericks haven’t been consistent on defense on the road. Their offense has been sporadic. Their bench has been erratic. But there are signs of improvement, such as Friday’s 93-86 loss in Houston. ‘Well, look at that game,’ Kidd said. ‘We put ourselves in position coming down the stretch, but didn’t execute and turned the ball over…It’s there. We’re right there. It’s a matter of staying with it.’”