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.

Oklahoma City Thunder 96, Dallas Mavericks 87

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 3, 2009 under Recaps | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki.

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“EPIC FAIL.”
-Anon

SOMEBODY KILL ME PLEASE.

Games like these make me hate writing recaps.  Losses are always hard, but can’t the Mavs at least get a little more creative in the way that they lose?  Oh, a quick point guard burned Jason Kidd.  Oh, one of our significant players didn’t play due to injury.  Oh, the defense was atrocious and the offense couldn’t keep up.  Oh, we lost another game to a subpar team, and another game to a team missing multiple significant players (I guess that might be a new one — to my knowledge, the Mavs haven’t done both of those in the same game).

As much as we’d like to believe that the Mavs are playing better, everything is still exactly the same.  The Mavs are still a team that’s unable to put together consistent effort on either end of the court, and it costs them games against contenders and basement-dwellers alike.  If you grant them even the slightest benefit of the doubt, they’ll relax and blow it.  It’s aggravating, and I’m sick and tired.

The worst part: as good as Russell Westbrook was (17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), he didn’t kill the Mavs.  He shot 6-18 and had 6 turnovers.  The real murderers?  Nenad Krstic (26 points, 10-16 FG), Thabo Sefolosha (15 points, 6-11 FG), and Kyle M.F. Weaver (18 points, 7-13 FG).  Let that sink in for a minute.  I’ll wait.  Also: Malik Rose had 7 points.  Nothing more need be said.

It’s a pity because Dirk was pretty spectacular, especially as the Mavs tried to claw their way back into this game in the fourth.  He finished with 28 points on 21 shots, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists — a team high in assists, a high among starters in rebounds, and more points than the four other starters combined.  Jason Terry (20 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals) seemed to be the only one willing to share the offensive load, and he was already showing glimpses of the old JET despite appearing in just his 2nd game since his return from injury.  He was curling off screens well, and even popped a signature JET pull-up transition three.  Unfortunately all was for naught, and the Mavs regressed a few months in Josh Howard’s absence.  Should we be surprised that the scoring finally tapered off when Howard went out of the game due to a sore left ankle?  The Mavs’ offense played out exactly as it did during Howard’s extended absence: Dirk trying to do everything, Terry doing his best to help, and the rest of the team blowing it.

That’s all I’ve got for you.  The Mavs are still up to their teasing ways, flirting with legitimacy before the inevitable meltdown.  I’m still holding onto playoff hope, but right now I just want to go chew on some tin foil.

GOLD STAR OF THE NIGHT: Shut up.