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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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

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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The Difference, Summer League Edition: Mavericks 80, Bobcats 86

Posted by Kirk Henderson on July 14, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

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Box Score — Play-by-Play

The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin. Summer League is less about wins and losses and more about trying to determine what players can contribute on the NBA level.

  • If there was ever any question as to why unproven big men often go high in the NBA draft, the Mavericks-Bobcats game was brief refresher. Cody Zeller (21 points, 13 rebounds), widely regarded as skilled but with serious questions about how his athleticism would translate, punished Dallas from the opening tip. With Maverick center Bernard James missing the game with an undisclosed illness, the various unheralded big men on the Maverick roster were left to try to slow the number four over all draft pick. Interestingly enough, the smaller, quicker Jae Crowder was the only Maverick with any really success slowing Zeller down. It’s unclear what, if anything, the various Dallas Summer League big men would bring to an NBA roster. N’Diaye plays hard but seems unsure of himself, Dewayne Dedmon looks out his element (I’m not sure he has an element), and Christian Watford seems undersized and the release on his jumper is very slow. Jackie Carmichael showed a bit with his ability to finish around the rim, but still looked completely out-matched by the more talented Charlotte big men. Read more of this article »

Las Vegas Summer League: A Primer

Posted by Kirk Henderson on July 12, 2013 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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With the start of Las Vegas Summer League today, I decided to reach out to a couple few people on the basketball blogosphere who have a better handle on the NBA Summer Leagues and developmental basketball as a whole. Though I’ve been watching the Mavericks for years, this will be the first time I’ve really paid attention to the Mavericks Summer League roster. Learning what to look for, what to expect, and what to hope for is important when placing value on Summer League performances.

My first exchange was with Ridiculous Upside writer Dakota Schmidt (@Dakota_Schmidt).  While Dakota also contributes to Behind the Bucks Pass and Rufus on Fire, I reached out to him because he spends an inordinate amount of time following developmental basketball.

Check out the roster here, noting that there has been a late addition of Jackie Carmichael

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