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 Weave: Upgrade or Downgrade

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 23, 2013 under Commentary | 4 Comments to Read

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We wrap up the staff’s Q&A this week with a rather simple question. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the various voices giving their insight on the topics.

We’ve got a great staff here at The Two Man Game. I can’t thank them enough for their contributions towards this. They were the driving force for the project.

Let’s run the weave one more time.

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Running the Weave: Young Point Guards

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 19, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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Let’s be honest: we have some diverse writers on board here at the Two Man Game. The diversity is awesome and creates some unique content with the Mavs as the point of emphasis. The writers can see eye to eye on a variety of topics and they can also come up with some pretty unique answers to the same question.

With the summer slowly coming to an end, I wanted to touch base with my colleagues on a variety of topics revolving around the Mavs and pick their brain to see what answers they would share. Through teamwork and synergy, we’re running the weave on the Mavs and their offseason. I’ve shared my opinion on a variety of topics this offseason, but it’s time to hear what the rest of the staff has to say.

With that, here is a the first question that was posed to the TMG staff. Hope you enjoy.

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Rorschach: Part Two

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 13, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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The Rorschach test of the 2013-14 Mavs roster continues.

Jae Crowder comes in after seeing what life in the NBA really means. Mark Cuban dusts himself off after striking out on another max-out free agent. Samuel Dalembert steps in as the new starting center for the Mavs. Wayne Ellington provides the team one of potentially multiple value signings they made for their bench this season.

Let’s take a look of each of them in a little more detail.

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Rorschach: Part One

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on August 12, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Quick associations can really describe a situation in its purest form. An immediate reaction to something can really get down to the core, the essence and really establish what is what. Less can sometimes truly be more.

Again, we’ve got some time on our hands hear, so we’re going to look at each of the components of the Mavs in 2013-14 and give an instant, one word reaction to them. It will be the first word that comes to mind when a player/person is presented. After that, a brief explanation for the initial response will come up.

Gersson Rosas will get a pass for this go round, considering we don’t know that much about him.

With all of that in mind, here is the first round of analysis.

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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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Rank Them: Small Forwards

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 26, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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With five days until free agency begins, it’s time to officially start naming names as ideal targets for free agency. This week, The Two Man Game will go through each position and determine who appears to be ideal fits for the Mavs.

Money is always an issue, but the Mavs will have their share of cap space to work with.

Meshing all the pieces is just as important of a part of deciding on the pieces. The number one option at shooting guard might not be an ideal match with the number one option at small forward. These rankings will be solely on my own projections. A quick blurb from Editor-in-Chief Rob Mahoney’s free agency primer on the SI.com’s Point Forward will be mentioned for each player.

The small forward position represents the strong position for the Mavs in terms of depth. That said, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Jae Crowder could easily be moved in a perfect trade comes.

Let’s look at the free agents at the small forward position. Read more of this article »

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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Small Talk

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 8, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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The small forward position actually provides the most depth the Mavs had over the course of the season. The only change they saw was the addition of rookie Jae Crowder. Vince Carter was in his second year with the organization, and Shawn Marion was once again the starting small forward.

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