Addition by Inertia

Posted by Rob Mahoney on July 7, 2010 under Commentary, News | Read the First Comment

Although this summer presents the Mavs’ best opportunity to make a notable roster addition, it was almost certain to be marked by a loss in the coaching ranks. Both the Hawks and Clippers had Casey very high on their list of candidates, and with so many openings this off-season and Dwane as good of a choice as any, his departure from Dallas was something of an inevitability.

Not so. According to Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog and ESPN Los Angeles, the Clippers have chosen Vinny Del Negro over Dwane Casey as their next head coach, completing their re-enactment of the Chicago Bulls’ 2008 coaching search. VDN may not be as bad of a head coach as his legend suggests, but this is still a regretful decision by Los Angeles. Casey is a masterful tactician, but unlike most of his contemporaries of similar ilk, Dwane is also something of a statesman. He’s firm without being grating, assertive without being overbearing. In fact, the only coaching asset Casey seems to be lacking is a legitimate shot. He was wrongfully ousted from Minnesota, denied plenty of jobs he would have succeeded in, and now the Mavs will continue to benefit.

As I said earlier in the summer, Dwane Casey will get a head coaching job. The only thing that remains to be determined is who he will coach and how long he’ll have to wait. That’s why I don’t feel too bad about celebrating that Dallas will retain Casey for just a bit longer. Even if Dwane is only with the Mavs for one more season, the coaching staff is stronger with him a part of it. For now, all 30 head coaches are accounted for, and though Casey’s name isn’t listed among them, he’s just as talented, just as schooled, and coaching for the home team.

Heard It Through the Weekend Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on July 4, 2010 under xOther | 2 Comments to Read

  • Kevin Arnovitz on the ongoing Clipper coaching interviews, which haven’t wrapped as quickly as anticipated: “[Dwane] Casey was thought to be the initial favorite, but a strong performance by Del Negro in the interview process tightened the horse race. According to sources, Del Negro surprised the Clippers with the blueprint he presented to management, specifically his level of organization and his plans for player development. Casey, who has long been on the Clippers’ radar, delivered precisely what the brass expected from a sharp, serious tactician. Despite his best efforts, Casey’s firm grasp of the game and his strong schematic vision for the Clippers weren’t enough to separate him from Del Negro.”
  • From the fine creator of “The ‘Bron ‘Bron Song (C’mon LeBron)”, Ben Rogers, comes a new chart-topping number: “DFW Digs Dirk.” If you dig DFW digging Dirk, be sure to let him know @benandskin.
  • Omar Samhan dispenses some Twitter wisdom.
  • A flimsy suggestion that the Mavs’ pre and post-game shows on TXA21 could change for next season.
  • Though Joe Johnson was seriously weighing offers from the Knicks and the Bulls before accepting a max deal with the Hawks, he apparently didn’t give the Mavs serious consideration. Even if Joe wasn’t your personal choice for an off-season score, this is not a good thing.
  • Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston grades Michael Finley’s short season with the Celtics.
  • Mike Miller has been thrown around as a potential MLE target, but such a signing would be very ill-advised. Though Dallas does need to clean up the shooting guard position in a general sense, signing Miller to a sizable deal makes very little sense at this point in his career. Not necessarily because he’s aging, but simply because Mike has elected to take his most beneficial skill, douse it in gasoline, and set it on fire. Tom Ziller explains: “For the first eight seasons of his NBA career, he was a great scorer, able to fill the bucket from range consistently. If you had a guard taking 10 or 15 shots a night, you wanted it to be someone as deadly efficient as Miller. But that was, essentially, Miller’s only elite skill. He was an average rebounder, an efforted but often overmatched defender and an only slightly effective passer. He shot, and well, and that’s all you really wanted. Everything changed when Miller was traded to Minnesota in 2008. He went from a deadly gunner to a … wannabe Scottie Pippen? A performance artist protesting the commodization of his pure stroke? I just don’t know.”

Brace for Impact

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 27, 2010 under Commentary, News | Be the First to Comment

Dwane Casey is too far talented a coach to stay an assistant forever, and it’s no surprise that the Clippers are interested in hiring him to run the team next season. This courtship has been expected, and though L.A.’s interest in Dwane has largely been approximated up to this point, those flirtations have been confirmed. Casey is one of two legitimate candidates for the Clippers gig, and the possibility of a 2010-2011 season without Dwane is becoming more realistic by the minute.

L.A. is also considering Vinny Del Negro for the same position, so nothing is certain as of yet. Kevin Arnovitz has a terrific analysis of both Casey and Del Negro at ESPN Los Angeles for those interested in learning more about the Clippers’ impending decision and what impact either coach could have on the most miserable franchise in basketball. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s the most comprehensive piece on Casey to date. No where else is Dwane’s style, qualification, and coaching potential more accurately and extensively described. For those who aren’t familiar with what makes Dwane such a standout among NBA assistant coaches, sharpen your pencils, open your notebooks, and turn to Arnovitz’s piece. Class is in session.

Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 19, 2010 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

  • A thought: had the Mavs not slumped in January, would Cuban and Nelson still have pulled the trigger on the deal for Haywood, Butler, and Stevenson?
  • Drew Gooden’s stats playing for California teams? 14.24 PPG and 9.55 RPG (Updated stats based on Benjamin Hoffman’s concept for the Times’ Off the Dribble Blog, here). The daydream of Gooden returning to the Mavs is long since dead, but man…wouldn’t that be something? And speaking of Drew Gooden…well, this.
  • Mike D’Antoni is confident that the Mavs will compete for the title.
  • Jason Kidd v. Opposing coach, round two (via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News): “Late in the first quarter, Kidd was going for a loose ball along the sideline in front of the visiting bench when Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro grabbed it from the air. Kidd said he asked the official if he had jumped for the ball, what would have been the call. Kidd said the official told him that then it would have been the Mavericks’ ball. Toward the end of his banter with the official, Kidd slanted his eyes toward Del Negro and smiled. In late February, Kidd charged into Atlanta coach Mike Woodson along the sideline and drew a technical foul on Woodson for being on the court. ‘I’m always trying to learn how we can get the ball,” Kidd said. “I know Vinny, so I wasn’t going to run him over or anything.’”
  • Dirk Nowitzki: mathematicsized.