Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Addressing the off-season

Posted: September 14, 2013 by bryanthompson32 in Thoughts

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk from the “experts” on a lot of sites that the Mavericks simply aren’t a playoff team because of the strong competition of the Western Conference and an “aging superstar”, Monta Ellis “overrated”, or the defense is simply “weak”

Well, I wanna add my own vibe to this.

-The Mavericks didn’t grab a superstar in the off-season, but they did get better at every position and have depth everywhere.

-Who’s to say Dirk is aging? He missed 2/4 of last season due to knee surgery. It was one injury, and yeah it slowed him down a little, but he’ll get back this year. Dirk’s game doesn’t require doesn’t rrequireas much as athleticism as most people think, and you look into the league and see how many 35 year olds are still at the near top of their game, like KG, Kobe, or Tim Duncan, why couldn’t Dirk do the same thing?

-People are beginning to overrate the competition in the lower seeds in the West. At the beginning of every season, people like to do that and don’t take injuries, trades, and suspensions into effect. Whose to say a big name player gets injured or traded and deteriorates the team in the middle of the season? Yes, could happen to the Mavericks, but this team has only missed the playoffs 1 time over the last 13 seasons.

-Yes, I will agree Monta Ellis is overrated to some extent. But take into account, this Mavericks team might be the greatest team he’s ever played on. He’s got Calderon at point for facilitating, a Pick & roll option in Dirk, and a defensive minded coach in Rick Carlisle. Monta Ellis will improve this season, if his surroundings play efficient.

-This team has a combination of youth and veterans. Having that combination is a good trait for the chemistry and performance wise. You have the incoming rookie Shane Larkin at point and have one of the most intelligent veteran guards in the league with Calderon, Larkin could use some tutoring.

-The only issue the “experts” are on point is the perimeter defense issue. I’m being un-biased here don’t get me wrong, but Shawn Marion cannot carry the load on the perimeter. We didn’t fish out any great defensive minded wings in the off-season and that kinda scared me, because it was an issue last season, but I am confident with the guys in the paint. Dalembert and Wright will improve the post defense, but the perimeter scares me. Devin Harris or somebody needs to step it up on the perimeter this up-coming season.

mavs

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Fan Friday Questions

Posted: July 6, 2013 by bryanthompson32 in Thoughts
Ask us questions via email, twitter, or Facebook! Every Friday!

Ask us questions via email, twitter, or Facebook! Every Friday!

Ben Selheim asks: What’s our back up plan if we don’t get Dwight?

Admin Panel: Mark Cuban is a huge fan of the rather injury-prone but physically talented Andrew Bynum. Bynum comes with a few pros (shows all-star talent when healthy, would provide a physical presence in the paint the Mavericks have never had since Tyson Chandler, still young) and a few cons: (Comes at a high price, injury prone, not mature, hasn’t been on the court since early 2012). The other options are maybe a Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, or a Monta Ellis. However, according to espn Dallas, the Maverick’s plan B is to chase after Bynum and get a veteran point guard to tag a long with maybe Jarrett Jack or Jose Calderon. This off-season is full of young talented prospects who you can easily build around. I wouldn’t miss out on the young stars if I was Cuban. -Bryan Thompson

Brett Daniels asks: Who’s this Gal Mekel guy we got? Is he good?

Admin Panel: JJ Barea. Dirk Nowitzki. Ian Mahinmi. Rodrigue Beaubois. Peja Stojacovic. Just to name a few international players the Mavericks picked up who became a success; I always like when the Mavericks grab Europeans. Yes, I do believe Mekel will become a stud for the Mavs, he’s fast, shows promising basketball I.Q, and most importantly fits coach Carlisle’s mold. Mekel was also coached by former 76ers GM  Brad Greenberg with Haifa this past season, Mekel has quickly convinced NBA talent evaluators that he can immediately become an off-the-bench contributor in the NBA who, at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, might actually be more effective in the American game than he is internationally because the lane tends to be so much more jammed overseas. I don’t see why he couldn’t compete in this league; Shane Larkin will have trouble contending with Mekel this season whether it’s for the starting job or the back-up. -Bryan Thompson

Ricky Davies asks: Should the Mavericks tank the whole season for Andrew Wiggins?

Admin Panel: Tanking is the stupidest and most idiotic strategy I’ve heard of; especially in this league, I despise it to the fullest. You are willing to tank a full season to rely on just a ping pong ball in a draw? Tanking will not only make the fans upset to support the team, it would also make are aging superstar enforce a trade. Also, according to Bill Simmons of Grantland, there’s a 15% chance you will find a superstar in the NBA draft. I wouldn’t rely too much on draftees. The Maverick’s best bet is free agency especially when you’re in a big market like Dallas. It would turn the organization sideways for many years. –Bryan Thompson 

Mavericks selections:

1st round: PG Shane Larkin, Miami 

2012-13 Season Stats:

PPG RPG APG
14.5 3.8 4.6

 

Derek Harper. Brad Davis. Jason Kidd. Steve Nash. The Maverick’s first round selection Thursday night is in good company and is buying into the hype. However, the organization doesn’t anticipate Shane Larkin to become the next star at the point in Dallas; some might compare him to a JJ Barea, or a Rodrigue Beaubois.

“[Larkin] comes in with that kind of a punch, He’s able to get by the best of them. He’s about as quick as it gets. His ability to shoot the long ball and create, especially the way the game is played nowadays, is just really, really important.” –Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson

“Our pick-and-roll game this past year was not at the level we’re used to, so we wanted to get better in that area, Shane’s one of the best in college basketball at doing that. A lot of people try to go under screens because of his quickness and he shot behind screens very effectively. He’ll see a lot of different coverages in this league, and what we’ve seen is that he does a good job reading situations.” –Coach Rick Carlisle

Larkin, the son of the legendary shortstop Barry Larkin, is an agile, and rapid, ebullient point guard whom is very crafty at running the pick-and-roll game. Larkin was measured with a lengthy 44-inch vertical leap at the 2013 NBA Combine and averaged the sixth-most points as a pick-and-roll ball handler (6.4) in the NCAA last season, and also carried the Hurricanes to a final four appearance in the NCAA tournament. Larkin was a very skilled stretch-shooter (40.6% from behind the arc in the 2012-2013 season)

Grade: B+

The Mavericks accomplished on what they were looking for and grabbed the perfect guy to fit the Maverick’s mold. Larkin will make an immediate impact off the bench in the 2012-2013 season and will add some needed athleticism off the bench.

Shane and Barry Larkin discuss their excitement over Shane being drafted, Shane’s upbringing and much more.

Highlights: 

mavs off-season guide

Entering the 2013 off-season, the Mavericks have had a very busy decade with the ‘Bank of Cuban.’

Listen here, I don’t mind having a Chris Paul, or a Dwight Howard in Dallas.

I’m just saying, it wouldn’t be the greatest fit for either one of the superstars to come to Dallas for financial reasons and the team’s future.

Rick Gosselin stated it the best: “The Clippers can offer more money and they have Blake Griffin. Just those two elements tell me that if the options are Dallas and L.A., he’ll stay in L.A. I just don’t see what’s attractive about this market. Dirk (Nowitzki) is an aging star. He’s no longer a superstar. You got a bunch of spare parts that you played with last year. If Chris Paul comes here, it’s me and what else.  No matter what the money is, I don’t think that’s going to be attractive.”

The past has also shown the Mavericks have had trouble in the off-season picking up the big names. Mark Cuban foresaw the summer of 2013 and realized that Dwight Howard and Deron Williams would change the future of his team. Cuban made his power play for Deron Williams, but more money and the sudden unexpected move of the trade for Joe Johnson enticed Deron to stay a Net.

I think it’s pretty convincing the Mavericks will have a lot more financial flexibility this Summer if you don’t go for the clear cut best players on the market.

Why not focus on the future? Maintaining your current roster? Coach Carlisle would sure appreciate it, and so would the fans. The problem is with ‘The bank of Cuban’ is that the bank often gambles for the most popular targets on the market, and fails most of the time and punishes the organization for a whole season when you grab all the left- overs on the market in the last minute, have seven new players on the roster, and then fail to reach the playoffs.

2013 will be a considerable year for many teams in free agency with quality players. The ‘Bank of Cuban’ needs to re-think this process and go after quality players and focus on the financial flexibility for the organization. Now the Mavs have enough cap to sign a couple of quality free agents. Howard is definitely the largest name, but what about Josh Smith? A large offer to Brandon Jennings? The possibilities are endless here if the ‘Bank of Cuban’ can focus.
The smart move is to move Beaubois in any possible way, cut James, and look to bring back Mayo, Brandan Wright, and Darren Collison on exceptions. They will probably miss on Howard….and Chris Paul. Hopefully that process won’t take the whole off-season. But striking out twice might get them a better, younger player on a poison pill type deal like Jeremy Lin received. The Mavs should be making a move for their future, and the major piece signed this summer is only part of the plan. After Dirk comes off the books in 2014, the Mavs may once again be major players, but that groundwork must start this Summer. It’s time to make the splitting of the title team pay off, and make it back to the playoffs.

Is Darren Collison the Maverick’s answer at point guard?

Posted: April 22, 2013 by bryanthompson32 in Thoughts

d collison the return

Now we all know the point guard rotation for the struggling Mavericks was quite perplex in 2012-2013; and the young, snappy point guard in Darren Collison struggled to find an identity in the second half of the season in regards to the signing of Mike James who later on took Collison’s job as a starter.

 

Here’s a breakdown of the Maverick’s point guard rotation in the regular season as a whole for 2012-2013.

Darren Collison paved the way for the Maverick’s starting point guard duties for most of the season when Dirk Nowitzki was injured.

  • GP=Games played
  • Min=Minutes per game
  • Screenshot captured off of HoopData.com

 

It was rumored that coach Carlisle and the staff didn’t think Collison was a great fit under the system when Dirk came back.

Collison was averaging 13 points per game on nearly 50% shooting half way into the season until Carlisle signed Mike James. Those seem like great numbers. What’s the deal here?

 

Thoughts:

  • At times when I analyzed Collison’s biggest struggles, it was mainly his lack of controlling tempo and running the team at times. Raw stats don’t always tell the full story for guards.
  • I just knew the coaching staff wrote Collison off most times with struggling to find his wing players when his opponents were set in a 3-2 zone.
  • I also witnessed Carlisle changed the team’s standard pick-and-roll coverages on the fly, I remember Carlisle tried to send all side pick-and-rolls to the baseline instead of having their big men hedge hard and/or chase those ball handlers out toward mid-court; which I think was a negative for Collison who thrived in diming his front-court for easy shots in the post in Indiana.
  • The Mavericks thrived on the mid-range shot the whole season and stats show an average of 3.7 assists led to two-point field goals mainly in the mid-range.
  • Collison and James aren’t skilled penetrators, and Collison’s tendency to pull up from 20 feet even with open space in front of him was maddening. But he showed a bit of off-the-bounce aggression late into the season, and it didn’t take much penetration to suck in a defense and open up those corner 3s.

d-collison assists

 

 

 

If Collison returns:

Boosts:

  • Collison brings a load of athleticism to the squad; and also concluding Collison is playing in the most enduring era of point guards in the game’s history, I wouldn’t mind a speedster that can catch up with the league’s modern guards.
  • Salary. Collison is a restricted free agent this off-season, and the Mavericks could use him off the bench for just a low-paying salary and with a dose of athleticism and shooting.
  •  Penetration. The Mavericks as a whole the past five years have been a rather reluctant team when it comes to penetration in the key. Collison isn’t afraid to drive to the basket or sacrifice his slender frame. Aggressiveness is just what this team needs to improve on.

 

Bruises:

  •  Gambling in passing lanes. Collison could be labeled as a rather young and learning defender, but goes for too many steals which results into fouls.
  • Even though Collison drives the lane occasionally, he pulls up for 20 foot jumpers more frequently which isn’t a coincidence with the system Carlisle runs. Saying that, Collison isn’t the most effective shooter on the team and his jumpers usually don’t fall.
  • Coach Carlisle isn’t a fan. We all know Carlisle and Collison don’t mesh with their tactics, which led to numerous times of coach getting furious about his decisions on the court constantly.

A final look at Darren Collison’s basic statistics for 2012-2013.

 

That being said, I highly doubt Collison will return to Dallas this upcoming season, if the Mavericks don’t get a high quantity big man.

But with the front office lingering and shaking up the roster every off-season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Collison returned. I also have some doubts on Coach Carlisle. Carlisle needs to accept the younger generation as a whole someday and needs to learn you can’t thrive on a  of veterans to contend with an extensive amount of veterans to lead you to a contender. According to Mark Cuban and the front-office, this team was supposed to be building for a championship, but the Mavericks are far from the promise land. Adding seven new veterans to the roster every off-season after gambling and failing to land a superstar isn’t the best idea. The Mavericks need to move on to the rebuilding stage and grab young adolescent wing players that fit Rick Calrisle’s mold. Re-signing Collison could be a risk, but if there isn’t any other options, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

 

You be the judge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranking every player on the Mavericks for the first half of season

Posted: February 19, 2013 by bryanthompson32 in Thoughts

usp-nba_-charlotte-bobcats-at-dallas-mavericks-4_3_r560

1. OJ Mayo B+

It seemed as if Mayo caught fire when Dirk went out for most of the season with his knee injury. He’s clearly been the team’s scoring option for most of the season.

 

2. Shawn Marion B+

Marion saved the Mavericks with his fundamentals and attributes. Marion hasn’t got the credit he’s deserved this season, and his stat sheet for this year shows it.

 
3. Dirk Nowitzki B-

Now don’t get me wrong, Dirk hasn’t been 100% all season long, but when he’s played, his jump shot and skills weren’t the same as it was before.

 
4. Darren Collison B-

Collison has been the Maverick’s fuel for the team’s ball movement, and has given the team some athleticism and a case for his will to drive to the basket. While Collison has been inconsistent so far, he’s shown flashes of his inner Tony Parker; a facilitator with a reliable jump shot and has branded a pick and roll duo with his teammate Brandan Wright.

 

5. Vince Carter B-

The most underrated all around player on the Mavericks is Vince Carter. He’s the one player I have the out most respect for. If you just watch this veteran do the things he does at the wrong side of 30, you’d understand. He’s been the main court general for most of the Maverick’s set plays this season and is a valuable veteran asset to this team this season.

 
6. Brandan Wright B-

Another Maverick that doesn’t get enough recognition is the young, adolescent Forward Brandan Wright. Just a couple stats:  20.08 PER (Player Efficiency Rating); which leads the team, averages the least amount of turnovers on team (7.29). Wright should be referred to as the most versatile big man on the team. He’s been the Maverick’s best defensive anchorman all season long in the front-court, but here’s a catch: He only averages 15 minutes per game. If he was used a little more, he’d be the starting Center for the team, or rather the 6th man.

 
7. Elton Brand C+

Brand has shown his consistency this season, but the catch is, he hasn’t been an important asset to the team. The mavericks average a defensive efficiency of 104.1; which ranks 19th in the league. Most of those points come from other team’s monstrous, athletic front-courts. Most of the time, it’s clear to see what the other team’s game plan against the Mavericks; Pound the front-court. Neither Brand, Kaman, or Dirk have that modern attribute of aggressiveness under the rim which is part of the result of a losing record.

 

8. Chris Kaman C+

Kaman has shined on the offensive end for the Mavericks, but hasn’t lived up to his expectations on an $8 million dollar contract for 1 year. His offensive game is similar to Dirk’s but Dirk likes to isolate more. But however, Kaman is the weakest defender on this squad.

 
9. Jae Crowder C+

For the most inconsistent player of the first half of the season, this award goes to Jae Crowder. It’s no secret that the Mavericks grabbed the stud from Marquette for his defense, but the rookie has an inconsistent jump shot.

 

10. Bernard James C+

The 27 year old lengthy Center from Florida State has become a valuable young asset to the team’s hustle and more on the defensive end.

 

Other rankings:

11. Dahntay Jones C+
12. Jared Cunningham C-
13. Roddy Beaubois C-
14. Mike James D+
15. Dominique Jones D+

This will be a gruesome fight for the Mavericks tonight as they travel to L.A to face the Clippers. But with Dirk back in the line-up, it’s time to make a signature move.

X-factor- Darren Collison. The Clippers will dominate you in so many ways if your point guard isn’t up to speed. Let alone, your guards in general. Plus,  Collison cannot turn the ball over tonight, the Clippers force the most turnovers in the league, but Collison and his teammates shown an improvement in holding the ball the last six games, turning it over just six times. Collison also needs to establish the pick and roll magic he had with Brandan Wright in the first quarter of the season, Blake Griffin can hurt you in so many ways on offense, but it’s his pick and roll defense that hurts his play the most.

Random Thoughts

It’ll be interesting on how coach Carlisle will divide the minutes tonight in the front court with Brandan Wright coming back, and how many pick and roll plays will he run with him and Collison when they’re on the floor together?

Jae Crowder needs to step up his game tonight, and regain his magic he sustained in the first ten games of the season. Tonight, his defensive match-up will probably be Caron Butler for half of the game. Crowder needs to step up tonight, and shut down the Clipper’s aced ball movement around the rim.

Final Prediction: 

Clippers: 103 Mavericks: 96.

The statistics are all on the Clipper’s side with 13 straight home wins, but however, ever since 2013 has hit the NBA, they’ve slowed down a bit. Nonetheless, the Mavs are just not there yet, they have no identity, their defense can’t defend the perimeter, the offense isn’t at their normal aced level. It’ll be a close game to say the most.

Game gets started 10:30 E.T on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN.