Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs’ Grand Plan

Did anyone bother to let the Dallas Mavericks know that the lockout is over?

In what has arguably become the most lackluster title defense in NBA history, the Mavs have begun the 2011-2012 season lacking focus, passion, pride, and cajones. Their scoring has been inconsistent, interior defense porous, and sense of urgency nonexistent. Even Dirk Nowitzki looks like he is more interested in his next celebratory MLB first pitch instead of his next NBA basketball game. In fact, things got so bad to start the season, that newly acquired Lamar Odom was ejected during their opening game, beckoning the question as to who was more embarrassed: Khloe Kardashian for watching her husband get ejected, or me for regularly watching Khloe Kardashian?

Brace yourselves for a long season Mavs fans, because I can guarantee you one thing: There will be no repeat of 2011.

 Losing Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, and Deshawn Stephenson certainly hurts, but let’s be honest - those 3 guys had career seasons during contract years and became your classic got-hot-at-the-right-time-and-soon-to-be-overpaid role players who will never again perform to the same level that they did during the 2011 playoffs. In fact, it is probably fair to say that even if the Mavs had kept those 3 players as part of their core, they would still fail to repeat for one simple reason: The Mavs are not good enough, and in fact, never really were. 

I’ve written about this before and I’ll write is again - the Mavs 2011 season was a fluke, and serves as one of those rare ‘lightning in a bottle’ championships in sports. Why? Because rarely do NBA teams with only one superstar win championships. In fact, over the past 60-plus years, only 4 other teams (’75 Warriors, ’77 Blazers,  ’94 Rockets, ’03 Spurs) have ever won a championship with only one superstar, while teams with no superstars have won only twice (’79 Sonics, ’04 Pistons). More importantly, none of the aforementioned teams ever went on to repeat with the same core roster. In sum the Mavs’ 2011 run serves as the exception, not the rule; and while a repeat is possible, it is also very unlikely.

The good news for Mavs fans is that contrary to his public declarations, Mark Cuban clearly understood this. Granted, he still may not understand that he should avoid wearing those ridiculously tight T-shirts, but he certainly understood this. Most importantly though, he understood the limitations of his roster with respect to the future, and as a result, did the right thing by foregoing the 2012 season with the hopes of reloading in 2013. How?

 1.)   By refraining from overpaying Tyson Chandler (4 years, $58M w/Knicks), Caron Butler (3 years, $24M w/Clippers),  J.J Barea (4 years, $19M w/Timberwolves) and Deshawn Stephenson (1 year, $2.5M w/ Nets), and thereby successfully avoiding long-term, cap strapping salary obligations for depreciating assets. Remember folks, while Tyson Chandler may have had a great season in 2011, he is still the same player that was in a contract year and has been historically injury prone. Meanwhile, I am extremely skeptical that a soon-to-be-32-year-old Caron Butler will ever become the player he once was given his 2011 knee injury. JJ Barea is a nice bench player, but completely overpriced at nearly $5M per year, while Deshawn Stephenson will return to his customary role as the 8th man off the bench for the Nets. 

2.)   By shrewdly investing in the short-term, expiring contracts of Vince Carter, Lamar Odom, and Delonte West - veterans who have seen brighter days, but still have enough in the tank to help the Mavs remain competitive. The result, when combined with the already expiring contracts of Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Brian Cardinal, and Ian Mahinmi, is enough cap space to pair Dirk Nowitzki with at least one max player for 2013, and possibly even two if Cuban can figure out a way to unload the contracts of Brendan Haywood and Shawn Marion (they should be able to unload at least one via amnesty).

Below are the Mavericks’ salary cap obligations heading into 2013:

 

2012-2013

Dirk Nowitzki

$20,907,128

Shawn Marion

$8,646,364

Brendan Haywood

$8,349,000

Rodrigue Beaubois

$2,227,332

Dominique Jones

$1,276,560

   
Total Salary Obligation

$41,406,384

Salary Cap

~$58,000,000

Dwight Howard Deron Williams Future MavericksNeedless to say, the Mavs’s #1 and #2 free agent targets during the summer will be Dwight Howard and Deron Williams. Odds are that Lakers have now become the favorites to land Howard since the Nets are no longer a viable trade partner after the Brook Lopez injury. Regardless, the Mavs stand the best chance of landing Howard should he decide to forego an extension and become an unrestricted free agent. The Mavs should also still have a good chance of landing Williams since he is originally from Texas and will likely want out of New Jersey should his second best player remain Kris Humphries.

Even if the Mavs strike out with Howard and Williams, they still have an opportunity to obtain a quality free agent such as Steve Nash or perhaps even Kevin Love and/or Russell Westbrook despite their restricted status. Certainly lower odds, but the important thing is that the Mavs have financial flexibility, and a free agent friendly destination given Cuban’s propensity toward overpaying players and lavishing them with first class luxuries.

So don’t fret too much Mavs fan. It’s a gamble, but if the chips fall their way, the Mavs will be in position to offer themselves a rare opportunity that eludes most aging franchises – the chance to rebuild on the fly.

 

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Discussion

51 Responses to “The Mavs’ Grand Plan”

  1. Here’s my issue with this strategy. Nowitzki doesn’t have many years left and his window is going to close pretty fast. Can Cuban really afford to wait another 1-2 years to rebuild another group around Nowitzki?

    Posted by Brown Mamba | December 31, 2011, 10:41 am
    • Dirk is not a very physical player he will still be good even when he is 37..so basically he still has a good 4 years in him if not more…he shoots mostly off the post and 3s sometimes…This trade makes sense. Big 3D’s in big D..

      Posted by rico | January 3, 2012, 8:28 pm
  2. I highly doubt that the Mavs end up with the pieces they need to fully rebuild like that. I see many years of first or second round exits until Dirk retires and they can rebuild fully.

    Posted by Nightbladehunter | January 2, 2012, 9:49 am
  3. “More importantly, none of the aforementioned teams ever went on to repeat with the same core roster.” Guess you had to throw that in there to explain the Houston Rockets repeating in ’95. But yeahhh I agree that it was good to not over pay for Tyson & JJ. -MFFL

    Posted by Mandy | January 2, 2012, 8:53 pm
    • Mandy, thanks for the read. You are correct in that I had to include that caveat, but not necessarily as a play on words. The 95 Rockets were in fact improved with the acquisition of a Hall of Famer in Clyde Drexler alongside Olajuwon. The 94 team still fit within the mold of a rare single superstar team that bucked the trend.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 2, 2012, 9:00 pm
  4. The Mavericks could also use the amnesty clause on Shawn Marion and Brendon Haywood if they choose after signing either D-Will or Howard… and Terry and Kidd don’t seem to be looking for paydays.

    I also disagree with the fact that the Mavs winning was a fluke, Dirk was the best player in the postseason. A fluke is where a team gets lucky and plays crappy teams but the Mavericks were chosen to lose every series. And after they swept the defending champions, people still didn’t believe in them. Dirk, Kidd and Terry realized that that could be a last chance, and they played that way. Kidd defending Kobe, Wade, Lebron a few times, and they had great chemistry. The Mavs had to play REAL teams. Remember when Butler went down and they’d lost 6 games in a row with Dirk injured? They were still on pace to win 63 games.

    So you consider Pau Gasol, Joe Dumars, Ginobli who’s often playing hurt for the playoffs, or the Pistons with Billups and Rip Hamilton(Rip was never a superstar), etc. There are stars and superstars… superstars make the all-star team every year, are usually first or second all-NBA players, and can put a team on his shoulders and win a big game.

    Kobe, Dirk, LeBron, Rose, Durant, Paul, Nash until this season so far, Dwight Howard, Wade, D-Will, Kevin Love is on the verge of becoming a real one as is Blake Griffin, Pierce might still be one, Melo half of the time are the only guys that deserve to be called that.

    They should have won the game in OKC, had the game at 84-82 in the 4th(a team that lost to the Heat on a last second layup by Wade, and beat the Spurs tonight), and then beat down the Thunder in Dallas tonight. And I’m sure they’ll make a deal this season before it’s all said and done due to Carter and Lamar being dead weight.

    Posted by WhatWouldPatrickBatemanDo? | January 2, 2012, 9:52 pm
    • Thanks for the read.

      First, the Mavs are not going to resign Terry and Kid if they have the option to keep Dirk and sign 2 additional max players. Just wont happen. Why would the Mavs pass that opportunity up for 2 aging players.

      Second, Dirk was not the best player in the post season.He was the hottest player. “Best” signifies consistency and there is no way that Dirk ever plays to that same level again. He was however, hot, and played magnificently.

      Third, you and I define fluke differently. You seem to define it as ‘opportunistic’. I define it as an ‘anomaly’. Regardless of our verbiage, the Mavs simply had multiple players get hot at the same time which enabled them to play as if they had multiple superstars. Moreover, I agree that their chemistry was off the charts. Based upon the fact that this has happened only 6 other times, I consider this a fluke, anomaly, or whatever other word you prefer to choose. Bottom line, the Mavs, similar to SF Giant in baseball, played better than they actually were.

      Fourth, I defined my criteria for superstar within the article. I absolutely consider Pau Gasol (single handedly carried the Grizzlies to the 6th seed for 3 consecutive years) Joe Dumars (HOF and Alpha Dog for the 92 playoff team), and Ginobili (best player on 60+ win spurs team in 2011) viable second stars.

      Again, hats off to the Mavs for their accomplishment in 2011. But they were classic lighting in a bottle.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 3, 2012, 9:44 am
      • You obviously haven’t paid that much attention to Dirk then in his whole career. Take a look at his whole post season career and he’s been nothing but sensational. There’s been some tough series or games but on the whole he’s been terrific. Just another person that doesn’t know the real Dirk Nowitzki.

        Posted by Bob | January 4, 2012, 12:38 pm
        • Thanks for the read Bob, but I am confused. I am certainly well aware of Dirk’s agree and agree with you that he has been one of the most underrated postseason players over the past 10 years. Why would you think otherwise?

          Posted by The NBA Realist | January 4, 2012, 1:07 pm
        • This guy is right. Dirk has played like that his whole career, it just took their first ever post season matchup with the Kobe lakers for everyone to see it. You also have to understand that Dirk sees a lot of double teams when his skills are suited for one on one domination. Still he gets it done…that wasn’t a fluke nor will he decline until he is 40. Kobe on the other hand…

          Posted by Dan | January 10, 2012, 8:24 am
      • Your point about Dirk in the playoffs is dead wrong- statistics don’t bear it out, and anybody that has watched every Mavs playoff series in the Dirk era knows that he has been a monster in the postseason.

        Dirk has consistently performed at a high level in the playoffs (26-10)- higher than his regular season number’s (23-8). This true of very few players- it is true of Michael Jordan (+3 pts in playoffs) and not true of Kobe Bryant (-.5 pts in playoffs).

        This all proves that what was different last year was the supporting cast. I don’t think the Mavs brought enough back to go deep in the playoffs this year- but I hope everyone’s right about DWill and DHoward coming to Dallas!

        Posted by mikslik | January 6, 2012, 6:20 am
        • I think that we are splitting hairs here with terminology, so let me try and sum it up. The best player in the NBA last year was Lebron James. He underperformed. Dirk Nowitzki was arguably a Top 5 player – he overperformed.

          Dirks points may have been at the level that it typically was at in the post season, but his TS% was 61% through 21 games. He had never sustained that level of efficiency in the past. This in addition to a red hot supporting cast was the difference.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | January 6, 2012, 7:07 am
          • Not to be a smart a## here, but how does a top 5 player “overperform.” The differences between the number one guy in the league and the number five guy is like splitting hairs. And I don’t agree with you about Lebron. Durant was, and still is, the best player in the NBA.

            Posted by Rodney | January 6, 2012, 3:38 pm
          • Thanks for the read Rodney.

            Very simple. For example, if a player averages 23 points and 7 reb during the regular season, and then raises his game to near career highs of 28 points, a career high in shooting percentage, and lights out fourth quarters like he has never had before, he is overperforming.

            Put another way, if a player is unable to sustain their excellent for an extended period of time, they have overperformed, or performed better than they are able to consistently play.

            One other note. The difference between the #1 and #5 is anything but “splitting hairs”. In 2000, the best player in the NBA was Shaquille O’Neal. The 5th was probably Grant Hill or Allen Iverson. Who would you rather have?

            Posted by The NBA Realist | January 6, 2012, 5:03 pm
          • Overperform sounds like over achieve. How can you over achieve or over perform if you’ve already shown that you’re elite? I see your explanation, but I think you have to call it something different.

            I noticed that you had to go all the way back to 2000 to try to make your point in rebuttal to my splitting hairs comment. I would venture to say that in the last 4 years at the very least, you could go almost 10 deep as far as interchangeable goes. The NBA is the deepest its been in a long time. Makes it all the more reason why Dirk is even that much better.

            Even in 2000 you had Tim Duncan, Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd to give you four to go along with Shaq. I would interchange any of those in place of “I can’t make my free throws” and “I can only shoot from 3 feet or closer” Shaq. It’s debatable whether or not he was the best player in the league in 2000. As far as impact and leadership on ones team, 1 through 5 are interchangeable.

            Posted by Rodney | January 6, 2012, 8:14 pm
          • Rodney, Not sure how to respond to your assertion that you would have honestly traded 2000 Shaquille O’Neil, who had one of the most dominant seasons in NBA history, for Gary Payton – but you’re entitled to your opinion. Thanks for the discussion.

            Posted by The NBA Realist | January 6, 2012, 8:46 pm
          • Somehow there’s a communication break down here. I’m not talking about trading Shaq for another one of those players. I’m trying to explain to you that having one of those other top five players would be just as influential in winning a championship as Shaq was. In fact, Shaq required another top player at the time in order for him to win a championship. Having Shaq alone with 5 other regular players is not getting you a ring. I don’t care how dominate a season he had. Shaq won because he had Kobe, period.

            Another reason why Shaq was as successful as he was, was because Shaq was allowed by officials and the NBA to be a bull in China closet a lot of the time, which is why I stated that outside of 3 to 5 feet, he had nothing. But the NBA didn’t have much to go on at the time, and they couldn’t have a big named star fouling out of every ball game. There was nothing fluid about the guy. He couldn’t make a free shot to save his life, and alot of the time, unless he was allowed to bull over the defender with his big body, he wasn’t able to do much otherwise.

            You know, when I first came here to read your piece I appreciated the fact that you acted like you half way cared about the promotion of your blog by thanking people for their comments no matter how they stated them. But your reply about me being “entitled to my own opinion” sounds condescending. As if you are somehow more knowledgeable about the game than your posters. My opinion was based upon facts. Facts that, for some reason, you can’t seem to grasp. You had to go all the way back to the year 2000 in order to disprove my point. As I tried to state earlier, 2000 was a down time for the NBA. Not a whole lot of elite, dominating players. Today, there are at least 10, which is why I made the point about “splitting hairs” to begin with. I appreciate your point of view and thought that your story made some sense. But your response to my posting had no factual basis to begin with…unless you decided to pick and choose, and go back over a decade…which completely goes against the point that I was trying to make. It’s the whole reason why it’s that much harder to win a championship today unless you have two superstars, which makes Dirk one of the greatest of all time, and not by over performing.

            Posted by Rodney | January 7, 2012, 10:01 am
          • Rodney, Sorry if you got offended, but I really had very little to say. Your opinion is your opinion and I respect it, but I disagree entirely with your assertion that Shaq and Payton were interchangeable. I can jump into stats, facts, etc, but it would simply be a fruitless exercise given that we are so far apart on this one

            With that said, I still stand by my stance that the Top 5 players in the NBA are not always interchangeable, nor equally influential at winning a championship. 2000 was an extreme example, but I really do not need go back that far in order to substantiate my position.

            In 2009, the best player in the NBA was Lebron James or even Kobe Bryant. The 5th best was arguably Chris Paul. Now, I can jump into stats and accomplishments etc, but there is not way that I find those guys interchangeable.

            In 2008, the best player in the NBA was Kobe Bryant. The fifth best was either a 22-year old Dwight Howard or a young Stoudamire. Again, I’m taking Kobe Bryant.

            Moreover, last year, I stand by what I said. For the bulk of the season, Lebron James was a better player than Dirk. Dwyane Wade was a better player than Dirk. Derrick Rose , Kobe Bryant etc.. Dirk just happened to get hot like never before, and played like the best player throughout the playoffs. I does not mean he WAS better for an entire season, nor does it mean that he could sustain that level of play for an entire 82 game season. It simply means that he rose to the occasion at the right time, which is a true testament to his big-game ability.

            Again, if Dirk is able to sustain that level of play for an entire 82 games season, then I will buy into the notion that he did not overperform. But he didn’t and he can’t. He overperformed just as Rick Barry overperformed in 1975. Its really no different.

            I still think that your assertion that the Top 5 is always “interchangeable” no matter how you want to define it is erroneous. Feel free to look back throughout NBA history at the results of player #1 and player #5 throughout each season (rag season record, playoff results, rings, etc..) and I think that you will find a big disparity.

            Posted by The NBA Realist | January 7, 2012, 1:33 pm
          • No splitn hairs here. Just sounds like you are an LBJ fan and thats why you think he was the best. WRONG. He consistantly chokes. Dirk was clearly the best player period…. Hands down..

            Posted by jj | January 9, 2012, 8:22 am
          • “Shaq won because he had Kobe, period.”

            LoL. No. Sorry. Shaq won because he had good veteran players that weren’t screwing up his title run, a la Nick Anderson’s missed 4 free throws in a row.

            Posted by truth_hurts | January 10, 2012, 12:08 am
      • The Mavs had one of the best records in the NBA and had the best away game record…so the fact that you say the mavs played better then they actually were makes no sense. They won the championship because they were the best team and solid on the road. Dirk was the best player and the hottest player in the playoffs. It’s the same thing.

        Posted by Dirk. | January 27, 2012, 1:47 pm
      • Yeah, believe it or not, PERwise, 2011 was dirks SEVENTH best playoff performance. dirk just had better pieces around him and a really good coach to make a difference with dirks production. but i do agree that it would be incredibly hard to repeat with the same team. cubans obviously looking for the best chance to win, and he does so by adding other stars

        Posted by Linus | January 30, 2012, 12:14 pm
  5. c’mon give Dirk and Dallas Mavs some love. The championship was a FLUKE?..I thought the road to glory of that team was the most difficult of all. I can compare that Dallas team to the 95 rockets. I also thought that if they stuck with the team last year they will the favorites to win. Analysts in nbatv and espn already told that. But it is what it is. I believe that Cuban made the right decision on giving the free agency a shot. Cuban is a smart ass and he will make sure that his team will stay competitive as long as he is the owner. The West is still up for grabs. If your telling that the OKC is the favorites to win the WEST, then goodluck to them cause the Current Dallas MAVS will defeat them in a series. OKC still needs a year or 2 to finally win the western conference. I thought Durant still lacks leadership. Westbrook is still out of control. If there’s a one team i fear in the WEST that is the Portland Trail Blazers. That team looks tough and hungry. Forget the Lakers THEY ARE DONE…We hope in Dallas that Cubes can land Dwight and Deron next season. If that happens ITS OVER…In Cuban anything is possible.

    Posted by jkidd4life | January 5, 2012, 11:34 pm
    • This strike shortened season is going to be a real test of durability. Like a 66 game playoff. Trashing this season makes the most sense because this is going to be a ridiculous season at best. Everything works out better, because even with those other guys, I don’t believe the Mavs would have been able to get through this gauntlet of a season unscathed. And then they’d be stuck with some players that won’t work out in the long haul. This lines up to be a fluke (term used by the blogger, which is more fitting here) season if there ever was one. It’s going to be a battle for survival, and the best team probably won’t win.

      I personally think that it’s ridiculous what the NBA has done for this year. I’ve thought lately that the NBA has a WWE feel to it. This season makes it more so. What a crappy product to sell to the fans.

      Posted by Rodney | January 6, 2012, 4:05 pm
    • jkidd4life, thanks for the read. I stand by what I wrote. That Mavs team caught lightning in a bottle and played above their abilities for an entire playoff series – and there is nothing wrong with that. If anything, it is a testament to the fact that a team should never give up since they get hot at anytime. And I agree with you that their road to the championship was the most difficult of any of those past teams that had only a single superstar, which makes their feat all the more remarkable. I wrote a bit about this last year:

      http://chasing23.com/2011-nba-finals-recap/

      However, that does not mean that the Mavs would compare to past champions. Moreover, I disgaree that the Mavs would have been the favorites to start this year; instead, it would have been the Miami Heat.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 7, 2012, 12:46 pm
  6. It was a fluke. Miami should have won game 2. Up by 17 with that little time left, they win 99% of the time in that situation. That would have put them up 3-0(if they won game 3 like they did). Dallas able to come back from down 3-0? I think not. Hence the use of the word fluke. To help out the people who can’t seem to understand the meaning here is what it means…

    fluke/flo?ok/Noun: 1.Unlikely chance occurrence, esp. a surprising piece of luck: “their triumph was no fluke”.

    Anyone that doesn’t think that Dallas coming back to win game 2 was a unlikely chance occurrence is fooling themselves. Even Mav fans on the ESPN chat at the time of the game were saying game over.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | January 7, 2012, 11:13 am
    • And the finals in 2006 weren’t a fluke? You must have not read Mavs fans real feelings that year… Because that series will go down as one of the most controversial series ever. All those bs phantom fouls wade got. He went to the line more than the Mavs team did in the whole series. Not to mention multiple referees that did those finals games were called out by Tim donaughy.

      Posted by Josh | January 10, 2012, 1:36 am
      • I don’t think it was a Fluke. I think it was the D-Wade show. People expected Miami to contend for the title that year and Honestly Miami would have been in the Finals in 05 if Wade hadn’t gotten hurt in the ECF. So two years of a great team, thus not a fluke. No one can say that the year before last Dallas should have been in the NBA finals. Hell no one other then Mavs fans thought they would make the finals last year.

        Losers always complain about the ref’s but Miami made the shots it needed to down the stretch especially in Game 6 where a bunch of players not named Wade helped close the game and the series out.

        Posted by nightbladehunter | January 10, 2012, 10:44 am
        • It was the Dwayne wade show ON THE FREE THROW LINE! The wade show included wade acting, dancing, falling, slipping and sliding. Wade is also the reason the league has the new rules on driving the basket. no more bs fouls getting him to the line every time he throws his hands in the air. Anyways all that matters is the Mavs got wade back.

          Posted by Josh | January 10, 2012, 2:32 pm
          • All I hear is bitching about the refs And excuses. They were up 2-0 and they had Miami down big in the third game and they blew it. Wade took over. And Wade gets lots of FT’s anyway because he drives to the basket a lot and makes contact. That is a basketball fact of life. Dirk got tons of FT’s in the finals last year but that is not why Miami lost(that would be the Miami defense failing late in games and Lebron vanishing). Deal with things as they are and stop bitching about the refs. You just sound like a sore loser. Your team has a title be happy about it and stop bitching about 2006.

            Posted by nightbladehunter | January 10, 2012, 3:02 pm
        • It wasn’t a fluke that the mavs won the TITLE…Your just upset because you had to witness the Dirk Show dominate the D-Wade show.

          Posted by Dirk. | January 27, 2012, 1:54 pm
          • As a Heat fan was I upset that we lost? Sure I was. But you failed to address anything I said instead you changed the subject. Which leads me to believe that you can’t answer what I said.

            Its still a fluke though. No one(even the Dallas owner) believes that they can repeat this year…thus a fluke. If he thought they had a legit shot at repeating he would have kept the team together. Instead he wisely started clearing room for free agents this offseason.

            Posted by nightbladehunter | January 29, 2012, 6:10 pm
  7. This is just commical.. Calling the Mavs a fluke.. Saying Dirk over-performed. Dirk proved that he was the best player in the post season. Granted we all know lebron had the tools to be the best player.. But lebron is a bust in the playoffs. list your top 5 players in the Post season and Dirk would be at the top. It’s so sickening how lebron is put on this pedestal by bloggers such as yourself. The racial bicacy is just outrageous. Just because dirk isn’t flashy he gets no credit. Calling the Mavs championship run a fluke and not difficult is irresponsible and has no place to ever be written. If you have aspirations of becoming a professional nba writer you better check your shit. How could it not have been a tough road when every analyst on ESPN said it was. People like you screw the heat over bc you put them as the number 1 team even if the Mavs brought back the same exact team? How could you say that? The Mavs beat those dbags already but still you crown them. Lightning in a bottle my ass. You realize the Mavs have won 50 games 10 straight seasons. Dirk is a double digit allstar, finals mvp and mvp. He turned his franchise from nothing into something? Explain to me how this was lightning in a bottle?

    Posted by Josh | January 10, 2012, 1:32 am
    • Thanks for the read and your career coaching Josh. The Mavs run WAS a fluke. I think I already explained it pretty clearly in my post, but when a team with only one superstar has won only 7 times in 65 years, it is anything but status quo. I am not sure how much better I can explain it.

      Put another way, the 2011 Mavs fielded nearly the same team as the 2010 Mavs, but the 2010 Mavs got bounced by the Spurs. Tyson Chandler was a key addition, but there is no way that you will ever sell me on the notion that Tyson Chandler alone is the difference between a championship and a 1st round playoff exit.

      The Mavs got hot at the right time, plain and simple. If not, and if the Mavs were really that good, they would have performed to the same level, or near same level, in prior years. But they didn’t, and they won’t this year either.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 10, 2012, 10:02 am
      • You just set yourself up because in prior years dirks best center was Erik Dampier. So obviously Tyson was a major factor. You seem to be one of very few to not think chandler was the difference. Face it man your narrow minded and biased. You’re just like all of the other dirk haters. The Mavs had multiple newcomers to the team that made an impact. Tyson and his incredible leadership and Defense, Peja’s 3 point shooting, and the growth of the unknown jj barea were the key factors. Why can’t credit be given when it’s deserved? The Mavs went through the blazers, Kobe, Durant, and the big three in Miami. And you call the road easy? And lightning in a bottle… Sorry man but lightning doesn’t carry you through 4 rounds. Stop being a biased hater.

        Posted by Josh | January 10, 2012, 2:25 pm
        • I never said that the Mavs road was easy. I said it was a fluke. Second, feel free to believe that Tyson Chandler, and near retired Peja, and JJ Barea are the difference between a 1st round exit and a championship team.

          Now championship difference-maker Chandler is in New York and championship difference-maker Barea is Minnesota. Lets see how those teams fare ;)

          Posted by The NBA Realist | January 10, 2012, 2:31 pm
  8. Heat winning in 06 was a fluke.haha

    Dallas last year in the “Postseason” = best team in the NBA.

    Dirk in the “postseason” = best player in the NBA. (based on games played, not potential).

    kobe who? KD who? wade who? lebron who? they all got murdered by the german guy.

    Also dont buy into dirk not being consistent (ah.. list teams who’ve won 50 games continuously the past decade.. only three, i think? and dirk’s team is one of them – i wonder why)

    the mavs won the championships last year because Dirk was dirk, no more, no less.

    but most importantly, the mavs won because centers went the route of the dinasaurs (mav’s historical weak spot). I’d wager mid 2000′s mavs win against 2011 mavs.

    Posted by mj | January 10, 2012, 3:09 am
  9. This analysis ignores cap holds on expiring FA’s and unfilled roster spots below 13. Terry will have a cap hold of $17 million until he is renounced or signs. I doubt Cuban is going to allow Terry to walk, so he will have a big cap hold until he is resigned. I’m not sure Mavs will be able to sign a single max player.

    Posted by Ken | January 11, 2012, 11:25 pm
    • Thanks for the read Ken, but I took the cap holds into account. There is no way that the Mavs re-sign a 35 year old Jason Terry and 40-year old Jason Kidd for the same salary, or close to the same salary, if they have a chance to acquire Williams and/or Howard. In that case, those 2 guys would be renounced.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 12, 2012, 9:51 am
  10. This writer is a fluke. Saying the Mavs championship is a fluke? I would say it’s a fluke if they played the Sixers in the championship round but no, all the teams the Mavs played the entire postseason were the favorites against them. So nice try there. As for Dirk “over-performing”? Look up Dirk’s playoff stats prior to last year’s postseason and compare it, he did not in the least bit “over-performed” he just performed his usual playoff performance. Do some research before you start writing articles and start talking like you’re relevant.

    Posted by Nick R | January 25, 2012, 10:50 am
    • Thanks for the read Nick – I suggest that you read my responses throughout the “Comments” section. I have already responded to most of your objections.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 25, 2012, 10:54 am
  11. NBA Realist, this is a great post. Having read it, I find it easier now to see the sense behind what I thought were RIDICULOUS offseason moves on the Mavs’ part. I will say that, in my opinion, the word “fluke” is a somewhat harsh description of last year’s NBA champions. Sure, I had my doubts prior to this season about a Mavs repeat even before the departures of Chandler, Stevenson, Barea, etc. However, what that team did last year was remarkable, and, in my mind, it should be honored regardless of the probability of it ever happening again.

    In saying that, I don’t mean to accuse you of not doing so. You have indeed acknowledged their success and the great difficulty they faced in their championship run. However, while I do lay a sizable amount of blame for the outcome of last year’s Finals at the feet of Miami for their fourth quarter collapses, I also applaud Dallas for seizing the opportunity and outplaying Miami in crunchtime with greater team cohesiveness. Even if it is a “fluke” by definition, it is also a testament to the power of good old-fashioned teamplay that still factors largely into who wins it all and comes up short in the superstar-driven NBA. Perhaps I’m not saying much that you haven’t already said in so many words, but, to me, the word “fluke” just doesn’t do last year’s Mavs justice.

    Posted by Brandon Crockett | January 25, 2012, 8:23 pm
    • Brandon,

      Thank you for the read. In hindsight, perhaps the word “fluke” is a bit strong, but I stand by what I believe. To me a fluke occurrence means that it is rare and unlikely to happen again. Given that only 6 other teams did what the Mavs did, I believe it is safe to say that what the Mavs accomplished is unusual.

      With that said, in no way am I trying to diminish their championship – it was remarkable. They beat the defending champs, the best team in the league and a tough Portland team that many thought would advance to the second round. I also agree that their level of team play was exceptional and they had multiple players get hot at the same time. However, in the end, it was a classic case of a team getting hot at the right time and running the table.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 29, 2012, 12:25 pm

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