A Dallas Mavs fan Guest…

15 06 2007

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I have a friend who’s a Dallas fan… so after their sucktastic dismissal from the finals giving him a few weeks for the wounds to heal from the Golden State loss, I asked him to respond to a few questions I posed him.

I asked 2 questions:

  • As a Dallas fan, how did you feel immediately after elimination?
  • What changes do you see as necessary to not only get the Mavs to the Finals, but to win them?

Here’s his response…

I’m Chris, also known as Moses to many. I live in Arlington, which is in-between Dallas and Fort Worth, TX (It’s the sight of the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, as well as where the Texas Rangers play). I’ve been a fan of local sports for about 15 years now, and have lived through the good times (3 Dallas Cowboys Championships), the bad times (1993 11 win Mavericks season, 1 win Cowboys season in ’91, etc.), and the dissappointing times (Pretty consistent for the past 6 years or so).

Which leads us to the latest disappointment: The first round ouster of the best team in the NBA, my Mavericks, by a team that just barely made the Playoffs, the Golden State Warriors. How could such a thing happen? There was a sense of dread ever since we lost that close regular season game to Phoenix, when we lost in double OT. We didn’t play as sharp after that… We weren’t losing, but we certianly weren’t playing at the same high level. And I can only blame Avery Johnson for that. He didn’t keep the team in shape for the playoffs, didn’t keep them mentally ready; too much time off for everyone. He should have pushed the team to break the regular season record, to keep a clear and focused goal for them. He certainly shouldn’t have let a potential playoff opponent stop all over their team. That still bothers me…

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I don’t question that Dirk can lead this team. But he needs to “get his head right”. Now that Nellie made him look like a fool, everyone will emulate that. Dirk has to have better composure, but the loss certainly wasn’t on him. Our point guards couldn’t get it to him in a spot he was comfortable with. Very rarely did we see a re-post, or a pass back to him.

We need a real point guard. I’m not sure of the details of Chauncey Billups (Is he completly free after this season? Restricted free agent?), but if we can somehow trade for him, that’s who we need. He can basically get where he wants on the court, and will take any shot without hesitation. He’s also too old for a long contract; if we got him, I’d only want a 1-3 year deal out of him, but things never work out that way. We’ll probably just end up overpaying for an older point guard, further making Mark Cuban look like a moron for letting Nash go.

As I watch these horribly boring, but defensively intense playoffs, I see that we still lack a hardnosed defensive player that we need. Someone who is only out there for defense, similar to Bruce Bowen. We’ve been trying for that for a while now with Adrian Griffen, Greg Buckner, and Devean George, but none are getting it done.

We also need to be the underdog. I can’t explain it, but we play better that way. The number 1 seed that was the worst thing that could happen to us.

Next year, I expect our team’s major players to still be here, and it’ll be the same. I just don’t see any possible trades for what we’re willing to give up, or us able to pay a big free agent. Us remaining the same may be enough – It was enough in 2006 to get to the Finals. Hopefully more experience and wisdom will prevent another patented Mavericks collapse.

Thanks Chris, and good luck to the Mavs for next season…

Kinda.


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Finals? Bah… Bring on the Off-season!!!

6 06 2007

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Ok… I know the NBA finals are going to be exciting now. I get that. Lebron “Luke-the-force-is-with-you” James vs the San Antonio “Deathstar” Spurs (who really thinks the good guys are going to win this time?) – great viewing.

But the off-season this year is looking so… interesting! First, the draft. How karmic was it that Boston & Memphis did not get a top 3 choice after two of the most obvious tanking performances I’ve seen by a professional sports team?!! I heard that in the morning on my way to work, and could not stop smiling all day!

We got Portland getting the first pick – and are almost certain to take Greg Oden & take a big step in the turn-around of the franchise once known as the ‘Jail Blazers’. The only alumni left from that group is Zach Randolph, and trade rumours surround him galore. Sure, the rebuilding of Rip City started before now – and the addition of Brandon Roy/LaMarcus Aldridge last year was a coup – but with Greg Oden in the mix, the sights will be set much, much higher. And deservedly so. Exciting times ahead for Portland.

With the losses (all surprisedly so?) of Dallas, Detroit and Phoenix, we can expect at least some retooling to occur within those rosters.

With Flip Saunders expecting to stay with the Pistons , that will probably ensure that fairly significant changes will occur to the roster. Rasheed Wallace has probably received his last technical in a Detroit uniform, Chris Webber’s probably due to retire, and the changes that occur might mean that Chauncey Billups departs too – via free agency.

Even with Mark Cuban declaring unconditional support for Dirk, I’d expect changes in Dallas. Dirk’ll stay, but Jason Terry is destined for somewhere else, Devin Harris deserves to have the ball. The Warriors exposed the deficiencies the Mavericks have at close to the basket – Dirk is simply more touch than brawn, and Eric Dampier’s ever-growing-contract is an elephant for the team to carry. Jerry Stackhouse is a free agent, and it will depend on the offers he gets. But bottom line: Dallas need a big guy, who can provide muscle… and not just talk about it like Dampier.

Phoenix are interesting. But for a hit by Robert Horry…

then maybe the Spurs aren’t in the finals.

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