August 18, 2010
Keys for Mavs Improvement

With limited help coming in through free agent, as the Mavs have so far been unable to land a big name by sign and trade, the current team is going to have to make major strides forward from within in order to take the next step going in to the 2010-2011 season. Assuming Dirk Nowitzki can maintain his current level of production, and management is obviously willing to bet 20 million a year he can, the Mavs should continue to be competitive in the West, though a true championship contending team has eluded the city of Dallas since 05-06. Here are a few ways the Mavericks might could make a play to advance further in the playoffs, all without acquiring any more players this off-season.Use Tyson Chandler Appropriately This is the Mavericks’ lone big acquisition (in terms of size and contract) for the summer, so the temptation is to throw him out there and see what he gives the group for 30 minutes a game despite his well documented injury concerns. If the Mavericks decide Chandler is really the answer this season (more on this later), it doesn’t make sense to waste his best efforts in the regular season, when the current unit more or less has done fine on its own, securing a 2 seed last season. Don’t limit him to over-the-hill Shaq numbers, after all he’s only 27, but play him within reason until it’s time for a post-season push, ensuring he will be healthy and fresh when it matters most.Find Playing Time for Youth When teams can’t acquire new talent, the best way to improve is by developing young assets. Following this logic, the Atlanta Hawks have improved from 37 to 53 over the last 2 seasons, relying largely on the progression of Josh Smith and Al Horford. The Mavs have young talent in the form of Rodrigue Beaubois and All-Summer League squad selection Dominique Jones. Getting them on the floor and into meaningful rotation roles may mean less time for Jason Terry and even some spelling of Kidd, but the current unit could use a youthful infusion at times. Read on …

Filed under: Team Outlook,
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Re-signing Dirk: Good for Basketball

Let’s get this clear; it was never a realistic consideration for Dirk Nowitzki not to resign with Mavs this offseason, nor for the Mavs to not resign him. Dallas is the only NBA home Dirk has known over the course of his 12 years of service, and considering the new 4-year deal is now official, it certainly appears the Mavericks have no intention of letting the longtime face of their franchise don another team’s jersey. Seeing a player, especially a superstar in today’s volatile NBA climate, stick with the same team for what will amount to 16 years, were he to play out his entire contract, is a refreshing change of pace. Looking down to South Beach, where the Miami Heat’s new high-prized second banana is drawing league-wide criticism, Dirk’s decision is exactly what a lot of fans across the country had hoped would happen with James and Cleveland. A sense of ownership for a team’s long term success, a sense of loyalty, heck, the general sensibility not to carve out the collective heart of your devoted followers on prime time television, all of this is why Nowitzki’s legacy in Dallas, and throughout the NBA, will go down as a great one, whether or not he ever hoists the trophy at year’s end. Read on …

Filed under: Player News,
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Mavs Summer League Roundup

With NBA Summer League action safely in the rear view mirror, the Mavs squad of first and second year players closed out an up and down performance by blowing out the Sacramento Kings summer team in the finale. The summer got off to a rocky start as the young Mavs dropped their first two at the hands of the Rockets and Nuggets, before finally rebounding with a one-point victory over the Bucks. Before Sunday’s win, the team took a 6-point loss to John Wall and the Wizards, bringing the total Win-Loss to 2-3. Though coaches do like to see how players respond to various situations in an in-game format, all in all, summer records are more or less meaningless, with individual performances serving as a better barometer of an organization’s success. After all, the bright spots from the team are the only ones that will show up on the NBA roster when game results actually matter. Here’s a look at the summer-Mavs’ most high profile players and how they fared in the Vegas heat.Rodrigue Beaubois After a surprisingly successful rookie campaign in which Beaubois generated a lot of buzz around the league, don’t read too much into his underwhelming summer stats. Beaubois was plagued by turnovers throughout, averaging 4.2 as compared to just 3.0 assists. His summer was highlighted by a 28 point outpour against Houston in which shot an efficient 12-20, although this game as unfortunately the statistical outlier.Dominique Jones The rookie out of South Florida gave the Mavericks’ their most impressive performances. Though he proved he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from outside, not managing a single 3-pointer all week, Jones was able to use smart angles when slashing to the basket to either finish or draw the foul, while showing some grit on the defensive end. After a shaky start to the summer, Jones closed out strong with a 28 point flurry against the Wizards and a 17 point 7 assist (to just 1 TO) effort against the Kings. Read on …

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Introducing Tyson Chandler

Somewhere between the promising seven-foot 2nd overall pick out of Dominguez High School and the wandering journeyman cast away by the likes of the Hornets and Bobcats, at one point traded for scraps to the Thunder were it not for a failed physical, lies the real Tyson Chandler. With the Mavericks acquiring Chandler and Alexis Ajinca from Charlotte in exchange for Eduardo Najera, Matt Carroll and Erick Dampier’s unguaranteed contract (providing around 13 million in financial flexibility for trade partners), the question remains, “After nine NBA seasons to work with, what exactly are the Mavs getting out of Tyson Chandler?” Read on …

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Jason Kidd’s New USA-role is a Reflection on Mavs

In a move perhaps more evident of the Dallas Mavericks increasing age and veteran experience than on-court performance, point guard Jason Kidd will take his talents to the Team USA sidelines for the first time in his career. In what could be viewed as a rebuilding squad for America’s team, Kidd provides veteran leadership and international competition savvy without playing a single minute in upcoming games and events. Not to say that Kidd couldn’t hang with the youngsters, as he still remains a valuable contributor under contract with the Mavs for the upcoming season and beyond, but as Team USA looks to replace its nucleus of previous years, the organization will look to let a new generation of superstars blossom together. Read on …

Filed under: Player News,Team Trends,
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