December 14, 2010
Groundhog’s Day in Dallas

Is it wrong to feel like we are trapped alongside Bill Murray in a never ending cycle of identical season upon season. It may be still be December, with Groundhog’s Day over a month away, but already the eerie feeling that we’ve been here before is beginning to sink in. The Mavericks are streaking, among the hottest teams in the league throughout the early season. Also performing well about league average are the division rival Spurs, defending champion Lakers, along with the Jazz, Nuggets and upstart Thunder. So what has changed since a season ago? Well on the bright side, it seems as if the Suns have lost a step with the departure of Amare Stoudamire, though in reality, the suns never proved to be a true title contender even while racking up astronomical regular season win totals. The point is, the Mavs have been a perennial title threat since their last NBA Finals appearance in 2005-2006, yet have been unable to replicate similar post-season success. Since that fateful season and the heartbreaking loss to the Heat, the Mavs have not won less than 50 games, peaking with a phenomenal 67 win season the following year in 2006-2007, but have won only 1 playoff series, a first round matchup against the Spurs, only to be dispatched by the Nuggets in round 2. An upset at the hands of the 8th seeded Nuggets, a 5 game surrender against the Hornets and vengeful payback by the Spurs have otherwise sent the Mavs home early. Read on …

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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 …

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