Told you it was Puppy Friday
So, we're just under a week away from tipping off the new Mavericks season. I'll be honest, I'm not holding onto the greatest amount of hope that the Mavericks can do a lot of damage. The West is still more powerful than the East, and the Mavs's division is RIDICULOUS.
Shit, New Orleans, San Antonio, Houston in the same god damned division. Then you look at the rest of the West and you've got the LA teams, New Orleans, Denver, Golden State, Phoenix, and my "team to fear this year", Portland. You can only pick 8 of those to go playoffs and contend? Yeesh.
The Roster (projected starters)
Well, here we go again. He's another year older, and he's coming off an Olympic summer where he couldn't spend the entire time resting his styrofoam knees. He's also sponsored by a Chinese shoe company. He showed that he is a great mentor, and a great teacher...but look who he's teaching
Oh. Dear. God. No. If you haven't been reading us, then I'm going to let you know this fact. Juan Jose Barea is the personal whipping boy of The Big and The Brown.
Personally, I don't see JET finishing the season a Dallas Maverick. I like Terry, I do, but I think that he's not going to fit in the Carlisle mentality and system. That being said, he's the only legitimate number 2 scorer on this team if Howard doesn't find himself, so here's to hoping Terry has "that" season.
Darling number 2 of the preseason, and offseason move de jour. Green has openly said that he still has a lot to learn and he can't depend on his insane hops to be a formidable player in this league. He's been fantastic in the preseason, but that's the preseason. Show us you can do it for real, because with Barea and Kidd at point, you're going to see a lot of Terry slipping to the 1 and Green playing for the 2 if a combo isn't available.
All hail, Captain Controversy! After a terrible season last year, the end of last season's pot admissions and this summer's anti-Star Spangled Banner stance, Josh Howard is going to be the most scrutinized player on the entire roster. Period. At his best, Howard is the most tenacious defender on the team and the legit second scorer behind Dirk in the front court. At his worst, he's Antoine Carter. This is our only hope to match the crazy of Ron Artest a few hours south on 45.
I hate this guy. Avery brought him in because he was supposed to be a "defensive specialist". I call him, waste of court and bench. The Mavs were able to unload Eddie Jones, now let's focus on pushing George out the door like I was ousted from our softball team.
Just like Jason Kidd, here's another guy who's got A LOT of miles on his tires. I don't know many people who don't like Stack. He's a gamer and he's the only guy on this team, at times, who shows any energy and drive to slash in the paint. That being said, he's old and frail and can't do it anymore.
Darling number 1 of the preseason, and an Aggie to boot. Acquired in the Jersey trade, Wright raised a few eyebrows last year and has been THE guy this preseason. I find Wright to be a very curious case, and I think this could be another one of those Donnie Nelson diamonds in the rough kind of players.
Not much else to say, but to quote Simmons: This is going to be the "EFF YOU AVERY" season. As long as Dirk is healthy, this team has a chance to win any game.
Bass is one of those guys that we're not sure of. I mean that. He reminds me of Joaquin Benoit and the Rangers. He's too good to sit or let go, and he shows flashes of greatness, but he hasn't consistently been the guy you need him to be. Beacuse of that, teams want Bass and the Mavs are always toying with the idea of packaging him. I say, don't move this guy. Let him learn under Dirk. Bass can be a solid off the bench guy and eventual starter when Dirk reaches Jason Kidd's age.
Signed with the Mavs this summer for the veteran minimum. The way the Mavs like to flush out the roster every offseason. Make no mistake, Singleton is going to be the black Austin Croshere.
This was who the Mavs got back from Indiana for Eddie Jones. Williams is a young guy from Memphis who was suspended for the first few games of last year for not adhering to standards of behavior for the Pacers. That's the Marquis Daniels Pacers. Shit. Williams isn't a dazzling scorer, but he's got range and has gone on hot streaks. He's not a crash the boards forward and he's a shoot first, drive later kind of guy. He fits the Mavericks, but I dont know if that's saying much.
Ahh yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I could probably cut and paste the phrase "it depends on which Dampier we get tonight" from any number of posts and text messages over the past couple of years. I stand by that. When Dampier is on, then he is one of the best fives in the league...oh yeah, he has to put up with Shaq ribbing him again, so let's see what that does.
What did you learn in New Jersey, my large African friend? Probably nothing, but at the least, we know the center tandem of Diop and Dampier was enough to win the West a few years ago. Diop needs more size to really bang down under with the big guys, but he does have a better defensive skill set than Dampier. I'd expect Diop to develop a rapport with Kidd and advance his offensive skills as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see Diop starting over Damp in mid-season.
Well, well, well. I wasn't a big fan of this, and I believe I had a post about it. I was never a big believer in the "Avery is the reason we failed" theory, but maybe Rick Carlisle is the breathe of fresh air this team needs. I don't really know. Maybe Carlisle is the Maverick's version of Wade Phillips, and we're really just dancing with disaster...I can't get a bead on him, that's for damn sure.
The Mavericks aren't in an enviable position this year. Come to think of it, the "traditional" Western Conference powers are in danger of getting pushed out by the younger teams like New Orleans, Utah and Portland. Everyone on this team is going to have to bring it all 82 games because this is a division and a conference where no one can recover from too bad or long of a slump. Everyone else made moves to get stronger, and the Mavs seems to go lateral. Here's to homerism trumping pragmatism!