Category Archives: Dallas Mavericks

Lamar Odom is Done as a Maverick

Per Mark Stein of ESPN:

Lamar Odom’s brief and bumpy ride with the Dallas Mavericks has come to an abrupt end.

The Mavericks and Odom spent Easter Sunday working out a parting, according to sources close to the situation, that frees the struggling Odom to leave the team immediately without actually being released.

“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in a statement to ESPN.com. “I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.”

It’s been clear Odom is not a fit in Dallas, and the effort just hasn’t been there.  It’s disappointing, as I thought going into this season that things were going to hinge on the play of Odom.  Unfortunately, it has turned out to be true, and not in a good way.

Interesting Mavs Statistic

A buddy pointed me to the following article on 82games.com which lists the most productive 5 man units in the NBA based on +/-.  Who knew that the most effective unit in the entire NBA would be the Mavericks lineup of Kidd-Terry-Howard-Nowitzki-Bass:

маси и столове

Team Unit Min +/- W L W% Off Def eFG eFGA FTA Reb T/O Net48
DAL Kidd-Terry-Howard-Nowitzki-Bass 123 +91 14 edfa 5 73% 1.31 0.98 .555 .478 +35 55% -10% +36
ATL Bibby-Murray-Johnson-Smith-Pachulia 106 +71 16 11 59% 1.25 0.94 .561 .423 +5 52% -5% +32
DEN Billups-Smith-Anthony-Martin-Andersen 106 +59 16 11 59% 1.18 0.95 .536 .382 +29 43% -3% +27
UTA Williams-Korver-Kirilenko-Millsap-Okur 131 +70 13 6 68% 1.33 1.04 .556 .462 +75 51% -5% +26
BOS Rondo-R.Allen-Pierce-Garnett-Scalabrine 110 +56 6 1 85% 1.22 0.96 .606 .500 -15 52% -5% +24

The thing that is most striking, however, is that this combination has played a total of only 123 minutes the entire season.  If you had a combination of players who played this well, wouldn’t you increase the amount of time they play together?  Granted there have been some injuries, but not enough to justify only playing these guys 123 minutes over the entire year.

Any thoughts on why this would occur?  Surely a team owned by Mark Cuban would be scouring statistics looking for these types of advantages.  If its on 82games.com, you know he has access to it as well.

NBA Trading Deadline Approaches

And what will the Mavs do? Last year, it was the Harris-Kidd deal that breathed some intrigue, if not life, into a moribund season. This year, who knows? A look at a few opinions I’ve heard, listed in order from my most favorite to least favorite:

1) Josh & change for Shaq & change (via David Lord): The upshot is that Phoenix gets a wing to run with Steve Nash and deals Shaq to unclog the middle for Stoudemire, who will hopefully then be happy, and Phoenix goes back to scoring 120 per night. Dallas finally gets a center to pair with Kidd and Dirk, retains cap flexibility for 2010, and perhaps can rely on some veteran savvy to make a run in the playoffs this year. I have to admit, the idea of a Kidd-Nowitzki-O’Neal-healthy Jason Terry quartet stirs what is left of the eternal sports optimist in me, especially if the Suns will include additional old guy Grant Hill to fill Howard’s wing slot.

2) From Ben & Skin yesterday…the Mavs, of course, have been rumored as a potential landing spot for free agent Chris Bosh in 2010. However, Skin argues that paying a max contract to Bosh is not prudent in light of the fact that the Mavericks would then have close to $40 million of their salary cap tied up in two guys who play the same position (Bosh and Dirk). His idea? If you’d rather have Bosh, trade Dirk for him right now, straight up. Dallas gets a 24-yr old budding star to build around, and Toronto gets the European-style superstar that Brian Colangelo undoubtedly covets.

3) My own idea from last year: Dirk and change for LaMarcus Aldridge.

4) Howard for Davis and Kaman? Negatory. Vince Carter? Not really interested. I would, however, look into dealing Jason Terry to get his contract off the books, as much as I love the guy.

Plan A: Tweak; Plan B: Blow Up

Plan A (Offseason): in no particular order

Part I:

(Assume salary cap filler in all proposed trades)

Choice 1) Agree to a deal that sends Josh Howard to Charlotte (back to his home state) and Jason Richardson to Dallas

Choice 2) Agree to a deal that sends Josh Howard to Los Angeles and Corey Maggette to Dallas

Choice 3) Find some way to bring both Richardson and Maggette here.

Part II:

Choice 1) Re-sign DeSagana Diop as backup center (per db.com, he’s interested)

Choice 2) D-Lord from db.com’s suggestion: Sign Kurt Thomas as the backup 4/5

Plan B: The Trading Deadline

Suppose that the Mavs gear up for a final run. Now, further suppose that it doesn’t go well, and the team is lingering around the lower playoff spots in the West at the trading deadline, or just out of the money. If it comes to that, it’s time to sell high. And the first guy to go would have to be Dirk, as much for his own good as for the good of the franchise. The way I see it, there should be two priorities in a Nowitzki trade: 1) Trade Dirk to a team that has a legitimate shot to win a title in the following three years (before he passes his prime). He has been a great player and citizen here, and he deserves it. 2) Get a good-to-great young player to build around (preferably a 4) plus expiring contracts and draft picks in return.

Perhaps my bias gives me tunnel vision, but I believe the balance of power will continue to lie in the West, so I didn’t even give much thought to Eastern Conference teams. As I scanned the West, one team popped out at me. Here’s my proposal:

Dallas trades Nowitzki to Portland for LaMarcus Aldridge (good, young 4 to build around), Raef LaFrentz (large expiring, and Mavs pay the final year as punishment for signing him to the deal in the first place), other necessary filler, and first-round picks in 2009 and 2010.

I don’t know how the salary cap-ology of this would work out, but given the contracts of those involved, it should be close.

Dallas gets a young player in Aldridge (also a Dallas native and former UT player), cap relief and draft picks. Portland gets to put this on the floor every night:

1: Jarrett Jack
2: Brandon Roy
3: I won’t pretend to know who starts at 3 for them, and I’m too lazy to look.
4: Dirk Nowitzki
5: Greg Oden

Counter-proposals welcome in comments.

Offseason player targets – Mavs

From an Eddie Sefko article, a list of possible offseason acquisitions for the Mavs. A sampling below, with my comments:

Jason Richardson – yes, please
Gerald Wallace – didn’t he just sign a long-term deal?
Corey Maggette – meh…
Ron Artest – please no
C.J. Miles – a diamond in the rough?
Eduardo Najera – so Corby can resurrect the song

Flotsam and jetsam fill out the list: Matt Barnes, Pietrus, Earl Barron, various other bargains, eggs, beans, and five.

Simple plans?

We could sit here and talk all day about the Mavs, I know.  I’d rather not – it gives me tired-head.  Besides, I’d rather focus my mental and emotional attention on the Metroplex sports team that is kicking @ss right now.

But I do feel that I have to say something – an epitaph if you will.  As disappointing as it was to watch people like Josh and Stack, Kidd and even Dirk screw up, it was also revealing.  Would anyone dispute the fact that this team was not playing to its potential?  Now, I don’t know if its maximum potential as currently constructed is second-round, third-round or simply seven games against the Hornets.  But the point is – the team underperformed. Continue reading

Post-Mortem

It’s true that the Mavericks have shot horribly, seemed listless, and been victimized by the no-shows of Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse (though I have argued that counting on Stack in this series was folly anyway). Why, then, would I be so hard on Avery Johnson? Once again – Avery makes in-game decisions that I can make no sense of. Last night’s Game 4 was no exception.

I read the Daily Dime on ESPN this morning, where most of the talk focused on Howard’s woes and the Hornets’ double-team of Nowitzki, effectively daring any other Mav to beat them. No one stepped up. What I’d like to focus on is a rather mind-bending sequence to begin the second quarter. Continue reading