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Month: April 2011

Looking Ahead: Mavs Trade Talk and Free Agent Signing Talk Begins

Free agency? There IS still some Mavs basketball left, you know, right???

I know, I know. We’re still in the heat of the playoffs. Round One. Mavs still have a chance to move on. But is it ever too soon to talk trades?

Six of the Mavericks 15 will be unrestricted free agents at the end of this playoff run. That’s almost half the team. So the question will be who to re-sign, who to trade, and who to let go. The Mavs have some serious holes, but contrary to popular belief, these holes could filled rather quickly if Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban would get one things straight: Dirk is NOT a power forward.

In fact, as long as Dirk is masqueraded as a power forward, Dallas has almost no physical scoring presence in the paint. Chandler can produce some, but he depends entirely on point guard play and put backs. In order to win a championship, Dallas must have two things: toughness and paint production.

Let’s be honest. Dirk is about as power forward-y as I am.

Maybe a “little” more. I don’t care how tall or slow he is. He’s a shooting guard. Let’s just accept it and move on. Once we’ve accepted this fact, we can see that Dirk is clearly our starting 2 guard, which leaves a gaping hole at power forward (like there wasn’t one already).

Dallas’ biggest mistake has been thinking that a shooting guard is needed instead of a power forward. Once we look beyond that mistake, we see that the path is clear: Acquire a scoring power forward who hustles and has heart.

The perfect solution? Kris Humphries. That’s right. He’s already slipped through our fingers once. Though Dallas wasn’t willing to trust Humphries with full-time PF status (because that is Dirk’s position!), he is more than capable… not to mention affordable. Humphries is actually a free agent, so Dallas doesn’t necessarily have to pull of any kind of trade at all. Re-acquiring Humphries is the smartest free agent play Dallas could make this offseason.

But since I promised trade talk, I’ll put the scenario in an even MORE appealing package. Ready?

Acquire: Deron Williams / Kris Humphries from the Nets

Dallas needs to come up with a plausible $18.2 million trade offer. New Jersey won’t like it, but if Deron Williams has ANY loyalties to the DFW area, he’ll want to join a better team and be closer to home and do something to make this trade happen.

Option A: Send Jason Kidd, Roddy Beaubois, and Shawn Marion to New Jersey. It’s a stop gap trade for New Jersey, but if Deron wants to go somewhere else, the Nets would be foolish to not get some value for him before he walks out the door.

Option B: Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler.

Mix and match ‘em however you like, Dallas needs the energy and penetration that both Humphries and D-Wil bring.

Jason Kidd is ready for part-time status. Despite some stellar playoff play, Kidd doesn’t have enough in the tank. He’ll have to save it for the playoffs next year. Deron Williams plays like a Chris Paul point guard / shooting guard combo anyway. He’s versatile enough to play beside Kidd if necessary. Williams brings the toughness and penetration Dallas doesn’t have from any guard on the roster other than Roddy B, who has proven completely unreliable at this stage in his development.

Deron Williams is a legitimate scoring threat as well as a tough-minded no-backing-down point guard. Williams can post up on most players and penetrate with the best. He doesn’t mind banging into defenders. With that kind of toughness leading the team and a sacrifice-body-for-the-team hustling power forward in Humphries, the Mavericks reinvent themselves as the tough SOBs you don’t want to face in the first round.

Tell me this starting lineup doesn’t have you ordering season tickets.

Starting Lineup for the 2012 NBA Champions

Deron Williams – PG (JJ Barea or Jason Kidd)

Dirk Nowitzki – SG (Jason Terry or DeShawn Stevenson)

Caron Butler or Shawn Marion – SF (Peja Stojakovic)

Kris Humphries – PF (Other or rotate Marion/Dirk)

Tyson Chandler – C (Brendan Haywood)

Ready, Naysayers? And…. Go!

Of course, this will never happen. Why? Because everyone from the guy next door to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon insist that Dirk at shooting guard is a defensive disaster waiting to happen. I contend that every current game is a defensive disaster waiting to happen with only one big on the floor at a time. Shawn Marion can cover SOME power forwards, but he doesn’t have the size to match up on the offensive end.

So where would you rather be weak on D? Out on the wing, or down in the paint?

Matt Mosley Leaves ESPN’s NFC East Blog

I don’t know which rock I was under when this came out, but back in late February, Matt Mosley announced he was leaving his post as the official ESPN blogger for the NFC East.

I’ve listened on ESPN Radio Dallas to him interact with acclaimed radio personality and columnist Randy Galloway for several years now, and it’s a pretty good matchup up. Randy brings the Fort Worth, gambling hick good ol’ boy attitude and Mosley brings an upbeat,  preppy, Lake Highlands, tech savvy (though late to the Twitter party) attitude. Throw in a little Ian Fitzsimmons as the occasional referee and you have some entertaining sports radio.

Reminds me a bit of the even more popular combo on 1310 AM The Ticket. The Hardline has a gruff, bass voice old guy, a young tenor metrosexual hipster (with an extraordinary laugh), and a everyman’s man referee. It’s a match that seems to be working.

Mosley’s not just radio now, though. He’s taken his blogging talents over to FOXSports.com and Fox Sports Southwest.

To hear Mosley on ESPN Dallas’ daily sports radio show online, go to ESPNDallas.com and click LISTEN at the top right.

Blazers Surprise Comeback Costs Mavs Advantage

I wanted to have some words of hope for you Mavs fans, but I keep coming up short. It’s not that Dallas can’t still pull this series out. It’s that they’ve given up a tremendous surge of momentum.

One win in Portland was all I asked. Just one. Dallas had a 23 point lead with 13 minutes left in the game. TWENTY THREE. Do you know how huge that is? I was sitting at home VERY comfortably, thinking to myselfeven Dallas can’t screw THIS up!

Sigh. A 3-1 lead would’ve meant this series is in the bag. Win one of three remaining games and it’s over. Just one. But no.

Brandon Roy did have a magnificent 4th quarter. The kind we were expecting Nowitzki to have. Roy appears to be building confidence one game after another. Fortunately, he won’t have the home crowd energy tonight, which might nullify some of his emotional high.

Coach Carlisle is right, though. “We need our fans to be like these fans were out here,” Rick Carlisle said after Game 4. Mavs fans need to show up with SERIOUS energy tonight. If American Airlines Center resembled the Rose Garden, we might see one of our hometown heroes pulling a Brandon Roy in the fourth quarter.

Players feel the passionate support of their fans. They feed off it. Some teams can feed off the negative energy when playing away games, but the home team needs the crowd energy to push beyond their normal limits, especially when the two teams are as evenly matched as they are in this series.

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