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Mavs win the West!

The Dallas Mavericks are going back to the NBA Finals. I have been waiting for this for five years. I didn’t think that Dirk Nowitzki could lead the Mavericks to the finals. In a way, I was right. Dirk had plenty of help. He has played very well, some might say great, but his teammates have also played well. Shawn Marion was outstanding today. I thought that he was done several years ago but he has stepped up his game. Jason Kidd. I knew he was done 3 -4 years ago but he has played extremely well in the playoffs. Jason Terry has continued to play like Jason Terry – up and down. I didn’t think that Rick Carlisle was that hot as a coach. I was wrong. He coached his butt off.

I do tip my hat to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They played hard. They played with energy. They played with heart. Kevin Durant needs to learn how to be a superstar. He is a great player but he has to call for the ball at the end of the game. It is a must. Everything should go through him. Durant needs to sit down and look at a Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant video. Don’t look at the dunks but study how they ran the offense late in playoff games. They didn’t always take a shot down the stretch but they did make plays so that either they themselves or one of their teammates took the shot. Durant has to learn that the ball will always be safer in his hands. He is the superstar. Harden is a beast and should be a starter. Westbrook should be traded. Too many stupid plays. One “oh, shit” erases ten “that a boy’s.”

The Dallas Mavericks seemed to have patterned themselves after the San Antonio Spurs. Let’s hope that it is a winning formula.

By |2011-05-26T01:17:00-04:00May 26th, 2011|Sports|Comments Off on Mavs win the West!

Lakers down 3-0, not looking good

I grew up in Dallas. I remember in the middle 1980s when the Dallas Mavericks had an outstanding basketball team. Rolando Blackman, Sam Perkins, Mark Aquirre. These guys looked outstanding on paper. They simply could not beat the Los Angeles Lakers led by Magic Johnson. Then the Dallas Mavericks went through more disappointment and heartache through the 1990s. The Dallas Mavericks slowly developed one of the most potent offenses in the history the NBA led by Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki. These guys ran up and down the court and outscored just about anyone. Then, year after year, they collapsed in the playoffs. Then came 2006. This was the year that the Dallas Mavericks exorcised their demons and got to the NBA finals. They led those finals two games-zero against the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade single-handedly destroyed the Dallas Mavericks, game after game. The team was reorganized. Steve Nash, a crowd favorite, got shipped off to Phoenix. For reasons that remain unclear, as well as aging, Jason Kidd was brought back to Dallas.

Since 2006, I have not taken the Mavericks seriously. Dirk Nowitzki is the reason why. He is a great outside shooter. He is average to mediocre on defense but hits the boards extremely well. In games that matter, the playoffs, with five minutes to go, the game slows down. You are forced to run a set offense. Defense tightens. Your superstar must get the ball. That superstar must have a shot that he can make 80-90% of the time or get fouled or dish the ball to someone who can either make a layup or drain a three-pointer. Unfortunately, Dirk relies on a 15-foot fadeaway jumper which he can make approximate 55% of the time. He does not get fouled because he is fading away. This brings me to Friday night, when for some reason, with less than five minutes to go, Dirk Nowitzki became aggressive. It is something I haven’t seen before. He drove the lane and made a running left-handed baby hook over two defenders. Nowitzki drives and dishes, not once but twice. He does this on two successive series. The Dallas Mavericks didn’t choke, but drained three-pointers. Dirk does not turn the ball over in the clutch. He does not allow the ball to clang off his foot and roll out of bounds. Right before our eyes, Dirk Nowitzki has turned into a superstar.

Phil Jackson is a basketball genius. He recognized, several years ago, that Kobe Bryant was beginning to wear down. He needed to find another superstar and then transition Kobe Bryant into a supporting role. The Los Angeles Lakers went out and got Pau Gasol. Last year, Gasol played like a superstar. This year, in the playoffs, not so much. So, Phil Jackson is left with a dilemma. What do you do when your superstar player is playing like a benchwarmer? All you can do is try to motivate your player. You can hope that the rest of the players on the team can carry your superstar. I’m not sure that Kobe Bryant can carry the team, night after night like he did four or five years ago. The Lakers need one or two other players to step up. These players need to step up big.

Finally, I have all of the stats that the basketball analysts were throwing around. There’s one that they didn’t even mention: rebounds. With Lamarr Odom, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol (6’10”, 7 feet tall and 7 feet tall, respectively) how did the Lakers not win the rebound battle? The Dallas Mavericks out-rebounded the Los Angeles Lakers. This is simply a lack of hustle.

Tomorrow is game four in Dallas. Will the Dallas Mavericks began an epic collapse? Will the Los Angeles Lakers be swept? I look forward to this one.

By |2011-05-07T23:13:34-04:00May 7th, 2011|Sports|Comments Off on Lakers down 3-0, not looking good

Mavericks Fire Johnson

Two years ago, Avery Johnson led the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA finals. The Mavs were up 2-0 versus Dwayne Wade. Wade single-handedly beat the Mavericks. Shaq was on the floor but really wasn’t a major factor in their championship win. Since then, the Mavericks have come up short. They lost to Golden State in the first round last year. I’ll re-type that. The Dallas Mavericks lost to Golden State in the first round of the playoffs. This year they showed the heart of deer as they got spanked by the New Orleans Hornets.

The Mavericks need to make some major moves in order to get back to where they were two years ago. I think that firing Avery Johnson was a good move. Next, give Jason Kidd his walking papers. Then, find a guard who is young and who will take the ball to the hole. We need a guard that will dish to Nowitzki or shoot the teardrop that Tony Parker has made famous. We need a guard who can breakdown a defense like Steve Nash. Oh yeah, we traded him. We need a guard who can play some defense and stop Chris Paul and other quick shooting guards like Devin Harris. Oh yeah, we traded him too. I’m not saying that we have made some stupid trades but WE have made some stupid trades!!!

Why is Jason Terry still sitting pretty for the Mavs? In the crutch, he has folded time and time again. He seems to have all of the skills to expect the ability to play great defense and to be a dominant player in this league, but he has to be able to crank it up a notch. Two years ago, he carried the team in a couple of playoff games. Dirk wasn’t shooting well. Terry stepped up. Where was he this past week? What about against Golden State? You have to refuse to lose.

Mark Cuban is in a tough spot but he is the owner. He needs to figure out where to go. He needs better talent on the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki is 30 years old and has proven that he can play, but he really cannot carry a team in the final three minutes of a game. Jerry Stackhouse can do great things, but sometimes his head isn’t in the game. Getting ejected during an elimination playoff game should be grounds for being fired from the team.Devean George – bye. Juwan Howard – see ya. Eddie Jones – bye. The Mavericks need to clean house. What are we going to do with Dampier? He is one of these invisible 7 foot centers. Why? Find a 7 footer who can move inside and score.

The Mavericks have been too content. They need to make major moves to prevent two to five more years of almost being great.

By |2008-04-30T22:33:37-04:00April 30th, 2008|Sports|Comments Off on Mavericks Fire Johnson
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