Wasn't able to get to this over the holiday, but the final Dallas and Cents of 2012 sees the Mavericks at one of their lowest points in recent team history. At 12-18, with Dirk back but not "back" back, and a long hard climb ahead if the playoffs are in the future, Dallas is hoping for a much better 2013. Here are your notes:
- Dominique Jones says that the team's struggles means that "everybody in the organization needs to just look in the mirror."
- Dirk Nowitzki, who made his home debut last night in his third game back, says that he's "not helping much right now." When your team is losing by 20+ as often as Dallas is, you're clearly not the only one "not helping."
- Rick Gosselin, who apparently writes about things other than the Cowboys, states in a chat that "this is the worst supporting cast Dirk has had in quite some time." On paper, I don't know how exactly that came about, but it's hard to argue with the results.
- Dallas was once again destroyed in the rebounding column last night against Denver. The reason: Chris Kaman is 36th among 51 qualified centers in rebound rate, and Brandan Wright is 48th. This team needs a rebounding center in the worst way, and yet Bernard James hasn't seen the court in four games, even with Brandan Wright nursing an ankle problem. I have gobs of respect for Rick Carlisle, and I'm not suggesting Bernard James is a savior...but maybe he helps? Maybe he helps a lot, even?
- Also in a chat, Eddie Sefko writes that he's "not willing to go there" on Dallas missing the playoffs. Personally, I'd feel a lot better about the Mavs' chances if there was an addition somewhere, preferably either at 1 or 5.
- Mark Cuban says that "no-one's pushing any panic buttons"...yet. I added that last part.
- Tim McMahon has a piece on DeMarcus Cousins as a possible trade target. It's an intriguing possibility, since Cousins rollercoaster of crazy has maybe lowered his trade value enough to enter the Dallas trade atmosphere...but I think it's difficult to see the Kings, who don't have a lot going for them right now, jettisoning arguing their best player without a massive return. Buying low on a high-risk, high-reward player might end being the Mavericks best shot of getting their second star to pair with Dirk, though.
- George Karl defends recently fired head coach Avery Johnson, and as much as I'm not crazy about saying good things about Avery Johnson, I have to agree I think he got a raw deal. The Nets moneywhipped a bunch of a non-star talent, and put it around one star(Deron) who not only isn't playing well, but who all but threw his coach under the bus in an effort to shift the blame for his own poor play. The Nets got off a good start, and were having some struggles lately...but exactly how much better than .500 did they expect to be 30 games into the season? I think Steve Kerr had it right when he said that the ownership is finding out there's a difference between being cool and being good. Avery is paying the price because other people thought this team would be great when it clearly isn't.
- Wanna see that crazy Darren Collison shot again? Well, I do.