Time to go to Lord of the Rings for some thoughts on the Mavericks at this very moment...
"The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail. But hope remains, if friends stay true."
That's where we are right now people. Dallas is 8-10 with some truly horrible losses and has played one of the weakest schedules in the league. Don't believe that last stat? Our opponents are a combined 123-145, a dismal .452. Add that plus the fact that the guys have been whipped by 19 points or more five times are we're looking at a dark road. I keep thinking about Andy's line from last night's recap
"The feeling that this team SHOULD be better is hard to shake, since it seems like the Mavs could only stop throwing it away, start boxing out a little bit, and turn it around. This so far, however, has not seemed to be true."
Dirk is not walking through that door (yet). What in the hell are they going to do? Can this team stick together? And how do we cope?
Playing the Suns might help, at least for tonight. The Suns are 7-12 and have been dealing with some in-house unhappiness as their Polish big man, Marcin Gortat, feels he's not getting the respect he deserves from the coaching staff. The Suns have lost their last four and Dallas should be looking to add to their woes. However, as we've seen this season against the Bobcats, Pacers, Lakers and others, the Mavs seem to be a good team to play when you're down because Dallas has a tendency to roll over quickly should they get punched in the mouth.
Goran Dragic presents a problem; Fisher can't keep up with him, Collison doesn't grasp defense and Roddy isn't being given any time. Shannon Brown is starting at two guard, though P.J. Tucker is also seeing time at that spot. Mayo should be able to hold his own defensively with either player and should recover from a rough night last night scoring the ball. Super gunner Michael Beasley gets the nod at small forward to start, and Marion should be able to frustrate him into an off night (not like Beasley ever has 'on' nights). Markieff Morris is starting at power forward; if Crowder continues to start (he should not be starting, for what it's worth) he'll get the assignment and hopefully plays better than he has. Gortat and Kaman is a great match up of offensively skilled centers. Gortat is better on the defensive end, in my opinion, so hopefully Kaman comes ready to score in the paint.
I really like the Dallas bench. In fact, I like just about all of the Dallas pieces in a vacuum. So I'd like to tell you that the Dallas bench has a clear advantage over the Suns. Maybe they will, but with the Suns bringing in Luis Scola and Jared Dudley, I see that as a fairly even break when the Mavs counter with Vince Carter and Elton Brand. Collison might be an X factor, but I simply don't expect anything from him. He's so mentally weak at this point I'd be happy for him to be anything other than terrible. Wright needs to get more time, I don't care what his defensive weaknesses are, it's not like anyone else on the team is playing D either.
I'm fed up, if you can't tell. I'm fed up with hearing how this team should be better. I'm tired of everyone thinking Dirk will cure all the problems. I'm tired of watching this team get beat like a JV team. Right now, at this very moment, Dallas is horrible. Truly horrible. And they aren't going to magically improve over night. I don't really see how they improve at all. We're a quarter of the way through the season and they've not corrected any of the problems they've displayed over the past few weeks.
Can they win tonight? Of course. Too much talent. Will they win tonight? I have no idea. Every time I think they will come out ready to play they get slapped by a team by 20 points. Let's just hope they come with their big boy pants on.