Wow. Not even two weeks ago, I posted this. I was fully expecting this to be the roster, with maybe the addition of Elton Brand and Delonte West. And Honestly I was Fine with it. But this....Just Wow. Lets run Down the List of Who Dallas has picked up in the past 2 Weeks:
Chris Kamen: 1 year 8 million
Elton Brand: 1 year 2.1 million
OJ Mayo: 2 years (salary unknown)
So Lets Run Down the Current Roster(Again I will list in Terms of PER for last year):
James Bernard, Jae Crowder, Jared Cunningham(N/A)
So how do these players fit in the Lineups? Lets look past the jump.
Note: About the title, It is a meme over at the Texas Ranger's SB Nation Blog, Lone Star Ball. It refers to the Rangers GM Jon Daniels ability to get these great deals in trades, that no one was expecting to get and at a lower price than expected. When that Happens the trading team is said to have been "ninja'd" as Jon Daniels is of Course a "ninja"....also works for when the Rangers find creative ways to sign players in FA.
PG- Darren Collison(13.6)
SG- O.J. Mayo(14.7)
SF- Shawn Marion(15.0)
PF- Dirk Nowizki(21.8)
Center- Chris Kamen(15.4)
Backup PG: Rodrique Beaubois(15.4)
Backup SG: Dahntay Jones(10.3)
Backup SF: Vince Carter(13.6)
Backup PF: Brandan Wright(21.7)
Backup C: Elton Brand(18.0)
One thing that strikes me is how good this team could be Offensively. of the Five "starters", only Collision is below 14.0 in terms of PER, and that was in a "down year". All the other Starters are close to or exceed 15.0 in PER, (Jason Terry BTW had a 15.8 PER last year). And Even the Bench should boast 3 players that exceed that mark,(15.0) in Beaubois(15.4) Wright(21.7) and Brand(18.0). And even Dahntay is considered an above average Defender(similar to Shawn Marion) while Carter is still a decent option. I honestly think this team could be better than the 2011 Championship team.
One thing I see is a 6th man by Committee approach. One reason Terry was so great as the 6th man, is that the bench was so poor at offensive end. I have a hard time seeing that this year(the bench could easily start on multiple teams) so I think that Carlislie could easily go with a "hockey shift" approach where he rotates out multiple players at once.
But Lets get to the rest of the Lineups, and as with my Last post I will focus on 4 lineups. The "Big Lineup", The "small lineup", the "3-guard" and of Course the "young guns"
The Big Lineup:
PG- O.J. Mayo(14.7)
SG- Vince Carter(13.6)
PF- Dirk Nowizki(21.8)
C- Chris Kamen(15.4)
OJ @ 6'4" and Carter @ 6'6" are both Combo players and are OK defensively. Elton @ the 3? are you crazy? True He might be a liability on defense, but is there another SF that could Guard him? maybe Lebron James, and Shawn Marion...and Marion is on the same team, and if you are putting a PF/C on Brand, who is Guarding Kamen or Dirk? Kamen Brings good Offense and Decent Defense to the C spot. The Value will be that this Lineup will help Wear down most standard lineups in a Halfcourt set. You Will have matchup issues all around, and forget about Doubling anyone, as all 5 are capable offensively. The key will be Mayo and how well he can play "facilitator". If he can be decent at that, this could be an Offensive juggernaut lineup.
The small Lineup:
PG- Darren Collision(13.6)
SG- Rodrique Beaubois(15.4)
SF- Dahntay Jones(10.3)
PF- Shawn Marion(15.0)
Al lot of People are Cringing at this...The Biggest player is 6'9"(Brand), however both Marion and Jones are considered really good defenders, Beaubois is underrated as one, and Both Brand and Collision are good there. The nice thing is Beaubois is a natural SG, that should work well with Collision, Marion and Jones are Crafty Vets that can get open, and Brand is still a good Offensive threat. The funny thing is that This is what I consider a "defensive lineup". Jones, Marion, Brand, and Beaubois, are good defenders, and even Collision is ok in that department. And with Collision on the floor you have a good PG, that can both score and assist, plus with Beaubois and Brand two capable offensive players. this lineup will look to Run opponents to the ground, using their athleticism, and both Marion and Jones are good "half Court defenders"
The 3-Guard Lineup:
PG- Darren Collision
SG- OJ Mayo
SF- Vince Carter
PF- Elton Brand
C- Dirk Nowtizki
This Lineup is easily the most "fluid" in terms of Personnel. I think the only constant will be Dirk, but even his position could move around between PF/C. the Rest of the Lineup could be a combination of many Players, but I think this will be the one we see the most. and for all those that are yelling "Dirk can't play the 5!", you have 3 players that can thrive in the "Drive and Kick" + the "Pick 'n Roll. By Having Dirk @ the 5 that will help pull the opposing 5 out of the paint(Dirk likes to set up in the "high post") thus allowing the wing players a clear lane to the basket.
The young Guns:
PG-Darren Collision(age 24)
SG- OJ Mayo(age 24)
SF- Rodrique Beaubois(age 24)
PF- Jae Crowder(age 22)
Center- Brandan Wright( age 24)
I know I am going to Catch flack for putting Beaubois @ SF, but given that Bernard James is 27, I can't put him in @ C,(yes he is rookie but he isn't "young" age wise) thus that moves Wright to C, Crowder to PF,and Beaubois to SF. That being said this could be a very interesting lineup. While it would be "undersized" Beaubois, has excellent reach, Wright is a good Rebounder and Offensive weapon, Crowder should be a good defender, and both Mayo and Collision are young vets, that should stabilize the lineup. And the Scary fact for teams is this: none of them are above 25 years old, and Dallas still has Jared Cunningham and Dominique Jones who are just as young behind them. This team got young Quick. And other than Wright(who has only one year left on his deal) all of them are under "team control" for the next couple of years.
I admit that these are just a small amount of the Lineups that we could see this year. Dallas has as many as 12 players that can play at least 2 different positions, some that could play as many as 3, and the combinations in that are virtually endless.
So what do you think MMB? Let me know in the Comments, and don't forget to tip the Waitresses.