May 3, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; The Dallas Mavericks dancers perform before game three in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the American Airlines Center. The Thunder defeated the Mavericks 95-79. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
As the "I told you so" pieces about the Cowboys circle the DFW media landscape, some people are actually taking the time to write about the Dallas Mavericks, too. Here are highlights:
- Tim McMahon makes the statement that Chris Kaman can(and should) be the best offensive center in team history, but takes the time toactually compare him to centers of past, which really does nothing more than prove how pathetic the production from that position has been the last 30+ years. I haven't bothered to check this for accuracy, but he states that the highest point-per-game average from a Dallas center came from Tom LaGarde in their inaugural season of 1980-81, at 13.7. No, you're not supposed to know who that is.
- Eddie Sefko has some good stuff at the DMN. He talks about new coach Eddie Najera's impressions of the workouts and one player who has stood out, O.J Mayo. Says Najera, "You can see it in his eyes. He looks like he's ready to move his game up". Are all these stories actually starting to get me really excited about O.J Mayo?
- Eddie Sefko talks about another newly acquired guard, mystery man Dahntay Jones, who he compares to the Matrix because of how he takes pride in hard-nosed defense. With all the guards on the roster, I have no idea how much Carlisle intends to use Jones, but his combination of defense and newly-found accurate shooting could make him a pretty valuable contributor. Prior to the Mayo signing I thought there was an outside chance Jones started for Dallas, in a "set the tone" fashion, the way DeShawn Stevenson did.
- Perhaps a player even more mysterious than Jones, since we've never seen him play, Sefko also writes about, that being Jared Cunningham, who is understandably eager to get on the court and prove himself. We can't mince words here: Cunningham couldn't have helped himself by missing the summer league, where Jae Crowder impressed enough that he might now be the rookie looking at getting the most burn. There's no Deron Williams out there, but Dallas has a ton of guard depth, and no shortage of athleticism in that bunch. There doesn't appear to be anything Cunningham does that some of the others don't, so it might be hard for him to carve out minutes, even if he is the most recent first round pick, and I probably don't need to bring up Carlisle's recent history of playing rookies.
- Earl K. Sneed discusses yet another guard who faces steep competition for playing time, the talented but enigmatic Roddy Beaubois, who has gone from team savior to practically overlooked in under two years. The quote worth mentioning here is that Carlisle says he believes "this is the year (Roddy) puts it all together", which is interesting because unless there are a lot of injuries it is very hard to see how Roddy gets even the same amount of minutes he got last year, let alone more.
- The prolific Mr. Sneed also talks about a potential tactical change for Dallas: utilizing a full-court press. That's something Dallas couldn't do with a backcourt of AARP-members. One thing's for sure, Dallas is going to have a lot of speed (Collison, Roddy, Cunningham), and a lot of toughness(West, Dahntay Jones, Marion), and the sheer volume of capable bodies could make a grueling press-defense possible.
- Chris Kaman is a busy man. Your best guess is as good as mine as to what he's doing, but it probably involves killing something.
- Staying on the subject of Kaman, Art Garcia has a piece on the big man, and what Dallas is hoping to get from him next year.
- Ken Berger's mailbag features a question on the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban.
- Ben Golliver ranks the top 100 players, and checking in at #10 is a Mav. The suspense!
- Apparently Jeremy Lin just really likes sleeping on couches.