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The Backup Power Forward Position

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With the decision by Tim Thomas to sit out this year in order to take care of his ailing wife, the Mavs are left with a hole on their roster at the backup power forward position. Now to the casual outsider, this seems like a moot point considering Dirk’s going to play 37+ minutes a night; however, the 10+ minutes that he’s going to be out of the game are absolutely crucial. While Dirk hasn’t shown much signs of wearing down, one has to assume he is going to show signs of age at some point and the backup PF position is one that the Mavs would like to hit in order to give him some breaks throughout games. With Thomas, the Mavs had a solid back-up who could fill in better than any of the new candidates that have come out. As of right now, though, there have been 4 names thrown out that have been thrown out that could be of some help to the Mavs.

  • Brian Cardinal: According to a report last week, it seemed that Cardinal is the leading candidate to land on this team. Cardinal’s one of those guys that had one or two average seasons and somehow earned a large contract that he never lived up to. At this point, though, far removed from that contract, he remains a low risk option. He doesn’t really do anything off the charts well, but he does provide solid size and depth and would be an ideal fit for giving Dirk a breather in some games throughout the season. On the flip side, though, he is a definite step down from Thomas and the idea of having him on the Mavs is not one that fans are going to like to envision. But as the situation currently stands, he should be the clubhouse leader for that final spot and at this point, with training camp about to start, should be the odds on favorite.
  • Bobby Simmons: This is the guy I’m most intrigued by. While he doesn’t really have the size to play the 4 on a consistent basis, he could be a nice fit for the Mavs on an occasional basis. Much like Cardinal, Simmons used one nice season with the Clippers to gain a large contract with the Bucks, and after one good season in Milwaukee, has really fallen off the map. He’s definitely a risky, reclamation project, but if he can somehow regain his old form, I don’t think there’s any doubt the Mavs would be better off with him than some of the other guys on the list.
  • Steve Novak: Pretty bleah. When he’s gotten playing time, Novak has done some nice things and has shown the ability to stretch the floor through his solid shooting fromy behind the arc, but at the same time, he’s been just as mediocre as the two ahead of him on the list and has less of a track record. Maybe might be worth a shot due to his size and shooting ability, but I think it’d take a lot for him to somehow end up on the team.
  • Ike Diogu: Very, very interesting. The Garland product, Diogu has mainly failed to live up to the expectations that have surrounded him since he was the 9th overall pick in 2005. While his lack of size has been seen as a problem in the past, he would be solid as the back-up 4 due to his prowess on the boards and the fact that he can put the ball in the basket. In other words, he may provide us some of what Brandon Bass gave, who really did make life hard for opposing defenses when he came in for Dirk.