Our roundtable moves on. Today, we're going to talk about the things that didn't go like we thought they would.
Besides Rondo, what was the biggest disappointment this season?
Tim Cato (@tim_cato): The Chandler Parsons knee injury that led to his offseason surgery. It's disappointing in the sense that I believed the Mavericks to have a real shot to at least take Houston to seven games or so, that after Game 1 the Mavericks could have won all four if they had, say, a 6'10 swingman with playmaking skills. But hey, that's a long shot. The real disappointment of the injury is that it casts uncertainty on the one sure thing Dallas had headed into next season. Now their best and brightest young player, the only one sure to be back, could come back different. That really sucks.
Hal Brown (@HalBrownNBA): I hate to say Dirk, but...it might be Dirk. I came into the season thinking the Mavericks still had a superstar on their squad to hang their hat on, but he just wasn't that guy this year. I hate to get too hyperbolic with him though, I mean, he was good for most of the year! Not one of the top 20 players in the league or whatever, but he was good!
Realizing, though, that his defense may finally be more of a liability than his offense is a boon (but probably not), and that the team can't count of being playoff bound just by having him healthy is a serious bummer, and it's hurting my soul.
Bailey Rogers (@BRogers789): Dirk got worse quicker than I expected, but honestly I think the biggest disappointment was the lack of playing time for young talented players in favor of washed up vets. Aminu should have been a major rotation player long before the Rondo trade, and Dwight Powell should've been given an opportunity when it became clear Amar'e and Dirk absolutely could not be on the court together.
Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace): It's hard to be too upset that a roster of aging players fought as hard as they could and didn't get it done. Rick Carlisle didn't have the best season, often relying on bad line ups and playing veterans (what up, Richard Jefferson) over youth, but that's what happens when you give a guy a roster full of one way players.
Andrew Kreighbaum (@kreighbaum): The way Monta Ellis regressed after his first season and a half with the Mavs. You can place a lot of blame with Rondo for killing the spacing around him but Ellis has to bear some responsibility for how he played and acted during the second half of this season.
He fell in love with taking difficult long twos and stopped attacking the basket even when Rondo was on the bench. Ellis also refused to take time off to get healthy after the All-Star break, which probably contributed to his inefficiency. Maybe just as harmful was all the pouting he did behind the scenes and on camera toward the season's end. Those attitude issues renewed doubts about whether he'd ever accept a role on the team better suited to an undersized, one-dimensional shooting guard entering his 30's.