Zach Lowe writes more words about the NBA than any sane person should. Now at ESPN, Lowe keeps the gears churning providing insightful content on sometimes whimsical premises. His latest does just that. Lowe recently released Part 1 of his NBA League Pass Rankings — you know, those teams you tune into when you see #LeaguePassAlert flash across your timeline — and the Dallas Mavericks get a decent billing in his biased rankings.
Dallas is ranked 20th, scoring 26.5 points in Lowe’s rating system. That system is comprised of five categories: Zeitgeist, Highlight Production, Style, League Pass Minutia, and Unintentional Comedy.
Here’s a little about what Lowe has to say about the Mavs:
Most teams don't have the bandwidth to make wholesale strategic changes for each regular-season game. They look more or less the same every night.
The Mavs are the antidote to that strategic stagnancy. You never know when Rick Carlisle will bust out a zone defense, shuffle man-to-man matchups in an unconventional way to hide Dirk Nowitzki, or play three point guards at once. The Mavs almost get more fun when they fall way behind, and Carlisle junks up the game.
The Mavs, more than almost any team outside Oakland, make a threat out of everyone; they keep all five guys in motion as screeners and cutters, so that it is hard for defenses to tell the difference between what is real and what is diversion.
You are guaranteed a smart, professional effort every night.
That’s pretty high praise for a team that falls pretty low on Lowe’s rankings. What’s great is that he enjoys when Carlisle rolls out three point guards at once just like everyone on Mavs Twitter!* Remember that time against the Kings when he played five guards at once?! Good times.
It’s a fun list and you should read the whole thing. However, I’d argue that the Mavs are more exciting than all the teams listed higher in Part 1 other than the Lakers. But hey, these aren’t my rankings. At least Lowe gives Corey Brewer some appropriate praise when discussing the Lakers.
*Mavs Twitter does not enjoy this.