Thursday, February 7, 2008

Your Move, Dallas

With the Lakers stealing Gasol, the Suns getting the broken-down jalopy known as Shaq, and the Spurs getting...well, no one, but they're the NBA fans shifted their collective eyes to the Dallas Mavericks and wondered what the notoriously soft franchise would do to stay in the hunt. I still think Mark Cuban mowing down the other teams' best players with a machine gun like the end of Scarface is an option, but I appear to be alone on this one.

It was not too long ago that we were all discussing the inevitable trade that would send Kidd to the Mavs, a bunch of talented bench players to the Nets, and the cosby kid known as Devin Harris to the Blazers, but I haven't heard about that trade for a while which means the deal probably got more complicated. How could it NOT get more complicated? With the Suns and Lakers making such big deals, you know the Nets and Blazers (along with everyone in America) sensed the Mavs desperation. When trade partners sense desperation, they ask for more in compensation, and when that happens people start giving the finger and mooning each other angrily and it all goes to hell. I have had games of Uno end this way.

So what do the Mavs do now?

To the Mavericks I say take please page out of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and RELAX. While the media is going crazy over these acquisitions, take a moment to actually look at what you have around you: Your team is doing quite well this season. You have two promising stars that are getting better every year in Josh Howard and Devin Harris. If choker Peyton Manning and borderline special-ed Eli Manning can each win a championship, then Dirk can too.

"But what of the other teams?! What of their moves?!" you ask, slowly before I smile and pee on your shoes. To this I also say RELAX.

While Pau Gasol was a completely amazing bit of thievery even the hamburgular was impressed with, the Lakers still have Andrew Bynum on the mend and need everyone else to step up a bit who isn't named Kobe. I call them the Celtics West in that they need the other players around them to prove their worth before I can consider them even a "team" let alone one who can beat other good "teams" in the playoffs like the Spurs and Pistons. Out of all of their players, I consider Lamar Odom the real wild card as to whether this team has enough punch to be a potential dynasty or yet another pretender.

As for the Suns, the Shaq move could turn out well for them...but more likely than not we will see fat kids from Shaq's Big Challenge crying on the sidelines when the big guy sits out his 12th straight game. Even Nets President Rod Thorn doesn't think Shaq is any good and his team is making 8-game losing streaks and bad signings (Hey, resigning Vince Carter is a graaaaand idea!) look easy! To quote Thorn:

"What was Shaq going to do for us? Absolutely nothing."

And for the Spurs, I see this as the year they finally begin to show their age in the playoffs and fail to win the title. Yes, people have been saying that for a while, but I have been keeping hope alive with that team and am finally at the point where I can logically say, "I think the decline will begin now." Yes, I am actually declaring firmly that the Spurs will not win this season. It was, after all, about 80 years ago that Brent Barry was in that slam dunk competition. If you don't remember what I'm talking about, ask your grandparents about it.

Knowing the morons running a lot of these franchises, the Mavs will probably wind up pulling the trigger on a bad deal which involves their young stars instead of finding a way to get Eric Dampier the hell out of there. Still, if they don't do anything I don't mind saying that I feel they have a fighting chance. -After all, I DID predict they'd win it all this year over Detroit.

Still, just to be safe, keep any and all firearms away from Mark Cuban.

1 comment:

Zeke said...

The Mavs aren't stupid enough to trade for Kidd. Cuban has publicly come out and said they aren't interested. That might be poker, but I doubt it.

Would Kidd help Dallas? Of course he would, he's Jason Kidd. So having established that, what would it take to get him back to his original team? He makes $20 million a year. Would New Jersey want Jerry Stackhouse's contract? Jason Terry's? I don't think Rod Thorn is that dumb. It completely defeats the purpose of acquiring him if it takes Josh Howard, and that goes for Devin Harris as well. And Harris is ultimately what it would take to make Kidd a Mav unless they can somehow get a third team involved. It also shows just how far Harris has come along and where Kidd is at in his career that it's not at all clearcut that the Mavs are better off with him at the point instead of Harris. Harris is better at defending the speedy point guards Dallas is likely to see in the playoffs, like Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Allen Iverson. If teams follow Golden State's approach and swarm Dirk with double teams, who do you want shooting from the outside, Devin Harris and his much-improved outside shooting, or Jason Kidd, who has NEVER been a good shooter? Kidd is a much better passer and has better court vision than Harris, which is pretty much Job One for any point guard, and it's STILL not at all clear that he fits the Mavs needs over Harris. Kidd will also likely want an extension and will narrow Dallas' window for a title if he comes in. I haven't even mentioned that Devin is ten years younger than Kidd.

Dallas is also at or near the top in offensive efficiency, so ball movement and an over-reliance on iso play hasn't been the problem for them this year. It's their defense that's sagged off, along with the gaping hole at the two, where they don't have enough size or scoring. If the Mavs are looking for insurance at the point, Sam Cassell is a much better option, considering his friendlier contract and he's a better outside shooter than Kidd. Otherwise, they would do well to add another interior defender (Kurt Thomas perhaps?) to deal with the likes of Bynum, Gasol, Shaq, Amare, Boozer, Ming and Duncan, as well as a two that can score (Mike Miller or Wally S). The Mavs aren't trading for what Kidd did the past ten years, but what he's likely to do in the next three months, and if I'm Donnie Nelson, I'm not interested.