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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of a Mavs Wasted Season

After watching the Mavs get swept by a young, athletic, hungry Thunder team, I checked my feelings  on the series and I realized that I was not surprised.   

 
 
Oklahoma City was just better this year.   Unlike the Mavs, the Thunder basically had the same team as last year. Their only significant change was the addition of PG Derek Fisher after the Lakers released him.
 
A week later, I was still wondering what went wrong. Was it the coaching, the players in general, the player with no heart, the executive office, or the owner?
 
I decided to separate what I call a “wasted” season into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
 
The Good
 
Carlisle did what he could with the roster he had. Dirk was Dirk.  Delonte West was a nice addition that contributed during the season.  Mahinmi progressed this season and has some upside for the future. Vince Carter was rejuvenated and earned Carlisle’s trust during the first round’s short series. Brandan Wright had some nice games during the season and could be valuable next year.
 
The Bad
 
Roddy Beaubois was non-existent against the Thunder. He’ll give you one awesome game and suck it the next. With that type of inconsistency I don’t think he’ll be a Mav next year. I see him being part of a trade package this summer. 
 
Jason Terry.  He really ticked me off in March when he said he’d be a good fit with the Miami Heat.
 
“No question, they need a veteran shooter, a guy who can score besides LeBron and Wade, and they know they can count on. I'm a guy that's been in this league 13 years, 15 points a night, easy. Off the bench or the starting lineup, it doesn't matter. So I think I'd be an asset to them.”
 
I understand he was just answering an interview question and that he wants to get paid, but he wants to play for the Heat… the hated Heat.   It was sweet to rip their title hopes last season and win it all, but they are still hated by loyal Maverick fans. 2006 will not be forgotten!  I bet you anything that Dirk would never say he would play for the Heat. I like Jet Terry, I love his passion and the way he gives it all on the floor, but don’t irk those that have supported you all these years in Dallas. To top it off, he then goes cold during the Thunder series, and it just made for a bad end to the season.   Even after my rant,  I do hope Cuban keeps the Jet in Dallas.
 
Mark Cuban. What attracted many fans to stick with and defend Cuban for many years was that he is not just an owner, but also a fan. This past year he started thinking more as a business man and wasted a whole season. He dismantled a championship team.   I can understand letting go some role players like Stevenson or Brewer, but I will never comprehend not paying Chandler and Barea.   
 
The Mavs invested five years in developing Barea into a beast.   His ability to slice up the opponent’s defense made him invaluable during last year’s championship drive. As I watched the Thunder’s Harden tear up our offense driving straight into the hole time after time, I kept thinking “it would have been nice to have someone like that in our roster”. Well, we did, but he plays for the Timberwolves now. 
 
Don’t get me wrong, J.J. Barea, did not suffer in this deal. He ripped the rewards of having won a championship and got the contract he deserved from Minnesota. 
 
While Cuban could attempt to justify letting go of J.J. Barea, he could never say anything to explain the stupidest move he’s done as the Mavs owner, allowing Tyson Chandler to leave. The Mavs spent years trying to find a player like Chandler and when they finally got him, they won it all. Why in the world would you get rid of a player of his caliber that was so instrumental in that memorable playoff run?   All the BS about going after Deron Williams this summer and maybe making a run for Superman is no excuse. You don’t give up on a season! 
 
Cuban is now blaming the new collective bargaining agreement that was signed to end the strike. He signed it, but say “"That was my mistake, because once that thing passed, our hands were tied in a lot of respects. But within that, we did the best we could.”
 
No, the best would have been to find a way to keep Chandler. If you were able to acquire the deadbeat Odom, you could have found a way. Finding a way has never been a problema before from an owner that bragged once that he could just buy himself into the first round of the draft. All of a sudden, there’s a money issue. He’s made this mistake before with a guy named Nash (sarcasm intended). 
 
Jason Terry said it best when asked about the decisions made during the off season, "Yeah, he knows it, the city knows, we all know it as players," Terry said. "But with the team we have, the nucleus we have, the core group of guys, we feel like we can beat anybody; that's just us as competitors. But, again, you have to have the personnel. You have to have the personnel to get it done."
 
Cuban defended himself…"Given what happened, I think we put together a damn good team. Like I said, one break, one call, one bounce, we're having a completely different conversation and you're thinking how smart we are instead of saying how stupid we are."   I guess you have a point Mark, but then again Chandler could have given you that one break.
 
"We would have loved to keep the troops together as players," Nowitzki said. "We would have loved to get the guys back and give it a true shot to defend, but Mark and Donnie, they made a business decision to really go for cap space for the first time really since I can remember being a Maverick. We never had cap space, so they made the decision to go for that, and we'll just have to wait and see what comes out of that."
 
And that’s why we love Dirk. He is loyal, attempting to defend the indefensible. 
 
If we get Deron Williams this summer some will probably forget, but a true fan will not.
 
Some Ex-Mavericks
 
  • J.J. Barea –Averaged 11.3 PPG, 5.7 APG for Minnesota
  • Tyson Chandler  - Accepted 4 year contract, $58 million. Won the 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, Averaged 11.3 PPG for the Knicks, 9.9 RPG, 1.4 blocks per game.
  • Corey Brewer – Averaged 8.9 PPG for Denver playing 21.8 minutes per game. Scored 18 on the Lakers in a game 6 win yesterday.
The Ugly
 
Lamar Odom.  I know... enough has been said about this looser. No heart, no effort, no dignity. The worst part is he still gets his 8 million plus for screwing us all. Cuban thought he had robbed the Lakers, but the joke was on you Mark. The Lakers knew what they had and wanted him out.   To add insult to injury, Cuban and Nelson did not trade him. They believed in him or at least had some hope that he would start functioning again. I don’t know what they were seeing, but it was evident this guy’s head was not right. 
 
Mark Cuban again? Yes, he deserves it. I already wrote about the bad, but it’s just plain ugly when Mark keeps insisting that he made good and wise moves.
 
"Oh, hell no." Cuban said when asked if he has second-guessed himself about his off season moves or lack of moves. "Not even a millisecond. Because those that are talking otherwise haven't read the CBA, like I know you guys haven't, and are just talking out their ass without any foundation."
There might be some truth to that statement, but Mr. Cuban, you’re doing the same thing.
 
"I haven't said anything about what our strategy is going to be," Cuban said while talking out his ass. "We're going to do the same thing we try to do every year -- build the best possible team we can."
 
Cuban even insists that Tyson Chandler could not have prevented the Mavericks loss to the Thunder this year. 
 
Really? The 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award winner could not have helped. Now who’s talking out of their ass, Mark?
 
Let’s compare last year’s series to this year:
 
2011 Mavs vs. Thunder (Western Conference Finals)

Game 1
Mavs win 121-112
Dirk has huge game with 48 points, J.J. Barea took over at the beginning of the fourth quarter, scoring 12 straight points to bring him to 21 for the game, and Jason Terry chipped in with another 24 off the bench. Chandler had 3 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. He was a defensive presence in the middle.
Game 2
Thunder win 106-100
Chandler  contributes 15 points, 13 rebounds in their only loss of this series.
Game 3
Mavs win 93-87
Chandler 8 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, (+ 11).  Marion helps with 18, Harden held to 7 pts.
"There's no question they started the game really hitting us and knocking us out of our offense," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. 
 
Who was knocking them around? Chandler,  Marion,  Stevenson
 
Game 4
Mavs win 112-105 in OT.
Dirk scores 40, Terry 20, Chandler  5 pts, 8 reb, 2 steals, (+10). Mavs came back from 15 down with 5 minutes to go in the 4th.
"There's times and situations where they are going to test the courage and the mental inner strength of your team," said Terry, who scored 20 for Dallas. "This was one of those times.
Chandler and Barea brought that “mental inner strength” to the team.
Game 5
Mavs win 100-96
Marion and Dirk with 26 points each, Chandler 9 pts, 9 reb, 2 blks- JJ adds 14 pts, 5 assists.

               
2012 Mavs vs. Thunder (First Round Playoff Series)
I will use the stats of the Mahinmi/Wright combination as they were the replacements for Chandler.

Game 1
Thunder win 99-98
Mahinmi/Wright – 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks. West had 5 points, 2 assists in the loss.
Game 2
Thunder win 102-99
Mahinmi/Wright – 10 points, 6 rebounds. West did contribute 13 pts, 2 assists.
Game 3
Thunder win 95-79
Mahinmi/Wright – 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal. Rare off night for Dirk,  17 points, still grabbed 9 rebounds.
Game 4
Thunder win 103-97
Mahinmi/Wright – 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot.  West had 3 points, 3 assists.

You be the judge if we could have won with Tyson Chandler as our starting center this year.
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