If the Mavs had just lost

If it were the Mavs who had just lost to the Lakers in 6, this is how the articles would read:

1. TheSpurslive by the 3, and die by the 3. That’s the Spurs and game 6 proved the risk as theSpurssettled for 24 3-point attempts, hitting only 3. In thefour game slide, the Spurs took 91 3-pointers, averaging just under 23 per game. In thetwo games they won, they took 16 and 17. Compare that to the “pound the ball into paint” Dallas Mavericks, who although they didn’t advance, understand playoff basketball, and averaged only 17 3-pointers per game.

2. TheSpurs needed stops and went with offense. Rather than having first team all-defender Bruce Bowen on the court, the Spurs fell into old habits and went with Devin Brown on Kobe Bryant. When will Nelson learn that defense wins in the playoffs and going with an untested player who basically is a rookie, at the expense of their perimeter stopper, cost them dearly?

3. Why is Rasho on this team? Where is the heart? In the clinching game he was there for 21 minutes, and had more fouls than points or rebounds. In game 5 he had 2 points and 4 rebounds. In game 3 he had another Rasho Special, with more fouls (5) than points (ZERO) or rebounds (4). Can we not go out and trade him for a good center who can have an impact?Heck, why not Shawn Bradley? Bradley is far more consistent, shows some heart out there, and can block a shot taking some of the pressure off of Tim Duncan defensively.

4. When are the Spurs going to learn that the playoffs are about defense? There is no team that can give up 50 pct plus shooting in 3 games, allow your opponents to hit their shots at 30 pct points above your regular season average and expect to win. Hopefully this team will realize that defense wins championships and do something about it in the off season.

Lets see what is written about the Spurs. It will be fun to read.

57 thoughts on “If the Mavs had just lost

  1. Although I feel the Mavs do get a bit of undue heat about there style of play, some of it is true and you can look back at the championship teams of the past to see a basic formula for not just winning; but winning it all. Without several key components teams can consistantly be among the league’s elite, yet not actually be in contention for a championship.

    First, let me list the key components. I will use the bulls, lakers, and spurs championship teams to illustrate.

    1)Dominant Player: One of the league’s top 7.
    -History
    #Bulls: Jordan obviously, and some would say
    Pippen.
    #Lakers: Shaq, Kobe
    #Spurs: Duncan
    *Mavs are close with Dirk but I’m not quite
    sure he is “complete” enough right now.
    2)”Dawg” as I like to call it. This player is
    the other team’s nightmare. Attitude and
    elbows, as well as productivity.
    -History
    #Bulls: Pippen locked down on D, Rodman was
    unbelievable; whether anybody “liked” him
    or not as a person (turned being a “dawg”
    into an artform against Malone and the
    Jazz.
    #Lakers: Kobe shows flashes when he plays
    like the 1st team all-defensive player he
    is. Mark Madsen! (And he can dance!)
    #Spurs: Bruce Bowen; lock down D and a nice
    stroke from the corner.
    *Mavs have Finley, he fits this role very
    well. Howard also fits well into this
    category because he is so hungry.
    (Ron Artest is possibly the best of all
    time in the spot and the Pistons have
    a team full of players that fit this
    role)
    3)Shooter: Hits very consistently from outside
    but in the realm of what the team is trying
    to accomplish as a whole.
    -History
    #Bulls: Paxson several years, then Kerr.
    #Lakers: Glen Rice came in for a year,
    Derrick Fisher.
    #Spurs: Bruce Bowen, Sean Elliot before him.
    *No lack of shooters on the Mavs, and I know
    this sounds so old, but dang, shot
    selection inside of the TEAM is huge.
    4) Balls: Guts, Kahunas, Intestinal Fortitude..
    Many names, same meaning; sometimes it’s
    a team attitude from the start, sometimes it
    takes one guy to step up and nake it
    happen.
    -History
    #Bulls: Jordan (Crap he’s All-Everything),
    Gutting out wins with the flu is not for
    the weak hearted and winning six rings isn’t
    either.
    #Lakers: Shaq’s got ’em, Kobe goes out of
    his way to show ’em, and Robert Horry wore
    ’em out for the world to see…(Ain’t that
    right Maloof Bro’s?!)
    #Spurs: Am I the only one who see’s the
    “Quiet Giant” spew fire out of his mouth
    when it’s time to get dirty? Make no
    mistake, Tim’s demeanor is mild, even in crunch time, but when it comes down to it, even the Big Fundamental gets the fire of a champion.
    *This, unfortunately is what I see the Mavs
    lacking, which is unfortunate because I
    think this would put them over the top.

    Bear in mind, this is strictly what I see as far as personel goes. The Mavs are a very good organization with potential to be great. The only way to go all the way is to have all the pieces filled and the Mavs are sooo dang close.

    Comment by Cliff -

  2. It is just me or any one else observed that you are criticizing Nelson. It is good. Thought Spurs did not find the rythem in game 6 they played far better than Mavs. Finely shooting lots of 3 or air balls ( I dont have %). But they gave up the fight as lakers did last yr. I think that match should have been more competative. By the way what are you going to do with Mavs ? Trade steve as you did with Nick.

    Comment by Nelson -

  3. In response to your comment.. “I want to get back to 60 win seasons and make a run at the championship..”

    The only team in the entire NBA that had more than 60 wins were the Pacers.

    So, if I take your comment to heart.. do you mean to tell me that the Lakers (who only won 56 games) and the Spurs (who won 57) and the Kings (who won 55) and the Timberwolves (who won 58).. I won’t dip into the East.. because the sad fact is most of those teams who are in the Playoffs.. did not even win 50 games..

    Do you mean to tell me that NOT one of those teams is not “taking a run” at the championship because they didn’t win 60 games?

    Give me a break. Cuban is not gonna “revolutionize” the Mavericks following your precious little game plan because you took 5 minutes out of your day to post on a blog.

    Get some capital, buy your own NBA team and spare us your diatribes about how “you think” the Mavs should be run. Nobody cares.

    Comment by Rosanna -

  4. Mark, those are great points. I couldn’t have said them better myself. Not only are those the comments we hear from the media but the OBNOXIOUS SPURS FAN also say the same crap. And now look who is going home. And by the way, you forgot to add the point about the “‘HACK-A-SHAQ’ is no way to win an NBA title, you have to play solid defense and get stops like the SPURS to win.” OOPS, my bad, I think I saw even the great defensive oriented SAN ANTONIO SPURS trying HACK-A-SHAQ in game 6. HA HA HA! GO MAVS!

    Comment by Omar S -

  5. You are starting to sound like GW.

    Reporter:”GW are there weapons of Mass destruction?”

    GW:” Well uh, we’re looking…Uh..we will find them any day now..never know..uh go to go…”.

    Mark the Mavs need to be overhauled. It is up to your individual players to learn the game and improve their offensive game. This something that they can do over the summer.

    But, it is up to the coaching staff to teach your team how to play defense. The Mavs are lackluster in this category. Yeah, so the Mavs did shoot a bunch of threes. Boo Hoo….The Mavs still failed to get into someones face and make a defensive stop. That is the difference between the Mavs and the Kings. They Kings can get in your face. And C-Webb leads the bunch.

    As a businessman you are smart Mark. You are very matured and have come to learn that winning isn’t always about championships. It is about filling the stands. But, please admit the truth. You know that the Mavs as they are now, cannot compete in the playoffs and will not win a championship with its current roster.

    You have to question yourelf and your team. You have to have players that hold themselves accountable for getting after the other team.

    Did any of your players or coachesgo to work the very next day after the Mavs were eliminated? Did your players start working out? How many of the Mavs are starting practice early in the morning and ending late at night. Are the players going over Dirks and playing day in and day out?

    Winning teams have the ability to dominate games with defense. Great players have the ability to dominate games with offense. Put them together and you have a winning team. Do you see the difference? The Mavs have a team full of scorers.

    To everyone that thinks the Mavs have a chance, your (your’re) kidding yourself. The Mavs have no commitment.

    As an owner I am sure that you can detect certain attributes-which of the players is going to be the better athlete, who is going to be more successful on the court, what kind of shots each person is going to take.

    You could go back two or three decades and you won’t find a NBA Championship team that did not know how to get after the ball and create stops at key moments. Each of those teams had a superstar with special ability But, they also had role players and defensive. While the Mavs might have the same kind of ability that other teams do, they lack defensive cohesion. The Mavs believe they can playany and beat them in a heartbeat. Despite their lack of defensive they think they can win. Yet the Mavs never got the same opportunities.

    It is fairly easy to remain critical of you and the Mavs. You are responsible for the players and image of the Mavs. Not tomorrow or the next day, but every minute of every day. I cann’t think selfishly. There continue to be sacrifices based on the commitment of owning a team that you have. And for that, you desrve respect. It is not easy trying to put a great entertainment company together.

    It is not easy to make fans see youm the players, and coaches as more like them, more of a person with problems and issues. There are many personal issues that can make it difficult to succeed on the floor. I can respect that they players are not just playing a game that pays them a lot of money and earns them adoration of millions of fans. It isn’t that simple. Basketball is a businessat the end of the day.

    Watching the Spurs the game I was disappointed watching Parker. It was almost like watching Steve Nash and companyu on Defense. Park or Bowen never stayed lower than their man. Neither player was never ready to move. If you examine both players defense a little closer, you will see that their heads were up higher than the offensive player most of time. They were never in a defensive mind set.

    The Spurs did a better job in the first two games and game 5 of getting a hand in the face of the ball handler. The only way the Spurs could have won was by contesting the shot and pass. When they did that they did a great job of closing on the dribbler or cutter.

    The Spurs knew they had to PREVENT PERIMETER PASSES TO KOBE, in spite of screens or other diversions. They knew that HUSTLE, once KOBE gets the ball, IS TOO LATE. They should have DOUBLED and made someone else hit shots. This is exactly what LA did to the Spurs.

    Think the Mav’s can learn for this?

    I hope your not buying Don Nelson’s, “Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens” trade talk. The Mavs need to make a trade. Now, with that in mind, you don’t make the trade if your going to get the short end of the stick. But, if you can move Steve Nash and a few other players, for some quality players take it.

    Don’s breath would better be wasted trying to teach players to learn to play without the basketball. Of course, your team does not have to many players with similar games who need the basketball in their hands to be effective. Of course Steve Nash keeps his man in front of him. Of course the Mavs can fustrate KG, Shaq, or Tim Duncan in the lane.

    We all know that you don’t have to concentrate so much on scoring in the NBA. Everyone can shot the lights out if they get a good look. But, if they Mavs play defense, we can see how good they really are. It would be interesting to see how the Mavs would respond in half-court games. Would they win? Or, would the other team be able to limit the Mavs looks at good shots. Could Steve Nash actually rank among league leaders in a half-court set?

    ANY COACH THAt SAYS,”EVERYBODY TRIES. WE JUST DON’T HAVE THE DEFENSIVE ABILITIES,” needs to be fired.

    Come on Don. Who are you fooling. The Mavs are lazy when it comes to D-Fense. You know that the only way the Mavs can make the came interesting is to run and gun. If the Mavs played in more half court sets they would be killed, attendance would fall, and the Mavs at best would be a 50-45 wins a season team.

    If defense is such a priority of your players, why why don’t we see them put a body on the rebounder consistantly, or inbounder. Why don’t the Mavs get a hand in the passing lane or in the face of every defender. Playing mised defenses is not going to fool anyone at that level. It is only going to make it easier for the best players in the world to find out open looks and knock down shots. But, that is want you want. It is all about the stands. Its about keeping the stands full at the end of the day.

    You want to speed up the game. And your players agreeing to employ such a bad defensive strategy shows that they have no heart.

    If you were serious about winning the Nelsons and Harris would be gone. You would bring in fresh blood, perhaps Kenny Smith. You would hire a new GM who could exert pressure on players.

    A GM that knows the game. A GM that understands the balance of business on and off the court. I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction. New York will be in the Finals next season.

    If Dirk cannot carry his offensive toughness to the defensive end, then he needs to go. Yeah he can shoot, but if he is going to allow the other guy to score, what good is he? Isn’t a superstar someone who out performs his man by a considerable margin. He outscores and outrebounds his oppossing defensive man. He even outpasses him.

    Something needs to shaken up in Dallas. Another superstar needs to be on the court if you decide to keep Dirk.

    “We play hard at both ends,” Nowitzki says. “It isn’t like we aren’t trying.” Trying aint good enough. You’ve go to do it like your survival depends on it. You have to be hungry. Cannot teach hunger.

    Trade’em.

    Comment by Kevin -

  6. You are starting to sound like GW.

    Reporer:”GW are there weapons og Massive destruction?”

    GW:” Well uh, we’re looking…Uh..we will find them any day now..never know..uh go to go…”.

    Mark the Mavs need to be overhauled. It is up to your individual players to learn the game and improve their offensive game. This something that they can do over the summer.

    But, it is up to the coaching staff to teach your team how to play defense. The Mavs are lackluster in this category. Yeah, so the Mavs did shoot a bunch of threes. Boo Hoo….The Mavs still failed to get into someones face and make a defensive stop. That is the difference between the Mavs and the Kings. They Kings can get in your face. And C-Webb leads the bunch.

    As a businessman you are smart Mark. You are very matured and have come to learn that winning isn’t always about championships. It is about filling the stands. But, please admit the truth. You know that the Mavs as they are now, cannot compete in the playoffs and will not win a championship with its current roster.

    You have to question yourelf and your team. You have to have players that hold themselves accountable for getting after the other team.

    Did any of your players or coachesgo to work the very next day after the Mavs were eliminated? Did your players start working out? How many of the Mavs are starting practice early in the morning and ending late at night. Are the players going over Dirks and playing day in and day out?

    Winning teams have the ability to dominate games with defense. Great players have the ability to dominate games with offense. Put them together and you have a winning team. Do you see the difference? The Mavs have a team full of scorers.

    To everyone that thinks the Mavs have a chance, your (your’re) kidding yourself. The Mavs have no commitment.

    As an owner I am sure that you can detect certain attributes-which of the players is going to be the better athlete, who is going to be more successful on the court, what kind of shots each person is going to take.

    You could go back two or three decades and you won’t find a NBA Championship team that did not know how to get after the ball and create stops at key moments. Each of those teams had a superstar with special ability But, they also had role players and defensive. While the Mavs might have the same kind of ability that other teams do, they lack defensive cohesion. The Mavs believe they can playany and beat them in a heartbeat. Despite their lack of defensive they think they can win. Yet the Mavs never got the same opportunities.

    It is fairly easy to remain critical of you and the Mavs. You are responsible for the players and image of the Mavs. Not tomorrow or the next day, but every minute of every day. I cann’t think selfishly. There continue to be sacrifices based on the commitment of owning a team that you have. And for that, you desrve respect. It is not easy trying to put a great entertainment company together.

    It is not easy to make fans see youm the players, and coaches as more like them, more of a person with problems and issues. There are many personal issues that can make it difficult to succeed on the floor. I can respect that they players are not just playing a game that pays them a lot of money and earns them adoration of millions of fans. It isn’t that simple. Basketball is a businessat the end of the day.

    Watching the Spurs the game I was disappointed watching Parker. It was almost like watching Steve Nash and companyu on Defense. Park or Bowen never stayed lower than their man. Neither player was never ready to move. If you examine both players defense a little closer, you will see that their heads were up higher than the offensive player most of time. They were never in a defensive mind set.

    The Spurs did a better job in the first two games and game 5 of getting a hand in the face of the ball handler. The only way the Spurs could have won was by contesting the shot and pass. When they did that they did a great job of closing on the dribbler or cutter.

    The Spurs knew they had to PREVENT PERIMETER PASSES TO KOBE, in spite of screens or other diversions. They knew that HUSTLE, once KOBE gets the ball, IS TOO LATE. They should have DOUBLED and made someone else hit shots. This is exactly what LA did to the Spurs.

    Think the Mav’s can learn for this?

    I hope your not buying Don Nelson’s, “Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens” trade talk. The Mavs need to make a trade. Now, with that in mind, you don’t make the trade if your going to get the short end of the stick. But, if you can move Steve Nash and a few other players, for some quality players take it.

    Don’s breath would better be wasted trying to teach players to learn to play without the basketball. Of course, your team does not have to many players with similar games who need the basketball in their hands to be effective. Of course Steve Nash keeps his man in front of him. Of course the Mavs can fustrate KG, Shaq, or Tim Duncan in the lane.

    We all know that you don’t have to concentrate so much on scoring in the NBA. Everyone can shot the lights out if they get a good look. But, if they Mavs play defense, we can see how good they really are. It would be interesting to see how the Mavs would respond in half-court games. Would they win? Or, would the other team be able to limit the Mavs looks at good shots. Could Steve Nash actually rank among league leaders in a half-court set?

    ANY COACH THAt SAYS,”EVERYBODY TRIES. WE JUST DON’T HAVE THE DEFENSIVE ABILITIES,” needs to be fired.

    Come on Don. Who are you fooling. The Mavs are lazy when it comes to D-Fense. You know that the only way the Mavs can make the came interesting is to run and gun. If the Mavs played in more half court sets they would be killed, attendance would fall, and the Mavs at best would be a 50-45 wins a season team.

    If defense is such a priority of your players, why why don’t we see them put a body on the rebounder consistantly, or inbounder. Why don’t the Mavs get a hand in the passing lane or in the face of every defender. Playing mised defenses is not going to fool anyone at that level. It is only going to make it easier for the best players in the world to find out open looks and knock down shots. But, that is want you want. It is all about the stands. Its about keeping the stands full at the end of the day.

    You want to speed up the game. And your players agreeing to employ such a bad defensive strategy shows that they have no heart.

    If you were serious about winning the Nelsons and Harris would be gone. You would bring in fresh blood, perhaps Kenny Smith. You would hire a new GM who could exert pressure on players.

    A GM that knows the game. A GM that understands the balance of business on and off the court. I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction. New York will be in the Finals next season.

    If Dirk cannot carry his offensive toughness to the defensive end, then he needs to go. Yeah he can shoot, but if he is going to allow the other guy to score, what good is he? Isn’t a superstar someone who out performs his man by a considerable margin. He outscores and outrebounds his oppossing defensive man. He even outpasses him.

    Something needs to shaken up in Dallas. Another superstar needs to be on the court if you decide to keep Dirk.

    “We play hard at both ends,” Nowitzki says. “It isn’t like we aren’t trying.” Trying aint good enough. You’ve go to do it like your survival depends on it. You have to be hungry. Cannot teach hunger.

    Trade’em.

    Comment by Kevin -

  7. How about we stop worrying about what the Spurs do and start thinking about why our team was a first round failure?

    Comment by dan -

  8. Carl,

    Speaking as a Raptors fan, there is no way I would do the Vince-Nash-Brand trade. Vince Carter is younger and more valuable than Nash. I know a lot of fans here want Nash but it would be a horrible trade to give up Vince for Nash. Vince is a legitimate superstar who can create his own shots (his downside is injuries and bad defense). He is a top 10 (or maybe top 15) player in the league. He has been consistently putting up 20ppg regardless of whether the Raptors suck or not. He also consistently faces double-teams on a regular basis (just like T-Mac, Pierce and others). Nash can’t help an average to below-average team like Toronto. He would be completely shut down.

    I also don’t think Clippers would give up Brand although I’m sure they would be ok with getting Vince (Vince will autmoatically put people in seats and create some excitement). Corey Maggette is similar to Vince (although not a superstar like Vince) so you would have two similar players.

    I think if you want a big player for Dallas, you probably have to look at Chicago. You can probably get Tyson Chandler, who is falling out of favour in Chicago. He isn’t a superstar like Brand but he will be an upgrade over what you guys have in Dallas now. You probably have to give up Antawn Jamison or Antonie Walker. I’m not sure if salaries match but Chandler+draft pick for Antoine Walker sounds reasonable…

    Comment by Sivaram Velauthapillai -

  9. Duncan slams a fadeaway with a man in his face and .4 left. Then Fisher throws up a damn prayer to win it.

    Mark — you’re right about game winning shots. I think anything short of a viscious punch would go uncalled. For some reason, when I think of missed game winning shot fouls, I think of a game MJ (with the Wizards) played in Toronto. He was mauled… and still almost drained it.

    http://www.officedrone.com

    Comment by Officedrone.com -

  10. oops, meant to say, “And that “trump this” line? Oh man, [if the mavs could] execute on the court like cuban can execute his comedy, they’d be champs!”

    Can’t wait for the benefactor to start, good work cuban.

    Comment by jon quok -

  11. completely off topic, but it needs to be said. I just saw a benefactor commercial on ABC’s telecast of the Kings/Wolves game sunday. I have two words that sum up the benefactor commercial: completely brilliant. Cuban giving away cash on the street, then creepily peeping through a fanned out stack of 100’s? Genius! If Cuban is going to ham it up like that on the show, its must-see tv. And that “trump this” line? Oh man, you can execute on the court like cuban can execute his comedy, they’d be champs!

    The Kings finally decided to go ahead and make some shots today, which was nice to see. After a game like that (the kings and kings fans needed it) the benefactor commercial was icing on the cake. Kings in 7!

    Comment by jon quok -

  12. For full disclosure- I bleed silver & black. That said, if I could have any job it would be Cuban’s transposed in SA.

    While I agree that the Spurs lived and died by perimeter shooting (or lack thereof), dogging out Devin Brown is wrong-headed. Playoff wins are about people stepping up. Championship runs feature a variety of players giving you things nobody expected (think SJax and Kerr last year against your Mavs). Devin Brown was one of the only sparks of life for the Spurs after game 2 of the SA/LA series. While he may not be the perimeter defender that Bowen is (almost nobody is), he plays pretty damned good D, and was the only reason a poorly playng Spurs squad hung around in games 5 and 6. The difference this year is that the rest of the team did not feed off his energy.

    Also- commentary typically is informed by a team’s history. You’re right, articles about the Spurs will not highlight a lack of defense- they will surely highlight the fact that sometimes for long stretches the Spurs just can’t buy a bucket (b/c that’s our m.o.). Commentary on the Mav’s talks defense b/c that’s their historic weakness. Such commentary might be simplistic or pigeon-holing, but to expect different is unrealistic.

    Comment by Glib Grouse -

  13. I agree with you but consider this. How many championships have the spurs won in the last 5 years. Take that number and compare it to how many the Mav’s have one in the last 5? Additionally take the total number of playoff games won by the spurs during the last 5 years and compare it to that of the mavs over the last 5 years?

    To me it seems they have been doing things right. Just couldnt get it all together for another title.

    Comment by Ronnie Williams -

  14. I was at game 5 in SA and Devin Brown stuck to Kobe much better than did Bruce Bowen. Bowen’s taller, but Brown’s footwork was terrific. He’s faster than Bowen and seemingly played with more emotion than did Bowen. The Lakers are always going to run screens for Kobe to get open and if either Bowen or Brown are cut off, someone else has to step into Kobe. Horry didn’t do it in Game 5 when Kobe hit his shot w/15 seconds left. Maybe Brown is a “one playoff series wonder”, but it sure seems as if Popovich likes him!

    Comment by Tom Meyer -

  15. … that the Mavericks pound it into the paint more then the Spurs. You are Mr. Statistics, here is a question for you to back up. Please provide the statistics that the Mavs shoot outside less then the Spurs. I am not just talking about 3 pointers, I am talking about all shots outside the paint. The Mavs shoot outside too much and should drive to the basket much more then they do. I beg of you to please to provide the statistics.

    MFFL

    Comment by WM -

  16. This entry is brilliant and all Mark… but I wish you would direct all that genius towards getting us Elton Brand from the Clippers somehow this summer. You can deal anyone and everyone but Dirk.

    I know it is blasphemy but.. how about Nash(sorry Nashy) and change to Toronto – Vince Carter and change to the Clippers – Brand and change to Dallas.

    Sterling gets his money attraction. Toronto gets captain Canada and a playoff berth in Nash. And we finally get the long saught after inside presence to play alongside Dirk.

    Brand = small ball center God.

    Comment by Carl Jensen -

  17. Mark I agree with a lot of your blog entries but there’s something in this one that makes me disagree. It’s the part about the Mavericks knowing how to play in the playoffs with defense and not shooting as much outside. I still think that the Mavericks are shooting outside but not as far outside as what the Spurs did. The Mavs tend to get a lot of long jumpers off of the pick and rolls and still a 20 ft. jumper is an outside shot.

    Another thing is, I really like the way you manage the team Mark but the point is, the Spurs made it farther than you. You can look at match-ups and say that the Grizzlies were an easier opponent than the Kings and all that but the Spurs won the first round and you didn’t as much I would have liked to see the Mavericks beat the Kings.

    I do however agree that the Spurs approached the Lakers wrong. I think that their loss can be blamed on one major factor, Tony Parker. Those first 2 games, he was simply amazing and ripped Gary Payton apart. Then the media kicked in, created a big story and it got Payton fired up. Tony Parker seemingly disappeared and so did the Spurs.

    I don’t think that Rasho would have had much of an effect on the series even if he had played good. About the only thing Rasho can do is set a pick and roll to a spot to shoot and of course he has 6 fouls to use on Shaq. The series just came down to Duncan against the Lakers because Duncan was the one consistent thing on the Spurs. He couldn’t do it all however.

    Comment by Brian -

  18. I was wondering what ever became of the Avery Johnson situation. Has he decided to retire, and if so, will he be on the Mavs coaching staff? I don’t remeber hearing much about it after the whole “scandal” that went on at the end of the season.

    Comment by michael roberts -

  19. Mark, I think your comments are interesting, insightful and sometimes a little over the top. but thats what brings me back here all the time. I am a huge mavs fan, I love their style of play, but I think I am one of those pesky fans that enjoys winning a little bit more! I really wouldnt mind seeing a different style of play, and going back to win 60 game seasons, and make a serious run at a championship. I really want to watch sports center and inside the NBA and hear the mavericks mentioned as the top title contender! I want to hear them praise Dirk for how good of a player he is, and how improved on defense he has gotten (because he has improved!) I want to see them argue whether Dirk or Garnett should be MVP. I think Dirk can play at that level, he just needs the supporting cast beside him that will hustle and make this team better at defense! remember two years ago when the Mavs kicked the T-Wolves’ BUTT! Minny is my second favorite team, but only because for a while they looked they looked like the Mavs, then kevin got serious, and they surrounded him with defenders and strong supporting cast, we have the strong supporting cast, all we need is defenders! oh, one last thing I want to hear, I want to hear that the mavs got a Big Name Free agent over the summer, one that actually makes us better!
    I also admire your courage in last summers trades. bringing in the toine’s was a gutsy move, it was a risk to trade NVE, and Raef, because you never knew if adding two more scorers would help the team (it didnt much, but thats besides the point) Nick and Raef ended not playing this season, when these were predicted to be breakout seasons for them because of their new teams, and Raef was called an all star before the season began because of the lack of centers in the East. tells you a little something about this league, the hype can be created quickly and can be lost even faster. all the hype that the mavs cant play defense has been going on for years, but you have the power to change it pretty quick, just add the one key piece that will bark at his teammates and keep them in line, and keep them from losing their assignments, and we dont need a 41 year old named Malone either! PLEASE dont get malone on this team if you have a chance. well, sorry I wrote so much, but there is so much more to say. good luck this summer mark. keep up the writing!

    Comment by Hesham -

  20. when you get labeled by the media it is hard to shake. I guess that’s the price to pay for playing in such a large market.

    But the real question is…Why are you thinking about your blog at 1:45 on a Sunday morning…lol

    Comment by Jason -

  21. is it me or is every single screen malone sets blatantly illegal.

    Comment by Peter Broen -

  22. Actually, the Mavs DO need a Center who can play strong defense.

    Do you seriously believe that Shawn Bradley, Najera, or whoever else that you want to play at C, is better than Nestorevic? Nestoveric might not put up numbers but he is a good defender.

    I think the defense criticism (especially at the Center position) is pretty valid…

    Comment by Sivaram Velauthapillai -

  23. This blog entry is so right on.
    I HATE the nba.
    but I LOVE the mavericks.

    Comment by Jackson -

  24. While I do agree with you that there is bias in the reporting, I feel it’s mainly because the Spurs have won 2 championships in the last 5 years. That creates instant respect, and the media feels it can’t tell a team that is on a championship run (semi-dynasty?) what to do. But I do recall my Lakers being told how shallow the supporting cast was last year.

    Comment by Narbeh Avanessian -

  25. hahahahah mark u are just too much! ah….the wonderful game of basketball. MFFL & DFFL (dirk fan for life)
    ❤ cali (plano, tx)

    Comment by cali -

  26. But it’s just something that sticks in my craw. It’s just like any liberal: “I like you, and I’ll be kind to you. But disagree with me and I won’t have anything to do with you.” Oh well. That’s life. Now I look like the little titty baby instead of Cuban. I doubt this one will make the blog.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  27. The Spurs had just 14 assists,in their final game. In fact, for the series the averaged just 15 assists per game. Once the Lakers saw that Parker was making few passes on his penetrations, the quickly realized that they had to only fill in the gaps on Parker’s penetration.

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  32. Mark need trades immediately.I have a list of trades you should make.You should give up Finley Bradley and your 1st round pick next year to the Raptors for Vince Carter and Jerome Moiso.You should also trade Walker Jamison and Delk for Drobniak Eddie House and the second overall pick this year.So that means you would have Nowitzki Howard Najera and you would have no problem resigning Nash and Daniels.That would make you a would have a very deep team.You would have a very good starting lineup.It would be Nash Daniels Carter Nowitzki and hopefully Emeka Okafor.And you would have Energy off the bench with Howard Najera Drobniak House Moiso and you should add a veteran Center like Greg Ostertag.And that is your roster,you would really have a young and a great contender for the NBA championship.

    Comment by Derek Perry -

  33. Mark – Take 30 seconds and read this. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it’s what we really, truly need.

    http://www.yallblog.com/archives/2004/05/trade_time_for_the_m.php

    Comment by DFW Blogger -

  34. Bradley averages 5 blocks per 48 minutes (top 5 in league)
    and is the number one factor toward reducing the other teams
    layups, dunks and shooting percentage (I’m sure Mark knows this).

    Fortson averages over 20 rebounds per 48 minutes, by far the
    most in the NBA! Not a great defender, but you only get one
    shot against us when he’s in the game.

    Williams was brought in as a veteran, but had little time
    to show his value.

    What do all these guys have in common? Nellie won’t play them!

    No, we don’t need a center by committee. We need one good
    center that Nellie will play. What will cause Nellie to play
    the guy? By my calculation, 18 points per game. If he can’t
    score, he’ll ride the pines.

    Bring in Dampier!

    Comment by Robbie Barton -

  35. Cuban,

    Quit making excuses for your squad, we all know that you’ve done a miracuolous job in taking the Mavs to the playoffs. Quit being in denail that the Mavs don’t need wholesale changes to get to the NBA Finals. Hint: Nellie has never been in his illustrious career as a coach. Wake up…. The Maloff brothers aren’t afrad, are you?… JK

    Comment by Jeremy Kennedy -

  36. If you wanna see how criticism just stupidily change over night.. take a look at those from MAVS-KINGS series last year.
    After Game#3: “even no C-Web Kings’ still going to win”
    After Game#5: “Mavs should win this easily”
    After Game#6: “Kings will win at the end”
    After Game#7: “Mave should have closed out the series long before!!!”
    Ok, the conclusion is they just wanna sell their words. Nothing else…

    Comment by KZ -

  37. Great points made by Mr Hallberg.

    Mr Cuban, you are the BEST owner in sports, one of the true fans-turned-owner in the history of sports. You react like a fan when your team loses, but in reality, the goal is to never put it in the hands of the refs in the first place. If you have suffocating D, points off turnovers will come. Fans love offense, but they love defense as much or more. The Bulls of the 90’s made their game off turnovers, as did the Chicago Bears in football in ’85. Defense appeals to everyman, because it ISN’T easy, it ISN’T glamorous, and most of the people watching don’t have the glamorous jobs. You have the offense down, now you need an intimidator, someone who can stand in the block and swat any drives away (Okafor?). A shutdown perimeter defense guy would be great (Artest-like, when he isn’t nuts), and team hustle can take care of the rest. The kids today can’t hit the midrange jumper–can’t—but they can make layups and dunks. Promise them that suffocating defense leads to fast break points and they can posterize anyone they want. Team D will result in control of the game, and when Steve Javie (sp?) get’s his shorts in a knot he won’t have the lungs to blow the whistle enough to screw the Mavs.

    Comment by Tom -

  38. I e-mailed something like this before (which Mark suprised me by responding), but found this site for the first time and thought I’d ad my 2-cents for everyone else.

    The Mavs have to stop concentrating on name talent and realize they have enough offensive horsepower to fill the center position with a group of journeyman. If you can throw 2 or 3 different frontline looks at an opposing center, even a great one, it becomes difficult for him to constantly adjust. Also, different opponents can be handled with different match-ups or double-teams.

    Face it, while Shawn is not particularly talented beyond height, and Esch was mostly injured in 02-03, and Raef did not prove worthy of his contract, they made a better defensive troika in the paint than we had this season. The fact we were around 13th in opponent field goal percentage in 02-03, and were around 28th or 29th in 03-04, and dropped about 10-games b/tw those two seasons, says volumes about just having suitable height in the paint. Some of that was losing quick perimeter defenders like Bell, Griffin, and NVE, but a lot of it was losing inside height.

    With all due respect to Eddie and Fortson, neither has the height to play the 5 well. There are several journeyman big men on the FA market this Summer – Okur, Gadzuric, Ostertag, and, I’m sure, others – and IMO we need to come into next year’s training camp with three solid big men to fill the paint, in addition to Dirk. As it was, in the ’03 playoffs, injuries to Dirk, Esch, and Shawn left us short height in games 5 and 6 against SA, and just a little more interior size might have made a difference in that series.

    Tell me, though, if we re-sign Daniels, does that contract come out of our high exception money, or will we still have that money to pursue FA’s?

    Comment by R. Worsham -

  39. Mark you are probably to the NBA what I am to the MLB. The only difference is I have “rings” and you don’t. So here’s what you need to do, you need to get Kobe Bryant in the offseason at all costs. If you have to package Finley and Nash then do it. Just like I gave up Soriano to get the best player in baseball A-Rod, you must do the same. When the playoffs are over Kobe Bryant will have 4 rings and his 1st of many finals MVP awards. You must get KOBE.

    Comment by George Steinbrenner -

  40. To whoever said New York will make the finals next year…Isiah is leading them nowhere but the lottery. They are in some serious trouble with no cap room and no youth. I’m sure they’ll just trade their picks anyways for Jim McIlvane.

    Comment by Adam -

  41. This blog is phenominal. An absolute must read for any sports fan.

    Comment by Mike Struening -

  42. This blog is phenominal. An absolute must read for any sports fan.

    Comment by Mike Struening -

  43. The mavs need a good center, if dirk keeps trying and working hard offseason maybe he’ll become a great defender. Walker should be traded for someone who shows they want to be in Dallas. Dallas should keep Finley, Nash, Nowitzki, Daniels, and Najera. They bring a good game to the court. Najera with his intensity, The big three with their offense, and Daniels who brought some excitment to the game.

    Comment by Vale -

  44. Mark.. Mr. Cuban..

    It takes D to win the Championships.. as avid of a Sactown fan I am, I know that my team won’t win the big hoorah because we have no defense.

    You watch football… defensive teams (with the exception of the Rams) win titles. Bucs over Raiders, Ravens, the Steel Curtain, Iron Will, etc. Defense wins everything.
    Defense will win against a team that seeks to over-offense their opponents.

    You need to cut your losses. People may not realize it, but Nellie, Rick Adelman, and George Karl are the most overrated coaches of our time. All preach offense offense offense. And all have experienced the playoff failures. Adelman never made it to the finals with the Blazers or the Kings, Karl.. well, one must view the Bucks and the US Olympic Team as an obvious reminder that he has no clue when it comes to coaching scoring personalities.. and lastly Nellie… first round, second round, first round… ‘nuf said.
    You cannot point at the refs for the reason you lost because that is a loser’s mentality. I have never heard of a coach/owner going after the refs after a win. you must continue to move forward.
    Your team tinkered too much during the offseason and during the trade season. Too much offense != wins. It never will. I will bow down to you bringing a entertaining product to Dallas… bringing an awesome follow in my footsteps image to the owners in the NBA, but I will not respect you for your continuous tirades on the referees. Only losers do that. Just because you have had eliminations the past three years does not label you a loser. You’ll make it eventually, but you really need to sign up some defensive pressure (other then Najera, I am impressed by his intensity). The problem with an Offense only orientation is that when you are off, there’s nothing else to fall back on. When games really count, i.e. the playoffs, if you start sputtering, there is nothing else to carry you. The Kings won the series against you only because of outcoaching. It was a miracle that Peja was able to play d on the last few possessions.. but if your team was legit, it should’ve never come down to the last shot. Real Champions do not rely on the last shot to win. The Lakers relied on Horry to finsh off the Kings in a few game, but it was their D that really won the series against the Nets and the Spurs. Same as this last round.. Lakers responded with D. Sure Kobe went off, but the D shut down Parker and Duncan.
    Celtics won because of the D from Parish, McHale, and Bird. Pistons.. the D finished everyone off… Bulls, a back court of All-Team D – Jordan and Pippen, not to mention Grant, Spurs.. Twin Towers.. Rockets – Olajuwon and his supporting cast, LA – Magic, Kareem, Worthy, etc. A Championship starts with D and leads to Offense.

    It’s why I think if Detroit can score more points, they have a legit chance of winning it all this season.. not to discount the Pacers who also have a very legitimate defensive team.

    Get rid of Nellie, trade away Walker and bring in some serious defensive presence. Grab Oakley and bring him in to mentor some of your younger block players. try to trade for Davis or Ratliff… Find a better defensive minded coach. I believe you have a banner that encourages D.. stick to it. you sign the checks, you deserve the package.

    take care of it.

    Comment by Matt Hallberg -

  45. Something must have been wrong with the San Antonio Spurs. There has to be a good explanation why the Spurs shot 49.3% and scored 91.5 points in their first two games, but in the last four games, all losses, they scored only 80 points a game and shot 35.6%.

    Maybe it’s just bad aim. Or not passing enough, leading to players settling for bad shots. It could even be bad luck.

    Well, there is one other possibility. It just doesn’t seem plausible.

    Could the Lakers really be playing good defense? After all, Parker was allowed to penetrate the lane and get any shot that he wanted consistently in games 1 and 2.

    But, the Spurs scoring woes are probably as much about what it was doing wrong as Lakers were doing right.

    After, all Lakes did get hands in the passing lane, and drop back off of Parker. Ducan saw few double teams.

    The Spurs had just 14 assists,in their final game. In fact, for the series the averaged just 15 assists per game. Once the Lakers saw that Parker was making few passes on his penetrations, the quickly realized that they had to only fill in the gaps on Parker’s penetration.

    Further, the step back and dared Parker to make a shot or attempt to drive and make a pass.

    They Lakers did a great job at drawing the Spurs’ smaller players closer to the rim when the Spurs were on defense. That took them out of rhythm once they got the ball back.

    The Spurs did little to change their offense; subsequently, they failed to take advantage of their skilled shooters and passers.

    If a team takes something away, then something else should be there. There were other options the Spurs could have taken. Give the Lakes credit, but if you are San Antonio you have to look at yourself, too!

    The Spurs have not been the most offensively creative, high-scoring NBA team. Offense often has been an afterthought, however, and their downfall come playoff time this season.

    If the Spurs could figure out a way to get players to cut and Parker to pass, the Spurs would be on their way to the Western Conference Finals.

    The Spurs did an excellent job of defending the Lakers. Not doubling Kobe was a good call.

    In the playoffs points become shockingly scarce. Look for the Spurs to win the NBA title next year, and to add on or two cutters.

    Comment by Fanatic -

  46. time to sit back and relax for a bit now that it is over?

    Comment by tk421 -

  47. What we should really worry about isn’t the spurs, the lakers, or the 2004 title, because once again we’re not part of it! How many more playoffs can we loose? The best offensive is a good defense, and ours is just horrible. I pray we can get a little of what the remaining playoff teams have, a well rounded team. And yes I’ll still be at every game, but what will this season bring us?????

    Comment by david -

  48. I agree with the comments that the playoffs are about defense; that’s why the average score goes down in the playoffs, and why the Eastern Conference enjoyed for years the advantage over the West.

    What I don’t get is this “allowing a player unmolested” to the hoop time and time again. Tony Parker, from FRANCE of all places, drives on the Lakers who own the biggest obstacle in the league in Shaq. I play with a group that plays 3 times a week at 5am and if a guy gets to the hoop you can be sure the next time he lands on his butt. We are unpaid, play at that hour as to not take away from our careers, families, etc, and still have enough heart to defend the hoop. If I’m with the Lakers Tony Parker thinks twice the next time he drives.

    Comment by Tom Banaski -

  49. We can analyze the Spurs all we want but the fact is the Mavs lost 4-1 in the first round. None of the big 3 could hit the big shot. We can either be the next Portland (playoff contenders but never champions) or realize that we need a star with guts and attitude to build around. All champions have a superstar, the Mavs dont have one plain and simple and will never be a champion without one.

    Comment by Dave -

  50. It is not the same as losing as the Spurs. Com’n. Yeah we remember what people use to say about MJ and the Bulls before he won a championship? I wonder what he would say???

    Comment by Fanatic -

  51. Rob in McKinney is right. Mark isn’t putting down the Spurs. He is complimenting the Mavs with this blog entry.

    He is saying ‘why are the Mavs belittled so much even though they lose in the same ways as the Spurs?’.

    Comment by Captain Canada -

  52. I think you guys are missing the point. He’s not comparing the Mavs to the Spurs, he’s simply trying to illustrate how perception can provide totally different views on the same set of facts… either by media bias or just general perception of the team being written about.

    Comment by Rob in McKinney -

  53. Last time I checked, San Antonio has 2 NBA titles and the Mavericks have none. The Mavs had their shot at the Spurs in ’03 and lost. The Spurs went out in the 2nd round this year while Dallas was gone after round one. Trust me, it’s the Spurs and their fans that have the last laugh over the Mavs everytime. Scoreboard…

    Comment by RobL -

  54. Hahahahah I love it, good going Mark. I just forwarded this to all my Spur Friends.

    Comment by Darren Saul -

  55. I have several comments, but I will forever keep them to myself. Mark Cuban used to answer emails I sent him until I started disagreeing with him on his blog. I mean, he doesn’t ever have to answer any email, much less mine. I mean, who am I? But it’s just something that sticks in my craw. It’s just like any liberal: “I like you, and I’ll be kind to you. But disagree with me and I won’t have anything to do with you.” Oh well. That’s life. Now I look like the little titty baby instead of Cuban. I doubt this one will make the blog.

    Comment by Annonymous -

  56. man, sometimes the NBA is just painful to watch. If you want defense you’re going to have to watch college ball. Pros get paid too much to play defense.

    Comment by G~ -

  57. I like your formula for success. But, most of the game at the Professional level is mental. After Googling the comments that the author of “……..My…My…My” wrote, I am dismayed by Nelon’s comments.

    The Mavs have the foot speed. It is a matter of are they probably conditioning themselves to play defense. Are they ready mentally? Someone please hand Don Nelson a mirror.

    Comment by Derrick -

Comments are closed.