Posts Tagged ‘Dirk Nowitzki

28
Sep
09

Dallas Mavericks are going with plan B in ’09-’10

 

DallasMavericks 2

Mark Cuban and the Mavs brain-trust had an off season plan to improve through free agency. They had thoughts on signing more than one player to solidify play from their frontcourt alongside Dirk Nowitzki, which along with their annual problem of possessing one of the worst defenses in the league, is arguably their weak spot on the roster.

The Mavs decided to look for help since their 5 year incumbent at center, Eric Dampier’s numbers have dipped(5.7 ppg, 7.1 rebs, 1.2 blk), while his age continues to climb(33). Also while Dirk is still one of the most potent offensive players in the league, his age(31) will soon start catching up to him. He could use some help to help shoulder the load of carrying the team as he gets older.. They targeted Dwight Howard’s backup in Orlando, Marcin Gortat and were set resign PF Brandon Bass, who at age 23, many consider is ready to have a breakout season. Then the Orlando Magic came in under the radar and signed both players. “The Polish Hammer” would have given the team great size and could help the team transition away from the older and slower Dampier.

Cuban had to go to his backup plan and bring Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas into the fold. While the two are a bit shorter and a tad older, they now have a more versatile frontcourt with interchangeable parts, and thinking of the bottom line, a whole lot cheaper. Add “The Matrix” Shawn Marion, Nowitzki, and SF Josh Howard, and the Mavericks have terrific depth in the frontcourt. Questions surround Thomas’ recent injury while at home on how long it will keep him out of action.

I’m sure that Dallas will try to play small at times since the West does not have an abundance of talented big men. The Lakers have the talented but oft injured Andrew Bynum and the Blazers have the enigmatic Greg Oden, who last year still came off of the bench. Only the Spurs with Tim Duncan have a truly great center. Dallas’ flexibility is amazing since Gooden can at times defend the paint when Nowitzki plays the 5 to stretch the defense. Marion has proven to be more than capable scorer and rebounder at either forward spot and even Howard can play some 2 guard along with getting instant offense from Jason Terry. They can use Jason Kidd at the point or slide him to shooting guard when Jose Barea enters the game. Kidd can go back to the point when they need a backcourt defensive presence from Quinton Ross, off the bench.

The only downfall is that most of their best players are past the 30 years old age barrier. Although their talent goes 8-10 players deep, the rest of the bench is mostly dead weight and they lack any players heading towards the future. And even though Mark Cuban has plenty of money, the team as presently constructed in almost $20 over the cap. I’m sure Cuban is hoping that Rick Carlisle gets the most that he possibly can out of this roster next season.

It looks good for the Mavericks to extend their streak of 9 straight seasons of making the postseason, but have only one Finals appearance in that time. They have also won 50 or more games in those 9 years as well. Although on paper it doesn’t look like the Mavericks are true title contenders, remember that NBA Championships aren’t won in September. With a little luck, they might slide into the top 4 seeds out West, getting a home court advantage, win a few rounds, and challenge the Spurs, Lakers, or Trailblazers for another Western Conference crown, just like 2006.

Here is a link to a video of the Dallas Mavericks top plays last season:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WNnftFerrM

Dirk Nowitzki 1

01
Sep
09

NBA Players Bring the “Basketball Show” to Brazil

Anderson Varejao 2

As every basketball fan now knows, The National Basketball Association is a multi-cultural showcase of hoop skills with players coming from all over the globe to compete on the highest competitive level. Foreign born players have risen to great heights to become All-Stars and even MVP’s like Dirk Nowitzki.

Every once in a while players go back to their native countries for the sake of charity. We all know of Dikembe Mutombo’s giving millions of dollars and other humanitarian work in his homeland of the Congo in Africa.

During these down times for NBA players, two native Brazilians organized a basketball exhibition against two teams made up of NBA players and the best players from the Brazilian professional leagues. Anderson Varejao of the Cavaliers and Leandro Barbosa of the Suns put together the “Basketball Show” in hopes of raising money for helping the many homeless and impoverished children of Rio de Janeiro.

NBA players participating besides Varejao and Barbosa included “The Matrix” Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden (Dallas), Devin Brown (New Orleans), Keith Bogans (Milwaukee), Danny Granger (Indiana), Amir Johnson, Ryan Hollins, and Coby Karl (Lakers). NBA players were divided equally with the two Brazilian stars as captains.

The Dallas Maverick’s Shawn Marion came out the leading scorer with 31 points, followed by Anderson Varejao, the crowd favorite, scoring 30 points as the team “Friends of Leandro” beat the “Friends of Varejao” 116-110.

It’s good to hear about some NBA players giving back to the community instead of news of another player tarnishing the NBA’s image by entering rehab or in the police blotter.

Leandro Barbosa




About the Author:

Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen also writes for thehoopdoctors.com, Bleacherreport.com, and UpperDeckblog.com.

Favorite teams include everything Philly, like Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, Villanova , St. Joe's , Hoops, LaSalle, and Lehigh University Hoops.

Contact info: mollallen@yahoo.com

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