The current situation for the Mavs is nothing short of shocking and this is why I picked them as the favorite first round opponent for every team in the West. I'm disappointed that only 19% of my fellow SUNS fans see it the same way (see poll)- that we want to play this team.
Following losses AT HOME to both Boston (without Allen!) and the LA Lakers (without Gasol!), Johnny Ludden points out that the Mavs are 0-7 versus winning teams since the Kidd trade.
Have you seen anything like the meltdowns the Mavs are famous for? The highs and the lows this team has experienced in the past 4 years have been phenomenal:
- giving away an MVP, gaining an MVP,
- losing in the POs to the SUNS, winning in the POs versus the SUNS and Spurs, losing in the Finals to a lousy team,
- going for 67 wins, then losing in the first round of the POs.
Psychologically, this team is fractured and dysfunctional, from the top down, starting with Mark Cuban.
Mark Cuban has found it hard to live down several executive decisions in the past 4 years. He has taken heat endlessly for giving away Nash for nothing. For denying the need to have a top shelf point guard only to now cave in and bring in Kidd, 2 years Nash's senior and at twice the cost of Nash, who shoots about half as well as Nash.
Cuban, once open and welcoming to all-comers, has now taken on a bunker mentality. The billionaire who championed the internet now bans bloggers from his locker room.
Then there's the Little General. His tight control of the team, once lauded for its additional discipline, is now holding the team back. Avery already has to contend with Cuban's meddling and attempts to coach from the seats. Avery now has to further share control with Jason Kidd, a PG with more situational authority than young Devin Harris could accumulate. This raises the question whether two strong minded point guards like Avery Johnson and Jason Kidd can work together to win. Of course they should. They're both about winning. However, the initial results have not been good. Avery benching Kidd for the final shot attempt is telling.
Finally, there's the best player on the team. A 7-footer known for jump shots and being taken out of the game by smaller players like Bruce Bowen and Stephen Jackson. Can you build a dynasty around a player like Dirk? They did get to the finals, which is farther than the SUNS. However, I sleep better knowing that we have a guy like Amare Stoudemire, rather than a guy like Dirk Nowitzki, on our team.
We could go on about the other quality players, but we end with the psychological meltdown of the fans.
Here is a fan's frustration, worth quoting in its entirety, for the emotional impact rather than the intellectual basketball discourse:Here are some thoughts about the Mavericks and Avery Johnson in particular:
Back in the day when they were battling the Kings in the playoffs, it was Marquis Daniels who was being called a steal and a future star. He was the guy who would glide to the basket and make the defense collapse; and he was a very good shooter.
Avery Johnson takes over, and Marquis Daniels doesn't even come off the bench. And eventually he gets traded for somebody who is not even with the team anymore. And Josh Howard is still here. And this I believe is the problem.
We have gotten rid of players that have turned out to be very good contributors on other teams. I saw Marquis Daniels play a couple of nights ago against Dallas, and he still looks better than Josh Howard will ever be. Josh Howard is the most overrated player on the Mavericks roster at this point. He was supposed to improve every year, but he has been going backwards. He might be a good athlete, but he is about as stupid as they come when it comes to pure basketball IQ. The timeout against Miami, last night he was open to take a shot at the end of the half with the clock expiring, and he passes it time expires and many many other stupid mistakes over his career.
Avery Johnson is a control freak and I believe that is the reason we have lost really good players like Marquis Daniels. Dirk Nowitzki from night to night never knows who is going to be with him in crunch time. Other than Dirk, nobody we have on our roster is good enough to make a shot, and some don't even have the balls to try a shot. I am sick and tired of seeing Jason Terry and Josh Howard make stupid plays night in and night out. And neither of them show up in the fourth quarter in crunch time.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT WITH HOWARD AND TERRY ON THE ROSTER, WE TRADE A FUTURE POINT GUARD AND HALF OUR BENCH TO GET KIDD???
Why didn't we go after Pao Gasol? Ben Wallace? Shaq? Right now we have a team that sucks and a management that doesn't know what the hell they are doing. I think it may be time to start over because they absolutely suck right now. It's easy to triple team Dirk when there is nobody else on the team that is worth anything.
And on top of that they are overpaid. Kidd $20 mil. Dampier $20 mil. Josh Howard who knows. We messed up by keeping players like Terry and Howard and getting rid of Nash, Daniels, Raja Bell, Rayshawn Terry.
I also think that Avery Johnson has no clue on how to run the offense and who should be on the floor. I rather have Brandon Bass on the floor in cruch time than the idiot Josh Howard. If the Mavericks can get anything for him, I would trade him while he is still worth a penny, if that. Sorry for this thread being so long, but I can go on and on with my frustration. How do you go from 67-15 to being a .500 team? Other than Dirk, this team sucks big time, including management.
For the record, I disagree that Marquis Daniels is anywhere close to better than J-Ho, it's just that Kidd and J-Ho have not worked out their kinks. Also, blowing up the team is obvious fan hysteria. Their a good team, and only 3.5 games out of the top seed.
I was in a hurry to write this, so I didn't develop the points very well. Consider this a sketch of my view of the Dallas Meltdowns. Feel free to add, amend, criticize, etc.