Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To the eastside

They're movin' on up after all.

The Mavs people, the Mavs. Forgive me for trying to conceive a title more creative than "Post-trade Mavs analysis" I'm trying to deliver a good product after all people.

So apparently Dallas is awesome now. We're as good as the Lakers. Even Kobe said it! It must be true! But where are the Mavericks really in the grand scheme of things we call the NBA? Let's take a look.

Caron Butler is better right now than Josh Howard. I think. I mean he has to be. Howard was a bench player who would give you about 10-12 points on really lousy shooting, terrible offensive execution (I.E. "Ball-stopping) and sometimes misguided defense. OK we're clear here. Howard (this year at least) was 6th-7th man off the bench who was primarily a negative more than a positive in his 20-25 minutes.

So let's look at Butler. OK what do we have here. We now have replaced Howard with a starter. Butler gives you in those starter minutes about 15-18 points and just lousy shooting, acceptable offensive execution (No "Ball-stopping") and somewhat acceptable defense. Are we clear here? I'm not regarding Butler an amazing offensive option or a shutdown stopper on the perimeter. This year, at least, he is an average to above wing who we "hope" can return to All-Star form. He also has a similar contract situation, which means our financial flexibility for the summer is the same.

So there is no question this Mr. Hollinger. This is a good trade. Because even though the improvement isn't as crazy as Kobe says, the Mavericks are better. No if's, and's or but's. Butler right now is a better play than Howard right now. You can't argue that. YOU CAN'T.

Plus we didn't even touch on Brendan Haywood who is essentially a 2006 'Gana Diop who actually knows how to play basketball. That's fantastic. If a Diop-Dampier tandem can lead the Mavericks to the finals than I most certainly have faith in a Haywood-Dampier tandem to get us out of the second round.

So what do I expect? I expect the Mavericks to get right back into the 2nd-3rd spot. I expect them to get to the second round and have a fighting chance. I don't think they'll win the west, regular season or playoffs, but that doesn't matter too much. What matters is there is no question the Dallas Mavericks are a better team today than they were in January.

Sounds like a good trade to me.

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