Monday, April 26, 2010

Ashes to ashes

Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images
For the record, I HATE writing this post. I absolutely despise it. For one, it's hard. Trying to put emotions and rash feelings aside to write a coherent piece on why the Mavericks fudged themselves is not an easy task.

 Where to start? Is it Caron Butler's 18 shots? Shawn Marion's 28 minutes? Roddy B with 0 minutes? Dirk with 0 shots? George Hill with 29 points? It's an endless list. Game 4 was atrocious in almost ever sense of the word.

After Butler and Marion were benched in favor of JJ Barea small ball in Game 3, Rick Carlisle decided to not only give the duo more minutes, but more shots. Marion had 12 points in the first half and Butler had 8 shots in the 1st quarter as opposed to Dirk's messily 2. I appreciate Rick's choice to get them involved, but it was ill advised. Ride the horse that got you there. That horse happens to be German.

For the life of me, I don't know what Carlisle is doing anymore, I really don't. The only reason the Mavs led by 15 in the first half was the fact that Dirk was doubled and hit Marion for dive cutting layups and dunks. And if it wasn't Marion getting the ball, the fact that he was cutting to the bucket opened up shooters to have more room. Defenders more focused on Marion cutting to the lane when Dirk received the ball in the post meant late close out on shooters.

But then Carlisle decided to yank Marion in the third and stay with Butler till the end of the game. The result? Dirk gets the ball in post (if he can even get it in the first place) and 4 guys stand and watch. Dirk gets doubled, Dirk passes out to the perimeter and whoever gets the ball reacts as if they've never held a basketball in their life. Who said Butler drove the lane and got free throw attempts? He might be the worst finisher I have ever seen in this league. I have never seen someone who misses so many chipies for being such a high valued player. Butler's two free throw attempts tell the story.

While we're talking about Butler, has anyone seen Kidd look this rattled? For the life of me I haven't. Kidd has been completely taken out of this series and he's letting it happen. He's not pushing it as much and he isn't being as aggressive with his pass. That might be an awkward way to describe it but that's how it is. When Kidd is really in the game, he's finding cutters and putting passes right in the shooters pocket. Or he's leading Erik Dampier to the basket so he can't do anything but dunk it as much as his hands want him to throw it in the 35th row. Where has that been? Where are the inventive ways to get guys into scoring position? Also the Spurs have realized that Kidd is a 40 percent 3 point shooter. Now instead of letting Kidd be the beneficiary of Dirk's double teams, Kidd is one of the first shooters the Spurs have rotated to. They are now letting Butler catch it on the swing pass, and Butler holds the ball for about 10 seconds before doing two dribbles and firing a mindless 18 footer.


The only thing this series has done is exposed the Mavs for what fans have been either glossing over or trying to hide all year: The Maverick's are a mediocre defensive team that's really, really bad at rebounding with little offensive creativity. This series has also made Caron Butler's expiring contract much more movable this summer.

I said it on twitter last night: Dwayne Wade in a Dallas uniform would be breathtaking right now. Especially after his 46 point destruction of the Celtics yesterday. Could you imagine? Actually, don't. It wouldn't be fair to get your hopes up, since D-Wade is staying put apparently.

I heard on the radio from the Ben and Skin show that they were in San Antonio and rode the team plane back. When they arrived at Love Field late last night, there was only one fan waiting with a sign saying "I still believe!"

If you still don't, I won't blame you.

More coverage of Maverick's suckage later on including Rick Carlisle's job security, Caron Butler's value and where the hell has a certain Frenchman from Guadalupe been?

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1 comment:

  1. Well, looks like you'll just have to be a Thunder fan now. :)

    Nice work with the blog! I've gotta admit, I'm not an everyday reader so I was very surprised to see all of the work you've done with the layout and such. Very impressive!