I talked with Jonathan Tjarks of SB Nation Dallas to talk about the Mavericks, their struggles and possibly their playoff chances.
Me: Why is Dallas struggling as much as they are?
The biggest reason for the Mavericks struggles is the lack of health.
Delonte West is SO big for this team because he's the most consistent
dribble-drive guy Dallas has, as most of the Mavs scorers are primarily
jump-shooters. When they're playing Kidd/Terry/Carter/Marion on the
perimeter in the fourth quarter it can be extremely difficult to watch b/c
the offense is so stagnant.
Also Dallas just got over a stretch of 9 games in 12 days which let's
just say didn't treat their old legs very well. Once they let Chandler go
they were forfeiting any shot at a title, but they're a much better team
than they looked recently when West, Odom and Brandan Wright (whose
been surprisingly effective) were out.
What happened to Jason Kidd?
He's just getting old. He's the oldest player in the NBA and it's impressive
he's even a replacement-level PG at this stage in his career. He can still
run a team, play solid defense on bigger 2/3's and shoot from the perimeter
but he's an offensive non-factor who has made some absolutely baffling
decisions in crunch-time this year.
I'd much rather see Beaubois/West/Terry to close out games personally.
How has the Lamar Odom acquisition turning out?
Before his four-game leave of absence which really let Dallas out to dry,
I can't say that I'm all that disappointed in how he's performed. His stats
are down b/c he's playing out of position w/Dirk at the 4, but he's still
a versatile defender who adds a lot of length, athleticism and shot-creating
to Dallas' second unit. Don't think he'll be back next year but he'll be an
excellent piece for someone.
Do you think the Mavs will hold on for one of the last playoff spots?
I'd be very surprised if they didn't, but that's only given they don't have
any more injuries this season, which with the average age of this roster
is hardly a given at all.