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02/23/2012

The Mavs: half full, or half empty

Dirk-Nowitzki-2011-NBA-Playoffs-Lakers-vs.-Dallas-Game-3_photo_mediumThe Mavs' 96-91 loss against the Lakers on Wednesday night in Dallas ended what felt like about 3 a.m., and effectively concludes the first half of the regular season.

The NBA All-Star break is upon us. The season began about 12 days ago and we're at the break.

The Mavs are 21-13 and 2.5 games back of San Antonio in the Southwest division. All things considered, not bad. 

The loss to the Lakers was discouraging because Kobe finished 4-of-15 with seven turnovers. The Mavs were pounded inside as Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol combined for 43 points and 23 rebounds.  While the Lakers were pounding away inside, the Mavs cranked it up from outside to the tune of 8-for-32 from deep.

Moving on.

Gal_taurus_shawn-marionPLUSSES: When healthy, and this team is not as guard Delonte West remains out with a hand/finger injury, the Mavs are solid top to bottom. West has been a solid addition, and able replacement for J.J. Barea.
Dirk Nowitzki appears to be back in regular form, and Shawn Marion is playing as well as he ever has in his career. Vince Carter has been a willing participant.
Jason Kidd may be 90 years old, but this team does not function properly when he's out.
Jason Terry has been consistent with his game throughout the years.
Center Brendan Haywood has been better with increased minutes after Tyson Chandler left.

MINUSES: Lamar Odom is a non-factor. He's merely here as a contract the team can trade in the offseason.
Roddy Beaubois showed some things early, but is now in the dog house.
This team still needs a penetrator in the worst way, and West may be the only guy who can do it reliably. Dominique Jones has the ability to do it, but he's not going to receive the type of minutes necesssary to make a difference.
Haywood's production has improved somewhat, but he's not the defender Chandler is.
The team can become very jump-shot centric.
Age. Shortly after the All-Star break ends the Mavs will go through a stretch of nine games in 12 days. There is no way that is not going to have a negative effect.

The Mavs remain a strength in numbers outfit, and given what they did last spring and how they have performed thus far they deserve the benefit of the doubt to prove they can do it again.

But it's easy to see how one might have reservations about their chances.

 

@MacEngelProf
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Comments

Randi from Fort Worth

All they need to do is get in the playoffs. I like their chances. With Dirk, all things are possible.

Cash

Half full, but only half. Last year we were 3/4 full but as we age the glass seems to be a little less 'full'. I think we still have some serious miles in us but we gotta add some youth. Losing Tyson Chandler was huge. He played young. He was a high energy guy and I honestly think he made others around him 'younger'. JJ is missed but Chandler's defesense and how he built team chemistry was hard to watch leave. We are a good team but we gotta get some young talented guys around Dirk while he is still half full.

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Kelly

Half full...half empty... it doesn't matter. We aren't going anywhere this year. We are just too old. I can see us winning the west (doubt it) but no way we win it all again. We need some youthful back up. We miss JJ too much and we are just too old. I wonder what we can get in the open marke to help. I'm not convinced a super star is the answer.

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