Poll: What is going on with the Mavs?
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Luka is out of shape and bringing everything down with him.
7.14%
KP is out and everybody is suffering because of that.
14.29%
Combination of Luka being out of shape and KP being out.
45.24%
Something else (note it below).
33.33%
Total
42 vote(s)
100%
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What is going on with the Mavs?
#21
I think it can't really be simplified down to just missing KP and Luka being out of shape.

First, the offense is broken. It's something more systemic than just blaming one or two players. Meaning I don't think Luka being out of shape is making THJ shoot 31.8% from the field and 30% from 3. Or Maxi shoot 30% from the field and 33% from 3. I don't think it's us missing KP that is causing our bigs across the board play quite bad. I already touched on Maxi, but Powell has been underwhelming. He's passing up shots and generally just isn't playing his patented vertical style anymore. This is evident by the 2.5 rebounds a game he's averaging right now. He's not near the basket, and he isn't fighting vertically for boards when he is near there. 

The ball movement looks stunted. The spacing looks off. Players are hesitant. Others don't even know the plays properly; with WCS, Boban, Johnson, and even Brunson being yelled at for being out of position on more than one occasion. Luka looks like he's having to work twice as hard to make the same moves. Teams are sitting on his favorite passes, making for easy picks. Is this a Luka problem? Or the fact that RC's offensive scheme has been figured out and hasn't adjusted yet? I think a mix a both, but leaning towards RC since he's the one that designs where players go on offense. 

Despite Luka looking obviously off, he's been by far away our best player and the only reason our 2 games haven't been 40 point routs. He's averaging 29.5/6/6/ on 44% from the field. Luka's been averaging 50% from the field if we remove the horrid 1st quarter from PHX (not making excuses, but pointing out that Luka has gotten MUCH better as time has gone on; a good sign). The fall off from Luka is cataclysmic. Our next leading scorer is Josh Richardson with 14.5 ppg. 

Second, the defense, though improved, is still a ways from where we need it to be. Nothing is humming. Individually, I think there are bright spots, mainly Richardson, but DFS, Johnson, Maxi, and even Luka has had their moments. Heck Willie has had a possession or two that has made me go "Oh wow". However, as a team? It's been horrible. No getting around it. Gave up 106 to PHX, and then 138 to Lakers? Both teams averaged 53% from the field (PHX 48.1%, LAL 56%). Can't win games if you can't get stops. It's surprising the Mavs have been so disjointed on defense, given Carlisle's focus on it in training camp by his own admission.

Third, I think our bench took a noted step back after removing Seth. We took what was one of the league's best shooters (of all time) that came off the bench for us and provided instant offense, and turned it into a great starter, but never replaced that production. Instead we hoped the Burke+Brunson duo to replace that kind of shooting by committee and prayed that a rookie could fill in the gaps. Needless to say it hasn't worked yet. Brunson hasn't shown he's made ANY sort of marked improvement from last season, let alone his rookie season. His decision making has left a lot to be desired. I counted 4 straight possessions against the Lakers where Brunson just gave the Lakers the ball with sloppy passes or bad dribbling. These are rookie mistakes I could live with, but Brunson isn't a rookie anymore, and he's running out of rope in my eyes. His game against PHX was also a shitstorm of turnovers and forced shots until he caught fire in the 4th making impossible layup after layup for 12 points. That kind of erraticism is not a good recipe if we want a consistent bench that all good western playoff teams have. Burke is coming off his scorching hot run in the bubble and returning back to what he always was, and that's a volume shooter with microwave tendencies. The only sad part is we have that kind of skillset with THJ in the starting lineup, making him redundant at best and inconsistent at worst. 

How to fix the bench? The only obvious choice and something a poster here already posed is to move THJ there. I'm not entirely convinced that would fix anything though, mainly because last year THJ looked terrible off the bench. Maybe this year it'd be different? I don't know but it doesn't hurt to try at least for 1 game. Other than that there isn't a clear way to make it work in my eyes and needs to be addressed through a trade. 

Finally, a writeup about why the Mavs are so shit right now wouldn't be complete without mentioning KP and Luka. It remains to be seen how not having KP is fucking everything up. He could come back in January and everything falls in place. He could come back and none of our problems are fixed. I think it's somewhere in-between. KP has become a sneaky good rebounder and his defensive acumen is well-documented, so it's hard to believe at least those two areas not getting better upon his return. KP's spacing also should (hopefully) help the spacing on the offensive end, and in turn make it easier for others to score, namely Luka. 

Luka is out of shape. He's said it. Brad Townsend's said it. Cuban said it. Your wife probably said it. We all notice it. He doesn't have the same pep to his step. Now, thankfully Luka has said he's working everyday to improve this. And as I noted above, he's only gotten better so far. And it should be noted that Luka Donthick is still averaging 29.5/6/6. It isn't his standard that we're used to, but it's still better than almost every player in the NBA save 7 or 8 at the top right now. 

Overall, I'm nervous about how the Mavs performed, as I don't think they're quick fixes. I think we're relying on subpar NBA players at their position to play heavy minutes while we wait for reinforcements (Namely Powell, and Burke). I think what are supposed to be our good NBA starters are shitting the bed in the worst way. THJ is playing like a regression is all but confirmed and Maxi has hit a total of 20 threes since August.  Richardson is playing 'okay', and if not for his supernova preseason I wouldn't be disappointed in him. Johnson in his limited minutes has been largely non-existent besides a few good defensive plays. Brunson has been on a pendulum of bad-good NBA basketball and I just want off this wild ride. I feel like WCS is going to become the next Roddy B, and we'll all clamor for him calling for Rick to "Free Trillie Willie!" and he'll be out of the league in 2 years. Powell as a topic is starting to become persona-non-grata for me that has been explored every which way with valid points on both sides. "Break in case of emergency Boban" is still just that. The rookies don't look like anything special yet (though they haven't been given a real chance).  

I think the Mavs need a trade in the worst way. Turner, Hield, Oladipo. Big shakeups. I don't think that will help this group gel any better this year, but its really more of a testament to how much I believe in the current guys we have, which is not that much. Luka/KP are the only untouchables. Richardson should be our hardest to get asset after them. I still think Maxi is a lynchpin defender that the Mavs shouldn't easily give up. The rest can all be had for pennies on the dollar if was up to me. 

But I'm not in charge, and stepping back from the reactionary plank, we probably just need to stay the course and trust Carlisle will find something soon. It's only been 2 games. Yes the things in those 2 games don't give much hope for the next 10, and every team had the same condensed offseason, but it's only been 2 games. You can't run a team properly if by every small bump you blow it up. Again I think we need a trade, but it's not going to come anytime soon if Donnie is any good at his job and thankfully I think he is. 

If you made it this far thanks for reading it all. If you didn't well TL;DR there are a lot of reasons why the Mavs suck doodoo donkey right now. For my next trick, I predict for Rick to start Boban next game.
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#22
Smile 
(12-26-2020, 09:11 PM)SleepingHero Wrote: If you made it this far thanks for reading it all. If you didn't well TL;DR there are a lot of reasons why the Mavs suck doodoo donkey right now. For my next trick, I predict for Rick to start Boban next game.

LOL. Such a long, detailed, thoughtful post, and it ends with a serendipitous little joke. I like it.  Smile

Also, enjoyed your thoughts.


#23
We knew all of this going in. What pisses me off is how we ignored a guy like Precious Achiuwa in the draft and he is a rotational piece for Miami. The Mavericks need to make some tough decisions about the type of players they are going after. Even with KP we are not very strong in the frontcourt and we still need wing scoring. They essentially have the same needs as the guys they added have not helped. It was a piss poor attempt in making the team better this past offseason that's for sure. Hopefully now that the Giannis pipe dream is over they can start making better decisions.

Luka their best player is out of shape and limited
KP their second best player is out
Bad frontcourt depth was not addressed in draft/free agency
Tim Hardaway Jr. bad shooting start
No true secondary playmaker
No consistent 3rd scoring option

The Mavs need to pull off a few major trades and I am also suspicious that Trey Burk may have just been a bubble wonder and not a top 8 rotational piece.

Players I would look at adding to this team

Andre Drummond
Al Horford
George Hill
Buddy Hield
Victor Oladipo
Evan Fournier
Miles Turner
Blake Griffin
Derrick Rose
Aaaron Gordon

There are a few others as well


#24
(12-26-2020, 09:11 PM)SleepingHero Wrote: If you made it this far thanks for reading it all. If you didn't well TL;DR there are a lot of reasons why the Mavs suck doodoo donkey right now. For my next trick, I predict for Rick to start Boban next game.

I made it this far and applaud your post.  You said it much better than I did.  Keep it up.
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#25
Something else, that being rebounding and execution.

I'm reminiscent of a couple things from:

  1.         Mavs history of putting Small Forwards as Power Forwards and PF as tweener Centers. From back to the days of Shawn Marion as the PF, to Dejuan Blair as C, to Harrison Barnes as the 4 (his playing better being the 3 in Sacramento) to now. Which features DFS at the 4, and having to put hybrid PF/C as more towards the Center role (Powell and Maxi). While Rick believes that the post up is dead, he might as well say rebounding isn't important. This is a stat I'm missing very much of our retired Dirk, while not being athletic, he finesse his way to the rebound. Our players seem to look at the ball and wait for it to come to them rather than go for the rebound no matter what.
  2.      Nate Hinton. Yeah, I'm thinking of the scrub. Just because I miss his tenacity. While being a preseason game, he targeted a loose ball off the rim like a missile. If his shot missed from mid court jump shot, he would run to tip it back in. From the Lakers game, there was quite a few plays where an off ball players sees the teammate shoot and while the ball is in the air already motions towards the other side of the court. I understand you want to set your players in defense, but if the shot isn't falling, you got to have a couple players that will stay in the half court and look for a second chance point.
Everybody else has made good observations. However, KP is already a recurring issue from last season and a poorly condition Luka is playing at 70-80% but he hasn't lost his BBIQ.


#26
(12-26-2020, 09:32 PM)mavsluvr Wrote: LOL. Such a long, detailed, thoughtful post, and it ends with a serendipitous little joke. I like it.  Smile

Also, enjoyed your thoughts.

Hey! Thanks bud. I got the thoughtfulness and detail from your game write-ups Smile
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14x All-Star, 12x all-NBA, 1x MVP, 1x Finals MVP, 1 NBA Championship: Dirk Nowitzki, the man, the myth, the legend.


#27
Really, everything goes back to the failed offseason of 2019. They needed multiple quality starters and they failed to sign any. If the Mavs had grabbed Brogdon back then like they should have we'd be having a different conversation. Instead they had to use this offseason just to fix the mistakes from the last one, and while the JRich trade was a good start, we'll have to see what they do at the trade deadline.
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#28
(12-27-2020, 03:10 AM)Branduil Wrote: Really, everything goes back to the failed offseason of 2019. They needed multiple quality starters and they failed to sign any. If the Mavs had grabbed Brogdon back then like they should have we'd be having a different conversation. Instead they had to use this offseason just to fix the mistakes from the last one, and while the JRich trade was a good start, we'll have to see what they do at the trade deadline.
Back then I said we needed 3 starters, I think JRich is 1. Hopefully they can get another through trade and the third in next offseason (I really don't care which bench players we have to give up to make that happen). We have a bunch of good bench players that play well when they are on the bench (or in THJ's case have in the past ex. Atl). Guys like Powell make you have to squint really hard and hit a very small target to make a case in him being a good starter. It shouldn't be that hard.
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#29
Also, I really don't understand all the doom and gloom after TWO stinkin games! I also don't understand talking about averages after the same two games. I don't get coming to any sort of conclusion after two games. 

I'll also say again, I don't understand the need to excuse the mistakes either. 

This is our start to the season, it's not pretty and we can talk about that in my mind. We should talk about individual game weaknesses. About how players are crapping the bed and out of shape and don't understand where to be after being here for a good amount of time (WCS who has had time to figure things out more than he has through study and talking to our coaches and practice, not the offseason gains).

Let's talk about that without have to read the excuses. Let's talk about some of the few successes we've seen. Let's get away from drawing conclusions after two games and making excuses for poor play.
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#30
https://sgmavs.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/...ced-stats/
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Luka is 20 years old in his 2nd season and is a serious MVP candidate already... Halleluka...


#31
(12-27-2020, 04:29 AM)ItsGoTime Wrote: Back then I said we needed 3 starters, I think JRich is 1. Hopefully they can get another through trade and the third in next offseason (I really don't care which bench players we have to give up to make that happen). We have a bunch of good bench players that play well when they are on the bench (or in THJ's case have in the past ex. Atl). Guys like Powell make you have to squint really hard and hit a very small target to make a case in him being a good starter. It shouldn't be that hard.

 I am glad its not just me and I am afraid that it may set us back even further. We have absolutely nothing to show from those 2 off seasons in terms of rotational talent. 

The Mavericks need to be realistic with themselves and figure out if they want to contend because this marriage to the guys we have BS is for the birds. We need major upgrades throughout the roster. 

I agree on J Rich so far I see 4 legit foundational pieces on this roster that I would not move. If you consider Richardson a off season acquisition then that's cool but you do have to put an asterik by it because we lost Seth Curry and to your point had we signed Brogdon we would likely still have Seth Curry.

Luka
KP
Dorian Finney Smith
Josh Richardson 

The rest of the guys on the roster are fair game to be included in various trades
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#32
I am not in panic mode but I still don´t understand why the Mavs did not go after another big in the offseason. They overpayed WCS, traded for Johnson and split the MLE.
Maxi is the only healthy big that was a main rotation piece last year and he was at his best when he played 20-25 minutes. Boban can give them some minutes in certain matchups. KP is out. Powell a shadow of his former self.
Not a big suprise. Most posters on this board mentioned that the Mavs need another reliable bigman.


#33
(12-27-2020, 09:51 AM)dirkfansince1998 Wrote: I am not in panic mode but I still don´t understand why the Mavs did not go after another big in the offseason.


Another big? There is not enough minutes to go around as it is. We could have a discussion why they didn't/shouldn't go for a better big, but not for another.

As for WCS - it is actually better his contract is a bit higher, it will be easier to be used in trades. I don't expect him back next season (unless they trade Powell). 

I think Luka still needs to learn how to be a leader of a contender. Too much smiling and "having fun" mentality. It's just a natural element of growing up and I mean this in a very positive way. Luka is a great guy but still extremely young. As I have said before, despite being the best player, he was never a team leader in Real or national team. In the locker room, vets were talking and Luka was listening. Mavs can either wait for Luka to "grow up" or help by adding some tough and respected vets who "have been around" and can still play an important role. Marc Gasol would be great, it didn't happen. One example I could think of is George Hil, who would be awesome as a back up PG. Of course, this would mean Brunson is gone.


#34
(12-27-2020, 10:10 AM)omahen Wrote: Another big? There is not enough minutes to go around as it is. We could have a discussion why they didn't/shouldn't go for a better big, but not for another.

As for WCS - it is actually better his contract is a bit higher, it will be easier to be used in trades. I don't expect him back next season (unless they trade Powell). 

I think Luka still needs to learn how to be a leader of a contender. Too much smiling and "having fun" mentality. It's just a natural element of growing up and I mean this in a very positive way. Luka is a great guy but still extremely young. As I have said before, despite being the best player, he was never a team leader in Real or national team. In the locker room, vets were talking and Luka was listening. Mavs can either wait for Luka to "grow up" or help by adding some tough and respected vets who "have been around" and can still play an important role. Marc Gasol would be great, it didn't happen. One example I could think of is George Hil, who would be awesome as a back up PG. Of course, this would mean Brunson is gone.

WCS is not  a proven high minutes player in the NBA. Especially not on a playoff team. Same for Johnson at this point of his career. What I meant was no WCS and a big forward or bigman for the full MLE. That´s what a lot of us expected prior to the Burke signing. Would certainly prefer to have Baynes, Favors or a similar player right now.


#35
(12-27-2020, 07:48 AM)Omega_Supreme Wrote: Luka
KP
Dorian Finney Smith
Josh Richardson 

The rest of the guys on the roster are fair game to be included in various trades
I don't see DFS as a cornerstone piece. I would love for him to be still here when the dust settles, as well as all our guys, but if he needs to be a casualty, I'm OK with him going. I think he's a meh starter, better off the bench like all these guys are. If his 3 proves to be at least as good as last year then he might move into that keeper status, but if he's one of the "gets" for another team in a trade for a better player, I absolutely have no problem parting ways with him.
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


#36
If you go back in time to when Dirk first made the all-star team in 2002 and then move forward to the 2006 finales team.  The only player on the 2002 and the 2006 team was Dirk.  And you put that concept into Luka first all-star game last season 2019, then everyone but Luka can go from last seasons team.  

If want to keep KP, use the 2006 finals team vs the 2011 championship team.  Were only Dirk and Terry were on the same teams.  So its now Luka, KP and an added JRich plus maybe a Rook.  Hopefully we add more at the TDL.

The bigger point here is that the Mavs made the finals 4 years after Dirks 1st all-star game.  How dose 2023 look for Luka and the Mavs?


#37
I think anyone not named Luka or KP should be on the table for a true 3rd star. I would prefer to keep JRich and Maxi, but if they are the price to make us a better team, so be it. We have 2 cornerstones including 1 mega star. The hard part is done. We just need to get the right talent around them.
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#38
(12-27-2020, 12:20 PM)ItsGoTime Wrote: I don't see DFS as a cornerstone piece. I would love for him to be still here when the dust settles, as well as all our guys, but if he needs to be a casualty, I'm OK with him going. I think he's a meh starter, better off the bench like all these guys are. If his 3 proves to be at least as good as last year then he might move into that keeper status, but if he's one of the "gets" for another team in a trade for a better player, I absolutely have no problem parting ways with him.


Totally agree that while DFS is a valuable member of the squad and one I’d love for them to keep around, he isn’t good enough to be considered a cornerstone piece, and your “if he needs to be a casualty” point. In the right deal, I’d drive him to the airport. 

I’m not sure I agree that he’s a bench player. This might be my own preference and not reality, but I can’t shake the feeling that he’s better as a top 5-6 minutes type of guy. I just don’t know if he gives you anything super valuable off of the bench. He’s a good defender (maybe not great) and that’s valuable in any role, but I think bench players who can create offense are important...maybe I simply arrived at that conclusion because it has always been how the Mavs approach their bench, however. It’s an interesting conversation. 

I do think that at the end of the day, guys at DFS’s skill level and with his body type seem to be in short supply. Mix in the contract he signed, and I suspect he’s one of the more valuable assets currently at the Mavs’ disposal. Dangling him in a deal this season doesn’t see far fetched.
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#39
(12-27-2020, 01:14 PM)KillerLeft Wrote: This might be my own preference and not reality, but I can’t shake the feeling that he’s better as a top 5-6 minutes type of guy.
I don't disagree with this. I think he's a likeable glue guy that has 1 season of good 3%. I think he's fine as the 5th starter if your other 4 starters are of higher quality, but if the other team is needing him as a piece to their puzzle (thinking about AG in ORL type deal) then there is no reason to think he can't go. Kleber is one of my favorite Mavs of this group, but he's in the same boat as DFS IMO.
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#40
yes... what IS going on with the Mavs?
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