Wednesday, April 30, 2008
With some combination of misery and mercy, the Mavericks 2007-08 season has closed. We shall no longer have to watch this horrendous combination that never fit. They tried to change things around and make the combination work, but it never happened.
I would love to go over Game 5 point by point and in great detail, but this morning, I just cannot muster the energy. I am feeling exactly as I felt since Sunday about our Little Mavericks – Uncomfortably Numb. Last night brought almost emotional reaction either way as they put a stamp on their legacy in the Avery Johnson era.
Not good enough. Not strong enough. Close, but no cigar. Many fun nights, but in the end, in an effort to become like the San Antonio Spurs, the Mavericks developed into the exact opposite of those hated Spurs.
They do not rise to the occasion. They do not play their best basketball in the playoffs. They do not know how to hang in there, and find their way out of any mess.
They are hopelessly doomed and diseased as presently constituted.
Avery Must be Fired. I cannot begin to list all the reasons he must go. It isn’t a tough decision at all.
Josh Howard Must be traded.
The 1999 Eastern Conference All-Star team that we call half of our roster should be altered substantially.
The Front Office should be held accountable for a number of silly draft picks in the last several years.
Beyond that, I think you must consider any and all options.
If you read this space regularly, you know I believe Dirk Nowitzki is part of the solution. Not the whole solution, but part of it. But, even my confidence in him is shaken, and I certainly would not submit to you that he is perfect. I do, however, know how hard it is to find special players. And unless you know where we can upgrade on Dirk, then I think he will have to do.
As for Jason Kidd, I would imagine he is untradeable, so we should all accept that he will be here for one more season. Brandon Bass looks like a very useable piece for the future. Jason Terry, in the right role, is the very heart and spirit of this team many nights. You don’t hear about his baggage, you don’t have to beg him to want the ball at a big moment, he just pours his effort out there every night.
Which is why I have so soured on Josh. He doesn’t play smart. He obviously doesn’t live overly smart. He doesn’t want the ball at big moments. And he wouldn’t know what to do with it if he did. Cheer up, Josh; Pot season is here. Way to allow Peja to beat you in this series.
Jerry Stackhouse appears done. His body just can’t survive a season anymore. If it were a season that was the length of a college campaign, he might be useful. But, he hasn’t played 70 games since 2003, and he just seems like he has nothing left to give.
If Juwan Howard, Devean George, or Eddie Jones are back, the Mavericks aren’t serious about winning.
Even Mark Cuban must decide if he must change his ways. Would he be better served to enjoy his team from a safer distance? Maybe the presence of Mark on the sideline is not conducive to a coach’s comfort. Just saying, Mark. You know I love most of what you do, but I think everyone needs to check the mirror this morning.
The first thing they must do is figure out who wants to be here. And, bust everyone else out of here. This is time to start over. The bar will now lower dramatically, and regardless of what they do, don’t expect any of the national types to throw love the Mavericks way anytime soon.
Will Jason Kidd ever find his game here? Will Josh Howard be tradeable? Will a ridiculous Pau Gasol-like deal be out there?
Or worse yet, will Mark Cuban stand pat? The very same mistake he made last summer.
Let nobody kid themselves. This thing cannot be repaired.
The sad truth is that the Mavericks toilet must be flushed.
Good bye, 2006 NBA Finals Mavericks. It was fun while it lasted.