Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Game 5: Hornets 99, Mavericks 94 (4-1)



The End.

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.

Soon.

Good bye, 2006 NBA Finals Mavericks. It was fun while it lasted.

14 comments:

MK said...

D'Antoni anyone?

Dark days ahead for the franchise.

Allegedly, Avery cancelled practice after learning JHO didn't cancel a Sunday night birthday party. Ouch. Talk about not getting it. Does he even care? Maybe he will call in to number 88 and pull a "Larry Hughes" and say he just plays to have fun not to win titles.

Bitterwhiteguy said...

I don't get why Kidd is untradeable?. Doesn't his contract expire at the end of next season? Who wouldn't want $21+ mil in expiring contract money to use in a trade?

But yea, this team needs to be razed to the ground.

Andy D. said...

I haven't heard anything about this yet, but...

Is Mark Cuban going to be the owner of the Mavericks 1 year from now? Remember how depressed he was after the Heat series and he seriously wanted to put the team up for sale? Hmmm... With the success of the MMA league and his involvement in that along with HDNet, will Cuban take this anymore?

Wow. This is a lower point than ever because the apathy the players show for playing for this team. They knew they would lose yesterday and just wanted that to end. Man, oh man. This used to be the shining light of our city as a model franchise. Not anymore.

Brad C said...

Hudson: Let's just bug out and call it even, OK? What are we talking about this for?

Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Hudson: F$%kin' A...

Burke: Ho-ho-hold on, hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.

Ripley: They can *bill* me.

JY said...

Being a Spurs fan, I take great, I dunno, pride maybe, that the Spurs are held as the benchmark for many other teams, much like the Patriots in the NFL. I do watch the Mavs with Spurs colored glasses, so I have no "homer" bias. Sturm is right on point with this, the Mavs need to start over. Keep Bass, Dirk (maybe, I would still put out feelers to see what may be obtainable for him via trade) and Jet, everyone else goes. If you can't trade them then cut them. Fire Avery (hard to say being a Spurs fan) and put every dollar you can into getting D'Antoni here. The offense that Avery runs is predictable. You have a team that is already better at team defense and D'Antoni can get this offense running again. Avery has made some questionable coaching decisions. He may very well be a great coach for some other team (Bulls maybe?) but he does not fit here. Go get a young point guard, either free agent or draft the best point guard available in the draft at whatever position you have. Looking at the Spurs, Suns, Hornets... you can see that the offense starts and ends with a point guard that can penetrate and either dish or go all the way to the hole and cannot be stopped. Nash is aging, so he is not as great as he was, but look at Paul, Parker, Deron Williams, etc. You had that point guard, now you have to go find him again. Other than that, you need a good power forward (Dirk or Bass) and a good shooting guard (Does Wright offer anything here). Then, most importantly, you need that spark of the bench, a la Ginobili, Pargo, Grant Hill or Barbosa in Phoenix, etc. You have that spark in Terry. Just dump almost everyone else (keep Damp, he doesn't have much offensively but neither do most of the centers in the West). I think that is a good place to start, at least.

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh said...

Josh Howard has lost his mind. And to think, I had almost forgotten about his bone-headed timeout in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Instead here we are at the end of the season, with a coach who is probably going to get fired, which I'm not so sure is a good thing. Frankly the players have been the real let down, but it's much tougher to replace 9 basketball players than it is one coach. Perhaps the Mavericks as we've known them for the past few years are dead. RIP Mavericks. We'll miss you.

- Josh

Jay said...

These are trying times. D'Antoni is interesting. Whatever Cuban and his crew does this off-season they can't afford any more mistakes. This team as constructed fits better in a run style offense but then we're still faced with the problem of not playing defense. If we can run and still play D I'm interested. Man I wish I had a solution, but it's going to take more risks of course which mean that moves we make might make things worse.

I do think Mark if he stays with this thing is going to have to swallow up bad contracts. I can't imagine we'd trade Kidd so fast but then again what value is he going to have after his contract expires? They might find an expensive player with big money from a team out there that wants to rebuild.

I'm just saying in the NBA there are usually deals out there to be made, especially if you're willing to take on money. It will be interesting to see if Cuban is still willing to do that.

homelezZ said...

Hey guys. Oh, big gulps huh? All right! Well, see ya later.

homelezZ said...

Spring cleaning time, out with the old, in the old. What about Kidd for AI? I really think this team needed AI at last years trading deadline, he would have given them someone who is tough, can score and actually wants the ball in 4th quarter.

What about J.Ho for Shawn Marion or even RJ?

Bob I hope you read these damn comments and can do a segment on possibile off-season moves with your boy skinny Skin.

Commish said...

Seriously???

"Avery should be fired"???

First Question: What coach on the market is better?

Second Question: What standards are we ranking Avery by? - the SA Spurs standard?

That is a bit unfair. Avery is a young coach who took this team to the finals two years ago.

What happened to that other team they played in the finals??? OH YEAH - They are the worst team in the NBA this year and their coach Quit! The Great Pat Riley QUIT!

I dare say that Avery is better than Pat Riley - he sure held the MAVS together better than the Riley did the 2006 NBA CHAMPION MIAMI HEAT!

Seriously - What do you want out of a Coach? Do you want him to come off the bench, put on a uniform and score all the points???

This team needs new players - The only one I REALLY WANT to keep is BASS because he is a young player with attitude and energy. I might consider keeping Dirk but at this point in his career, we could get a lot of value for him in a trade. Howard - Kick his pot smoking butt out of here - Seriously dude screw you’re head on straight.

MK said...

Best chance of a trade has to be with the bonehead Chris Wallace in Memphis. Howard for Mike Miller?

You want to trade Josh what you'll get back is just another team's headache probably. His value is real low right now.

John said...

Not that it'll happen, but with all the expiring contracts the Mavs could make a big run at Lebron or another big free agent in 2010.

Poncenomics said...

FOR SALE:

Dallas Mavericks Josh Howard #5 replica jersey.
Navy Blue. Made by Adidas. Size XL.

Priced to SELL!

Bonus: I hear rumors that if you burn it, inhaling the smoke will make you feel very relaxed. Have some cookies on-hand for afterward.