Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bucks, Bacsik, and Hat Tricks

I honestly am not sure I know what to say anymore about the Dallas Mavericks. Last week, I already indicated it is time to give it up with regards to believing in this nucleus. But, wow.

I had no idea that the Milwaukee Bucks are able to beat the Mavs by 34.

But, alas.

I would like to hereby apologize to Norm for doubting the difficulty of winning a game in the Kohl’s Center. I guess I still over-rate the Mavericks.

Milwaukee Pounds Dallas

The joy of the Mavericks’ exhilarating victory in Philadelphia was extinguished by a blizzard of 3-pointers, long 2-pointers and a few dunks Wednesday night as the Bucks treated the basket like an arcade game.

If this had been the State Fair of Texas, the Milwaukee shooters would have left Fair Park with a truckload of stuffed animals.

The Bucks made 83.3 percent of their shots in the second quarter and followed it with 73.7 percent in the third. In the fourth quarter, well, by then, it didn’t matter.

The second game of the road trip was a disaster for the Mavericks, who were pummeled by the Bucks 133-99.

The Mavericks were hoping their dramatic victory over the 76ers on Monday on a last-second shot by Dirk Nowitzki would give them momentum. Instead, the Bucks handed them their worst loss of the season.

"I’ve very disappointed and I’m sure the team is, too," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "The momentum carried in the first quarter and then after the first, it was bad. There’s not much else to say. I’m extremely disappointed."

The Mavericks had a decent start, leading 30-22 after the first quarter. Despite having a sore wrist and ankle, Josh Howard seemed back to his old self, scoring 12 points in the first period. The Mavericks also limited the Bucks to 29.2 percent from the field.

In the second period, however, the Bucks erupted. Michael Redd, one of the top shooters in the league, missed all three of his field goals in the first period, but went 4-for-4 in the second.

And reserve guard Ramon Sessions hit all six of his attempts and had 17 points in the period as the Bucks scored 42 points, which is a season high by a Dallas opponent.

Charlie Villanueva led the Bucks with 32 points, Redd finished with 27 and Sessions had 21.

"It’s just embarrassing," Dirk Nowitzki said. "It was no defense at all. They got whatever they wanted — wide-open shots, drives, layups."

And now, making his “Bob’s Blog” debut, is the great Mike Bacsik. He is part major-league baseball player, part Mavericks fan. And, I have offered him a forum anytime he wants it to write about his Mavs without filter to this audience (for whatever that is worth).

So, today, Mike tackles the Diop trade:

Minor Trade for MAJOR Mistake

Last Friday the Mavs traded away DeSagana Diop to the BobCats for two spare parts, Matt Carroll and Ryan Hollins. Can Carroll and Hollins help? Yes, but not enough to decide an outcome of a game. First let me rant about the worst free agent signing in the NBA this off-season. Then I will get to the two players the Mavericks acquired.

Diop is a career backup Center at best. The MAJOR mistake by the Mavs was to use their entire Mid-Level Exception(MLE) 5 years $32 million on a guy who's best numbers in his career are 3 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. I don't think anybody thought at the end of the 2008 season the Mavs biggest need was a backup Center with no offensive game. Diop was traded last year in the Harris-Kidd trade to New Jersey. The Nets didn't even have a Center on their roster.(Mavs got both of N.J. Centers, Magloire and Malik Allen) Diop was so bad for the Nets that after a few games he couldn't get off the bench. But because Gana was on the 2006 NBA Finals team Cuban and Donnie had to have him back. Now, what has been one of the biggest needs for the Mavs in the last 5 years? A Shooting Guard/Wing Player. Who was available in free agentcy? C.J Miles, Matt Barnes, Michael Pietrus, J.R Smith, and James Posey all signed for the same amount or less with their current team. Now compare those guys with Matt Carroll and you see how bad the Mavs screwed up.

On to what the Mavs got for Diop. Matt Carroll has a nice 3 point shot. Unfortunately that is all he has. He is a catch and shoot white boy. A comparable player for Mavs fans would be Tim Legler. These guys have a place in the NBA but they are not difference makers. Why did the Mavs want him? Because he makes less money then Diop. Plain and simple. Carroll is owed $21.4 million over the next 5 years. Diop 5 years at $32 million. In the 2010-11 season Carroll will make $4.3 compared to Diop's $6.5. It's not much but I guess every penny helps if the Mavs are to pry away a top free agent that year.(Don't count on it) The other player the Mavs acquired is 7 foot center Ryan Hollins. Honestly I knew very little of him. So I went to see what his draft card said 2 years ago from Chad Ford of ESPN. Chad Ford says "He's long and athletic and he can block shots. He's been an underachiever at UCLA, but if he ever gets it, he could be good. He has potential to be a pro if he has time to develop, but it will take a lot of work. He's really a major project for a team to invest in, reminiscent a bit of Loren Woods of the Toronto Raptors." He is insurance on a Mavs team that only has one other center, Dampier. Hollins contract expires after this season.

This will go down as a nothing trade. Two teams getting rid of trash they didn't want anymore. What shouldn't be forgotten is, when the Mavs needed the MLE to fill a huge hole, they got nothing. It's sad to think over the last 3 years a few of the right moves and the Mavs would still be a top 5 team. Now in July of 2009 you can look forward to David Stern saying "With the 14th pick in the 2009 NBA draft the Dallas Mavericks select _____." Not all because of Diop, but his signing is one of the major problems this year.

Good stuff, Mike. Keep it coming.

Art Garcia speculates about the end of the Dirk Era

If Mark Cuban's team continues to slide as Nowitzki continues to age, moving the former MVP could become a legitimate option. Nowitzki agrees, pointing to the departures of former teammates and close friends Steve Nash and Michael Finley.
"When Nashy left and Fin left, some guys said they would never trade me and I'm untouchable," Nowitzki told "I said, 'Screw that.' If they can get Kobe tomorrow or Shaq in his prime five or six years ago, you've got to be stupid not to do it.

"Whatever Cuban wants to do, he's running the show, it's his franchise, he spends a lot of money every year on us, and if they can get better by getting rid of me and want somebody else, have a shot at a franchise player, then just go right ahead."
Nowitzki's tone was hardly defiant. He just laid out his thoughts in a matter-of-fact chat after a recent Dallas home game. Nowitzki's contract expires in 2011, though he can opt-out after next season and join the blockbuster 2010 class.
Europe's greatest NBA export is not actively looking to leave Dallas. But the precedents set by a pair of 7-footers who took their former franchises as far as they could go makes the concept, at the very least, viable.

Here, The MacMahon blog entry o the day

I'd imagine the Mavs' annual trip to Milwaukee causes some grumbling around those parts. After all, the draft-day Dirk deal ranks right up there with the most lopsided trades in recent NBA history.

If the Mavs traded Robert "Tractor" Traylor straight up for Pat Garrity, the Bucks still would have been on the bad end of the deal. But Garrity was just a throw-in with the big German.

Dirk has developed into the best European ever to play in the NBA. Traylor has developed into a tub of goo who lasted a grand total of two seasons with the Bucks and started all of 73 games in his NBA career, which he tried to resuscitate by playing for the Cavaliers' summer league team last year.

Just for giggles, let's compare the career stats of Dirk and Tractor Traylor:

Points -- 18,026/2,085
Rebounds -- 6,846/1,640
Assists -- 2,150/312
Blocks -- 826/306
Steals -- 744/280
All-Star appearances -- 7/0

Tony Romo speaks

"I think leadership sometimes comes with your ability to perform and your personality," Romo said in a telephone interview Wednesday night. "And some of it comes with experience. In a lot of ways, I think I've gotten to the point where I've gained experience.

"I'm definitely going to take a more active approach with that as we move forward from last year to this season. I'll be very excited to get back out there and be with the guys and figure out a way to improve and get better and do the things we need to do to win. Period."

"I think this was definitely the most trying physical year I've had in my athletic career," Romo said. "Sometimes you have to go through that, and if you do go through something like that, you can be stronger."

Romo did not want to talk about his relationship with Terrell Owens, joking, "Haven't we been through that already?" or his practice performance, which sources questioned late in the season.

However, Romo has said he treats practices like games in order to be ready for any situation that might arise when things are for real, and his coaches have never questioned his work in practice.

"I promise you," Romo said, "this football team is going to be a good football team next year."

On the day the Rangers grabbed Omar Vizquel, two Rangers links: A JD ESPN Chat where he says very little ….and BBTIA offers a large prospect mailbag that has quite a bit

Big night for the Stars, as they get a much needed win in Florida. I think any of us watching it were not terribly optimistic as we hit the first intermission and the Stars looked like they were not going to finish anywhere but last in this two team battle. They had no energy, and they had no real intention of competing.

Well, as usual, this team that came out of the gates sleep walking sprung to life without any warning and that left all of us (including Razor) wondering if the teams had switched uniforms during the break.

The “compete” level in the Stars really was apparent in the final 40 minutes, and it was nice to see the best players playing well. Brad Richards was really good; Modano scored another of those crazy “no angle” goals – he has scored from that very spot at least 100 times, but each time it looks like he has no angle.

A few other notable items to discuss from the night in Florida include Matt Niskanen’s fighting career which might not lead to a career in the octagon when he is done with hockey.

Full marks for courage, the results need improvement for the sake of his body.

His 1st fight in 08-09 – that ugly night in Boston with Sherriff Hnidy

His 2nd fight in 2008-09 – Stillman with a strong punch to the kisser

Meanwhile, the headlines today screamed about another hat trick for the Stars this one was the very first in the career of the great Mike Ribeiro. Ribeiro actually scored the natural hat trick with his empty netter last night, and has to love the taste in his mouth as he hits the all-star break.

The hat trick tied the team record for the Stars, as they now have 5: Brunnstrom, Parrish, Eriksson, Neal, and now Ribs. 5 also was achieved in 1998 and 2004, so the Stars have nearly 40 games to get magical #6.

That, of course, led to this email from a fan:

Hey Bob,

There seems to be an abundance of hat tricks this year for the Stars. This can't be normal, but since I'm biased and really only focus on Stars hockey, maybe it is. Though being the genius sports mind and celebrity that you are, what is the record for the most number of hat tricks a team has had in a single season? Surely the Stars have to be creeping up on that???

P1 Dan

Thanks, Dan, although your use of the word celebrity is both reckless and ridiculous.
But, to his question of whether the Stars are creeping up on the record for hat tricks in a season….uh…No.

The 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers appear to have the record with 21 hat tricks in one year , so 5 will not get it done. Think about that. 21 hat tricks? 1 every 4 games?

In fact, Gretzky had 10 in 1 season. Twice!

According to this , here are some jaw-dropping hat trick numbers:


Year Player, Team HT
1981-82 Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton 10
1983-84 Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton 10
1980-81 Mike Bossy, NY Islanders 9
1988-89 Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh 9
1991-92 Brett Hull, St. Louis 8
1917-18 Joe Malone, Montreal 7
1970-71 Phil Esposito, Boston 7
1975-76 Rick Martin, Buffalo 7
1992-93 Alexander Mogilny, Buffalo 7

And then this:


Player HT
Wayne Gretzky 50
Mario Lemieux 40
Mike Bossy 39
Brett Hull 33
Phil Esposito 32

That is right. 50 hat tricks. 50. Just 49 more Ribs.

Enjoy your All-Star break.

1 comment:

bevo said...

Thanks Bob for the diversity..Bacsik post was good..I really enjoy your blog..