Thursday, May 1, 2008
The problem with the Mavericks was quite blatantly not Avery Johnson, who only retired from playing three years ago. He is a young man with a tremendous record and his playoff W-L has a lot to do with the glass jaw roster of the Mavericks. If you're clutch, you're clutch, and no amount of schnitzel can turn Dirk Nowitski into a crunch-time machine. It's becoming more and more clear to everyone that Dirk will never win an NBA title as the #1 option on any team, no matter who Cuban plugs into the rotation. That's something Pau Gasol accepted midway through this season, and he could be on his way to a ring in LA. The Mavericks are getting older and less athletic, their youngest star is an overrated pothead, and they simply have no organizational direction whatsoever. Are they a perimeter team? Fast break? Half-court? The funny thing is that their flaws have been obvious for over a year, since they lost to Golden State in the first round of the 2007 playoffs. Cohesion creates winners. The Mavericks are not cohesive and thus do not win playoff series. Considering he has just unfairly terminated his young coach, Mark Cuban's only option now is to completely detonate the roster with one exception: Brandon Bass. If there was one player on Dallas who proved he belonged in the second season against the well-coached and well-oiled Hornets, it was Bass. Kenny Smith suggested a Carmelo-Dirk swap; at this point, I say why not? Both franchises are at frustrating impasses and they either need to get demonstrably better or worse. Even Buffalo Bills fans would say enough is enough eventually.