No Matrix, But Yes To Mavs Leadership

As a guy named Chuck Dickens once wrote, 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' So it is this week for the Mavs and a sore-kneed Matrix. So it is for the other pro team in town, too, suffering from a sore everything.

This fall has proven to be both "the best of and the worst of'' in the city with the Chihuly exhibit, whatever that is. The two home teams appear to be going in different directions at this point. The Mavericks appear to be on an uptick. The Cowboys appear to be stuck in the Chihulies.

On Tuesday, an MRI confirmed forward Shawn Marion has a sprained left medial collateral ligament (MCL). He will be listed as out for Wednesday's visit from the Raptors and will not travel with the team to New York and Charlotte later this week. He will be re-evaluated next week ... and he will be missed. In four games this season, Marion has averaged 8.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in 27.0 minutes while shooting 51.9 percent (14-of-27 FGs) from the field.

Yet with the Mavs' "Be Ready'' approach, you anticipate they will survive this.

A lot appears to be reflected in the personality styles of the two respective coaches and owners. Despite the fact that the media has forever compared Dallas Mavericks boss Mark Cuban and Cowboys boss Jerry Jones because of their outspoken manner and their somewhat rebellious quality, the fact is they are worlds apart on one of the most important issues of management: trust.

Cuban has hired what he perceived to be the best people available and trusts them to act in his best interest. No doubt, he has input, but he also allows the coach to hold players accountable -- which Rick Carlisle appears to have no difficulty doing, both in the locker room and in the media.

Possibly the thing I have learned to like about Carlisle the most is his ability to say exactly what he thinks even if it is in a somewhat snarky and sarcastic manner. He stated earlier this week that when his team (now 3-1 after Monday's win over Portland) ran set plays they sucked, and owned some of the responsibility for it.

Carlisle will roll into the Toronto game, and then Friday into NY (where he'll have no Dirk or Trix but see plenty of Tyson and Kidd) and I trust him to have answers.

Jerry, on the other hand, appears to have major trust issues and too few answers. He does not trust his coach to hold the team accountable. Does not envision trying a GM, though he acknowledges his present one should be fired, because he does not trust anyone else to make the decisions for him.

I don't fault him for that, I do fault him for a decade-and-a-half of futility.

At this point, the Cowboys are largely irrelevant and Jerry's overwhelming need for control does not allow real change to take place despite the obvious needs.

The Mavericks offseason was perhaps clouded by expectations that were unrealistic. Most fans got the idea that anything short of signing Dwight Howard was a complete failure. But, they appeared to have a plan (or a Plan B) to build a team rather than a group of star players. Only time will tell if it will be successful, but so far we should give them props. ... and applaud them for the selection and development of second-rounder Jae Crowder, who will use more than just his creative spelling to replace Trix.

The Mavericks flew in under the radar almost completely bringing in what appear to be some promising pieces for a new run. In Los Angeles, prior to the season people were wondering if the Lakers would break the all-time record for wins in a season or perhaps go unbeaten. This week, finally won a game after eight preseason and three regular-season losses. As they head to Utah you have to wonder if they are back on the road for good or if it is just a matter of time till the purple-and-gold wheels fly off.

Meanwhile back in CowboysLand, Jerry Jones remains locked out of the locker room; this is mostly because he got turned around and ended up in the dressing room at Penney's. He was also quoted in one of his confusing responses to interview questions that his GM should and should not be fired. Much in the way of Schrödinger's cat, it appears that his GM has been fired and extended at the same time and the frustration of the season continues.

The best advice I can give fans at this juncture is to trust the Mavericks and endure the absence of Dirk and now Trix, as the Triangle of Trust really does seem to know what it is doing. To Mark Cuban, continue to stay passionate about the team, and continue to harass Donald Trump whenever possible. And finally, as advice to Jerry Jones, follow Mark Cuban's lead and learn to trust, and for God's sake stay away from the plastic surgeons.

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