Mavs Vs. Hawks: The Bipolar Evaluation
There are no more opposite teams in the NBA in terms of roster construction than the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks . One is built of two way players that are above-average on both ends of the floor at spots 1-12 of their roster (Atlanta) and the other is a collection of one-way players with elite skill that have to be mixed and matched according to who can guard what and how the current floor spacing is aligned (Dallas).
The Hawks have multiple players that can guard a number of positions and the Mavericks have 1.5 (Rondo and Parsons, kind of) that can attempt to slide up the positional chain for stretches at a time.
I’m not saying one way is correct and another is hogwash. It’s just interesting to me the diversity on display in Wednesday's game (even with four key Mavs sidelined) of how to best use 12 roster spots. The Hawks are the sexy team this season but the Mavericks have obviously won a championship using their "bipolar roster construction style.'' It leads to more in-game lineup management from the head coach as he’s spinning plates trying to calculate the positives over the negatives given each player's skill set when they take the floor.
Rick Carlisle is in total control.
When a player challenges Rick’s ability to control the game, he’s not going to be very pleased with that. A show of disrespect might even lead to a suspension. You might as well spit in the face of God if you assume you’re more capable of managing a basketball game than Rick Carlisle.
Rondo’s blasphemy got him suspended (which is incredibly uncommon in the league and must have been more than warranted), Parsons (ankle) was out, Tyson Chandler was still recovering from Amir Johnson’s idiot knee and Amar’e was just doing Amar’e as the Mavericks rolled into a possibly-snowed-out Atlanta game. On nights like Wednesday I often wonder why Carlisle doesn’t concede the game and rest any player that’s a difference maker. Then I remember back to the Golden State game and the fact that they played their best quarter of the season in that contest and how it spun them into a 6-2 run immediately afterwards leading into last night’s game.
I don’t question Rick because I respect him. I search for reasoning and assume there’s good decision-making behind each choice. He’s also not my boss.
With the short deck the Mavericks were dealing with this game was always going to end this way. Cinderella would still have to be back at midnight and the Hawks would wake up at some point. The 34-point first quarter was fun but this was always destined to be a double-digit loss and it was, 104-87.
And now Dallas gets back to the business of its "bipolar roster construction style'' only hopefully with all its multiple personalities prepared to pull in the same direction.
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