Mavs All-Access: Analyzing The Test Tubes
If you take three starting players out of any NBA lineup they’re going to have a hard time competing against any Western playoff team. Yes, even a team that’s lost four games in a row and on the tail end of a back-to-back. Even a team that’s on it’s final leg of an eight-game road trip minus their best all-around player. Even a team that’s gone 2-7 on that road trip and has played only one sub-.500 team since January 28.
The Clippers were shorthanded and tired. The Mavericks were wounded. ... and then became shorthanded. Subtract the starting point guard, shooting guard and center from any roster in this league and tell me how they would stack up.
Just try it as an experiment.
The thing that makes the Mavericks capable of competing with the Clippers is a 7-1 pogo stick that has the heart of the Bill Russell-like lion, yeah team MVP Tyson Chandler. (photo USAToday) The second that card was stripped from the deck it was pretty obvious that no matter what jump-shooting spirit quest Charlie Villanueva was about to go on the Mavericks did not have the proper tools to fight the battle.
Tyson is the key against the Clippers and if you haven’t noticed he’s the key to everything on both ends of the floor. Join me as we dig through some of the rubbish of a 115-98 defeat at the hands of the least likeable team in the NBA. ... and then recruit Fish to help push us forward with lots of news of the moment.
If there is a positive (and there always is one in every situation because we’re humans and we ability to rationalize) it’s that the injuries to Tyson Chandler (ankle) and Monta Ellis (hip/groin) happened at this very point in the season. Imagine if this would have happened in the middle of January or after the All-Star Break when the Mavericks are trying to make a playoff push?
What would have happened is Tyson and Monta would have either attempted to play through their injuries, thus making them linger for the entirety of the season and in effect giving you 75 percent of the player you know and love, or they would have rushed back from injury and ended in the same result or possibly re-injuring the ailment (obviously, depending on what the problem is).
What’s encouraging about this situation is that neither of them have to be ready to play a basketball game for another nine days. There is always the possibility of these both being longer-term maladies than just a week. Look at what happened to DeMar DeRozan earlier in the season against the Mavericks. His was a non-contact injury that led to a torn adductor longus tendon and caused him to miss a month. Here’s the DeRozan injury:
Monta’s appeared to be of the same non-contact variety. I’m not saying that it’s the same thing or as severe but just brace yourself if this isn’t just a day-to-day situation.
Tyson, on the other hand, just appeared from my untrained eye to be your good old-fashioned nasty rolled ankle.
I think the hope is that it’s not a high-ankle sprain because those drag the hell on. If one of the aforementioned players were to miss significant time it’s my belief that the Mavericks could not survive without Tyson Chandler, whereas they might be (slightly more) fine without Monta. We've gotten some updates here, with TY out for Wednesday against Utah, Monta working through an MRI and considered "doubtful'' and Rondo's face with its doctor appointment Tuesday.
So the Mavs chase help. And the chase will be intensifying now. Which is why DB.com is bringing you breaking stories on the team's thoughts on Jermaine O'Neal ... Amar'e Stoudemire ... Andray Blatche ... Check DB.com's News Archives for all the latest scoop.
And, as Fish and Marc Stein reported on Tuesday morning, Sarge is also coming home to the Mavs on a 10-day. Hey, I'll take whomever I can get right now.
Go hang out on DB.com Boards and find out what the Mavs really think about Kevin Martin and Gary Neal and other stuff, too.
Good gosh, DeAndre.
Why the Clippers didn’t dump the ball down to DeAndre Jordan every single time down the court was a mystery to me. None of the Mavericks defenders were strong enough to keep him from sealing them under the basket. The only thing that saved them on the rare occasion was Jordan’s fear of drawing an offensive three-seconds penalty.
He’s a straight-up bully in the paint and oddly enough he’s like the fourth-most hated thing on that team.
Greg Smith has no business being on the same court as DeAndre Jordan and the rest of the Mavericks roster were posing as imposters in their attempt to keep DeAndre out of the lane.
The last time the Mavs and Clips squared off on January 10, DeAndre went for a new career high of 25 points as they skunked Dallas in Staples Center. Monday he went for a new career high in rebounds with 27. Oh yeah, and just 22 points for fun on 8 of 12 “shooting.” It was awfully kind of DeAndre to make the math easy when calculating his rebound percentage for last night. He grappled his way to 27 of the available 100 rebounds last night. Even I, with my Sun Belt education, can do that math and it’s 27 percent. But specifically when he was on the court he snagged 31.4 percent of all available rebounds. DeAndre averages pulling down 23.4 percent of the available rebounds while on the court which is good for second in the league behind only Andre Drummond (if you want to have a good rebounder name your child some version of Andre).
It’s no mystery as to why Jordan was able to Windex the glass with such vigor and that’s because Tyson Chandler and his 21.3-percent rebound rate was limping off to the locker room.
"The guy looked like Wilt Chamberlain playing in 1963,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of Jordan.
So we had Russell vs. Wilt. And then Russ got hurt.
It will be very interesting to see what the Clippers will do with DeAndre this off-season seeing as they’ve hard capped themselves already earlier this off-season with the addition of Spencer Hawes. Money well-spent. DeAndre is a max-contract player. There’s no doubt in my mind. Call me dreamy, but might-oughta be an option if some of the Mavericks retaining options go sideways.
For all the crap I give Charlie Villanueva for launching bad threes like a sorority girl ordering more lemon-drop shots at the bar, he was the only reason the Mavs were within 10 points of the Clips at halftime. Charlie came in shooting 19 percent from three his previous four games but he had zero care for that as he knocked down three straight from deep late in the first to draw the Mavs within three points of the Clippers at 29-32.
The 5-of-7 threes was really cool to watch as the ship was taking on water but what was most impressive to me was his willingness to post up CP3 and Jamal Crawford when they would get matched up on him. Props to Charlie for recognizing the situation and taking action. Now, never do that again.
Nobody likes the Clippers. Nobody.
Other teams, officials, opposing fan bases and even the Clippers don’t really like the Clippers. They have an aura of achievement about them when they haven’t even made a Western Conference Finals. If commercials and sweet dunks are your measuring stick then, yes they are the best in the NBA.
Question: how are we going to claim Chris Paul as the best point guard of my generation when he’s never made a Conference Finals? Tony Parker, anyone? If you’re going to rank the Clippers by how tired you are of their crap it would have to be Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan and their crappy bench.
This iteration of the Clippers is going to end one of two ways to me. ... The first being, everyone on the roster gets tired of Chris Paul barking at them constantly and they quit playing hard for him. The second being, Doc Rivers gets run for underachieving and never making an NBA Finals paired with the absolutely miserable job he’s done general-managing that roster, including trading for his own son.
I won’t feel sorry for them. They are not a collection of likeable humans. They assumed they could be the post-Sterling heroes of the NBA without all the due process. They carry themselves as if they were the Spurs and bark at the officials after every single play that doesn’t end in a Clippers bucket or block.
If you think the problems in the paint have passed because DeAndre is on his way out of town then you haven’t looked at the Utah Jazz. That threatens to be an interior bludgeoning due to Utah’s incredible depth in the front line. Instead of one MechaGodzilla (Jordan) they have like three Mutos (Favors, Gobert, Kanter).
The Mavericks' depth in the frontline will be tested once again and it’ll be on them to convince the Jazz that a post entry pass isn’t the most efficient way of dismantling this defense. I’d be very impressed and surprised if the Dallas Mavericks defeat the Jazz on Wednesday night.
Music to soothe the savage Mavs fan ...
“I don't look at the standings. That stuff is meaningless. What's meaningful is what happens when you get to the playoffs.'' - Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, overseeing a 35-19 club presently hanging onto fifth in the West.
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