1. Why does everyone hate Duncan and Ginobili. I kinda get Parker, but Timmy and Manu? I mean, Ginobili is so nice. And he's balding. He's a really nice, balding Argentine. What is so intimidating about that?
Duncan is easy. The Tim Duncan face. You know the one Im talking about. The incredulous look whenever anything doesn't go his way and his eyes appear to try to come out of his head. Oh, I forgot to mention that, when it's all said and done, Duncan is easily a top 10 all time great and for years he beat us like a drum.
Manu is easier to peg. He was an early pioneer in flop-ology. Also his tendency to dagger Dallas to death in tight games in the mid 2000's. Now, though, I think the hatred of the Spurs has simmered a bit into a simple loathing paired with a healthy respect.
2. I am curious: the face of the Mavs' franchise is back now, but is it too late?
Yes. We're toast. I was doing some math last night... Dallas has lost 11 games by ten or more points, 6 games by twenty or more. Our average margin of defeat is 14.4 points. We're bad. Very bad. Now, I've been saying this since the preseason because the signs were there but most of my Mavs friends are finally coming around.
3. The Carlisle seems to reinvent the rotation pretty frequently. I'm sure that Dirk's return means more consistency, but what unit has been most effective in a tough season to date?
I'm going to be honest, I'm not able to access any advanced stats at the moment because I'm typing on a friend's laptop. If I'd be willing to guess, though, it's any line up with Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion, Brandan Wright, and a spare part.
Oddly enough, Wright can't steal playing time these days because he's unable to rebound or play very good man defense because he's so slight of frame. The team is really a mess. Are the Spurs 38 points better than Dallas? No, of course not. But they are a better team top to bottom.
This is just a tough question because guys like Mayo and Collison are so awesome on the fast break, they are also still learning the defense (or, in Mayo's case, defense as a general concept). Ugh.
4. You know where I stand on this, but do you think the Mavs can make the playoffs? I believe they can, but perhaps that's because I picked them to finish sixth in the West prior to the season. The road is really tough right now, but it's not like anyone is running away with the West's final playoff spots. What say you?
We're six games under .500 at the moment. I think to make the playoffs Dallas would have to go 30-20 or so in the last 50 games in order to stand a shot. Can it happen? Yes. Will it happen? Maybe. The West is a crap shoot. Should it happen? I say no.
I've proclaimed myself the Dallas Tank Commander because I firmly believe Dallas is on the Mediocrity Treadmill Mark Cuban coined at Sloan in 2011. We didn't try to get here and if an awesome free agent like Dwight comes to Dallas it will be worth it. But at this very second the team is bad and I see no value in winning enough to get out of the lottery and losing in the first round of the playoffs.
Houston owns a first round pick from Dallas that went to LA in the Odom trade. It's top 20 protected for a few more years and I'd rather see some fresh talent come to Dallas sooner rather than never. Of course, we of Mavs Moneyball have been debating this fiercely. The sheer volume of angles and possibilities if Dallas heads south is incredible.
If Dallas does make it? 13 straight years. Second only to your Spurs.