I had the great pleasure of having a quick back-and-forth today with Jonathan Tjarks, who is the managing editor over at SB Nation Dallas. With the Grizzlies taking on the Mavericks tonight in our third game in three nights, I figured it will do all our readers a great service to have a Mavs expert give a little insight on the team. Since, of course, we're all trying to catch our collective breath with this back-to-back-to-back set.
Jonathan asked me a few questions about the Grizzlies for SB Nation Dallas, to which I was happy to answer.
For a look at what I had to say, click here: Five Questions With Straight Outta Vancouver
Those are the only two Mavericks players who can penetrate
Undoubtedly. After watching the Mavericks come up short 10 straight times and having their heart andcharacter questioned by nearly everyone around the country after '06 and '07, the dramatic way they came won in '11 was one of the all-time great sports moments in DFW.If they hadn't won last year, their decision to let Tyson Chandler walk, which essentially ended chances of them contending this season, would have been a far more controversial decision. As is, people are willing to give the Mavericks a pass on the assumption that the front office knows what they are doing.
While he hasn't exactly lit up the scoreboard statistically, it's not a coincidence that Dallas is 0-7 without him in the line-up this season. With Odom out, the Mavericks have nothing at the 3/4 positions behind Dirk and Marion and very little playmaking and athleticism on their second unit.One thing to watch out for in the last two weeks is the Odom/Brandan Wright pairing. Part of what made him so dangerous in LA was his ability to make big-to-big passes over the top of the defense to Bynum and Gasol, but Haywood and Mahinmi are two of the worst finishing big men in the NBA. If they aren't wide open for a dunk at the front of the rim, there's no guarantee they score.Wright, on the other hand, has good footwork, length, touch and hands around the rim, and him and Odom could be a devastating combination against second-line big men. Now that he's finally earned his way into Dallas rotation, it's something I'm keeping a close eye on.
Actually answered the last question before I saw this one. I wrote a longer column over at RealGM talking about why Wright has finally come on in his 5th season in the NBA last week.TL; DR: Finally healthy, can't create his own shot or defend bigger 5's, but has length, athleticism and skill to finish shots of others penetration as well as protect the rim. One of best bargains in the NBA at $1 million.