NBA: Who Let The Softies Out?
An interesting thing is happening in the Western Conference playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs–excuse me, the old-decrepit-on-their-last-leg Spurs–downed the Dallas Mavericks like it was no big deal.
How can a relatively young team like the Mavs lose to a team stuck in middle age? Everyone had their money on Dallas at the beginning of this season and now that money is being wasted.
We could go back to the 2006 NBA Finals. The Mavs lost that series to the Heat after being up 2-0 and leading in the 4th Quarter of Game 3. However, I don’t think that’s the problem.
The Mavs have much deeper issues than a playoff loss. They believe their own hype, they think they’ve risen permanently from their own ashes, and they love to say “Luxury Tax.”
Who let the softies out in Dallas? Let’s blame a few people/things for the atrocity that is Dallas’ “playoff disaster.”
Dirk Pits Himself in a Hole
We keep saying that Dirk is one of the best players in the league. We keep saying he’s a “7-foot wonder.” He can shoot the 3, take it to the rack, and play defense.
Dirk has gotten into the bad habit of believing his own hype. He plays the game with a little less “verve” than is required.
He’s taking the same attitude that has kept the Lakers from sweeping the Thunder. They take games off.
You can’t tell me that a dude who is 7-feet tall can only muster a career average of 8.5 assists per game. He isn’t crashing the boards and his numbers demonstrate that.
This same “7-foot wonder” only averages 2.7 assists per game over his career. You can explain that away with the “Steve Nash effect,” but after Nash left for Phoenix, Dirk should have stepped up his game.
I know that he isn’t a Point Guard, but he certainly isn’t playing like he’s the best player on his team. He’s got Jason Kidd distributing the ball–which is very helpful.
However, Dirk must not be driving the lane enough if he only has 2.7 assists per game over his career. Or, he never passes once he makes an inside move.
Don’t you think that he would be kicking the ball out for more assists if he were driving to the basket? Dirk’s playing “Zydrunas Ilgauskas” and taking too many outside shots. He isn’t creating offense–he’s taking offense.
This explains his lack of rebounding–not enough inside play. This explains his lack of assists–too many trips inside without a pass. This doesn’t explain him never averaging 40 minutes a game in his career.
If you’re the best player on the team, you need to stay on the floor. Some of that should be blamed on the coach, but part of that is Dirk needing to be taken out due to his own weakness.
Dirk is the best player on his team, he doesn’t create enough offense, and his numbers don’t indicate toughness. He’s easily to blame for Dallas’ woes. One could even say he’s “derelict” in his duty.
Rick Carlisle = Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Mark Cuban let the softies out. He fired Avery Johnson for coaching defense. He let Steve Nash go. He allows Dirk to play soft.
Cuban cries about the “luxury tax,” but hired an offensive coach for a non-defensive team. Cuban pisses off everyone in the league–even people he pays.
His attitude will result in a locker-room mutiny that Rick Carlisle doesn’t deserve. Oh, and his attitude has half the officials in the league gunning for his team.
That 2006 Finals meltdown against the Heat is the evidence, but the culprit is Mark Cuban. His “trigger finger” needs a lock and key, because he’s already shot too many people as it is.
Cuban made his team the pariah–and they may never be able to wash that label off.