5 Mistakes Dallas Mavericks Made with Their Roster This Season
At 17-23, it has been somewhat of a tumultuous first half of the season for the Dallas Mavericks in 2012-2013.
Dallas just hasn't been able to find the right rotation to win consistently, and they also have had to deal with several injuries including not having Dirk Nowitzki for the first third of the year.
Although the Mavs still have time to turn it around, a few tweaks, or lack thereof, on the roster this year could have potentially put them in a better position than they are in now of trying to dig themselves out of a whole to get back in the top eight in the West.
Whether it was cutting a player, bringing in one that the team didn't need or just not handling minutes correctly, the Mavs might regret making these personnel moves this season.
Stats are reflective of January 18, 2013.
5. Cutting Eddy Curry
I know what you're thinking, but yes, cutting Eddy Curry was indeed a mistake for the Mavericks this season.
Curry was signed just before the start of the season but was cut after just two games in a Mavs uniform. Curry averaged 4.5 points per game and two rebounds in his two games played against Los Angeles and Utah.
Sure, Curry didn't do anything spectacular, but he was actually effective offensively against the Lakers in the season opener, and he has shown, if nothing else, the ability to score in the post at the NBA level.
Curry is a bust without a doubt and may be done in the NBA. However, at the time, the Mavs were without Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki and were lacking depth in their front line.
Even now with those two back, Dallas is very reluctant to play either Bernard James or Brandan Wright (albeit for different reasons), so having Curry as a third-string center or even a backup could have helped the team.
Besides, did they really see enough in two games to cut him? That seems a bit harsh, even for Eddy Curry.
4. Cutting Troy Murphy
Not long after they released Eddy Curry, the Mavericks picked up veteran forward Troy Murphy to fill his spot.
Murphy played in 14 games for Dallas and started one. He scored 4.6 PPG with 3.5 RPG in over 18 minutes played.
Murphy didn't exactly blow anyone away with his performance. In fact, he shot fairly poorly from the field in his 14 games.
However, Murphy could have been a valuable bench guy for the Mavericks to hold onto if they had given him a chance.
Murphy has been a consistent three-point shooter in his career and shot over 40 percent from the three in 59 games played with the Lakers last year.
At 32, Murphy isn't at the end of his run as an NBA player, and even if he didn't play a large role in the offense, it was still somewhat of a head scratcher that the Mavs released him after only 14 games to make room for Derek Fisher.
3. Benching Darren Collison
All things considered, the Mavericks have to be relatively pleased in Darren Collison's play this season.
In his first season in Dallas, Collison has scored 13 PPG and has over five assists per contest. Collison also has been shooting very well from the floor at 47.7 percent, and his lightning quickness in the open court has been a reason the Mavericks rank fourth in the NBA in fast-break points.
Collison has started 28 games this year, but he has played in 39. The 11 games Collison didn't start were due to a benching by coach Rick Carlisle about a month into the season.
The Mavs, instead, opted to sign 38-year-old Derek Fisher and insert him as the starter. Fisher played OK in Collison's starting spot, but it was hard to argue that Fisher was the better option for the team.
Fisher has always been a good defender, but at age 38, his legs are much too slow to keep up with the quickness of many point guards he faced off with. Also, Fisher doesn't have Collison's explosiveness on offense, and it showed on the court.
Collison was benched in large part due to his turnover problem, which is still a huge weakness in his game. However, with a young player like Collison, it wasn't the right move to have been the right move to risk his confidence with a benching, especially when the best you can do as a replacement is Derek Fisher.
2. Limiting the Role of Jae Crowder
Of the Mavericks three rookies this season, the one who has by far made the most impact is second-round pick Jae Crowder out of Marquette.
Unlike Jared Cunningham and Bernard James, Crowder has been able to find a spot in the Mavs' rotation for most of this season as the backup, and sometimes, starting small forward.
Crowder's stats won't stand out at all at first glance, 5.8 points, 2.5 rebounds a game. Still, it is his hustle and intensity on defense that has made him a valuable NBA player.
However, Crowder has slowly seen his early-season role diminish in the last few months. Crowder's minutes have gone down in each month of the season. In January, he's playing almost five total minutes less per game than he was back in November.
Crowder won't change the game with his offense, but I would like to see him get on the floor more. With Shawn Marion getting up there in age, Crowder can be a change-of-pace guy off the bench, and you know you are going to get 100 percent from him whenever he is on the floor.
Admittedly, Crowder will need to start shooting more consistently if Rick Carlisle is going to trust him with more minutes, but on a relatively weak bench, Crowder has a chance to carve out a sixth-man role in the future if he is given the opportunity.
1. Not Giving the Young Guards More of a Chance
Behind O.J. Mayo, Vince Carter and Darren Collison, the Mavericks have been shuffling through a number of different guys for the fourth guard position in the rotation.
As mentioned, it was 38-year-old Derek Fisher for a while, and now, it seemingly is going to be 37-year-old Mike James for the time being.
While Fisher and James may have been nice options 10 years ago, it puzzles me as to why the Mavericks don't give the other young guards on their bench more of a chance.
On a team that probably isn't playoff bound, what is the harm in giving guys like Dominique Jones, Rodrigue Beaubois and Jared Cunningham an opportunity?
Jones has actually been very good for the Mavs this season, he is scoring the ball and passing it better than he was in the previous two years. He is still a bit of a wild card, but I'd much prefer to see him get a chance to seize the backup PG spot than constantly bringing in past-their-prime point guards.
Beaubois' troubles in Dallas have been well-documented, but we have seen how talented he can be if he gets going. Cunningham, a first-round draft pick hasn't even seen the floor enough for us to have any idea as to what kind of NBA player he is going to be.
Instead of scouring through the free-agent line trying to find their fourth guard, maybe the Mavericks should look more in house instead and give the young players a chance to prove their worth.