The Mavs are now the deepest team in the league……will it matter?
After their fleecing of the Wizards to bring in Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas, the Mavs now sport the league’s deepest roster and have their sights aimed squarely on unseating the Lakers in the West. They can go 10 deep now and after handling the Lakers last night are brimming with confidence.
The Mavs gave up one starter (who they didn’t want to start) in Josh Howard and a sixth or seventh man in Drew Gooden for two immediate impact starters in Butler and Haywood.
Haywood’s arrival comes at the perfect time as Erick Dampier just went down with a hand injury. He won’t get his job back when heals. Haywood is younger, more active, less injury prone, and a better offensive option.
Stevenson will finally have the role that is suitable for. He may start to play tough defense on the opponent’s best perimeter player, but will give way to super-sub, Jason Terry early every game. More importantly, he won’t be allowed to shoot like he was in Washington. If he can flourish in this role he may add a couple years to his career so he should consider this a blessing.
Jason Kidd looks like someone just opened a warehouse of sports cars and pointed to a rack of keys. He has more options now than any point in his career and he knows exactly what to do with them.
Dirk Nowitzki is playing some his best ball since his MVP season a couple years back. The difference is now he seems to playing with a “clutchness” to his game that was previously missing. That was always my biggest criticism of the franchise’s all-time leading scorer but he seems to finally understand when he needs to take over the game and when he should play more in the flow.
Another point that can’t be overlooked is coach, Rick Carlisle’s long overdue realization that micromanagement does not pave the road to success. When you have a coach on the floor in Kidd and athletes around him like Marion, Butler, the surprising rookie, Rodrique Beaubois, along with shooters like Terry and Dirk you let them run and take advantage of Kidd’s superior decision-making.
The Mavs have their eyes focused on getting past the Lakers and now have the horses to at least challenge in the race. They will need to watch out for the Nuggets too. The west is starting to shape up and should be quite interesting as we move down the stretch and into the playoffs.