Before the NBA lockout was instated, Dirk Nowitzki and Co. pulled off what some people felt was unthinkable. Not only did Dallas knock out the fiery threesome in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but they did so in South Beach.
Game 6 was an amazing triumph for the aging squad, one that many people were skeptical that the same men would be able to conquer more than once. Then the NBA lockout struck. But, even as fans endure this shifty battle between owners and players, there are some things that will remain the same within the organization.
Nowitzki is allotted a grand amount of stability in his position because of how he has sculpted his game from the perimeter. This allows him the least amount of contact in a game even where the defense is the most trying.
The most an opponent can get away with is poking him in the eye or slipping a sharp pinky nail in his nose. Nowitzki is allotted that type of luxury because of all the work he has put in shaping his jumper to draw defenses and make it as lethal as it has come to be.
The other veterans in Dallas such as Jason Kidd are already stroking retirement. The NBA lockout, if restored at least at the halfway mark, will provide a much shortened and rushed season for veterans of the league.
It will not only put the rankings in disarray, but there would also be less time to rest in between meetings. Whereas last season, Dallas, among almost every other team in the league, performed greater with more days of rest and restoration, they would not be allowed the same privileges.
Kidd may be the first visible casualty of the physical stress the NBA lockout will place upon the players, and he clearly was a notable fraction of Dallas’ run to the NBA Finals and eventual victory. With the latest news coming out of Dallas’ camp being the roster release of their dancers, there is close to no indication that the season will start on time.
Kidd is a veteran therefore he may know how to mentally prepare himself for the smash-up replica of a season the NBA will present in the face of a lockout lift.
There is nothing that gives me the confidence in the physical hold up of a 38-year-old basketball player competing against hungry less-than 30-year-olds, who are experiencing a sense of urgency.
However, in the light of Caron Butler’s return, Dallas may just hold up and give the younger super-teams a run for their money. A return to the NBA Finals is not totally out of the picture, mainly because we as fans have seen how unstoppable the Mavericks could be with him running on a full tank.
After his injury, Nowitzki’s injury came soon after, and we saw a franchise dwindle in the rankings as the season went on. I could even go as far as saying that Butler’s injury is what made the Mavericks the underdogs in their matchup against the Portland Trailblazers.
Butler is now said to be in greater shape than he was in before the injury, unlike Brandon Roy, and once NBA business renews, Dallas will be going after him for a long-term contract.
The team may lose the grand efforts of Kidd as he struggles next season to catch his breath in such a rushed season, if there is one at all. But, luckily they still can relish the thought of returning to the glorious stage with the full-body recovery of Butler.
The NBA lockout also gives free agents Jose Juan Barea and Tyson Chandler a little more time to think about the decision they need to make in reference to where they would like to be stationed in the seasons to come.
Barea has already expressed that he would not mind returning to the squad, but has also expressed the desire to play elsewhere, in places like Miami.
Tyson Chandler has not come forth about his intentions for the free agency, but he may be rallying for more money with the organization. That plea may fall on deaf ears as the new Collective Bargaining Agreement of the future for the league may include a hard cap, heavily restricting the amount of money teams can spend on their players.
The offseason for Dallas is an unpredictable one and the NBA lockout just adds to the doubt of the future for the franchise.
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