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Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Mavericks

33pt breakdown: Is Tyson Chandler a star talent?

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Wizards v/s Mavericks 02/26/11

Wizards v/s Mavericks 02/26/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tyson Chandler’s career path has been interesting. After getting picked 2nd overall in the 2001 his first 9 years in the league were that of a respectable starting center but a disappointment, playing on 3 teams by the time he was 27. His season in Charlotte was his nadir, losing minutes in the rotation to Nazr Muhammad and Theo Ratliff (!!!) which along with injury concerns, made him seem like a total afterthought as a player.

Then Chandler goes to Dallas and everything changes. He helps the Mavericks win the title with a mix of defending, rebounding and all-time great shooting efficiency, gets a max contract, then wins defensive player the next year on the Knicks. This year he’s been key to a 14-4 start. Chandler the last 3 seasons has quietly been an advanced stats star, putting up top 10 in Wins Shares/48 minutes marks (5th in 2010-2011 in Dallas, 8th in 2011-2012, 2nd in 2012-2013). But the reputation of a star still somewhat alludes him, normally because players without great scoring statistics are the ones who are most often called stars. Many would likely still call Dallas’ 2011 title as a “1 star” team, complimenting Dirk for winning the title without a star 2nd banana like most title teams have.

Here is my 33pt talent grading system’s evaluation of Tyson Chandler:

Chandler’s top strength is his feel for the game. He is an extremely intelligent help defender and pick and roll defender, likewise he has become a devastating pick and roll offensive player due to his ability to find the angles and spacing rolling to the rim. Chandler’s understanding of the game and space is great. This has always been true of Chandler even in the first 9 years of his career – he has been responsible positionally at both ends.

Next, Chandler is an impressive physical talent. While never the bulkiest center in the league, he can explode to the rim hard and has great length for a center. He is not a truly dominant shotblocker (averaging 1.7 blocks per 36 minutes for his career) but can protect the rim. His rebounding numbers per minute has always been excellent. For a center he has high end physical talent.

Chandler’s skill game is where he’s made his biggest leaps. Once a player relegated to clean up baskets, he’s become a more skilled finisher, which is how he’s putting up those .70 TS% type efficiencies the last few years. This skill improvement has also correlated with an increase in FT shooting, averaging over 70% the last 4 seasons from the line. Chandler is obviously not the most skilled center in the league in regards to creating his own shot, but at the center position I believe having elite hands and finishing around the rim ranks well, with many players at the position having very little offense. Chandler is somewhere between average and decent in skill talent.

Adding it up: Chandler has elite feel for the game talent and physical talent for a center. A fair grade for Tyson in those grades would be 9 in both. Thus giving Chandler a conservative score of 5 in skill level for a center would make his total score 23. With 20 being my rough bench-mark for all-star and 24-25 being where a player crosses into superstar territory, Chandler’s score is fabulous and indicative that indeed, he is a star talent. The Dallas Mavericks had a “2nd star” on the 2011 team beside Dirk Nowitzki and the New York Knicks have a 2nd star to play with Carmelo Anthony – His name is Tyson Chandler.

Written by jr.

December 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Why the Dallas Mavericks should offer a max contract or near it to Steve Nash

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Steve Nash

Steve Nash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right now the frontrunner to sign Steve Nash appears to be the Toronto Raptors. It’s a nice story, he gets to go back to Canada and improve the popularity of the sport there and they’re apparently lining up future management options for him if he does (think Larry Bird and the Pacers). They’re also offering a lot of money – 3 years, 36 million for 12 million a year. Nash has been up front that the money does matter. A player’s last big contract is a relevant thing for them. It’s the last score for what have left when they retire.

I’m of the opinion that the Dallas Mavericks should go up to max money if that’s what it takes to sign Nash – and they should fold their cards on their Deron Williams chances now. Here’s why:

Having a superstar like Dirk Nowitzki is a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity for a franchise. He’s a top 15-20 player of all time. He’s proven you can win a title and make the Finals on his back and is one of the most terrifyingly clutch playoff performers in the league. The Mavericks took a big risk last summer by blowing up their 2011 title team by letting Tyson Chandler walk in free agency and letting JJ Barea go, choosing to horde their capspace for the Deron Williams-Dwight Howard summer – this leading to a middling season and 1st round sweep. It was sacrificing a chance at a title for the future. At the time it may have been a good gamble, but the trick to playing cards is knowing when to walk away. The tea leaves are there for Deron to resign in Brooklyn and Dwight is no longer on the market. If Dallas loses out on both Williams and Nash they will be the dog with two bones. They will have had a bone in their mouth, walked to the river to see their reflection and a bone in the water, then when they opened their mouth to grab their 2nd bone, they ended up with none. This would effectively be the end of the Dirk Nowitzki title window, no matter how much cap-space they have left this summer.

They have to realize the difference between signing Deron and signing Nash isn’t worth that risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

July 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

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2011 Player of the Year – Final

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The Player of the Year Watch has gone on all season long. Here we have the Final ranking.

Player (last rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1A)

This is an easy choice for me. When it comes to literally lifting a team, Dirk has been the personification of this all year long. With the way LeBron came on against Chicago, I thought he was going to make me toss that aside but it didn’t happen.

I’ll admit that I actually thought that Wade was the MVP of the Finals over Dirk, but over the course of the entire season, nobody contributed value like Dirk.

2. Dwight Howard (3)

My regular season MVP got knocked off his perch down to the 3rd spot after the Conference Finals. However he floats back up a spot after LeBron’s weak Finals play. I’m always hesitant to let someone who has already been eliminated rise in my rankings, particularly when they were eliminated in an upset in the first round, however I can’t find real fault in Howard’s playoff performance, and what happened in the Finals did sway my opinion on LeBron’s season.

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Silly superstars, Treys are for Kicks!

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Image via nba.com

As the Dallas Mavericks progressed through the playoffs it was noted how well their offense was faring, and how strong the team’s 3-point attack was. The team shot 39.4% from 3-point land in the playoffs while shooting more than 20 3’s per game. This is devastating and obviously deserving of attention. Of course with Dirk Nowitzki, one of the great shooters of all time leading the way, would you expect anything less?

Yes, actually you would if you’ve been paying attention.

First off, Dirk has never shot 3-pointers like a mad man. While Ray Allen and, ahem, Antoine Walker shot in excess of 600 3-pointers a season Dirk peaked in the high 300s. Still though, when you’re shooting about 5 3-pointers per game, that’s a serious focus of your game.

It’s fascinating then to see how unimportant 3-pointers have become to Dirk’s current game as they’ve become more important to the Mav team as a whole. Dude’s been averaging about 2 3-pointers per game the past few years. How low is that? Well obviously it’s a heck of a lower than the amount that guys like Kobe, Durant, and Rose shoot, despite the fact none of them is the level of shooter than Dirk is (though admittedly Durant is getting close). Even superstars criticized for their lack of outside shooting like LeBron and Wade shoot 3s more than Dirk.

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Written by Matt Johnson

June 17, 2011 at 11:49 pm

A victory for nuance, not unselfishness

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Image via ontfin.com

The NBA Finals are over and I can’t quite believe it. As I realized the Dallas Mavericks had taken control of Game 6 like they had done in no other games in the series, and that this was probably going to be the last NBA basketball played until the labor dispute is resolved, my mood turned bittersweet. It was a great season, and I’m sad to see it end.

Now where to begin with the analysis? Well let’s start with clarifying the story line.

I’ll admit that I was cheering for the Dallas Mavericks and am thrilled they won. However I chafe at the narrative that this was a morality play of the blue collar defeating Hollywood glamour.

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Written by Matt Johnson

June 14, 2011 at 12:36 am

Defending Chris Bosh’s emotion after Game 6

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Chris Bosh and LeBron James

Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

I know there’s a lot of other subjects people will discuss after these Finals. But I want to touch on a smaller moment and point of discussion: Chris Bosh breaking down into apparant tears in the hallway after the game, and at one point falling down on his knees. This drew ridicule from many fans. Bosh has had a reputation as a “soft” player for a while, attracting much of the hate directed at the Heat. This was one more reason for the vultures to swirl around Bosh’s lack of physicality in the game. I felt the opposite. I liked Bosh’s emotion and pain after this crushing Finals loss.

I want my players to react to a loss the way Bosh did. No, they don’t have to break down into visible tears – it’s not about what’s on the surface. But I want them to be as invested in winning the title that losing hurts this much. I want this to be the worst day of their lives. I want the game to mean that much to them. Because if it does, they’re surely giving it all on the court. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

June 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Lebron’s Game 5: To play well, but not the right kind of well

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LeBron James in New York City to discuss the f...

Image via Wikipedia

The vultures are swirling around LeBron James after Game 5, yet another quiet performance for the self appointed King. Not all the hate is deserved. Lebron by most standards had an effective game as shown by his 17 point, 10 rebound and 10 assist statline. He aggresively went after rebounds, looked to score inside, and shredded the Mavericks defense with passes – particularly in the first half of the 4th.

Yes, Lebron played effectively. But it wasn’t the right kind of effective.

The truth is, taking a Finals game on the road is not just about playing well. It’s about gaining a mental edge over the home team. It’s about controlling the game. And this is Lebron’s great failure in these playoffs so far. Read the rest of this entry »

The Heatle Redundancy

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Multi-Headed Snake = not as scary as you thought it would be

Well, obviously the big story of the moment is LeBron Jameslack of production in the NBA Finals. I want to hold off discussing that though and talk about what I consider the broader phenomenon. That being the fact that the Miami Heat have a redundant collection of talent.

When people fantasize about super-teams such as the Heatles, the primary scenario on their mind is an offensive one. They imagine that the amount of effort that will be required to stop James will leave Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh wide open thus leading to an unstoppable offense.

We’d be stupid NOT to do this!

Game 5 shows a snapshot of this not happening. After a series in which LeBron has been crucified for his passivity, the streaking Wade went down with an injury and went out for a long stretch. What happened? The Heat didn’t fall apart, rather they actually outscored the Mavs, and LeBron scored at a much better rate and efficiency than he done with Wade on the court.

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Written by Matt Johnson

June 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Aftermath of a Miami-Dallas Game 3 classic: When a 1st quarter matters more than a 4th

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Dwyane Wade playing with the Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade has been the true King in these FInals (Image via Wikipedia)

I loved Game 3 of the Dallas vs Miami NBA Finals. It’s an ESPN classic game in my books. In fact I’m going to be really hyperbolic and call that one of my favorite NBA games of all time. I’ve never had more to say about a game at the least.

So where did Miami trump Dallas in this game? True, they were a little better in the last few minutes and won by a basket. But that’s not really where Miami won and Dallas lost this game. That came in in the 1st quarter.

Dallas started Game 3 playing unbelievably bad defense. It’s one thing for a good offense to find open shots, it’s another for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James (more on them later) to get wide open, uncontested scores/dunks in the paint. My hunch says it all came down to Brendan Haywood’s injury leaving Tyson Chandler worried about fouling early. With intensity and strong close-outs inside the Mavericks title caliber defense momentarily collapsed.

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6 Finals thoughts and a prediction

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Alright, I’m running way behind schedule, so this will be right quick.

Loved reading Julien’s piece analyzing the Mavericks and the Heat. He made some points I’d have made had he not beat me to it, and some other great points I wouldn’t have made.

Here are some other finals previews I enjoyed reading.

On my mind:

1. Miami certainly appears to have played the tougher playoff schedule by a good amount, and they’ve looked more in control as they’ve done it. Not to take anything away from the Mavs who are 12-3 in the post-season just like the Heat, but they were a few bounces away from being down 2-1 in the Laker series instead of up 3-0, and maybe a single bounce away from losing 2 of 3 at home against Oklahoma City. Add in that the Heat clearly have more talent and have home court advantage:

If Dallas wins this series, it will be a pretty staggering achievement and a substantial upset.

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Written by Matt Johnson

May 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm