Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Dallas Mavericks reporter Tim MacMahon stops by to chat about the team.
MacMahon joined ESPN in September 2009 and covers the Cowboys and Mavericks. He has covered the local sports scene from high schools to colleges to pros during his six-year tenure at The Dallas Morning News. MacMahon is a graduate of UNT.
Send your questions now and join MacMahon Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (4:01 PM)
Greetings from sunny southern California. Thanks for joining me for this weeks Mavs chat. Lots to talk about with tonight's must-win vs. the Lakers on tap. Fire away ...
What was the better and/or more entertaining game? The Bulls win or Clippers win?
Tim MacMahon (4:03 PM)
Those were too classics. The Clippers game had the CP3 vs. Dirk clutch duel, but I'd have to go with the win over the Bulls. You just don't see teams erase 12-point deficits in the last four minutes of a game. I don't have the numbers handy, but teams pull off those kind of comebacks a puny, puny percentage of the time. And that was Game 4 in OKC kind of clutch Dirk. Eight points on the final three possessions, including the game-winner? That's just sick.
Thoughts on why Rick doesn't go ultra-big more often, with Dirk, Trix, and Wright on the floor at the same time? I thought that would've been a decent game plan against Chicago, with the way Wright was playing and the offensive rebounding of the Bulls. Throw in two guards just to have someone semi-capable of getting Dirk the ball, and use Trix and Wright on the boards.
Tim MacMahon (4:07 PM)
They've been starting games with that lineup, although they went away from it against the Bulls because Carlisle wanted Elton Brand's bulk and toughness on the court to begin games. It's tough to go with that group when Wright comes off the bench, because Dirk typically sits when the first big comes in off the bench with Marion sliding to power forward.
Tim MacMahon (4:10 PM)
That question piqued my curiosity. I'm looking up how often they've gone with that trio. Gimme a minute ...
Tim MacMahon (4:14 PM)
Per NBA.com's stats database, the Marion-Dirk-Wright trio has been on the floor for 77 minutes. The Mavs are minus-5 in those minutes.By comparison, Carter-Dirk-Wright has played 135 minutes. That group is plus-78, making it the Mavs' third most successful trio.
In your opinion, do Mavs make the playoffs?
Tim MacMahon (4:15 PM)
The numbers say no. This team has proved a lot of people wrong -- me included -- by just being in position to have a chance this late in the season. But the Jazz have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Mavs, and that's an awfully tough mountain to climb with nine games left, especially considering that Utah has a five-game win streak.
Ryan (Dallas )
If the Mavs do make the playoffs you have to feel that will attract free agents ex: D12 this summer. Doesn't it say something that they can make the playoffs after throwing together a roster of cast aways? This is truly a winning organization
Tim MacMahon (4:17 PM)
I don't think the difference between finishing eighth and ninth in the West standings will matter to free agents the Mavs are trying to recruit. They had a dozen-year track record of being a winning organization. They have to convince guys -- and I'm thinking second-tier dudes with Howard being an extreme long shot -- that they can build a contender in the next couple of years. Oh, and money matters.
Jacky (Hong Kong)
Do you think the Mavs have a chance to trade for Demarcus Cousins this offseason? I think he'll be a great fit with Dirk and he can be the potential face of the franchise in a few years if he sorts out his attitude problems!
Tim MacMahon (4:19 PM)
The Mavs will continue making phone calls to Sacramento (or Seattle, maybe) to see if the Kings/Sonics are willing to part with Cousins. Their interest in him is no secret. But if Cousins goes on the market, there will likely be several teams willing to bid on him, attitude problems and all. Skilled 6-foot-11, 270-pounders are pretty rare.
Do the Lakers start 3 guards again tonight (Kobe, Meeks, Blake)? I think this allows the Mavs to put Trix on Kobe and not leave Mayo to guard a big like Clark...advantage Mavs
Tim MacMahon (4:21 PM)
The problem before that was Mayo would get matched up with the cheap shot artist formerly known as Ron Artest, and that's just too much of a strength mismatch. I don't know if the Lakers go with the three guards, but their options are pretty limited with Artest and Nash out, so Marion ought to be the primary Kobe defender.
Out of all of these one year contract guys, who do you think will be back next season? (I Hope Kaman doesn't)
Tim MacMahon (4:23 PM)
I think Mayo could be back, depending on the price. I could see Mike James return as a backup on a minimum deal, but it's not like he'll be a priority. I have a hard time envisioning any of the other rentals returning. As far as guys with expiring deals go, Brandan Wright has made himself a lot of money in the last month. How much should the Mavs be willing to pay to keep him? That's something they've got to figure out. Wouldn't surprise me if he gets Ian Mahinmi money (four years, $16 million).
Tim, could you give us some insight into Mayo's injury? Something is definitely wrong with his shooting motion the last 5 or so games.
Tim MacMahon (4:24 PM)
Mayo suffered a mild sprain of the AC joint in his left shoulder late in Tuesday's win over the Clippers and played in pain the last two games. I'm no doctor, but my understanding is he basically has a slightly separated shoulder. He stopped wearing the harness to protect it after the first quarter Saturday because it was so uncomfortable. He also spent a lot of time in the gym the last two days trying to regain his shooting touch.
T-Mac, as the season unwinds and a possibly long summer approaches for the Mavs, I wanted to thank you for keeping the optimism alive along with the reality checks. I predict a shocker FA pickup this summer, not CP3 or D12, but more like either Andre Iggy or Pek. Your thoughts?
Tim MacMahon (4:26 PM)
My hunch is still that, if the Mavs make a major upgrade, it will come via trade. Don't know who, but there will be teams looking to get rid of salary with the huge luxury tax spikes looming. I like Pekovic, but the problem is he's a restricted free agent, so you'd really have to overpay to prevent Minnesota from matching.
Hey Tim, Reports out of Denver are that Andre Iguodala will opt out and test the market. Should the Mavs be interested?
Tim MacMahon (4:27 PM)
The Mavs should have some level of interest in every starter-caliber free agent. They need a major talent infusion, but it comes down to the money. What will the market be for Iggy? I don't see the Mavs getting involved if he's getting an eight-figure salary.
The Mavericks have very slim chances of getting to the playoffs. So I have been kind of thinking about next year and who they should draft. Who do you think they should draft? I think Mason Plumblee would be a good fit.
Tim MacMahon (4:29 PM)
Sorry, Nolan, but I'm pretty far from being in draft mode at the moment. I like Michigan's Trey Burke, but that's based off watching a few games in the tournament. I watched very little college hoops this season and haven't studied the draft a whole lot. There will be plenty of time for that after the Mavs' season ends.
Kasper Sukselainen (Espoo, Finland)
Who do you think will be the X-factor in Mavs-Lakers game tonight?
Tim MacMahon (4:30 PM)
Let's go with Darren Collison. He made a major impact with his scoring and pace-pushing in the season-opening win here. The Mavs need him to be aggressive when he comes off the bench, especially considering the Lakers' depth issues with Nash and Artest out.
With Nash out tonight and Lawson out Thursday here in Denver, do you think the Mavs can steal both those games?
Tim MacMahon (4:31 PM)
Hadn't seen that Lawson was definitely out Thursday, but that'd obviously be a break for the Mavs. They need Denver to win a four-OT game in Utah the previous night. If you have to play in Denver, at least it's good to get the Nuggets on the butt end of a back-to-back.
Have you seen Omar the Barber lurking around any corners in LA today?
Tim MacMahon (4:32 PM)
Nope, and we did OJ Mayo a favor by not asking whether he was bringing Omar to L.A. All that beard buzz gave the Pacers some pretty good bulletin-board fodder. And the Mavs found out firsthand what Kobe can do with some bulletin-board fodder the last time they faced the Lakers.
Tim MacMahon (4:33 PM)
Appreciate all the questions. Gotta get going, but if I didn't touch on your topic, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon