Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (2:01 PM)
Greetings from the Hooters down the street from the AAC. I'll balance watching the Rangers and scarfing down lunch with chatting Mavs.
TIM,what's the update on C. Butler?2nd round?The mavs really need the 2 seed from a mental standpoint.Your thougts?
Tim MacMahon (2:03 PM)
It's a long shot that Butler will be ready to go by the second round. He's not even running yet. Consider it a pleasant surprise if Butler plays a minute during the playoffs. As far as the 2 seed goes, the Mavs have to go for it but know it's a long shot that the Lakers lose. It'd be nice, but Andrew Bynum's knee injury could give the Mavs a chance to beat the Lakers regardless of homecourt advantage.
Oscar (Mcallen, TX)
Ola senor Tim, is there aything to be optimistic about with the Mavs in the 1st round? I believe its only the NO that they can survive against during the 1st round since D. West is not around.
Tim MacMahon (2:05 PM)
I would pick the Mavs to beat New Orleans. I'd probably pick against them if they draw anybody else, but hey, I've gotten my Mavs first-round prediction wrong the last three seasons. Denver is dealing with injuries to key players, and Portland and Memphis have no recent history of playoff success. There are reasons to believe the Mavs can make it out of the first round.
Do the Lakers lose tonight giving the Mavs the two seed? Does it matter, meaning can they beat either Memphis or Portland in round one?
Tim MacMahon (2:08 PM)
The Lakers won't mail it in on purpose. That'd be foolish with homecourt advantage in the second round possibly at stake. But it's not impossible that the Kings will beat the Lakers. It'll be an emotionally charged atmosphere with this perhaps being the last NBA game in Sacramento. The Lakers are playing the butt end of a back-to-back, and DeMarcus Cousins is a matchup problem with Andrew Bynum out.
Seymour Butts (Midland)
Jason Kidd looks tired. Jason Terry is all talk. And Peja is inconsistent. Are any of these players back if the Mavs lose in the first round, WITH homecourt advantage?
Tim MacMahon (2:10 PM)
Jason Kidd will be back. The Mavs don't have a replacement at point guard ready to start. I think the Mavs will shop Jason Terry, whose contract has one year left, when the lockout is over. I'd try to get a regular-sized SG and put Roddy Beaubois in the sixth man role. As far as Peja goes, who knows? He's on a one-year deal here.
Matt (Washington D.C.)
Tim, Pretending for a minute that Bynum's injury prevents him from playing in the second round (and assuming the Mavs and Lakers make it out of the first, and if seeding stays the same, which it probably will) how much better did the Mavs' chances of getting to the western finals become? I'm not going to pretend like Bynum's injury just paved an easy road for the Mavs - I still foresee the Laker's and the Spurs' defenses fully capable of taking away the Mavs jumpshooting offense sans Dirk - but you'd have to say a Bynum-less Laker team is a much less formidable foe. I almost want to say it was Bynum's presence that made those regular season games unwinnable for the Mavs.
Tim MacMahon (2:12 PM)
If Bynum is out, that completely changes the West landscape. He's a matchup problem for Tyson Chandler because of his bulk. Chandler is much better suited to defend Pau Gasol, and that would mean Dirk wouldn't have to guard a 20-ppg scorer. The Mavs still have matchup issues with Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest, but they'd have a legit shot to beat the Lakers without Bynum -- or if Bynum is affected by a bum knee.
Brian M. (College Station)
Hey Tim, assuming that the Mavs flame out in the first round, what new changes would take place after the season ends?
Tim MacMahon (2:14 PM)
Like I said earlier, I think Jet will be shopped hard. They need to re-sign Tyson Chandler, no matter what. Caron Butler and J.J. Barea, two guys they'd like to have back, are also free agents. Regarding Rick Carlisle, I don't think Mark Cuban will can him with a lockout coming. Doesn't make sense to throw a new coach into a situation where he won't have much time to prepare for what will likely be a shortened season. By the way, a shortened season should benefit the Mavs. Wouldn't you like their chances better if the playoffs were played in February and March, when this team has peaked the last two seasons?
In your opinion, is being the team everybody in the media tabs to be a first round upset going to make the Mavs play with chips on their shoulders and raise their performance level
Tim MacMahon (2:15 PM)
I actually agree with Mark Cuban on this issue. If the Mavs need extra motivation going into the playoffs, then the Mavs need new players.
The soft label is convenient but doesn't explain much about but the lack of interior scoring is the real problem and will remain so with Dirk at the 4 and Chandler at the 5. I don't see Caron or Roddy fixing this long term. Who can they bring in that will fix this dilemma?
Tim MacMahon (2:17 PM)
I keep going back to needing a regular-sized shooting guard, preferably one who can put it on the floor and finish. The Mavs will never be a traditional offensive team with Dirk as the focal point, but he scores from 16-23 feet as efficiently as good post-up players score on the block.
Don't you think the Mavs would fare better in the #4 slot as opposed to 2 or 3?
Tim MacMahon (2:19 PM)
An argument could certainly be made for that, but I think the Mavs need to shoot for the 2 seed and see what happens. Not much difference in degree of difficulty between Denver and Portland, in my opinion. The Mavs might be able to draw New Orleans in the first round, which is by far the best draw. You could argue that they'd be better off facing the Spurs than the Lakers in the second round, but that might not be true, especially if Andrew Bynum's MRI results are bad news for LA.
How can the Mavs fall to fourth seed? Don't they hold the tie breaker (head to head) with the OK City Thunders? Didn't they win the season series 2-1?
Tim MacMahon (2:20 PM)
The Mavs won the season series, but OKC owns the tiebreaker because the Thunder is a division champ and Mavs aren't. That's a rule that was changed recently.
What will my contract look like next year?
Tim MacMahon (2:21 PM)
What will the CBA look like? That has to be answered first. But Caron, I could see you taking a one-year make-good deal, then hitting the free agent market healthy a year from now.
Tim, I think that Carlisle is making a mistake by not putting Corey Brewer into the rotation in a significant way. When he's in good things happen. And he has proven he can score (averaged in the teens for Twolves). We need his hustle and high percentage in the paint shots! Thoughts?
Tim MacMahon (2:22 PM)
I like what Corey Brewer brings, but who sits if he plays? He's not really a SG. Do you take minutes away from Shawn Marion? Peja Stojakovic? The answer might be Peja if he isn't shooting well. I think Brewer will enter the playoffs as a fringe rotation player but could be a difference-maker in a game or two, especially if the Mavs have to match up with Portland's big wings.
If Caron Butler returns to his pre-injury form, how far do you think Dallas will go in the playoffs?
Tim MacMahon (2:23 PM)
If pigs fly, how fast do you think they'd go?
Tim MacMahon (2:23 PM)
I'm ... trying to watch the Rangers ... and eat my lunch.
it seems like bringing Beaubois off the bench should be the norm and starting Corey Brewer to help with defense...why doesnt Carlisle do this?
Tim MacMahon (2:25 PM)
I don't agree with the premise of your question. Corey Brewer and Shawn Marion aren't a good fit as a wing tandem on offense. If Brewer starts, I think you've got to start Peja Stojakovic as well. Then you're pretty much messing with the whole rotation. You also can't play Roddy B and Jason Terry together. So it's either start Roddy, or he's on the fringe of the rotation.
Stefán (Dallas, TX)
Are we the worst possible 2 seed of all time?
Tim MacMahon (2:25 PM)
Well, I'd say these Mavs are better than the West's 2 seed last season.
ryan weber (Kansas City)
How far do you think the mavericks can go this year and do you think they have a chance at winning the NBA finals?
Tim MacMahon (2:27 PM)
I'm still pessimistic about the Mavs, but the West is wide open if Andrew Bynum's knee injury is significant. None of the West's top teams have played well over the last month. Hard to envision the Mavs beating the East champ in the Finals, although they did sweep the Heat and Celtics this season.
Should the Mavs rest their starters and take the 4 seed and get Denver in the first round and maybe San Antonio and the second, instead of Portland and L.A. And why is D. Stevenson not playing.
Tim MacMahon (2:28 PM)
The best-case scenario is that the Mavs get the Hornets in the first round. That's a possibility, so play your starters. DeShawn Stevenson fell out of the rotation when Roddy Beaubois got healthy. Not room for both guys.
All signs point to Portland - That being said, can you go through who you think our playoff roster will include? Does Bynum's injury impact whether or not a guy like Mahimi makes it? I really liked what I have seen from Corey the last 3 games.
Tim MacMahon (2:29 PM)
Corey Brewer has earned a spot on the playoff roster. I think Ian Mahinmi will be the odd man out in the first round.
If the Mavs win the first round in less than seven games, does it build their confidence/swagger enough to challenge anyone in the second round?
Tim MacMahon (2:30 PM)
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The Mavs have won one playoff series in the last four years. Just let 'em get out of the first round, even if it takes seven games.
Tim MacMahon (2:30 PM)
Gotta run, folks. Appreciate you joining me.