Let's forget about the icy conditions and Super Bowl for a little bit and talk some basketball. The Mavs actually resemble a Western Conference contender again with six wins in the last seven games.
With Dirk rounding back into the form he had pre-injury, do you think his shots will start going back up? When he's 8-11 or 7-11 from the field, it seems like those types of shooting nights call for closer to 20 shots. For a top scorer in the league, isn't 11 shots in a game extremely low? He seems to pass up a lot of open looks that, with his shooting would be almost automatic. Your thoughts?
That is an extremely low number of shots for a superstar, and yes, I would expect those numbers to rise. Part of it is that he's playing fewer minutes than he was pre-injury. Rick Carlisle is giving Dirk two breaks per half instead of one. That will eventually change. But he still will usually get more than one shot every three minutes. I'd count on him getting more than that against the run-and-gun Knicks tonight.
Tim, are we going to see Roddy in uniform when the Mavs come back from their road trip?
I'll go out on a limb and say maybe. Roddy B. didn't travel this trip because the Mavs wanted him to stay home for sort of a mini-training camp, as is the case with Peja Stojakovic. Beaubois is running, cutting, jumping and shooting well. He's done some contact drills. It'd be surprising if he doesn't play at least a few games before the All-Star break.
Any concern over Kidd's minutues lately? It seems like he is playing a few more minutues lately. I'm just concerned it will all add up come April, especially since he will probably have to guard other teams bigger guards when Roddy comes back.
The Mavs have succeeded in cutting Kidd's minutes back this season, but not as much as they'd like. Carlisle set a goal of 32 minutes per game. Kidd is averaging 33.6 and hasn't had a sub-30 night since Jan. 14. That's a legitimate concern, especially after seeing how out of gas he was during the playoffs last season. You'd think that JJ Barea's recent hot streak would help reduce Kidd's minutes, but that hasn't been the case, with Carlisle playing Barea off the ball a lot.
Any trade scenario where JJ Barea will be included? Do team ask for him? Hope not, like the way Carlisle get the best of him.
Teams often ask about JJ Barea. He's a proven role player with an inexpensive contract by NBA standards. He's not untouchable, but the Mavs certainly aren't looking to trade him.
Do you expect Roddy B to be a starter this season? Cuban/Nellie and Dirk/Kidd speak of him as if he's the future of the franchise, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he just ends up averaging 10-15mpg. Stevenson's role at SG will need to be significantly reduced and Terry will also have to give up at least 10mpg for Roddy to have an impact. I can't see Carlisle benching his veterans for Roddy. Also, do you think he will return next week?
We talked about his return earlier. That's a good question about whether he'll be a starter. I don't know. Carlisle certainly isn't willing to discuss the subject with the media at this point, so all I can do is speculate. I will say that I think it'd be a bad move to bench DeShawn Stevenson. He's a defensive tone-setter along with Tyson Chandler. I like him playing the first six minutes of each half. But I think Roddy B. needs to get at least 20 minutes per game. It's an interesting puzzle.
Marc Stein says I want out of LA. Let's pretend he's right. Will Mark Cuban take a chance on me? I'm a three, can play lockdown D when motivated, and can create my own offense at times. On the negative, my contract is big and I'm freaking crazy. Well?
Can't see it happening. Why would the Mavs want to drop a potential atom bomb in the locker room given the great chemistry they have? Especially one who hasn't been productive this season. Oh, and then there's the matter of Artest's contract, which has three years and $22 million left on it. If they're hesitant about Steven Jackson, they're hanging up the phone if asked about Artest.
Hi Tim, do you see any blockbuster by deadline or just some minor moves (a banger, high enegry guy)?
The only way I see the Mavs giving up core players is if the Nuggets decide the Mavs can give them the best deal for Carmelo Anthony. If that doesn't happen, I think it comes down to whether teams are willing to give up a quality player in a salary dump. I don't think the Mavs are desperate to make a deal, like they were last year, when they had to get rid of Josh Howard.
With Kidd 39 years old, Would Roddy take over the control of the team next season?
Kidd has one more year left on his contract. He'll start again next season, barring injury. The problem with handing the reins to Roddy B. is that the Mavs don't know whether he can be a point guard. Right now, he's an undersized 2 who might be able to develop as a point guard. That's another reason why his broken foot hurt so much. It was a major roadblock in his development. He would have benefited from running the French national team.
What are our chances of going deep in the playoffs and being the team to beat in the west without a trade and with a healthy Roddy B? Also if we were to trade can we make a significant upgrade but still keep Roddy? Maybe Stephen Jackson or Prince?
The Spurs are clearly the team to beat in the West. However, like Dirk said this week, the Mavs are right there in the pack with the rest of the West playoff contenders. The Lakers have some serious problems, which is why there is so much talk about a major shakeup in LA. I'll hold off on playoff predictions until we see how the rest of the regular season goes down, but it wouldn't stun me to see the Mavs go to the West finals.
How is the new CBA going to affect Chandler resigning?
Nobody will know until the CBA is done. The possibility of a franchise tag is interesting. The Mavs would have to overpay to keep Chandler as a franchise player, assuming the rules are similar to those in the NFL, but that'd be better than losing him in free agency.
How many games does Roddy need to play for the Mavs to feel comfortable in their rotation for the playoffs? At least 30 right?
It's not just Roddy. It's Peja ... and perhaps somebody coming in a trade or another veteran who gets a buyout that the Mavs sign. That will be a major challenge for Rick Carlisle, who isn't exactly known for sticking to a set rotation anyway.
Did Mark Cuban invite to his Super Bowl party?
I informed Cuban that I have a prior commitment that night. Not that he extended an invitation. He didn't seem too disappointed.
I was reading in the paper today about Haywood and his lack of energy and scoring. Is he going to fall under Carlisle's liking down the road with the rising of Ian Mahimi?
I don't see Carlisle committing to either player as the backup center for the rest of the season. The minutes will go to the guy who is either a better matchup or performing better. Haywood's motivation is an issue the Mavs will deal with for at least the next four years.
Do you know how Caron is progressing?
He is attacking his rehab, but the team isn't as optimistic as Butler is that he'll be able to contribute if the Mavs make a playoff run.
If the current team as it stands is completely healthy in April, with Peja and Roddy contributing to their maximum respective potentials (as you would measure), is it a contender?
We addressed the contender question earlier, but I'll get into the roles for Peja and Roddy. I expect Stojakovic to start at small forward, but don't think he'll be a star. Those days are long gone. He'll give the Mavs a shooter who helps create space for his teammates. I don't see him playing more than 20 minutes per night. Roddy B should have a bigger role, whether he starts or not. He gives the Mavs' backcourt an athletic dimension it is otherwise missing.
Gonna wrap it up with that. Appreciate you joining me.