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March 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:00 PM)

Hi and thanks for joining up. Exciting times for the Mavericks both on and off the floor. Fire away!

Ray (Dallas)

Do you think Rick should start shuffling the starting lineup to see what group of players can start the game the most productive? These past few games the Mavericks' starting five has not produced like they should getting into holes early and has let the bench outscore them as a unit. Don't you think the key should be getting off to good starts?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:02 PM)

Good starts definitely help. The Mavs spent way too much time last year fighting from behind. That hjasn't been much of an issue this season. I think it's pretty hard to argue with success, and the domination of the bench has been a huge reason for this. I don't think i want to mess with it too much, although I can see a scenario where Brewer starts ahead of Peja just to make sure they get into a greater defensive mindset than they've been in recently

Jay (plano)

chuck, 1st off, you're great on the radio play by play!! secondly, love the aquisition of brewer....it was a steal. but how do you feel about the ripple effect it might have on chemistry, playing time rotation(particularly deshawn, he's donw so much for the team), etc.. ?? i know it's better to have more options then not enough, but i just wanted to see your take.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:05 PM)

This is nothing but win-win for the Mavericks both in the short and long term. It won't affect the chemistry because Brewer is such a chemistry guy. He gives them another defender (And I think, an elite one. Younger, longer and quicker than DeShawn). I think these guys are so dialed in right now, and so much wanting a championship, that anything that add to their chances is going to be received well

eddie (college station)

could you see coach carlisle starting brewer or even deshawn over peja? the defense is giving up a lot more points as compared to the start of the season. they have been winning recently and by larger margins however the scores are now up in the 100s as opposed to double digits like at the beginning of the season is that anything to be worried about?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:07 PM)

I do see that possibility. They know they have to get the defense playing more consistently, and not just situationally. The 4th quarter in Philly the other night was a good jumping off point.

Kevin (FW)

Who do you think will be the eventual 7th seed (and Mavs 1st round opponent)? Of the bottom 4, who do you think the Mavs match up best and worst with?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:10 PM)

I think the best matchup would be Portland. Even with the improved Aldridge and the return of Roy, I just don't think they can score enough to keep up with the Mavs. The worst one might be Memphis. Their length and athleticism are tough for anyone.

Brendan (AAC)

Thanks for the no-wholly negative article about me you posted on espn.com/dallas this morning. You mention that everyone will forget my lack lust play this season if I excel the next 3.5 months. Do you think I will?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:11 PM)

You've been playing a lot better lately. If you can produce the numbers you've been producing in the time you've been getting (About 20 minutes per game), I think people would be more than happy to forget the first 75 percent of the season

Roddy (AAC)

Will I be a 20 min guy when the playoffs start?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:12 PM)

If you've earned the minutes, yes

JJ (In TC's sachel)

Will Donnie and Mark resign me next year? Haven't I proved that I can be a viable back-up pg for the foreseeable future? (or do I want to start?)

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:14 PM)

Great question. No doubt you're earning more money with every passing game. You could be the most valuable backup PG in the league right now. You have to decide if you want to go for more money and/or a starter's role. And it might be with a team that isn't nearly as good as the one you're on

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:16 PM)

They have everything you need to go all the way except for the fact they haven't done it. Talent, Depth, Hunger, Coaching. it's all there. Not to mention that they have endured some real playoff pain. There isn't a team that doesn't ultimately win that doesn't suffer first save perhaps for Boston of 08.

John S (Addison)

What do you see as our playoff rotation, I mean we have such great depth but how many guys will be in that rotation come playoffs?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:19 PM)

It will likely be a nine man rotation. Your sure things are Dirk, Chandler, Kidd, JET, Marion Roddy and JJ. Your backup center will be dependent on the matchup. Same thing with Brewer/Peja

Angie (Little Elm)

Seems like the Roddy B. hype has died down with him back. How important is it that he finds his game or do the Mavs have enough once the playoffs start to win any way?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:20 PM)

They'll be even better as he gets better. This is training camp for him right now. We want him to be all world instantly and it's not going to happen. But they have faith he'll get there

Desean Stevenson (Mavs Practice floor)

I played my butt off the first half of the season, I feel like the forgotten man. Am I basically only a defensive situational player for 5 minutes a game now?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:21 PM)

Yes. You have performed your role for the team admirably, in helping to get through some tough times. But Brewer is younger, longer and quicker than you are.

GW (Dallas)

Hi Chuck- Carlisle says Brewer signed for less money. Any idea how much more other teams were willing to pay Brewer? It seems to me Brewer should be a decent trade chip if needed to be also.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:24 PM)

Don't know what the others were offering, but I doubt they were also offering three years like the Mavericks were. And yes, he could be a very decent trade chip, although i think his value is much more to the Mavericks as Stevenson's replacement in the defensive stopper role. Stevenson's contract is up at the end of the season

GW (Dallas)

I am a big fan of Brewer and Noah from that FL championship team. They both hustle and play D. Are you in the camp that Peja's value is greater because of spreading the floor, and thus there's no chance for Brewer to start and play more mins than Peja.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:25 PM)

Not at all. It's all dependent on matchups

Dustin (Dallas)

How would you describe Roddy B's defensive abilities to date?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:26 PM)

Average at best

Jason Eddington (Dallas)

Chuck is there any news on Caron Butler, and the progress he's made. Does he still feel confident about making it back for the playoffs?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:27 PM)

He's talking like he'll be back for the playoffs. I'm not sure anyone other than him believes he'll be back for the playoffs.

Brewer (AAC)

I can play the 2 and 3. What do you think about me playing at the 4 chuck?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:29 PM)

If you put on about 40 pounds you might be able to pull that off

Nick (Dallas)

Bob Sturm just had a chat and someone asked if he could beat you in 1 on 1 all things sports trivia. He said you would smoke him and that he bows to you. Do you agree?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:29 PM)

Not so sure of that. I think Bob is brilliant

Chris (Dallas)

What do you think about the opportunity Dallas had to get Deron Williams?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:30 PM)

They never did have a chance to get him. They had hoped had they acquired Devin Harris, that it would have allowed them to do that, But since they never did that, there was no chance

Theo (Buffalo)

Do the Mavs have a chance of catch the Spurs? At want seed do you see this team would have a impact in the playoffs seeds 1 and 2 is not good remember Golden State.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:31 PM)

They also lost to the Spurs as a 2 seed last year. Yes, we know the Mavericks playoff history is checkered. But I've got a feeling this team just might be a little bit different.

Dirk (AAC)

Hey Chuck. Who do you think we should go after in the summer?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:32 PM)

David Stern and Billy Hunter. Get them together. Lock them in a room until they come out with a new deal that allows us to watch the NBA uninterrupted

Billy (waxahachie)

Just how good is the new maverick (Brewer)? Last I checked the Knicks weren't all that great that they would just let a good player go. Why didn't he fit in with the Knicks if he is good enough to warrant a 3 year contract here.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:35 PM)

The Knicks were intent on having Jared Jeffries back with them to fill the defensive role Brewer would have had. Why? I'm not sure. Brewer is FAR better than Jeffries. They picked up Brewer so the whole Anthony trade could go through. And as my man Skin pointed out on the air yesterday, It was also a favor to his agent, Happy Walters (Who also happens to be Amare's agent) He wasn't going to play in NY, so why keep him there and have a bunch of people upset

Ken (Dalls)

Mr. Cooperstein,With Jason Kidd only playing for a few more years, who do you think the Mavericks will get as their new starting point guard? Will they draft one? Sign one? Or trade?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:36 PM)

I think they're hoping Roddy can do it. So far, there's little indication that's he's anything other than a more athletic version of Jason Terry. And that's not a bad thing at all. But right now he doesn't look like a point guard

Blaine (Fort Worth)

Chuck, Tyson is set to miss At Lease the next 2 games, is the injury more serious than first thought or is this just for precautionary reasons?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:39 PM)

Seems like it's just what they thought it would be. The hard part is that the Mavericks have four games in five nights starting Sunday against Memphis, and then after a day off, have the Lakers coming in here. So there are a lot of games in a very short period of time, but again, as they have done all season, they're going to wait as long as they can before bringing him back. Of course in Dirk's case, he probably needed to be out about another ten days or so, but things were so bad that they really didn't have a choice

Ryan (Dallas)

Everyone keeps talking about the second seed. Is it still the rule that the winners of the "divisions" are the first three seeds or is that not the case anymore and it's just simply record?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:41 PM)

No. That rule was changed after the 06 season when the Mavericks had the second best record but were seeded fourth. Now the three division winners and the team with the next best record are seeded 1-4 based on record.

Adam (Fort Worth)

I don't think Peja starts another game for the Mavs. As of now, there's a defensive liability at every starting position other than Tyson, Brewer's d-skills will be huge for this starting 5.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:45 PM)

Agree with the last point, not necessarily with the overall premise. This team still has the ability to play well within the team concept. Defense isn't necessarily about shutting down a guy one on one. The rules basically don't allow a defender to individually shut someone down, but with the team framework you can. Kidd is a great team defender, Dirk is a much improved one.

CBF82 (Dallas)

Dont know if anyone has mentioned this to you, but you and Mark F. must have been sitting extremely close to each other in Philly.. Every time Mark would stop talking, I could hear you describing the play, was pretty funny for a while..

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:46 PM)

Yeah, I heard the TV crew had some fun with that. I was sitting directly behind Mark and Brad in Philly. It's the most unusual set up in the league.

Frank (Austin, Texas)

Do you think the Mavericks will sign another superstar to go along with Dirk Nowitzki since some western teams are starting to become more dynamic?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:48 PM)

I think you mean Eastern teams since that's where the migration of stars has headed. Signing one is really difficult. Trading for one is a little easier, but not much more so. You're best bet is for Roddy to emerge as the talent lots of folks believe he can be while keep a strong ensemble around him for as long as he chooses to play (At least the next three years

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:54 PM)

Hard cap is far more likely than the franchise tag. The teams can already pay more than their rivals to keep their players. If the NBA pushes for a franchise tag. How much more is that going to cost the teams? We have seen guys turn down $30 million more to get where they want to go. And if it is going to cost them that much more money, with a hard cap, you'd never have the ability to put a good enough team around that player. I think, the biggest thing you will see are the tightening of the exceptions. The Mid level is gone. Having said all that, the system in place is driving interest in the NBA like never before, I think the owners ought to be very careful about biting the hand that feeds them

Jim (Dallas)

Hey Chuck, love your work. What are the chances the league comes out of the new CBA with a hard cap and some kind if franchise tag.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:55 PM)

Jim, see your answer above

Blaine (Fort Worth)

I love this team and can't wait for the playoffs, but as a fan of the NBA do you think there will be basketball next year with the whole CBA mess.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:58 PM)

I have a feeling we're going to miss some time. I think a lot depends on the NFL. If the NFL can get their stuff together it will put a tremendous amount of pressure on the NBA to do likewise. The NBA has already discovered (In 1999) that the fans can live without them. If the NFL is playing, and the NBA is not, the sports world will go on. Both leagues really have it going on right now, it would be idiotic for them to play fast and loose with this

Adam (Fort Worth)

Re: players taking less money, teams like Toronto, Cleveland (S&T's), Utah, Denver have traded their stars allowing these players to not lose any money.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:59 PM)

But LeBron and Bosh took less than they could have made had they stayed with their teams. Carmelo did make out well, but the Knicks paid a huge price to get him and it's debatable just how much of an elite team they will be with him there.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (1:01 PM)

Man, what an hour today! Thanks for all the great questions. Mavs-Pacers tonight at the American Airlines Center. Hope you'll join Brad and me at 7:30 on 103.3 ESPN, and we'll be back to chat at our regular Thursday time next week at 11 CT