Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 2, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:00 PM)

Good Morning! Glad to be with you to talk Mavs. Bad night last night. Overall, though, things are pretty good, although there clearly is one LARGE issue that needs resolving, and hopefully it will be soon. On to your questions..

Kris (Warsaw, Poland)

With Holger Geschwindner back in town, when can we expect Dirk to be Dirk again?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:03 PM)

Love going International. The answer, I'm afraid is, I don't know. I'm not sure Holger or Dirk know either. This is as much of a crisis in confidence with Dirk as there has been since his rookie season when he really had no idea of what he was doing. It isn't about conditioning. it isn't about his knee. It isn't about his mechanics. It's about EVERYTHING. Throw it all together and you have a mess on your hands

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:06 PM)

Just to continue on about Dirk. I think what we're witnessing is the human version of sausage making (No German puns intended). In the past we've always heard of Dirk's routine tog et him ready to play the season. But it was always held in secret, but we knew that when the season was here he'd be ready to go. Here with the lockout and the uncertainty of it leading to a program being thrown off course, we're now watching Dirk do a lot of what he would normally do in August and September and do it in front of us in games that count.

Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)

Will Rick Carlisle be suspended for a game for kicking the ball into the stands and hitting a fan? A fine is most certainly expected.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:08 PM)

No word yet. Absolutely on a fine. Wouldn't be surprised if it was 10K. Not sure about a suspension. Players don't generally get suspended when they do stuff like that. Coaches, though, may be held to a higher standard. We'll see.

Damian (Schenectady, NY)

Tough loss last night, but I want to focus on one of the positives. Brandan Wright. What do you like about his game and the way he contributes? Will he find more PT in Rick's rotation? Thanks!

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:11 PM)

Seems like Brandan Wright produces a positive vibe every time he goes out there. Season high 12 points last night, and he averages 5.3 points in 9.6 minutes. He's a good weak side shot blocker, but his lack of bulk hurt him last night in dealing with Ibaka and Perkins. That would be the thing holding him back from more major minutes at the backup 4 or 5

Jason (Florida)

Why was Dirk so unprepared for the season then? Plenty of other players including Terry & Marion among others were more than ready to play from the jump.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:14 PM)

It's a good question and I know this is going to sound like excuse making but it really isn't. Dirk made the decision to play in The European championships in the late summer, so he never really allowed himself any down time after the Finals. He finally got it in the Fall, but didn't have the time to ramp himself up into great shape. Guys like Terry and Marion were able to take the time off after June, and thus could build themselves back up toward December even though there was no guarantee that the NBA was going to go back to work

Eddie Flores (Dallas)

What will the mavs do, since the trade deadline is closing in, to improve for the remainder of the season,? Or will they stay with their players and wait till the off-season?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:15 PM)

In would be surprised if there was a deal done, unless somehow, Orlando and New Jersey were ready to work deals for Howard or Williams. Still don't think that will happen

jason (new london tx)

mark and donnie regert letting tyson and deshawn, jj walk yet? it really makes me sick watching what is happening to this team, they really need to see what any one would offer for odom and heywood. heywood is playing better but i think there is something better. i really dont think howard and williams are coming, mark and donnie better get started on plan b

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:18 PM)

Well you go to Plan B, only when Plan A fails, and it hasn't as of yet. I don't think there's regret from a playing standpoint because Haywood has stepped up, and Mahinmi has provided the energy behind him that has allowed that position to be solid. Hard to argue with their play when you see the Mavs are 2nd in the NBA in opponents points in the paint. West has been more than capable in taking on the Stevenson role, and Barea's departure, along with Kidd's injury issues, have now forced them to see what they have with Roddy Beaubois as a PG. So far that looks OK too.

Mikey K (Dallas)

Mavericks will come out of the West! It is going to happen, this regular season is not indicitive of what we are going to be playing like come May...all these games so close together is the worst scenario possible for this team yet we are making huge strides. Once Dirk is back at close to 100%, this team better than last year's team right? On paper....the supporting cast..

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:21 PM)

I do like the direction the team is headed. I like their competitiveness. Even last night playing a bit shorthanded, I liked the way they competed even when things weren't going well. they had a chance to win with 2:00 left. They haven't won a game yet this year shooting under 40%, but I do like the way that they're always in position to win those games. I think pretty soon you'll see enough shots fall in those situations where they'll win a few games like that. Really, I can't wait to see the time when everyone's back and everyone's clicking to see what the real top end of this team is

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:23 PM)

You can criticize him if you like. I'm just offering up an explanation.

Kelly (Ft. Worth)

I hear what you're saying about the affect the lockout and the bad decision to play in the European championships had on Dirk but does that give him a free pass for being so unprepared to play at his normal high level? Love Dirk and what he has done for the Mavs, but few, if any, athletes could get away with that.

Justin (Ft. Worth)

How do you see the minutes at PG being distributed when Kidd comes back? Do his minutes get reduced to around 25 per game so that Roddy can play more?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:27 PM)

I don't know if I'd go as low as 25. Maybe 28 or so. What I'll be interested in seeing is if Roddy will have shown enough that he does get a lot of the backup minutes at PG. It's tough for him to play vs the Westbrook's of the world, but against a lot of other backups if he's going to play as he has played the last few weeks, the mavs may have something working here

richard robinson (white settlement tx)

hey coop do we still have a chance at getting a big man like howard

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:27 PM)

In the off season, yes

Jared (Lewisville)

Who starts at the 2G when Kidd comes back? Carlisle was quick to remove Carter from the starting line-up early in the season, but they said on the ESPN telecast last night that West prefers to come off the bench.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:34 PM)

I think you'll see Carter there. He gives them more size and early scoring punch. You've seen him over the last week kind of take on that Josh Howard-Caron Butler role of early scorer. Last four games has scored 31 first quarter points

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:40 PM)

Appreciate the questions. Mavs are off to the Eastern conference for the next two. Much improved Indiana tomorrow night at home and then at Cleveland on Saturday night. Hope you'll join Brad and me. on 103.3 or nba.com if you're outside the DFW area. We'll chat next Thursday.