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February 14, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (2:59 PM)

It's been a wild week for the Mavs. They snapped a three-game skid with four straight wins. Dirk Nowitzki looks like an All-Star again. Jason Kidd looks alive. Shawn Marion's a defensive monster. Lots to talk about. Fire away ...

Jason (Fort Worth)

Why should I not think this team is Finals bound again? They are freakin talented. Are you convinced at all that OKC can beat this Mavs team 4 games out of 7? LA? SA? Also, big props to Cuban and Donnie for letting those FA's walk. If they get out of the West again and then somehow get D Will, that is some legendary stuff.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:01 PM)

You've got every right to believe that the Mavs will be legitimate contenders once it's all said and done. The Thunder and Clippers are the two most talented teams in the West, in my opinion. The Mavs have major edges in experience and coaching against both of those teams, and I'm convinced that they're in OKC's heads. We'll see what happens before the trade deadline, but I like the Mavs' chances as much as anybody's in the West. The Heat are still the favorites to win it all, but that was the case last season, too. Crazy as it sounded when he said it at 0-3, but this Mavs team might actually be better than last season.

Ramana (Lewisville)

I like Delonte West but I don't think he will be a long term solution ar PG for this team. Shouldn't Rick be playing Roddy. He hasn't played the last three games and I think playing time will help Roddy's consistancy. Has Rick coaching actually hurt Roddy progress (confidence). Finally, if he won't play Roddy, are we better off tarding him to the Kings, Lakers, Honets etc. (teams w/ PG needs)?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:05 PM)

Roddy B's development isn't the priority for the Mavs. This team is about winning another title. Delonte West is much more prepared to help the Mavs do that than Roddy B. The Free Roddy B. hype got out of control because of his flashes of brilliance as a rookie -- and I'm guilty -- but the truth is Carlisle did an excellent job picking spots for Beaubois that year. He's a third-year vet on a deep team now. The coaches can't baby him. He has to earn his minutes, and that hasn't happened. He'll get playing time when the Mavs need a change of pace or Kidd sits out games later this season, but I don't see Roddy as the team's future PG. The best-case scenario is that he turns into a Jet Lite, but he doesn't have anything close to Terry's competitive streak. My prediction is that Beaubois gets moved in a salary dump this summer to clear more cap space.

Neil (College Station, TX)

I love what Jason Kidd has done for us over the past few years and on the championship run he was great. But, I'm tired of hearing about how he "does more than the box score shows." I believed that the past few years but this year he just isn't playing very well. Are we really gonna give him a pass for that HORRIFIC turnover last night?? If that would have been Roddy he would be riding the bench for at least 5 games. He's been great for us int he past, but this year he's either been injured or ineffective.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:09 PM)

Kidd stunk for most of this season, plain and simple. But he's been much more good than bad since coming back from the strained right calf. You're right that the late-game turnover was a pretty bad brain fart for a guy with such a high basketball IQ, but go back to when Kidd checked back into the game in the fourth quarter against the Timberwolves. He halted a 19-5 Minnesota run with a 3-pointer and then had a few assists during a 12-3 run. That was the ballgame right there. This team can't repeat without Kidd playing at a high level in crunch time again. There's no reason to believe Roddy B. is capable of performing in high-pressure situations.

Rory (Portland)

Just read that JJT doesn't see Dwight or Deron coming to Dallas in the offseason. What are your thoughts on the possibility of signing one or both of them.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:11 PM)

I've written before that it's definitely not a Dwight Howard slam dunk, more like a contested Deron Williams 3-pointer. It's a possibility, not a probability, that they get both of them. But unless Howard gets traded to NJ before the deadline, I like the Mavs' changes to land at least one of them in free agency.

Scot (Arizona)

Any suggestions on how to maintain our double-digit leads?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:13 PM)

Good question. I don't have a great answer, but the Mavs need to come up with one. When they get up 18, Jason Kidd should be resting the fourth quarter, not playing an overtime period. It's important for them to put teams away because it keeps minutes down for 30-somethings like Kidd, Dirk and Marion.

Brandon Allee (Tyler, TX)

Back in the summer league of 2010, there is a video of Jeremy Lin vs. John Wall. Lin was on the Mavericks team. Is there a reason Beaubois was chosen to be on the roster instead of Lin at that time? You can youtube the video and Beaubois stays on the bench because Linn is doing so well. Not that the Mavs needed him then, maybe it is just hindsight being 20/20. Just wanted your thoughts.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:16 PM)

Jeff Caplan has covered this on our Mavs blog recently if you want to get the in-depth answer. Short version: The Mavs didn't have Lin's rights past the summer league. They offered him a guaranteed one-year deal. He chose to take a two-year guaranteed deal from Golden State, which was home for him and offered a much better chance at immediate playing time. Donnie Nelson wanted to develop Lin for a year in the D-League, but he's been a believer in the guy since his Harvard days. Lin easily could have been the Mavs' next JJ Barea-like success story, but he chose to go another route.

Rory (Portland)

What are your thought on Cuban's backup plan if he can't land Howard or Williams? Hibbert?Gordon?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:18 PM)

I don't know for certain. Cuban has hinted that Plan D might be to try to make upgrades via the trade market. (A is Howard and Williams, B is Howard, C is Williams.) But I've got this hunch that a Steve Nash reunion could happen. He's a free agent and wouldn't command a long-term deal. It'd guarantee Dirk a PG he loves for the rest of his contract and maintain financial flexibility for the Mavs after that.

Will (Austin, TX)

Tim, are there any players right now that the mavs are interested in trading for before the march deadline? I know we are really going to push hard for howard and williams in the offseason (hopefully, but are there any guys out there that could, by trading for them, make dallas a more attractive destination for dwill and dwight?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:21 PM)

Never say never, but I don't see the Mavs adding anybody before the deadline. If they do, it'd have to be someone on an expiring contract. It wouldn't stun me if they made a move, but I'm thinking more along the lines of giving away Dominique Jones for a second-round pick to shed another $1 million and change in cap space this summer. There's nobody the Mavs can trade for that would make this a more attractive destination for Howard and Williams, because they need all the cap space they can get to have a chance to get those guys.

Jobin (College Station)

Looking closer to the second half of the season, do you think the Mavs can make a push to end the season on top of the Western Conference?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:24 PM)

Maybe, but that won't be their priority. And I think the Thunder would be tough to top in the standings anyway. The Mavs just want to be fresh and rested when the playoffs begin. Playing well at the time would be a bonus, but it's not like the Mavs were lighting it up at the end of last regular season. The Mavs aren't sweating being the lower seed in a playoff series. This is a team that had the NBA's best road record the last two seasons and lost a total of two road games in three playoff series against the Lakers, Thunder and Heat.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Is there a smarter team in the league right now than the Mavericks?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:26 PM)

I don't see one, and that includes the coaching. Players will tell you that nobody has a higher basketball IQ than Jason Kidd. Dirk is an extremely intelligent player. Same goes for Carter, Haywood, Marion and others. Terry has a tendency to do some incredibly dumb things from time to time, but he's a proven clutch performer. The Mavs also understand the importance of playing as one as well as any team in the NBA.

Robert L (FT Worth)

It just doesn't seem that there is much cohesion at the center position. We have Haywood starting, but have seen impressive glimpses of Mahinmi and Wright, When do you see this becoming more settled? Because we need it solidified before the playoffs begin, and I fear that if we don't get it settled, then it will be a very weak spot for the Mavs!

Tim MacMahon
  (3:30 PM)

Why do you need set roles? I like the way Mahinmi and Wright are competing for playing time. They're both playing with great energy. That's not a bad thing at all. Haywood has done exactly what the Mavs hoped he would do, consistently serving as the backbone of a very good defense. Center is a strength for this team, not a problem. Also, as far as wanting a settled rotation, remember that the Mavs switched the starting lineup the last game of the regular season before their title run. This team gets Rick Carlisle's "Be Ready" motto.

Robert L (Ft Worth)

We keep hearing Coach Carlisle say positive things about Lamar Odom, but rarely do we see anything but a very small sample. Do you think that Lamar will ever find his groove in Dallas, or are we destined for only the hype?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:31 PM)

I'll be writing a column about Odom for the morning. The gist: Lower your expectations for Lam Lam. Forget about the Sixth Man of the Year standard he set in LA. The Mavs just need him to be a good eighth man.

manu (Texas)

Are the spurs playing better than the mavs right now

Tim MacMahon
  (3:32 PM)

The standings say that the Spurs are. So does San Antonio's seven-game winning streak. Very impressive without Manu. I'd love to see another Dallas-San Antonio playoff series. Easy travel and a great rivalry.

Rory (Portland)

If Howard goes to NJ do you see Cuban making moves during the season that would jeopardize the Mavs cap space this summer or does he still want to try and court both of them try and snag them both from NJ.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:34 PM)

If Howard goes to NJ, you can forget about the Howard/Williams Great Hope for the Mavs. But I don't see Cuban doing anything to sacrifice cap space. He's stressed repeatedly that it's so much easier to upgrade via the trade market if you have cap space under the new CBA.

Jason (Houston)

since we're struggling so much, i think a perfect opportunity to play Roddy lies in the third qtr. It seems like other teams key in on what we do during these stretches. Why not throw them another look?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:35 PM)

Sir, those third quarter struggles were at their worst when Roddy was starting at PG. But maybe you have a point that using him as a change-of-pace could work when the Mavs go flat in the third. It just seems to me that Carlisle has found a backcourt rotation that he really likes in these last few games.

Bob (Fort Worth, TX)

given the fact that the mavs have been holding their own against the elite teams in the west, and most teams have been struggling due to the lockout, how much of a chance do you give the mavs of representing the West in the NBA finals. dirk is getting better, and Carlisle is resting every1 very well, should other teams be worried that the shortened season actually might be an advantage toward playoff time for the mavs???

Tim MacMahon
  (3:38 PM)

This is going to sound like twisted logic, but I think OKC is the heavy favorite in the West UNLESS the Thunder faces the Mavs in a series. I firmly believe the Mavs have mental mojo over the Thunder. The Mavs, Spurs and Clippers are all legit candidates to win the West, and let's see what happens before the trade deadline before doubting the Lakers too much.

Scot (Arizona)

We've seen a little of the Dirk/Carter two man game, and we're all accustomed to Dirk/Terry. What do you think of a Marion/Carter or Dirk/Odom tandem?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:40 PM)

I see Odom pretty much as solely a backup power forward for this team. Don't see him playing with Dirk a lot. The Mavs rarely run plays that have Marion as the first or second option.

old age (Dallas)

How much longer does jason kidd have with the mavs.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:41 PM)

His contract is up at the end of this season and then we'll see what happens. He's on record saying he wants to play two more years, which would give him 20 total in the NBA.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:42 PM)

Appreciate all the questions ... If I didn't touch on your topic, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon

Tim MacMahon
  (3:42 PM)

Appreciate all the questions ... If I didn't touch on your topic, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon