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March 27, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (3:00 PM)

Thanks for joining me. It's been another wild week in the Mavs' world, so we've got a lot to talk about. Fire away, but please be kind to me. I'm also someone's son, someone's brother, someone's husband, someone's father.

jason (new london tx)

will rick carlise be fired if the mavs miss the playoffs or swept in the 1st round?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:01 PM)

Man, that championship banner doesn't get a coach any grace? Rick Carlisle's contract is up at the end of the season, so the Mavs wouldn't have to fire him. But they wouldn't want to fire him, either. I expect him to get a new deal very soon after the Mavs' season ends, whether that's at the end of April or in June.

Rik (Dallas)

What's up TMac? Big fan. Recently Donnie Nelson used the phrase "big fish" when asked about the Mavs plans in the free agent market this summer. Considering Howard's decision and the possibility of Deron Williams opting for another destination besides big D, what other "big fish" could be available to the Mavs next season?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:02 PM)

There is one true big fish in the market this summer. That's Deron Williams. I like the Mavs' chances of bringing D-Will home.

Dylan (Denton)

I think it's safe to say that tonight is the biggest game on the schedule this week for Dallas. A win tonight equals 7 games over .500 and gives you some breathing room to work with going into the Florida trip and the two tough home games early next week. Which game in the near future do you think is most important for Dallas? Please don't say each is important; that is a given.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:03 PM)

If you're going to rank them, tonight's game against the Rockets is the biggest. The games against the Heat and Magic are much more high profile, but the Rockets are a direct competitor in the seven-team pack fighting for five playoff spots. The Mavs will either be even with the Rockets or have a two-game cushion after tonight.

Matt (Alvarado)

Tim I am someones child.. so please dont boo me when i ask this question. Do the mavs make the playoffs.. and if they do is Lam Lam even in the rotation at this point?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:05 PM)

If Odom doesn't get right, I don't see how they can have him in the playoff rotation. In my column today, I compared it to the Roddy B. situation last season. Different players, different positions, different track records, but both guys that were counted on to be major impact players but delivered next to nothing. They waited until the last game of the regular season to pull the plug on Roddy B last year. I could see something similar happening with Odom.

Naveed (New Jersey)

Will Kelenna Azubuike play only in D League this year? Or at some stage if he is in shape , they will play him this year in a role similar (although much smaller) to what Stevenson did last season?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:05 PM)

That move is about next year. I don't see him getting minutes for the Mavs this season.

Mike (Lewisville)

Do you expect Rick Carlisle to definitely return as coach next year? What's to stop the Knicks or Portland from throwing a big bag of money at him to try and lure him away?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:06 PM)

Yes, I see Carlisle coming back, but you make a solid point. There will be attractive jobs that are open, probably including the Clippers, and Carlisle would have to be considered a great candidate for any of those gigs.

Khaled Sak. (Saudi Arabia)

Is it weird to say this but when Odom plays even though he is not contributing we win. and we he does not we lose 0-7. What do you think?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:08 PM)

It's 0-6 despite what Carlisle said Saturday night. I'll put it like this: Shawn Marion getting the backup power forward minutes worked well enough for the Mavs to win a title last season. It can work again when Delonte West returns, which would allow Vince Carter to play 24-28 minutes per night at small forward.

Matt (Plano)

Do you think Delonte West will be this team's starting SG when he gets fully healthy and back to form?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:09 PM)

Discussed this with Carlisle yesterday, and I believe him when he says he hasn't made up his mind. He mentioned that his lineup might be dictated by matchups, which I took to mean starting West against teams that have PGs who are major scoring threats and Carter against the rest.

Felipe (Colorado)

What up Tim? I asked this same question to JJT and he dismissed it..... regarding free agency if we pick up Deron would it be a good idea to go after OJ Mayo and have a backcourt of the future with D-Will/Mayo?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:10 PM)

O.J. Mayo, who is a restricted free agent, won't come cheap. I don't see the Mavs making any major commitments outside of Williams this summer. Gotta keep their powder dry for a potential run at Dwight Howard the next summer.

brennan fortes (newbedford, massachusetts)

what do you think the Mavs plan B is, if they fail to "land a big fish" in free-agency?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:11 PM)

Again, it is THE big fish: Deron Williams. Plan B: Sign Steve Nash to a short-term deal to play with his good buddy Dirk again.

Josh (Arlington)

How impressed are you by Donnie Nelson's ability to find under the radar players like Wright, Brandon Bass and JJ Barea?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:12 PM)

Give the man credit. It's also become kind of a self-fulfilling deal. For example, Brandan Wright wanted to come to Dallas because of the Mavs' reputation for developing young guys.

Dan (Dallas)

Do you see Haywood and West being available Thursday?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:12 PM)

I'd say probably for Haywood and maybe for West.

Justin (Duncanville)

Does Lamar Odom have a strong dislike for you or are you guys cool? He actually seems like a nice and accommodating guy. Unfortunately, he's been useless as a player this season.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:15 PM)

Can't complain at all about how Odom has dealt with the media despite all his struggles in Dallas. He's been a real pro in that regard. But it's my job to ask tough questions when need be and call it like I see it. I know he hasn't appreciated some of the things I've said and/or written. That's OK. I don't plan on getting invited to any Kardashian parties, but I have no problem dealing with Odom in a professional setting.

Bobby (Tennessee)

How far do you think the Mavs will go in the playoffs? And do you think they are finally getting that chip on their shoulder?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:15 PM)

Who knows? I thought they'd be one-and-done last year. Anything is possible with this team if they're fresh, focused and healthy.

G (Fort Worth)

Hey Tim! At this point it seems like players & fan are more than ready for Delonte to get back in the lineup. Do you think we (me in particular) have magnified his importance to this team? Is he more of a mental factor? Yes, he eats lunch with lions but do you think he is the difference maker? can get the mavs where they want to go?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:16 PM)

Delonte gives the Mavs a much-needed dose of healthy craziness and another guy with playmaking ability. He really is a blend of DeShawn Stevenson and J.J. Barea, two key role players on last year's title team. He's not a star, but he is a key piece on this team.

mark k hurst (dallas)

Which ex-mav would U rather have on the team rt now - as a role player PG - Barea, Nash, Harris? Do you think we stand a chance to nab Chris Kaman (2012-13)? Will Lamar ever snap out of it?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:18 PM)

Steve Nash is an All-Star, not a role player. The man leads the NBA in assists and is shooting the best percentage of his career. He's in a totally different class than Devin Harris and JJ Barea. I think Kaman will get better offers than the Mavs are willing to give him this summer. I'll believe it when I see it with Lam Lam.

Josh (Ft. Worth)

Are the other players on the team amused at how much attention Odom gets from the media and do they view his presence as a distraction?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:19 PM)

I've had two guys in the locker room tell me they are sick of the saga. I think other guys just kind of ignore it and others want to have his back. I really believe -- as I wrote this weekend -- that the Mavs would be better off just telling Odom to go home and sending him his paychecks for the rest of the season.

Jason (Dallas)

Do you think the Mavs keep both Haywood and Marion for another year as key pieces to surround Dirk and hopefully Deron Williams?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:20 PM)

Can't keep both and have the cap space to sign Williams. Could be a tough choice on which one to keep. Centers are hard to find, but Marion has been so critical to this team the last few years.

mark k hurst (dallas)

Would it not be nice to have kept Brandon Bass?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:21 PM)

Sure, but he wanted more money and more minutes.

Matt (Plano)

Do you think Dirk is capable of carrying the Mavs through one playoff series but more than that is probably asking too much?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:21 PM)

Depends on your definition of "carry." You could say he carried the Mavs to the title last season, but other guys played their roles well. He's capable of doing his part again.

Brad (Dallas)

Do you see any of the current generation of long-time Mavs such as Kidd, Dirk, Terry, Finley, etc. having the same kind of roles with the franchise in player development as guys such as Blackmon, Harper and Davis?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:24 PM)

Dirk will have whatever role he wants, but I don't see it being an everyday kind of thing. There has been talk about Kidd as a coach, and I'm sure Cuban would love to give him his start on the Mavs staff. Terry has a future in broadcasting, whether it's here or nationally. Don't see Finley being involved with the Mavs, but I do think they should retire his number. He was the cornerstone when this franchise went from a laughingstock to a perennial playoff team. It doesn't happen without Finley.

Darren (Dallas)

Do you see Jason Kidd coming back next yr on a 1 yr deal to be the back-up PG? Is there anyway for the Mavs to keep Terry or is he gone?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:25 PM)

Kidd has said he'd like to back up Deron Williams, his golfing buddy who is repped by the same agent. The odds of Terry returning seem pretty slim. I don't think he'd give the Mavs as much of a hometown discount as it would take.

Timbo (overseas)

what moves do you see the mavs making in offseason? is it deron and some fillers on one-year contracts to keep money for howard in 2013 or will they hand out other multi-year-contracts to some decent players?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:26 PM)

I see Deron and a bunch of short-term role players. Why give up a legit shot at getting Dwight Howard the next summer?

Scot (AZ)

Better shot blocker: Wright or Griner?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:27 PM)

If you're grading on a scale, go with Griner. But Wright would probably average 25 blocks per game in women's college hoops.

Angel (Grand Prairie)

Do you think Vince Carter is better off coming off the bench and have West start at the 2 when playoff time starts?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:29 PM)

Depends on who the Mavs are facing. Against OKC? You need West in there to guard Russell Westbrook while Marion defends Kevin Durant. Against the Lakers? Might want to go with the better offensive lineup and start Carter. I think that's Carlisle's thinking. My opinion is start West or even Roddy B. at the 2 and play Carter almost solely at small forward. That means Marion can give you a dozen minutes at power forward per night, cutting Odom out of the rotation.

Jarad (Fort Worth)

Who do the mavs match up best/worst against out of all of the teams that could be in the playoffs (which is vague at this point)?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:31 PM)

San Antonio is the scariest matchup for the Mavs, in my opinion. They've got elite talent, depth and experience. Stephen Jackson was such a great pickup for them. OKC is the most talented team in the West, but I still believe the Mavs have mojo over them in crunch time. Among the teams considered West contenders, the Clippers are the team the Mavs would most want to see. Carlisle would kill Del Negro in a series.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:32 PM)

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