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April 4, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (3:59 PM)

Welcome back to Mavs chat and thanks for being patient as we moved the start time back an hour. Another week and whole other set of circumstances to discuss including Jason Kidd's injury, rebounding and mounting blowout losses. Here we go...

Derek (North Richland Hills)

Hey Jeff how's it going? Once this off-season gets here for the Mavs and we can sign free agents and what not what move would you do. Re-Sign Jason Kidd or sign Steve Nash? Honestly in my opinion i would go with Nash. Even though they are both old in basketball terms Nash still has speed and is more accurate in his shots then Kidd is. What do you think?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:01 PM)

Derek, If the Mavs sign Deron Williams, forget about Nash. But if they don't get D-Will then they will certainly do what they can to reunite Dirk and Nash. Nash will have plenty of suitors and don't think NY won't try to get him to finish out his career in the Garden. Clearly Nash is the more effective player. He was an All-Star this season and is playing brilliantly. Kidd, not so much, plus has had three injuries.

Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)

When is the team going to decide to wear headbands collectively? Clearly worked for Lamar Odom and Jason Terry.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:02 PM)

I can't believe I even posted this question, but Shawn, you are a loyal reader. I'll suggest a collective headband game.

Felipe (Mavs Central.....ok Colorado)

The latest D-Will interview has him speaking about the Nets in past tense form and talking like he is a goner for sure. From what you're hearing Jeff.... what would you put the odds at of Deron being a Mav this summer?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:04 PM)

Felipe. I'm not going to give you odds, but I have mixed feelings on this. I think Deron likes living up there and if the Nets can get him some help I think he could stay. We say in Dallas that a healthy Lopez can make a big difference. But, if the Nets, who will have loads of cap space, can't make Williams a believer, then when you look at other teams with cap space, Dallas makes a lot of sense. D-Will will have several years to play with Dirk, but don't think just because D-Will is here that this will be a championship-caliber team. There will be lots of changes coming.

Ray (Lewisville)

Jeff, to what do you attribute the lack of rebounding from the Mavs bigs this year. Is it a lack of heart, lack of size (although w/ Dirk, Ian, Brendon, Brandon, size shouldn't be an issue), perhaps a lack of strength (are they getting pushed around too easy) or is it out of position from playing zone. They really miss Chandler in this area and they need to get it cleaned up immediately.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:05 PM)

They miss Chandler immensely right now for rebounding and just to get on guys right now. The rebounding is appalling and they have no shot to win if they continually get killed in second-chance points. Size can't be an excuse, the Mavs are tall. To me, it's all effort. Rebounding and defense is about effort.

Maniesh (New York)

Given the past few games, I dont think the Mavs have any chance of beating the top four western conference teams (as they stand currently) in the palyoffs. Do you agree?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:07 PM)

Maniesh,I do agree with you. The way this team is playing right now I don't see how they get out of the first round. People will say, well, we said the same thing last year at this time. This is a much different though. Jason Kidd is hurt and has not played well. Vince Carter looks to be playing on fumes. The defense is faltering, the rebounding is terrible an the offense has been ranked around 20th in the league all year.

MavsFanatic (Phoenix, AZ)

Hey Jeff! You would have to believe the Mavs stand a good chance tonight at home against a Memphis squad playing their 3rd game in as many nights right? Right? Please say right!

Jeff Caplan
  (4:08 PM)

MavsFanatic..wait, you're in Phoenix? What's that about? I would certainly think that the Mavs should have the fresh legs in this one and if we see Memphis outhustle the Mavs tonight then might as well not even make the playoffs. I didn't say anything about winning this game, although the Mavs sure do need a good win, but Memphis is playing their fifth game in six nights and 3 in a row. The advantage should be in favor of Dallas. SHOULD.

Primo (Lancaster, TX)

Hi Jeff, thanks God I survived the Tornado yesterday. But my question is would the Mavs prefer going to playoffs and not advancing at all or there is a big possibility that they wont even make it to the playoffs?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:10 PM)

Primo, it is entirely possible that the Mavs don't make the playoffs, but right now I say the odds are heavily in favor of them making the playoffs. I don't trust Denver or Houston or Utah or even Phoenix in 10th place to make strong pushes that would knock Dallas out. However, if Mavs lose tonight, they're in big trouble. There has to be a sign that this team is serious about competing.

Franc (@gnosys) (Montreal)

Cap - glad to know the Mavs and ESPN Dallas crew is alright after yesterday's tornado. My question this week is: Is there absolutely ZERO chance that the new addition Kelenna Azubuike (sp?) plays in this regular season? I understand he's currently playing mediocre ball with the legends, but I feel a quick scorer like Peja is what the Mavs could use right now. With KA being a 40% 3-pt shooter, might he be worth a try with J-Kidd out?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:11 PM)

Franc, if the Mavs are waiting on Azubuike to help them out then they have bigger problems than anyone has grasped to this point. No, don't expect help from there. There's only 12 games left. You are right, they could use a shooter, they need more scoring. Jason Kapono was out there and could have been picked up, but the Mavs obviously decided that was not a direction they wanted to go.

David (Dallas)

when I am a sleep I have more energy than what the Mavs brought in the last games.. There season can be over in 13 games if they don't wake up. All the playoff teams pick it up and we go the other way.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:13 PM)

David, when I sleep I'm not sure if I have energy or not because I'm asleep, but point taken.Did you have a question? Monday's effort was definitely confusing, but look this team is quite fortunate that it got out of Houston and Orlando with victories. Think where they'd be if the Magic didn't hand the a win after going up by 15.

Andres(dallas) [via mobile]

What will happen with jason terry and what moves should the mavs make this off season

Jeff Caplan
  (4:14 PM)

Andres, most likely Jason Terry will sign elsewhere because he will most likely get an offer for more money elsewhere. So much depends on what the Mavs do in free agency in terms of Deron Williams. If he signs a max deal, then Mavs will be looking for cheap players to put around DWill and Dirk and Jet will be gone. If D-Will does not sign, Mavs might feel they need Jet on board.

jv74 (Denver)

Everybody talks about Memphis as the team nobody wants to face in the first round, but if the Mavs finish 7th or 8th do you see them as a bigger threat to the Spurs or Thunder?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:16 PM)

I think the Mavs think they match up well with both teams, but when you look at what the Spurs and Thunder are doing I don't see the Mavs beating either one, not even close. I love how the Spurs have bolstered that team around the Big Three. Tony Parker is playing out of his mind and Tim Duncan is having a fine season. They have young legs and excellent shooters. We all know how athletic the Thunder is. I just don't see the Mavs keeping up with either team.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which Dallas Mavericks Player will retire after the 2011-2012 season?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:17 PM)

I suppose Brian Cardinal if no team picks him up for the minimum. He certainly hasn't done much to warrant a new deal, but he's a great end of the bench guy to have. Otherwise, Kidd's the only one that's a possibility and he says he wants to play two more seasons.

Matthews (Madisonville)

At the end of the lockout, everyone was talking about how un-important the regular season was.The Mavs goal was to make the playoffs rested. Do you feel like people are putting to much stock in the records/seeding at this point? Although the Mavs struggled to stay healthy, they are approaching full strength at the right time.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:18 PM)

Hey Matthew, full strength except for the fact that Jason Kidd is hurt again and Delonte West's finger is not fully healed and limits him driving to the bucket he does so well. Sure, the plan was just to get to the playoffs and then take your swings. But, there are a lot of questions on this team and the biggest problems is the offense has not been good all season and I don't see that suddenly changing. If dirk doesn't score 28 they are not winning right now and that is a big problem.

Jaime (Mexico)

Why the Mavs can't bring a consistent level of energy? I think that has been the major problem for them so far this season.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:21 PM)

Jaime, no doubt. I think some of the inconsistencies with the lineup were a problem with the injuries, but the way this team has rebounded and played in the last seven games is disturbing. Look, this a below .500 team since the All-Star. We wanted to excuse the 2-7 stretch over 12 days because of the intensity of that schedule, not the competition, but the number of days/games. Then they won four in a row with ugly wins over Charlotte and S.A. and two wins over Houston, one in OT. Then they've gone 3-4. with low energy performances. Hard to figure.

Eddie K. Smith (Dallas)

Why is the media always trying to make Lamar Odom a scapegoat? He's done the best he can under difficult circumstances!

Jeff Caplan
  (4:22 PM)

Eddie, I don't think the media has tried to make Odom a scapegoat. He's had the worst season of his career, just terrible. He left the team in the middle of the season and had to have his agent meet with him and Mark Cuban while the team was getting its butts kicked in Memphis. Odom has not played well, bottom line and he's been a liability for this team, which needs him desperately at the 4 to score and rebound. They're not getting it.

Dan (Dallas)

I have never seen a Mavs team with more failed entry/inbound/diagonal passes, because of lack of accuracy or laziness on the entry angle. Has anyone talked to Carlisle about what the problem is with our passing?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:23 PM)

Dan, interesting take. Turnovers have been issue at times and some of the passes you're talking about, in fact a lot of them, have come from the hands of Jason Kidd. I am sure Carlisle is aware of the problem.

Steve (Washington DC)

Hey Jeff, big time Dallas fan since the Big Three days. Can Roddie be a significant player in a deep playoff run for us, and do a little of what J.J. did for us last year? Maybe even more?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:25 PM)

Steve...we've been waiting and waiting on Roddy and right now I believe is his final shot. With Kidd out Roddy is back in the rotation and he must play well. He was awful at Miami, a DNP-CD at Orlando and he didn't play well Monday, but then no one did. Forget about Roddy being JJ. JJ was a supremely confident player who knew how to play the pick and roll and could break down defenses with his driving ability. Roddy has not mastered any of it.

tony (dallas) [via mobile]

What's ur thoughts on brandon wright ? Do u think he will be a part of big playoff run if we can put together one?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:26 PM)

Really like Brandan Wright, real nice kid, works hard, exactly what you want in a player. He's a power forward being asked to play center here and that's a tough deal. Watch tonight how much he plays. It might not be much because he can't body up with Marc Gasol, just like he can't guard Andrew Bynum. Wright will have an important role in a playoff series against a team that is smaller at center like the Spurs and even the Thunder.

Josh (Plano)

When it comes to rebounding, isn't one of the biggest issues the fact that Dirk is no longer a good rebounder? Seems like that's where his game has fallen off the most.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:28 PM)

Josh, great point. Dirk's rebounds went down some last season and we all pointed to Tyson Chandler averaging near double-digits taking some away. But, Dirk has not been a good rebounder this season, only 7 in the last two days and he's averaging I believe fewer than 7 a game, has been all year. Early on his knee was clearly a factor. He's had a few double-digit rebounding games, but he needs to pick it up because no one else is. Brendan Haywood has got to make himself a force on the boards as well and we'll see how they do tonight against a big Grizzlies team.

Joseph (Charlottesville)

Any sense that the "no one in the West scares us" vibe has left the team?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:30 PM)

Hey Joseph...ha, no I don't think that's really changed. And if it has no one is going to admit it. Look, outside of OKC and SA, no team has separated themselves. I think the Lakers are an awful matchup for the Mavs but there some interesting internal things going on there and they've had to scrap to beat some bad teams. Plus, Marion is so good covering Kobe. I think the Mavs will have confidence no matter who they play, they just have to play with some level of energy. If not, it won't matter who they play.

sahar (israel)

can't believe I wake up every morning to watch the Mavs play the way they do. Is it going to change?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:31 PM)

Sahar, greetings all the way from the Holy Land. Well, we'll see if things change in tonight's game. If it doesn't they're in big trouble.

Jason (Ft. Worth)

Do you think the season long Lamar Odom saga and the non-stop media focus on him has overshadowed the fact that this team has much bigger problems than just him? They have been inefficient all year on offense, are weak on the boards and the defense has slipped considerably post All-Star break.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:33 PM)

Yeah, Jason you are right on all counts. But, no, I don't think the Lamar situation has overshadowed those things. I think winning the title last season has sort of given the Mavs a pass and a feeling that the regular season is just that, the regular season. No one believed the Mavs were hitting on all cylinders down the stretch last season, yet they won it all. I'm not saying that is going to happen this season because this is a totally different team and different circumstances.

Ray (Dallas)

Why won't Rick Carlisle go with Vince Carter at Small Forward at some point in the 4th or down the stretch of games to spread the floor? It seems that the Mavs' offense disappears late in games because of the fact that there aren't enough shooters on the floor.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:34 PM)

Ray, I just think Carter is more effective at the 2 and they need Marion's rebounding at SF. He's the only guy out there consistently rebounding. Plus, VC was hitting the 3s pretty well early on but he's fallen off pretty good.

jv74 (Denver)

Really Eddie Smith?...seriously, REALLLLY?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:34 PM)

Eddie Smith? Did I say Eddie Smith?

Joseph (Charlottesville)

Any chance at all Kidd calls it quits after this season? I know he wants to play two more years, but I doubt he wants to go through two more years like this one.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:35 PM)

No I don't think he calls it quits. He's already said he wants to move into a backup role, especially if it's behind Deron Williams. He's been open about that. It seems very important for Kidd to play another two years. He'll reach 20 seasons, 40 years of age and few more million to put in the bank.

Erich (Fort Worth)

Jeff, I'm really sick of hearing about Tyson Chandler on GAC and other local shows. People seem to forget last year the Mavs had a 6 or 7 game losing streak with TC. AND that they got blown out by 30 against LA a month before the playoffs with TC. AND that they didn't beat a West playoff team for like the last few weeks of the season, correct? Did his emotional support help then? I just don't get it. Would Tyson really be the difference in winning and losing these past couple of weeks? Don't you think this has alot more to do with schedule/injuries/minute reduction than anything else? I think everyone should take a long look at last year and realize the Mavs can make a run. Come April 28th I expect to see a much more dangerous team. Agree? Also real quick are these Terry/Odom issues actually affecting the locker room? Only thing that kind of concerns me.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:37 PM)

Enrich, at this point right now, no I don't expect to see a team that can just flip the switch. This is not last year's team and I do think they tremendously miss Tyson's leadership, his athleticism, his rebounding and his ability to alter shots on defense. He's an intimidator. Haywood is not. I greatly disagree with your premise. We've seen now that this year's bench is nowhere near last season's bench and the starting lineup doesn't have any more scoring than it did last season and that's a problem.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:38 PM)

OK everyone, looks like we've rolled through all the questions in 37 minutes flat. Thanks for joining me and we'll do it again next week when remaining games will be in single figures. It's really blown by.Remember tomorrow's chat with Mavs radio voice Chuck Cooperstein and stay close to espndallas.com for coverage of tonight's game and all things Mavs.You can follow me on Twitter at espn_caplan.Thanks again. Have a good week.