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May 2, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (3:00 PM)

Welcome back to Mavs chat. Thanks for joining me. Are the Mavs on the brink or is there hope?Let's see what you think...

TheMavsFanatic (MavsNation)

What's going on Jeff? Hope everything is well. While all of MavsNation seems to be making excuses for why the Mavs are down 2-0, shouldn't they start to look at the late turnovers and stagnant offense down the stretches as the real cause for our 0-2 hole we've dug?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:02 PM)

Fanatic, thanks for the question. I'd say that's a great place to start. Two turnovers by Dirk in the final 90 seconds of Game 1. A horrendous Jason Kidd pass late in Game 2. One FG in the final 2 minutes of both games and that was an uncontested Jet layup with 20 seconds to play in Game 2 and OKC up 3. The late-game blunders all season against the Thunder is a mystery. Not only are they just missing shots, but they scramble around and don't play with the poise we became accustomed to last season.

MicahW (Dallas, Tx)

The Mavericks have never been swept in the Dirk/Cuban era. If this happens this year how deep will the cuts go as to rebuilding?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:03 PM)

Micah, you haven't been paying attention to this team's offseason goals. Whether they get swept in the first round or lose in the NBA Finals, this team isn't for the long haul. Much depends on if Deron Williams signs here. If he does, expect only Dirk and Brandan Wright back and possibly J-Kidd as a backup. If D-Will doesn't sign, then a few more guys could be back. But, this team was and is a stop-gap until next season when it will look much, much different.

jfb (dfw)

Cuban was big on last years FA only getting one year deals at max money to keep flexibility for his summer, why then did we let Stevenson walk and he goes to NJ for one year and 3.5 mill? We could use his defensive presence.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:04 PM)

Mavs weren't going to give him anything but the minimum salary so he went to NJ for more money. But, yes, they could use his D right about now.

tj (texas)

will the mavs even this thing out or we done in 4 or 5?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:05 PM)

That's why we play the games. Series could be 1-1 or 2-0 Mavs. I would think the Mavs get at least 1 at home and then the question is can they win on the road. They're 13-22 this season and are 0-14 against teams with a .600 winning percentage, which OKC obviously is.

Jeff Gatlin (Solana Beach)

Mavs have clearly had trouble defending Russle Westbrook. What do you think the Mavs need to do to stop him and do you think Roddy B could be the answer?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:07 PM)

Jeff, nice try on Roddy B, but heck no. That ship has sailed. Roddy is not nearly strong enough or intense enough to handle Westbrook or he already would have gotten the chance. The Mavs chances aren't great with Westbrook other than hope he cools off on the road. No one can keep up with him. Delonte West was sick in Game 1 and didn't do much defensively in Game 2. Kidd and Terry are no match. The Mavs could slide Shawn Marion on him and use Vince Carter perhaps on Durant at times and hope KD stays cold.

Ted (Addison)

It seems to me that in this series with OKC, they really miss the interior defense that Tyson Chandler provided, it seems like the referees are letting most fouls go (no autopsy, no foul) I still think that long term the decision to let Tyson go was the right one, but it really is showing in this season. What do you think?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:09 PM)

Absolutely, there's no question. Brendan Haywood played nine minutes in Game 2 and was a non-factor in 19 minutes in Game 1. Ian Mahinmi plays well in stretches, but is foul-prone and is not a big rebounder. Brandan Wright has been awful in limited time. The Mavs dearly miss Tyson's presence inside and his fiery leadership as well. By the way, Tyson will be named Defensive Player of the Year today if you haven't already heard the news.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

How far do you think that the Dallas Mavericks will go in the Playoffs?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:09 PM)

Chris, I think they are done in a few more games.

Jarad (Fort Worth)

Since it's D Will or bust for the offseason, who do you see as potential 'bust' options if we don't get D Will?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:10 PM)

Well, as we've repeated, Steve Nash will be on the wish list and Goran Dragic has made himself into a guy a lot of people are going to want. Other than that, I'll have to take a closer look at free agents after the season.

jason (new london tx)

will rick carlise be re-signed if the mavs lose this series?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:11 PM)

I fully expect him to be unless he sees another job out there that he really wants. But, I do expect Carlisle to be back.

parker (new london tx)

will the two close loses lead the mavs to believe they can win this series?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:12 PM)

Parker, that is certainly the way they view it. If Dirk's 12-foot fadeaway from the baseline drops after bouncing on the rim like 3 times, they might win game 2. If Durant's Game 1 winner bounces out instead of in, they win that. So, yes, they are thinking with the home crowd and little change of luck they can get right back in the series. They would still have to figure out how to win on the road.

tony(dallas) [via mobile]

Everybody is saying the series is over, are u one of them? Why is that? In my opinion a series doesn't start til a team on the road wins. Also whats your opinion on the refs so far?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:14 PM)

Tony, the refs are fine, whatever, stop blaming the refs. The Mavs have to execute, bottom line. I do think OKC wins the series, I thought that all along, picking OKC in 6. I just haven't seen anything from the Mavs all season to suggest they are the better team. They have been a very mediocre scoring and shooting club all year and that hasn't changed. They haven't closed well all year and that hasn't changed.

Zach (Brownwood, TX)

How much of a chance do the Mavs have to get back to OKC 2-2?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:14 PM)

I think OKC takes at least 1 in Dallas.

Dylan ((Ohio))

Are their any players that the Mavs should put in their starting line up to give more energy to the team in this play-off series?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:16 PM)

Dylan, only guy I can suggest is Mahinmi. Haywood has brought no energy. The problem starting Mahinmi is the poor foul situation he tends to get himself in. I sort of suggested moving Marion onto Westbrook and starting Vince Carter to guard Durant, which would bring West off the bench, but that's a dangerous matchup for Durant.

Semon (Muncy)

Is vince carter done as a nba player?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:18 PM)

Well, some thought that the last two seasons before signing with Dallas. But he's been a surprise this year, pretty steady although he went through a pretty good lull after the All-Star game. He's only 7-of-23 FGs in this series, so he needs to give them more offensive punch off the bat, no doubt.

trey (dallas)

how much could we use a productive odom right now?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:19 PM)

Trey, exactly what the Mavs are probably asking themselves, especially Cuban. They really thought that he would help them make another run without Tyson. Could you imagine a versatile 6-10 forward that can score and help defend Durant right now? What a luxury that would be. Unfortunately, he's in LA right now trying to figure out his life.

Jason (Houston)

If Deron's not coming here, would Nic Batum be a good candidate for targeting

Jeff Caplan
  (3:20 PM)

I believe that Batum is a restricted free agent so Portland can match any team's offer and I would be hard-pressed to see them let him go. Also saw where the Spurs might have significant interest in making an offer to pair Batum with countryman Tony Parker. That would be a huge coup for the Spurs. I really like Batum's game, so yeah if he could be had it would be great.

jv74 (Denver)

I have not seen any mention of RC's use of timeouts, but they had no timeouts at the end of game one when they could of used one and left one on the table in game 2 when they should have used one. Does he need to let his team play through some of the OKC spurts to better manager late game scenarios, especially as close as this series is?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:22 PM)

Well, playing through spurts is something that Rick has not allowed to happen. He is quick on the timeout trigger at the first sign of an OKC run in hopes that he can stem any momentum from building. Of course it didn't help OKC go up 46-30 in Game 2. What helped there was OKC deciding to launch a bunch of 3s that helped get Dallas back in the game.

jv74 (Denver)

Will the Mavs look at trying Roddy on the floor to penetrate the paint to try and get Dirk and JET better looks?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:24 PM)

Roddy get Dirk and Jet better looks? If only it worked that way. It looks like Roddy will be used in desperate situations such as Game 2 down 46-30. Roddy had little to do with that run, just coincidence that it happened when he came in.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:25 PM)

Well, looks that will do it for questions today. As always thanks for joining me. Make espndallas.com your home page for all the latest Mavs news.Follow me on Twitter at @espn_caplan.Thanks again everyone.