“We look old and slow and out of shape — a bad combination,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 20 points and sat out the entire fourth quarter for a second straight game, yet another indication of how bad things are going. “I still think this team has a lot of potential. But we have to turn the corner.”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dirk Nowitzki is right. The Dallas Mavericks are old, slow, and out of shape.
This, however, is not their greatest problem. Their greatest problem is a lack of enthusiasm.
Tyson Chandler, for all his limits on the offensive end, is a terrific defensive player, who anchored and dominated the paint for Rick Carlisle’s squad. J.J. Barea was a spunky scorer, who changed the energy, flow, and feel of every game he played in.
Both were key to the Mavericks winning the NBA Title. And both are gone.
Chandler inked a four year, $58 million pact with the New York Knicks, while Barea accepted the Minnesota Timberwolves multi-year pact for $19 million.
Their replacements: Vince Carter and Lamar Odom.
Carter and Odom are talented, but don’t bring the second effort or consistency that Chandler and Barea did.
For instance, Carter once admitted in an interview that he didn’t always give his all for the Toronto Raptors. Odom seems more interested in his career as a reality TV star than playing basketball.
So getting younger, faster, and in shape is only part of the solution for Dallas. They need true replacements for Chandler and Barea.
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