By losing the first three games of their season, the Dallas Mavericks had the worst start to a season for a defending champ in more than four decades. I’m sure that’s an accolade that owner Mark Cuban will cherish. But it didn’t stop him from spouting his mouth before Dirk Novitzki and company finally earned their first win of the season last night.
The loud-mouthed owner said, “I think we’re a better team than last year.”
Um, paging Mr. Cuban, you’re not. In fact, you’re a lot worse. Maybe you didn’t realize it, but Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, J.J. Barea and Deshawn Stevenson were very important parts of your team last year.
Chandler was a borderline all-star last year. He played nearly 30 minutes a game and averaged 10.1 points to go along with 9.4 rebounds. On top of that, he is a very good defender and was key in clogging up the paint for the Mavs last year. Butler missed the second half of year and the postseason with a knee injury, but during his time on the court, he averaged 15 points in 30 key minutes. Yes, the Mavs won the title without him but he’s now part of a dynamic Los Angeles Clippers team that will compete with Dallas all year. Him not being on the Mavs doesn’t make the Mavs worse to be fair to Cuban and his quote, but it is going to make it harder for them to repeat as champions.
Barea is the Mavericks biggest loss in my book. While he wasn’t a starter, the little Puerto Rican was a workhouse on the court who found seems all over the place. Whenever he was in danger, he just always found a way to wiggle out of it. With the acquisition of Lamar Odom (who seems to have spent all offseason/lockout period eating chips on his couch), the Mavs have a solid sixth man to come off the bench and battle down low. He won’t be as effective as Chandler defensively, but he is more versatile on the offensive end. Continue reading “Mark Cuban Can’t Keep His Mouth Shut”