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The Other Side: Dallas Mavericks

We're just a bunch of Mavericks doing maverick-y things! (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

This has been some summer for the Dallas Mavericks. Since the Mavericks were eliminated by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the playoffs, Avery Johnson was fired and replaced with Rick Carlisle; Josh Howard sparked controversy and questions about his patriotism; Dirk Nowitzki hinted that he might be done playing hoops in another three years; and John McCain and Sarah Palin decided to hold their nickname for hostage on the campaign trail. Mark Cuban - how could you leave him out? - also dropped a bombshell that five players asked to be traded if Johnson returned as coach.

As the Mavericks get ready to make their preseason debut against the Washington Wizards, here are three things that the Dallas Morning News and the Forth Worth Star Telegram suggest you keep an eye on:

1. Rick Carlisle's New Offense

I promise I won't be Avery-like. (Getty Images)

Carlisle was heavily criticized in Indiana for running a boring, structured offense, but he has promised to run with the Mavericks, who grew tired of Avery Johnson's inability to loosen the reins - even after the Jason Kidd trade. Carlisle seemed like more of the same when he was hired, but he has promised that the Mavericks will run more. From the Morning News:

"This won't be the paint-by-the-numbers offense you have grown accustomed to watching over the last few seasons. It is more Monet than methodical. It relies on creativity over calculation.
Carlisle concedes even he is intrigued to see what form the offense takes beginning tonight.
"Well, we're not running the triangle," Carlisle said. "Maybe I'd call it a rectangle. I don't know what I'd call it. "But we don't have many sets in. We're going to be playing mostly out of movement."

From the Star-Telegram:

Carlisle seems to have found a steadying tone with players who are coming off three seasons of rapid success quickly followed by bitter disappointments under Avery Johnson, a hard-driving coach known as the "Little General" whom Nowitzki recently described as running a "little dictatorship." "I'd say he's [Carlisle] a little more relaxed than the coaches before," Nowitzki said. "Even if there's some mistakes out there, he's trying to talk through it and really trying to teach. There's not really a lot of yelling going on, but we're all getting the point. We're slowly starting to get the offense. I think [Saturday] it looked a lot better than [Friday]." How the offense looks Tuesday is anyone's guess -- probably at times sloppy and at other times exhilarating. Defensively the Mavs won't look much different. Carlisle has maintained much of the foundation set by Johnson with minor tweaks to fit his philosophy. Offensively, however, fans will see an entirely different approach from Johnson's isolation-based offense. Carlisle's scheme puts bodies and the basketball in constant motion. In essence, instead of relying on players such as Nowitzki and Howard to create offense, the idea is for the offense to create shots for players.

2. Josh Howard's Re-debut In Dallas

My bad, y'all.

Howard has upset many fans in Dallas since he called a local radio station to talk about his recreational marijuana use during the offseason - while the Mavericks were facing the Hornets in the first round - and for allegedly throwing a birthday party with his team facing elimination. He topped it off with his infamous rant about the national anthem at Allen Iverson's celebrity flag football game - "The Star-Spangled Banner's going on right now and I don't even celebrate that [expletive]. I'm black."

Howard has since apologized - "I love this country" - and the Morning News spoke to him about playing in front of Mavericks fans for the first time since:

Howard will be in the starting lineup Tuesday night, and he is anticipating some tough commentary from the fans. "Most likely," Howard said Monday. "But I'm just concentrating on the team. I've answered all the questions, and it's up to the fans to deal with now." In other words, Howard has moved on. It may take time for fans to do the same, but he said he hopes they will move on at some point. "How many times did he apologize?" president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "I certainly hope folks will give him the benefit of the doubt at this point."

3. The Mavericks' Toughness

What do mean, we ain't tough? (AP photo by Luis M. Alvarez)

It has been in question since the Heat and Golden State Warriors punked them in back-to-back playoff appearances in 2006 and 2007. Carlisle has challenged his team to get meaner. From the Star-Telegram:

The Mavs were a good defensive team under Avery Johnson, much more tenacious than the laissez-faire days under Don Nelson. Carlisle wants his team to play with a permanent mean streak. "We had it when we were in Detroit. I know exactly what he's talking about," said swingman Jerry Stackhouse, who played for Carlisle for two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. "We made a conscious effort not to see other teams at shootaround. "Nowadays these great players, LeBron James, other guys, come in hugging you in the morning and ready to kill you at night. We want to get that edge back to where we don't want to be hugging. We just want to come out and be ready to play and play with a toughness that a lot of guys on this team are capable of playing like." Still, instead of being Pistons Bad Boys, the Mavs often are criticized for having no killer instinct.

From the Morning News:

Carlisle has to hope that being a brute can be an acquired skill, because the Mavericks have never been accused of attending the Rick Mahorn school of hard knocks.

"How do you get guys to be nasty? Well, I think hating the opponent is a start," Carlisle said. "You've got to develop that as we go along."

By Michael Lee  |  October 7, 2008; 9:19 AM ET
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Next: Haywood To See Specialist, Jamison down


How do you get that nasty streak?

I think you need at least one player on the starting unit, that has that in their personality. That doesn't want to play "nice" before the game and hug and slap hands. He just wants to tear your throat out during the game (figuratively speaking of course).

If that one guy takes on a leadership role, then the team will take on that personality.

Posted by: Rook | October 7, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone proofread these articles before posting them? Three clangers in the first three sentences!

Posted by: Al | October 7, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I think were a tough team but I think Carlisle is right no other team in the league thinks were tough. I Would really like to see Dampier and Diop put a little fear into the shooting guards, forwards and anyone who likes to go to the basket. When your driving there a good chance you will get fouled and you know it but you still do it. If theres someone who might put you in the stands you think twice.

Posted by: Chris in Kansas from Dallas | October 7, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Antonio Daniels doesn't think twice.

Posted by: Rook | October 7, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The NBA isn't hockey or the WWE. Teams can't just have their big men stand under the basket and flatten anyone who tries to drive to the basket.

Posted by: kalorama | October 7, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone proofread these articles before posting them? Three clangers in the first three sentences!

Posted by: Al | October 7, 2008 10:42 AM

i think we all manage to get around it

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone proofread these articles before posting them? Three clangers in the first three sentences!

Posted by: Al | October 7, 2008 10:42 AM

i think we all manage to get around it

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 1:05 PM
IE: we don care he's still bringing us basketball news

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

yeah pick your battles... like why is Nick 17 minutes late for his first live chat??

Posted by: prescrunk | October 7, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: prescrunk | October 7, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Howard could have a career in politics, he's ready to "turn the page" on his mistakes. I expect at least on his first tour around the league the Boo Birds will be out.

Wow, Johnson must have been tough as hell if the Mavericks think Carlisle is a breath of fresh air. In his previous stops Rick hasn't exactly been a players coach.

What will be real interesting in Dallas is to see if Kidd has anything left in the tank. He is really starting to show his age. But he's a wiley vet who knows how to play the game. But he doesn't have many years left to get that ring.

Posted by: GM | October 7, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Ok its true that Obama isnt that qualified to be president, but an even sadder fact is that people are even less enthusiastic about McCain, McBush, McRNC, so the GOP should of had a different nominee, then maybe they would of had a chance. A new national poll taken by says that people preffer Huckabee/Palin08
5 to 1 over mccain palin. Matter of fact those polled liked Huckabee/mccain08 over McCain/Palin08 nearly 2 to 1. The problem isnt how bad Obama is, The problem is how bad of a candidate McCain is. See the Poll your self at

So no matter how much the GOP crys, and how desperate they get its their own fault for Pushing such a weak candidate. This will be the first time I ever vote Dem and I think Obama is a much stronger candidate then McCain. Funny though, You will never believe who was voted Debator of the year.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Magic Pick up Option on Redick...

The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 7, 2008; 3:07 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Orlando Magic picked up their $2.8 million option on former Duke star J.J. Redick for next season.

Redick has struggled to work his way into the backcourt rotation and last season asked for a trade. He was the first guard off the bench in the Magic's loss to Atlanta in the preseason opener Monday, scoring 12 points, and drew praise from coach Stan Van Gundy for his play in practices.

Redick, the team's first-round pick in 2006, originally signed a two-year deal with two one-year options. He's making $2.1 million this season.

Posted by: G$ | October 7, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Guess Redick is slowly working his way out of the dog-house Kalorama? 2.1 mil is pennies I guess for a guy who is an undersized 2 that can't handle, can't defend and can't get his shot off against NBA caliber talent?

Posted by: G$ | October 7, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I read the Q & A that Nick Young just did. I respect the guy's offensive potential. But the guy seems immature. I hope he comes along mentally and can begin to take after professionals like Caron, Antawn & Juan when it comes to practice, improving his game at both ends and being a factor in the locker room and community as well. I just cringe when I read that the guy is thinking more about the shopping in DC vs So Cal, the rap music in his IPOD, the new haircut he's going to rock and proclaiming himself the biggest jokester on the team. Correct me if I'm wrong but he's an employee of the Wizards. I don't think I'm that far out of touch to expect professionalism 99% of the time???

Posted by: G$ | October 7, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

it was a live chat, and I was the one who asked all those questions, so I would say you are wrong-- he is 23 and has a great attitude and oh yeah, he's pretty talented.

happy cringing, loser .

Posted by: prescrunk | October 7, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Get back to me when actually Reddick plays and produces in meaningful game situations.

Posted by: kalorama | October 7, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I think LeTravel the unbloggable Cleveland Cavs are more your style

Posted by: prescrunk | October 7, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If the Mavs players think Carlisle is going to be a breath of fresh air after Johnson, they're in for a very rude awakening.

Posted by: kalorama | October 7, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Get back to me when actually Reddick plays and produces in meaningful game situations.

Posted by: kalorama | October 7, 2008 4:41 PM

yeah get back to me too. in the meantime get lost.

Posted by: kalorama | October 7, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I just did what you claim to do best....state the facts. don't hate!

Posted by: G$ | October 7, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young is 23? He acts like he's 17. Plus how is he 23, I thought he left school early??

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The only "fact" you stated is that he got a relatively cheap extension. Which proves a grand total of nothing about his ability to be a meaningful NBA player. When he proves it on the floor, then you'll have something to say. Now? You've got nothing.

Posted by: kalorama | October 7, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse


you must have left school earlier...

just stating the facts.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 7, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Unless a guy is an actual corpse, picking up the 1-year option is all but a given for most 1st round picks. So acting like the Magic picking up his option year proves that he's worth something is just kidding yourself.

Posted by: kalorama | October 7, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

All of which explains why in a prudent organization, if DerMarr dazzles and plays his way into a roster spot Juan Dixon will be the man cut.

Posted by: GM | October 7, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"All of which explains why in a prudent organization, if DerMarr dazzles and plays his way into a roster spot Juan Dixon will be the man cut.

Posted by: GM | October 7, 2008 7:03 PM "

Let me know when Les BouleS become a "prudent organization."

In a tie, Juan will most likely stay b/c his deal is partially guaranteed.

Plus, no one is injured yet at the 3 (DerMarr), while Gilby is still out and I'm sure EJ would prefer to have a vet like Juan back up AD rather than Brown.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 7, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Kalorama, If the guy was absolute garbage as you stated he was, the Magic would not have picked up his option and would have let him walk. I'm sure they could have found some better uses for that $2.1 million. I never argued that the guy would get significant NBA minutes in Orlando or anywhere else. Two things happened that were fact...they picked up his option to keep him another year and his coach said he was pleased with his recent play. Those are 2 things that contradict your commentary about the guy.

Posted by: G$ | October 8, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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