Ok, I’m worried.
There are a couple of things as a die-hard Dallas Mavericks fan in this year of 2014 that really get me scared of my own optimism and even more scared that the Mavs aren’t as good as I truly believe them to be.
The biggest one though, and one that I’m sure other #MFFL’s share, is whenever Dirk takes a tumble. Let’s face it; our prized German hall of fame legend is 35 (and a half), trudging through season number 16 (and a half), had knee surgery in 2012 and is being forced to carry more of a load than preferred by everyone in the organization that aimed for putting him alongside a superstar.
At 7 feet tall it’s a long way to fall and fortunately it doesn’t happen often and Dirk has adjusted his game to limit such possible occurrences but unfortunately it still happens and on top of a very awkward descent, it’s incredibly nerve-racking because despite the additions this off-season, the Mavericks are relying too much on Nowitzki – way too much.
But this isn’t an article about different Dirk falls. The only consistent fall I want to see from him is the deadly fall away one footer that still makes even our home announcers speechless.
Last year in lost season 2 of 2, Dirk didn’t make his debut until December 23rd. He struggled frustratingly until about February in what were very painful games for Dirk’s body and fans’ eyes.
Trying to ease his way back with a crap-carousel at point guard and O.J. Mayo serving as the team’s best non-Dirk option is similar to putting an all-pro Quarterback behind a turrible offensive line and being surprised when Tony Romo can’t fulfill his potential. I mean, unnamed quarterback that’s conveniently in the same city and situation.
The best moments in the illustrious career of “dat dood” Dirk have come when he had someone with an IQ over the current temperature in Minnesota to pass him the damn ball. A simple concept that one of the best franchises in sports strayed away from to pursue other goals that…didn’t pan out.
This year the Mavericks finally reacquired a true point guard to take pressure off an aging superstar who can now be open more often than get open. Again, simple concept.
The trouble is Jose Calderon can’t play 48 minutes or defense and the Mavericks biggest hole this year, BY FAR, has been backup point guard.
By default rookies Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel have been playing the minutes Calderon rests. It hurts to say, but it makes you miss Mike James a little. But not Derek Fisher. Even Gal Mekel’s slow-motion maneuvers into the paint don’t make you miss that guy.
Larkin and Mekel were expected to be stopgaps in 2013 while Devin Harris rehabbed from a toe injury with an estimated return to the lineups – and the Dallas Mavericks – around Christmas.
It’s January 9th, I had a free Starbucks coupon today so I’m certain of it, and Devin Harris remains sidelines and without a return date. Latest reports dated January 3rd indicate that Harris “hopes to take part” in his first practice of the season by January 14th.
The Mavericks are way, way too vulnerable at backup point guard and I fully trust the training staff headed by Casey Smith, but the sooner the better because Dallas is barely hanging onto a playoff spot as of today. This team has the potential to go up with his return, but unfortunately it feels like as fans we’re starting to put a lot on the impending return of the former Mav.
But with this team recently losing four in a row at home and getting absolutely dismantled on national television in San Antonio, the amount of pressure on the backup point doesn’t seem very crazy.