Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
It’s awards time! Sadly, not a single Dallas Mavericks’ player earned any of the end of season honors, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hand out our very own.
We all know defense wasn’t this teams strong suit. Still, we’ll pick who was the Mavs’ best defensive player this season. For those expecting Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, and Jose Calderon to win this award, you’ll be disappointed; as the likely candidates are Jae Crowder, Shawn Marion, Devin Harris, and Samuel Dalembert.
Ace Feltman (@MFFeLtman): Shawn Marion One of the best parts of the latest Dallas Mavericks season was beating the Oklahoma City Thunder after losing 7 straight regular season matchups and also 4 more from the 2012 Playoffs. Not only beating them, beating them twice and winning the season series. This due in very, very, very large part to the defending of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (Award Winner cause it was still LeBron) Kevin Durant. The method to containing the 9 foot small forward is to make him work on defense away from the ball or on the ball and chase him up close on offense without fouling. Only Tony Allen and “Trix” have seemed to master this method. If only Kawhi Leonard could…
Brian Gosset (@Gosset41): Devin Harris This was a tough one for me. Marion is our best perimeter defender, and Ellis was improving more and more into the season (includes taking charges), and he led the team with 1.7 steals a game. I just felt Harris had a bigger impact all around, and he too will get better. But will the charges and steals and quickness, he beats out Ellis by a slim margin.
Bailey Rogers (@BRogers789): Rick Carlisle. I know he’s not a player, but none of the players were actually (individually) any good at defense this year. So it would have been disingenuous to pick any of them. It really felt like Carlisle was the only one who cared at all about defense for stretches this year, and I guarantee he’s the only reason the Mavs were somehow able to slow down the Spurs’ buzzsaw of death for most of a series in the first round. Carlisle isn’t a player, and yet he was still the Mavs’ defensive player of the year. That’s how good he was and how bad every single Mav was, defensively, this year.
Jose De Leon (@JoseOfLion06): I can’t justify giving a defensive award to a player on the Mavs. Giving it to Shawn Marion would seem too lifetime-ish. Don’t get me wrong, he was arguably the best defender on the team but does that really mean anything when you look around? Devin Harris had moments, Monta Ellis was right on par with his steals per game career average but per usual, that’s a result of gambling in the passing lanes. Care to take a guess who led the team in defensive win shares, an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his defense? Dirk. Nowitzki. Yup, the guy that “doesn’t” play defense.
Rami Michail (@RamiMichail): Pass