Welcome to the Thanskgiving edition of the Mavericks’ Mailbag.
We will dispense with the weekly funnies, because I have a true story to relate.
I was all prepared to fix the traditional Texas turkey-day feast – turkey tacos and cornbread quesadillas.
Then I got a call from the daughter. She and her better-than-average husband and my way-cooler-than-average grandson just moved into their new house and they decided to Christen it with a family Thanksgiving celebration.
So with a ton of holiday food suddenly getting stuffed into the freezer in the casa northeast of Dallas, I packed up the truck with wife and kids and it was off to Oklahoma. (Yes, I know. I tried to bring the oldest daughter up right. But she ended up north of the Red River anyway. Kids.)
So anyway, this is our Thanksgiving version of the Mailbag, delivered to you from Thunder territory and before football begins so that you can digest it and get all the foul taste out of your mouth well before you sit down to whatever your glorious feast includes.
From D-WIL: And the Mavericks keep thinking they are a good 3-point shooting team despite years of evidence otherwise. And yet, they continue to jack them up. Poor coaching? Players’ fault? Doing the same poor thing over and over and expecting different/winning results is insane. More 3-point attempts isn’t the solution.
SEFKO: Come on, Deron. As a boxer, you know you have go-to moves that you rely on to work – sooner or later. Oh wait, I thought this was Deron Williams. Never mind. What I would say to whoever the other D-Wil is would be that you can blame the state of the NBA for the Mavericks and, oh, roughly 29 other teams shooting more 3-pointers than they should.
It’s a 3-point or at-the-rim league. That’s about it. The midrange game doesn’t work for many coaches and even fewer players. That’s why those of us here at the Mailbag are big DeMar DeRozan fans. He shoots mostly inside the arc and still, nobody can stop him. Anyway, the Mavericks have some good 3-point shooters and some that should avoid them like the plague. Same as every other team in the league. I’m afraid it’s something we’re going to have to put up with for now.
From LYLE S.: Is anyone talking about how bad Reggie Bullock has been?
SEFKO: OK, so Bullock is shooting 28.4 percent from 3-point range. He’s a career 38.7 percent shooter. And that’s over eight seasons. You really think he’s going to fall off by 10 percentage points for a season? Come on. The water level will normalize at some point. He’s been too good a shooter for too long to forget how to do it overnight. If I was a betting man, I’d take your wager that he ends up winning you over before the All-Star break, even though that wasn’t what you were asking. Just sayin’.
From D-MONEY: Dwight Powell should not be starting when Luka is out. Kidd needs to make an adjustment, but I doubt he will. He needs to start Maxi in place of Powell.
SEFKO: Oh ye of little faith. Kidd made the change after I received your email and before we published it. So there you go. He just didn’t use Maxi Kleber. He inserted Willie Cauley-Stein on Tuesday for Dwight Powell. Said that Powell had done nothing wrong. Just needed a change after three losses. And I agree. But not sure it really matters if Luka is out or not. The Mavericks are going to have a hard time winning games without Luka no matter who else is on the floor.
From VINNY H.: I still believe that Ben Simmons’ agent will land him on the Mavericks. Why not use some of our centers and others (Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, Sterling Brown) to get Simmons and Robert Covington Jr.?
SEFKO: Ugh. I grow tired of impossible trade scenarios. Just because numbers add up on some trade machine, do you think that means it makes sense? Listen, first of all, any trade of major pieces that the Mavericks could make is going to include Jalen Brunson. Pure and simple. Teams love him. And so do the Mavericks. He’s the chip that everybody wants.
So unless you’re including him and Hardaway as the foundation pieces, you aren’t going to get very far in any trade talk with any team. So check back with me in January and we’ll have a better feel for the real position that the Mavericks are dealing from. Maybe they’re 20-14 by then if they keep winning on their current pace. That won’t be good enough for some fans. But it would be pretty solid with still more than half the season left.
From SAM W.: I really hope Jalen’s injury isn’t the dreated metatarsal fracture. J.B. was playing so well.
SEFKO: We haven’t heard anything yet, so no chance of speculation in this spot. What I can say is that it didn’t look good when he could barely put any weight on it when it happened in the second quarter Tuesday.
The good news is that he was on the bench in the second half to provide moral support to his teammates. That’s a great sign. Brunson had a tough injury with the torn labrum a couple seasons back. But he’s a tough dude. Unless it’s something significant, my guess is he won’t be out long.
From TOM T.: When (if?) the Mavericks get completely healthy, how do you see the rotation breaking down?
SEFKO: That’s a well-worded question. Is an NBA team ever really completely healthy? But let’s assume we’re in a fantasy world and the masterful athletic training staff (Dionne Calhoun, Casey Smith, Heather Mau, etc.) get the Mavericks to a point where they have every arrow in their quiver. We know the starters are going to be Luka, KP, Hardaway, DFS and, probably, eventually, Maxi Kleber. That last name is me reading the tea leaves going forward.
The top reserves? Brunson, Powell, Cauley-Stein, Bullock, Ntilikina and Sterling Brown.
That gives Jason Kidd 11 solid players from which to choose on any given night.
Having said all of that, it would not surprise me one bit if there was an as-yet-unknown addition to that group. Stay tuned.
And Happy Thanksgiving.