Your team is an old rap album: The 2013 Dallas Mavericks are "People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm" By A Tribe Called Quest

 People’s instinctive. That’s my shit. I might be in the minority here, but it’s still my favorite Tribe record, by a mile. I know the beatheads consider “Low End Theory” to be their holy bible and shit, but the fist album is just a completely unique beast in the hip hop cannon. That thing has completely original production, a whole mess of story raps and an outrageously flawless flow to it. That said, it’s essentially a Q-Tip solo record. The beats, the stories, almost of all the rhymes. All Tip. Back then, Phife hadn’t yet come of age (and was still spending more times in the streets than the studio) and thus is only on four of the 15 songs.

The first album was Tip’s baby, and it was quite the debut.

Two years ago, the Mavs won their first NBA title on the back of Dirk Nowtizki, but he hardly did it alone. Without the defense and leadership of Tyson Chandler, the crunch-time shot making of Jason Terry and the reckless waterbug exploits of J.J. Barea among others, Dallas likely would have fallen short, as they had in years past. Dirk was the captain of the ship, but he didn’t have to do it all himself.

He does now. All those guys are long gone, as is Jason Kidd. For now, Dirk is basically gonna have to go it alone. Yeah, the Mavs brought in crusty vets in Chris Kaman and Elton Brand and picked up some potential assets in Darren Colllison and OJ Mayo, but they whiffed on their main free agent targets, from Deron Williams to Steve Nash and even Jeremy Lin.

This team still figures to hover around 50 wins, but this isn’t a league where one guy can win it alone so for this year at least, consider the Mavs also-rans in the murderous western conference.

“LUCK OF LUCIEN” (If everything goes right)

Yeah, the Mavs struck out on the free-agency lottery, and now they’ll be looking to plug in veterans of varying pedigrees and continue winning at the clip they’ve grown accustomed to. OJ Mayo has plenty of talent and a work ethic to match, but attitude and chemistry issues dogged his tenure in Memphis. If he can step into Jason Terry’s bench assassin role, he’ll be a nice fit. Ditto for Darren Collison, whose sttatus as the pacers point guard of the future was essentially stolen from him by george Hill, allowing the Mavs to pick him up for a song. Elton Brand and Chris Kaman ca either be solid contributors on the frontline or washed up and injury-prone, respectively.

So yeah, lotta questions here. Still, with a little luck this team might be pretty damn good.

Might, anyway.

 

“GO AHEAD IN THE RAIN (If everything goes wrong)

Mayo is selfish, Collison turns out to be a better back-up than starter and Brand and Kaman bring little to the table. If that happens, this team may struggle to even make the playoffs, something that hasnt happened since Dirk was a pup. the rest of the roster is loaded with role players and what-ifs, so the fate of this year probably rests in the hands of the new guys.

As for coach rick Carlisle, this might be a fork-in-the-road year. If things go bad, he might just end up being the fall guy only two years removed from a title.

REALITY

This is going to be a year in transition for Dallas. They might just scrape together a 50 win campaign, but they’ll get chewed up by the big dogs, from LA to Oklahoma and even the Clippers and San Antonio.

At 34, the golden years are quickly approaching for Dirk. If they don’t make a significant move to improve the support cast, it might just be all downhill from here for the most accomplished European player the league has ever seen.

-JH

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