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Grading the Mavericks as They Head Into the Playoffs

Been a bit of a frustrating season, no? And I don’t just mean my on-again/off-again ability to illegally stream games on my computer through some wonky European-based source. But as Mark Cuban notes here, due to the lockout-shortened nature of the season, everything is a little more up in the air than it normally is. In other words: don’t freak too much that the Mavs are a lowly No. 7 seed, as they get set to face the OKC Thunder tomorrow. I mean, freak a little, but nothing too crazy. If you’re one of those who just jumps in on the NBA when it’s time for the playoffs, I’ll get you up to speed on where things stand for each Maverick.

Dirk Nowitzki: Earlier in the season, it looked like Nowitzki’s 2012 season might be better known for his work as a broadcaster.  He had to take about a week off to get his body and game back into shape. Charles Barkley infamously said that “his days of being the man are over,” and also said “bro” a lot. Since then, he’s looked very much like the Dirk Nowitzki everyone has come to know and love, making clutch shots and then celebrating them both awkwardly and awesomely. A recent vintage performance: scoring 21 in the fourth quarter and 31 in the second half to lead a comeback win over the Rockets. So: he good. Grade: This speech from Iron Man

Jason Terry: JET has seemed to regain his fourth-quarter hero stature over the last chunk of the regular season. But the dude’s been a thorn in the paw off the court all year long, ticked that he didn’t get a “thanks for the championship” extension before the season. (Both of those sentences expanded upon here.) But, honestly, that — being mouthy, coming through in the end — is not that much different than normal, so I guess don’t sweat it? Also, thanks to losing a bet, he was headband-and-high-sock-less for a game this year. Grade: Chunk from The Goonies

Delonte West: Gave a player a wet willy. (Well, a dry version, but I don’t know the name for that.) Was temporarily homeless. Solid on both sides of the ball. Suffered gruesome compound fracture. Put a reporter on blast on Twitter. Fairly typical Delonte West season. Love the dude. Grade: Honey badger

Jason Kidd: Old, in basketball terms. Missed a fair amount of games with various bangs and pulls and so on. But still has it, usually, more or less. Look, they play better with him, but I don’t know how much longer you count on that. Theoretically through however many games are left, but I wouldn’t put a ton of cash on that, and that’s not just because I don’t have a ton of cash. Still: always something about him. Grade: Bob Cousy shooting free throws in Blue Chips (about 7:15 in)

Vince Carter: He’s been a better version of Peja Stojakovic from last season’s team. That’s more than anyone could have reasonably expected headed into this year. He’s kept quiet, done whatever’s been asked of him, helped win a few games, didn’t lose any. Grade: any Sunday afternoon movie on basic cable

Shawn Marion: Still the best defender on the team, and he has, at times, had a bit of a resurgence on the offensive end also. But, like Kidd, he’s getting up there in basketball years, and has missed some games because of it. Actually: just see most of what I wrote about Kidd. Only Maverick player Tim Rogers could have been friends with, but Tim unsurprisingly blew it. Grade: Laurence Fishburne in the helicopter rescue scene from The Matrix

Brandan Wright: The former lottery pick has sort of bounced around and the Mavericks were able to get him on a minimum-salary deal. Played more since Lamar Odom got bounced and he always seems to do something fantastic when he’s in there (offense only). Grade: saxophone solos on songs

Rodrigue Beaubois: Grade: this

2 comments on “Grading the Mavericks as They Head Into the Playoffs

  1. I would have enjoyed seeing your grade for LamLam, even though he was never truly a Maverick and only benefited the team when they rallied against his pitiful play.

  2. Delonte gets high marks for his postgame vomit twitpic. I was also doing the same thing at the same time but failed to capture the evidence. Damn you Boomstick chili dog.