Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Dallas Mavericks reporter Tim MacMahon stops by to chat about the team.
MacMahon joined ESPN in September 2009 and covers the Cowboys and Mavericks. He has covered the local sports scene from high schools to colleges to pros during his six-year tenure at The Dallas Morning News. MacMahon is a graduate of UNT.
Send your questions now and join MacMahon Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (3:30 PM)
Another hectic day at the AAC with an MRI revealing that Shawn Marion has a sprained MCL in his left knee. He'll be out at least a week, meaning the Mavs don't have a healthy player on the roster who played a minute during their championship run.On to the questions ...
Deven (Dallas, TX)
What's the latest on Dirk?
Tim MacMahon (3:31 PM)
Don't have any real update. He's rehabbing and progressing. Not sure when we'll see him on the practice floor, but I'd bet on sooner than later.
Howard and CP3 probably won't leave LA. Harden signed long-term deal with Rockets,and I heard Bynum likes Philly. There will be no star available in free agent. So why not to sign our young guys (Collison, Mayo, Wright and Roddy) to long term, build aroung them and we have good trade chips.
Tim MacMahon (3:33 PM)
If you believe Mark Cuban, that is now Plan A. Of course, if Chris Paul hit the open market, Plan A would be revised real quick. But it does appear unlikely that there will be a legit star in this summer's free agency crop. The Mavs would love Collison and Mayo to convince them they're worth investing in as the backcourt of the future. So far, so good.
Murphy over Curry??? wrong pick
Tim MacMahon (3:34 PM)
There weren't going to be any minutes for Curry with Chris Kaman coming back. The Mavs wanted a power forward who could rebound and shoot from the perimeter while Dirk is out. Murphy has a good track record in both of those departments, although his jumper has yet to arrive in Dallas.
Austin (Fort Worth)
How is Dirk doing? If he misses 10 games, is a 6-4 encouraging?
Tim MacMahon (3:37 PM)
Again, no real update on Dirk, other than he's making progress. A 6-4 start without Dirk wouldn't be bad at all, but as soft as the schedule is and as well as the Mavs have played so far, I expect better.
jason (new london tx)
with shawn out will jae be put in the starting lineup, if wright remains playing at his current level will he remain at the starting position?
Tim MacMahon (3:38 PM)
At some point, Chris Kaman is going to become the Mavs' starting center. I just don't know when. For now, Carlisle wants to bring Kaman off the bench because that makes it easier to manage the big man's minutes. Wright has played well enough to stay in the rotation, but I think he's a short-term starter.
John (Forth Worth)
LAL has no bench, OKC lost their second best player, SAS are old, and Griffin hasn't taken his game yet to the next level. Are the Mavs the best team in the west with Healthy Dirk?
Tim MacMahon (3:39 PM)
OK, let's calm down a bit. I don't think the Mavs are a legit title contender, but we'll see what happens. My advice for fans is to just enjoy a fresh, fun team for a few months and then start trying to figure out where the Mavs fit in the West. My preseason prediction was 42-40 and the eighth seed. I might have underestimated this team.
todd (new london tx)
is oj mayo going to get a max offer from the mavs or will mark and donnie hold out for a big name? does it appear that mark and donnie would rather have a big name than a great player?
Tim MacMahon (3:42 PM)
Seriously, let's all calm down here. O.J. Mayo came to Dallas on a one-year, $4 million deal with a player option for next season. It's going to take a heck of a lot more than a pair of 30-point games to make the jump to max level. I think Mayo and Collison combined might end up making about one max contract.
I think it's safe to say the Mavs won't keep shooting 60% every game so can they defend and rebound well enough to still win games at a good clip?
Tim MacMahon (3:43 PM)
Rebounding remains the Mavs' biggest concern. They got beat on the boards by double digits again last season. And losing Shawn Marion for at least a few games sure doesn't help matters.
Terry Heaton (Frisco, TX)
Is Dirk going to have to play his way back into the starting line-up?
Tim MacMahon (3:44 PM)
No, the best player in franchise history by far doesn't have to earn a starting job. If Dirk comes off the bench when he returns, it'd be because they want to limit his minutes at first. Frankly, I'd be surprised if that happens.
Do you think the most important development for the team this season is the hope that Mayo can turn into a big time player? Like you said, there was a reason he was the 3rd pick in the draft, but he obviously hasn't lived up to it.
Tim MacMahon (3:45 PM)
I'd put Collison in that conversation, too. The Mavs would love to have them prove they can be long-term winning pieces here.
So a week ago, the Mavs were trying to dump DoJo on any team that would take him and now he's providing key minutes as the backup PG? Can Roddy and/pr DoJo be a reliable backup PG to Collison because they will certainly need one over the course of the season?
Tim MacMahon (3:47 PM)
Gotta give DoJo credit for handling his situation like a pro. Beaubois and Jones still have a lot to prove. The Mavs would rather not scrounge the veteran scrap heap for a backup PG, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. They'd have to create a roster spot, but Murphy might be expendable when Dirk returns.
I thought at the time the trade was made that it was crazy the Mavs could get Collison for Mahinmi so what the heck was Indiana thinking? Looks like Cuban & Donnie fleeced them.
Tim MacMahon (3:48 PM)
That definitely looks like a great deal for the Mavs, especially considering that Mahinmi wasn't in their plans. Indiana wanted to move on from Collison in part because they planned for George Hill to start at PG and didn't think Collison would accept being a backup. That's not a problem here obviously, and Carlisle's flow system has been a great fit for Collison's talent.
What's the early word on Cunningham? He seems like he's really quick and athletic but he's another slight combo guard. Are they high on his potential?
Tim MacMahon (3:49 PM)
They love his athleticism, but Cunningham is a project. They hope he can develop as a PG, but it's telling that those minutes went to DoJo when Roddy B. went down.
How good of a coach is Rick Carlisle? I really like everything about this guy and his ability to get the most out of his players. I think after Pop, he's as good as any coach in the league.
Tim MacMahon (3:52 PM)
Carlisle is an elite coach. In my opinion, Pop, Doc Rivers and Thibs (don't feel like looking up how to spell the name of Chicago's coach) are the only active coaches in his class. The Mavs' championship run is one of the best coaching jobs in NBA history. Think about the last three teams the lone-star Mavs beat.
Are we ready to declare Kaman the greatest offensive center in Mavericks history after 2 games? I know it's a low bar to say the least but I don't remember any Mavs centers having low post moves and a face up jumper like Kaman has. Now, he just needs to stay healthy.
Tim MacMahon (3:53 PM)
They declared Kaman the best offensive center in Mavs history the day he signed his contract. It's faint praise, sure, but Kaman is a nice weapon when he's healthy. I've been impressed by his ability to take big men off the dribble. That's a nice tool to have when they have to respect your midrange jumper.
Jarad (Fort Worth)
A week in has revealed a lot. Do you see the mavs as a better offensive team than last year?
Tim MacMahon (3:55 PM)
It's not even close so far, but you can't expect these guys to shoot 60-plus percent very often. Nevertheless, I love the way Darren Collison pushes the pace. It will be interesting to see how it all works when Dirk returns, but let it be noted that Nowitzki loves to shoot transition 3s. He should get plenty of good looks as the trailer with Collison on the court.
Once Dirk comes back how do you see the chemistry of this Mavs team working? Can guys like Mayo and Collison keep up their current production with Dirk on the court?
Tim MacMahon (3:57 PM)
There will be an adjustment period, but Dirk isn't the kind of superstar who demands that he has to be The Man right after coming back from injury. If anything, I think the problem might be that he's too passive if Mayo and Collison keep playing as well as they have. Dirk will eventually be the epicenter of the offense again, but there will be a transition period. And they won't want that to happen at the expense of Mayo and Collison continued to playing with controlled aggression. They wanted to limit Dirk's load this season, which is why they came up with the plan to sign a superstar in the first place.
Jarad (Fort Worth)
Without Marion, Crowder is likely to get more minutes as well as VC. Who else do you see getting a boost in minutes?
Tim MacMahon (3:58 PM)
Carlisle said he doesn't want to increase Carter's minutes. They want to be careful with him, because they want to keep him fresh all year. Crowder and Dahntay Jones are the guys whose minutes will go up the most.
Where would you rank the Mavs front office in comparison to the front offices of the Rangers, Stars, and Cowboys?
Tim MacMahon (3:59 PM)
I don't follow hockey, so I'll omit the Stars from the conversation. I think we could have a long debate about whether the Rangers or Mavs have the best front office in the Metroplex. I'll go with the Mavs because they've had a championship parade and sustained success for a dozen years. The Cowboys are a distant last.
Josh (Ft. Worth)
Do you think Brandan Wright is setting himself up for a decent payday with his performance this year? It seems like the Mavs found a real nice young player off the scrap heap last year.
Tim MacMahon (4:01 PM)
Brandan Wright has been a heck of a bargain as a minimum-salary young guy. He's also the first to tell you that he's benefited greatly by Carlisle's coaching. If I had to guess, I'd say that Wright will get a major raise from another team next season, much like Ian Mahinmi.
Who's going to suffer the most in terms of shots when dirk returns?
Tim MacMahon (4:04 PM)
That probably depends on the night. Even with Mayo's scoring explosions the last two games, it's not like he's been launching a ton of shots. He has taken 35 shots in the last two games. He probably won't get many 17- or 18-shot nights, but those all came in the flow of the offense. Brand's minutes will be cut. So will Wright's. It's worth noting that there will be more shots to go around than previous seasons if Collison can keep establishing the fast tempo he has so far.
Tim MacMahon (4:04 PM)
Gonna wrap it up now, folks. This team has been a ton of fun so far. Be sure to hit the ESPNDallas.com Mavs blog often.