Cast-offs make Mavs take off

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — It takes a village, they say.

Well, sometimes what it takes is experience and a junkyard collection of useful parts.

Every championship team needs one or more superstars to be the foundation and Dirk Nowitzki has proven to be that throughout his 13-year NBA career.

But the reason that Dirk has been able to battle his way to a 2-2 tie in The Finals and get to the threshold of his first title is because he finally has an assembled supporting cast that has come together to maybe be greater than the sum of the individual parts.

It takes talent to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but quite often it also takes years and plenty of battle scars.

In an excellent Q and A with Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Mavs GM and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson says it’s drive – not age – that matters and he’s quite happy with his team of so-called cast-offs:

Were you concerned when you were putting this team together that you have so many 30-somethings?

“I’ll tell you what, what people call 30-somethings or old, we call experienced. Just give me guys that have heart. I don’t care how tall they are, they could be 4-foot-1 like JJ, they could be 40-year-old like our point guard…give me a guy with heart, and you’ll win most games.”

What about (DeShawn) Stevenson’s performance so far?

“I joke about this a lot, but you look at our team and we’re like the movie, Castoffs. Our superstar is a “superstar…but.” Then you go right down the list. JJ (Barea) is too small, Jason Kidd is too old. Jason Terry in the Stevie Nash booby prize. Tyson Chandler and (Peja) Stojakovic are damaged goods, y’know. All of our guys are like this. D-Steve was a throw-in on the Caron Butler deal. They saw a long-term contract that they wanted to get that off of their books, and we saw a guy that was 6-5 and tough as nails and just needed to get dusted off a little bit. And I really think that’s the story. We don’t have a superman who is going to have from the free throw line and slam over people. We’ve got to do it the good old fashioned way with team defense. As they say, the sum of the parts, that’s what we’re all about.”

There was a time when the Mavs had their Big Three lineup of Nowitzki, Nash and Michael Finley and couldn’t ever make the long climb up. Now here they are with a glimpse of the mountaintop.

Sometimes what it takes is the hunger of empty bellies.


  1. Jill says:

    I’m a huge Mavs fan and have been watching this entire season pretty intently. I thought that this group of guys really had a good shot. All of the players the Mavs acquired in the past year were good/great players with other teams. They seemed to gel really early in the season, too. I wouldn’t call one of them castoffs, though. In fact, many of them have boosted their value due to their play with the Mavs this year. I sure hope that we’re able to keep all of those who are free agents after the season is over!!! GO MAVS!!! ONE MORE GAME!!!

  2. BBall Fan says:

    1. James, Wade, and Bosh are all rythym players. The tough defenses, the double teaming and the fact that there’s only 1 ball to 3 athletic superstars on a single team, with no real offensive sets is what’s causing James’ poor performance on offense. He can’t get into rythym and let’s face it, Bosh is overrated. It’s not a coincidence that James’ points went up when Wade went out. James had more touches on the ball with no one to defer to. The HEAT does not have a real system on offense, it basically consists of James, Wade and Bosh trying to create thier own shots, without any prior set up or a specific system intended to create shots for them or at the very least have a much more balanced distribution of the ball.
    2. Now that Dallas perimeter shots are going in, it’s only going to spread the floor even more, make defenders commit more to the perimeter shooters which will result in more, higher percentage points in the paint.

    Law of averages tell me Mavs in 6. Plus I think Carlisle found the crack in the Heats defense by speeding up our offensive tempo and slowing down thier offensive tempo by defending at the back court to further get them out of rythym. A slower tempo basically means more half court offensive sets for the Heat, of which they don’t really have.

  3. Henry says:

    D-Steve bringin back the beef to Lebreezy. DAL in 6. Blow da whistle!

  4. allaround baller says:

    Even cardinal contibutes

  5. heat136 says:

    yeah maybe next year…

  6. DIRK'S REVENGE!!! says:

    I got a feeling that tonight the MAVS shots are gonna REALLY START DROPPING!!!

    You can see the MAVS REALLY WANT TO WIN more than SOME OTHER PLAYER on the court.


  7. Mavs the Champions! says:

    Mavs has the perfect shot for this championship, hope that his supporting casts will play consistent in the rest of the series, if they don,t and lebron will explode, i am going to give the series to HEAT , there are alot of things we must consider in this series before we could come up who is going to win,