Knicks center Tyson Chandler is 1-0 with his new club after Sunday’s season-opening win against Boston. But Chandler’s former team, the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, has lost its first two games, both at home by wide margins. Dallas was down by over 30 points in each game.
Tyson Chandler is not surprised Dallas has gotten off to a slow start. “Yeah, honestly, I kind of saw it coming because when you put a team in a situation where you say, ‘You’re the defending champions but we’re not necessarily trying to repeat.’ When I say that, I’m not saying they don’t have the pieces there — I obviously think very highly of those guys,” Chandler said. “I say that because they offered everybody one-year deals, so they knew nobody was going to necessarily accept that. You’re basically telling all the players in the locker room, ‘We’re playing for free agency next year,’ after the championship.
“You’ve got veteran guys in the locker room. In this time in their career, it’s tough to face that. They’re going through a little lull right now, but I’m hoping for those guys that it turns around because there’s truly good guys in that locker room.”
Thanks for the kind words Tyson but it’s going to get really ugly in Dallas this season. The Mavs let go the only three players on the Championship team capable of playing defense Chandler, JJ Barea and DeShawn Stevenson.
Add less than two weeks training camp and two pre-season games for the new old and free agent signs and the addition of NBA cancer Vince Carter and you get exactly what you saw in the first two games, an embarrassing display of professional basketball. But get used to it Dallas, you’ve got 64 more games of the same.
In fairness, Mark Cuban provided a decade of exciting, high quality, NBA basketball in Dallas with annual playoff appearances. The Mavs went from worst to first under Cuban’s ownership. Nobody expected the Mavs to get through the first round (vs Portland) last season, and honestly, it was a miracle that they won. We shouldn’t expect them to repeat, even if the entire team returned. The combination of unselfish team play throughout the playoffs and the arrogance of the over confident Heat in the finals, resulted in the Mavs shocking the NBA and winning for the good guys. Karma!
I didn’t expect much last season and the Mavs gave me a Championship. It can’t get any better than that. And I’m willing to give them a pass this lockout shortened season. I expect the Mavs to miss the playoffs. But maybe they’ll surprise me two years in a row.
Yesterday on local radio, Mark Cuban said this season’s goal was to make the playoffs. With half the teams in the NBA making the playoffs, you can’t consider that too a lofty goal for the reigning Champions of the league. Brace yourself for some real ugly basketball.
Good teams are virtually never blown out at home, and, conversely, bad teams virtually never win blowouts on the road. So we have fairly strong information, already, that the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets are teams with which to be reckoned.
As for the Dallas Mavericks, we can make an even stronger statement: Championship-caliber teams virtually never lose at home like this even once. They sure as heck never do it twice in a row.
Oh well. The Rangers won back to back AL pennants and I expect them to go deep into the playoffs in 2012. CJ Wilson ain’t Tyson Chandler. The Rangers could be better in 2012 than they were in 2010 or 2011. The Mavs won 2011 and they’re already done for 2012.
Enjoy the NFL playoffs (even though the Cowboys won’t be participating) and college basketball. Pitchers and catchers report February 19. March Madness follows.