By Geoff Case
Starting Point Guard still undecided.
The loss of Jason Kidd has arguably been the toughest the Mavericks’ roster transitions in recent history. They could always depend on Kidd to run the offense efficiently and limit costly turnovers. These are things that ultimately lost Darren Collision his starting role in the first quarter of the young season. In fact, the newly signed veteran Derek Fisher got the start a day after the 16-year veteran’s first practice with the Mavs. While Fisher’s stat line was modest – two points on 1-of-8 shooting and three assists – in his first action since helping Oklahoma City reach the NBA Finals last year. To Rick Carlisle and Collison’s credit, he has looked much better coming off the bench. Collison, who missed a game with a sprained finger said he wasn’t thrilled to be coming off the bench after starting the first 14 games. Collison however seems to be taking his benching with professionalism for the most part. He repeatedly says that he’ll do whatever the team need him to do. The Mavs are likely going to keep their eye on other options at the position but they can’t expect the 38 year-old Derek Fisher to realistically play a major role. He did seem to calm the seas a bit in crunch time that is something the Mavericks desperately needed after basically giving away a few games in the fourth quarter this season with unforced turnovers. Right now, Darren Collison has the sheer talent and ability to be a better player than Derek Fisher. It’s almost like Collison is trying so hard to live up to that potential he’s been forcing shots and passes. The Mavericks need a steady hand guiding this roster and someone that can help with the rebounding. If the Fisher promotion remains permanent and Collison’s struggles continue, it’s hard to see the Mavericks making much noise this season.
12/6 @Phoenix Suns:
The Suns are in a complete rebuild mode following the departure of Steve Nash to the Lakers but that won’t stop them from offer elite customer service. The Suns organization is offering a money back refund for any fans that purchase tickets to a game and are unsatisfied. This is a game the Mavericks need to win.
12/8 @Houston Rockets
The Rockets finally got their superstar in James Harden and will be looking to build a roster around him. They are an exciting team to watch because a backcourt featuring Jeremy Lin and James Harden is absolutely electric and anything can happen. The Mavericks couldn’t stop Harden in the playoffs last year so don’t expect them to figure it out now. However, Dauntay Jones might have something to say about that.
12/10 Sacramento Kings
Demarcus Cousins might have 20+ rebounds this game with the way the Mavericks have been hitting the glass. On paper the Mavericks should have a chance to steal this one sans Nowitzki but if Cousins is motivated, watch out.
12/12 @ Boston Celtics
Jason Terry’s new home is treating him nicely but the absence of Ray Allen is something that Terry can’t even replace. They are a salty veteran team that should take care of the Mavs. I will be watching to see if the new Mavs respond to the evitable intimidation tactics the Celtics will throw their way. It should tell us a lot about how these young guys will respond to a pressure intense playoff atmostphere.