The odds are long, and the season is all about the start of next season, so the Mavericks should just go for it and see if they can just lose.
Not five. Not six. Not seven. I’m talking every game from here out; 0-17.
Don’t worry, Dirk Nowitzki will still receive his standing ovations wherever he goes, but the Mavs may as well do this thing right.
A Top 5 lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft is at stake.
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Remember, to acquire the rights to Luka Doncic the Mavs traded their ‘19 first round pick to the Atlanta Hawks, which is protected if it’s a top five selection. If the pick is outside of the top five, it goes to the Hawks.
According to the wonderfully titled website Tankathon.com, the Mavs have an outside chance of actually retaining this pick.
The Mavs simply need to get to work and lose more; lord knows they are trying in what appears to be an assault up Mt. LoseALot.
Since the Mavericks effectively traded three starters to acquire Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks, and sent Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings, the results have been worse than feared.
At the time of the first deal, the team that had a bad chance to make the playoffs was 23-27.
If you took the under on the Mavs’ season win total, you’re in great shape. That number was 34 1/2.
Today, the Mavs are a healthy 27-38.
Zinger won’t play until next season, and the team has no major presence at the rim, or rebounder, now that DeAndre Jordan is with the Knicks.
Despite the presence of The Luka, the Mavs would give the Knicks a good game. The good news is the Mavs have quite a few losses coming up here soon. Games against the Rockets, Spurs, Nuggets, Blazers and Warriors are all Ls.
A two-game home stretch against the Pelicans and Cavaliers are a concern; those could be wins. Nobody wants to see that.
The Mavs have at least 12 more losses in them. There are some remaining games against the Grizzlies and Suns that are worrisome.
The other problem is Chicago, Atlanta and Memphis are all “ahead” of the Mavs in the bid to be in the “top 5.” New York, Phoenix and Cleveland are set as the top three.
Seventeen games remain in the regular season, and there is but one priority now for the Mavs: Lose. Not five. Not six. Not seven. Seventeen.
They can do this. They just have to want it.
SCORING A MAJOR PREDICTION
A serious shoutout to friend and local sports broadcaster Mr. Chris Arnold, who was recently inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame, for being kind enough to point out I nailed a major prediction.
I’m so accustomed to being wrong that I forgot on June 21, 2017 I wrote the Mavs should trade for Porzingis. I wrote, “It will require dealing the ninth overall pick, guard Wesley Matthews, and at least an additional first-rounder.”
On Feb. 1, 2019, the Mavs traded said ninth overall pick (Dennis Smith Jr.), Matthews, two first round picks, and DeAndre Jordan to acquire Porzingis.
Never a doubt.
THE SPORTS DOCUMENTARY WORTH WATCHING THAT ISN’T A 30 FOR 30
The sports documentary genre continues to grow, and while the gold standard remains ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, Netflix just released another that is worthy your time.
The new series, “Losers” focuses on those who do just that: Lose. Typically losers make for far more interesting copy than the winners.
The series tells the story of eight losers, many of whom you won’t know.
The final episode is on famous French golfer Jean van de Velde, who is known for blowing the 1999 Open championship. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole of the tournament, only to lose in a playoff.
The episode on van de Velde is torturously entertaining; you know how it ends, and the suspense is terrible. He’s such a sweet guy, you want him to somehow win even though this happened 20 years ago.
Here is the kind, sweet charming guy who has given so much back to his country, and done so many good things for his sport and the world, and he is known for this one horrible hole of golf.
Watching van de Velde discuss this wretched hole is awful, and oddly inspiring. Losers are normally more often more compelling than winners, normally because they really aren’t losers.
THE AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER WILL BE OPEN FOR THE PLAYOFFS
The Dallas Stars will make the playoffs, and win a round. Stars GM Jim Nill assembled one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL; as long as the Stars screwed up their goalie situation, they finally have it right.
The duo of Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin are the reason this team will make the playoffs, and should be regarded as a threat to do some damage for the first time in the postseason for more than a decade.
The goalies saved Nill’s job.
TAKE IT TO THE BANK: HARPER WILL A-ROD THE PHILLIES
Much ado about the Phillies signing Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million contract. This reeks of Alex Rodriguez signing his 10-year, $250 million deal with the Texas Rangers before the ‘01 season.
Both Harper and A-Rod had the same agent, Scott Boras.
A-Rod never wanted to sign with Texas, but the Rangers were so far ahead of the other bidders he had no choice. There is tremendous pressure from the MLB Player’s Association when it comes to these deals for the player to take the largest offer.
Harper, who is from Vegas, will tire of Philly and want out long before his contract expires. Much like A-Rod, Harper will not finish his career with the team he just signed a record deal to play.