Another Dallas Mavericks offseason is here, which means the NBA Playoffs are still going on, and another chance for the Mavs to catch the “big fish” free agent it has yet to land. Maybe this time the grand plan, which originated almost immediately after the team won the 2011 NBA title, will finally work.
This plan has worked so well with Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, etc.
Hey, maybe LeBron James will finally sign with the team. He can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, so maybe he will come to North Texas to win another title.
Since that isn’t happening, the targets for the Mavs will likely consist of the following: Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and “free throw specialist” DeAndre Jordan. Since this plan has yet to work, maybe this get will one of these guys to sign with the Mavs.
The Mavs have been going about it all wrong; rather than sell the greatness of Rick Carlisle, or the fact that Mark Cuban’s money is somehow different any other rich NBA’s owner’s cash, the team needs to sell free throws. Gary Boren, land the coveted free agent this team needs to remain relevant.
Who is Gary Boren? He is the Mavs’ free throw shooting coach. At this point, with one particular FA, maybe he can offer what no one else can. Desperate? Yes. But this team needs any reason to believe a big-time NBA free agent wants to play for Team Marky Mark.
Don’t expect this to happen, but maybe DeAndre Jordan will come back home. He is from Houston and he played at Texas A&M. And he also can’t hit a free throw. At all. Ever.
Since leaving College Station, he has blossomed into one of the most athletic defensive freaks in the NBA. He just can’t hit air if he fell out of a plane. In the LA Clippers’ Game 4 Western Conference semifinal win against the Houston Rockets on Sunday in Los Angeles, Jordan was an impressive 14-of-34 from the foul line.
In the regular season, Jordan shot .397 on free throws. But he also averaged more than 15 rebounds and two blocks per game. He has zero offensive game, but knows how to guard the rim, and can finish as well as any player in the league. The man makes a difference. For a team that was bad defensively and rebounding, Jordan would help.
Sign me up, but while I am not expecting Boren could make DeAndre Jordan into an 80 percent foul shooter, maybe he can make enough of a difference where he is not such a tremendous liability, and a reason not to have him on the floor late in the game.
Boren has been full-time with the team since 1997, when he was brought here by former coach Don Nelson.
As evidenced by these numbers, Boren is remarkable at his job. Here is a look at the Mavs’ free throw shooting percentage with Boren on staff, and its regular-season NBA ranking.
2015: .751, 16th
2014: .795, 3rd
2013: .793, 2nd
2012: .771, 10th
2011: .777, 8th
2010: .816, 1st
2009: .819, 2nd
2008: .814, 1st
2007: .805, 2nd
2006: .783, 6th
2005: .789, 4th
2004: .796, 1st
2003: .829, 1st
2002: .806, 1st
2001: .794, 2nd
2000: .804, 2nd
1999: .728, 17th
1998: .753, 9th
1997: .717, 25th
It helps the Mavs have had a lot of good shooters in this era - Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Terry, Steve Nash, etc. Boren is also doing something right.
It’s the longest of long shots, but maybe Boren can be a reason DeAndre Jordan wants to be a Mav. I got nothin’ else.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760