The Mavericks' fairly shocking first round loss to the Warriors has been well-documented. After spending almost six months winning a league-best 67 regular season games, it took just two weeks for Dallas to get bounced from the playoffs by a team that they simply could not match up against. Mark Cuban built a championship caliber team to contend with consistent powers San Antonio and Phoenix, so what does he do now that his team's weaknesses have been exposed for all to see?
Initially, the thought is that Cuban won't do much. He has said that he has no plans to "blow up" the team that dominated the regular season. At the same time, the way the Warriors dismantled his club in the playoffs cannot be ignored.
The Mavericks have no low post scorer or any way to get easy points in the paint, so when a team with a small and quick lineup punishes Dallas on defense, the Mavs can't return the favor on the offensive end of the floor. The Warriors forced Dallas into a series of long jumpshots, evidenced by the astounding fact that they didn't make a shot inside the three-point arc the entire first quarter of Game 6.
So Dallas does need to make some changes, and most of all, they could use some players that are a little, um, "edgier."
More after the jump.
Avery Johnson hinted at this when he discussed his team's confidence against the Warriors:
"We've got to take a hard look at this roster, especially as it relates to matching up against teams like Golden State. If we meet them again in the playoffs or the regular season, we've got to have more confidence than what I saw in our team."
Translation: get me at least one crazy guy. Stephen Jackson may be a little off his rocker, but it's in a way that translates into awesomeness on the basketball court. You need someone who isn't afraid to escalate things when your team is getting knocked around. The Suns have Nash and Raja Bell, the Spurs have Bruce Bowen, and the Warriors and Pistons have entire teams made up of guys like that.
Avery Johnson knows that his team is fine when it comes to matching up against the other elite powers in the league. But when it comes to confidence, bravado, and heart, the Mavericks are far from having what it takes to compete at a championship level.