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Hearing From the Enemy: Mavericks Notes from Mavs Moneyball

Doyle Rader from our friends at Mavs Moneyball answered some Mavs related questions for us in advance of tonight's game in Dallas.

Tom Pennington

Doyle Rader from our friends at Mavs Moneyball answered some Mavs questions for us. I did the same for him, so head over there and check out what I had to say. Here's Doyle:

As I write this, the Mavs are 5-3 and up 73-29 on the Sixers at halftime. (Yikes. We should have relegation in the NBA. This is embarrassing). More specifically, the have the highest offensive rating in the league. What kind of shots are they getting that is driving this offense?

Yeah, the Sixers are letting the Mavs score at will. Dallas, though, is getting all the shots. This is a pick and roll heavy team. Tyson Chandler and Brandan Wright are some of the best finishers at the rim in the pick and role and then there is Dirk. Nowitzki opens up plenty of opportunities from his team mates because defenders have to stick with him. Pair these guys with the likes of Monta Ellis, Devin Harris, and Chandler Parsons and the Mavs can hurt you in a variety of ways. If defenses collapse on the roller, Dirk can hit anything from midrange and 3-point shooters wait along the arc. If defenses fan the perimeter, here comes an alley-oop.

We are big Rick Carlisle fans at Canis Hoopus. If you are as well, what do you see that makes him so good? If you aren't, why are we wrong?

I feel like if I was ever to say anything negative about Carlisle he would find out about it and glare at me in a presser until I exploded. Therefore, he is amazing! He is simply one of the smartest coaches in the NBA. He isn't a system guy, rather he coaches to the strength of his players and puts them in a position to succeed. With the turnover that the Mavs have had since winning the championship in 2011, it has been impressive that he has kept the team competitive. That just speaks to his brilliance.

Obviously we are in the twilight of Dirk Nowitzki's career. Do you think the Mavs are taking the right approach to team building for the present and future given that the end is in sight for the best player in franchise history?

Going back to the player turnover, the Mavs are clearly playing for the now rather than the post Dirk years. Mark Cuban continues to spend the money to but the best team possible around his franchise player. This has come at the expense of developing any young talent. Sometimes it seems like the Mavericks don't even care about the draft. That being said, the Mavs have quietly put together a solid D-League team in Frisco. However, I don't think any of those players are future building blocks.

The Mavs spent a considerable amount of money on Chandler Parsons this summer. It looks like he's off to a fairly slow start shooting the ball, but how do you see him fitting in with the team in the early going, and what do you envision going forward?

If he can play the Sixers every night he'll be fine. But, yeah, he's had a few clunkers in the early going. I think that's just part of the learning curve of joining Carlisle's free-flowing offense. Going forward, I'm not too concerned. He has proven to be a valuable player and his shots will start falling with some consistency.

What would define a successful season for the Mavs this year?

Wow, that's tough. A first round playoff exit would be tough to swallow with a team this deep and talented. There are plenty in Dallas that think that the Mavs should be a competing for a title. I think that's a fair expectation. However, the West is extremely difficult. With the clock on Dirk's career, it may be now or never. This team needs to go deep in the playoffs as to not squander what Dirk has left in the tank.

Thanks for answering our questions Doyle. Head over to Mavs Moneyball for more on the Mavericks and to check out my answers to Doyle's questions.

Tonight's game is at 7:30 CST on Fox Sports North. Hopefully it will be a little better than last night.