Are Luka’s Mavs overthinking their issues?
Whether you are at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 4.23.21…
*After careful analysis, maybe we’re overthinking these Dallas Mavericks. Maybe it’s just a bored team that’s also playing – up or down – their competitive level.
They boast of several iconic road victories: Clippers (par 51). Nuggets (twice). Nets. Falcons. Blazers. Celtics. Knicks. And sure enough, they beat the NBA’s best team – the Jazz – at home earlier this month … and the defending Lakers champion on Thursday night.
But they must also possess a herd of gruesome and inexplicable losses against opponents under .500 at the American Airlines Center: Hornets (par 19), Bulls (16), Rockets (25), Warriors (31), Pacers (15). ) and Kings (14). Inexplicably, they are 21-14 against the winning teams; 11-12 against losers.
You’d like to think that’s a good sign for the playoffs, where every night will be a big game against an elite opponent. You would also be entitled to be alarmed by a team that hasn’t really won into thinking they can just turn it on and off. But don’t do it more thanthink about it.
*I totally agree with ESPN’s Marcus Spears, Dallas Cowboys should NOT draft Kyle Pitts. A lot of people I respect – from Hall of Fame staff guru Gil Brandt to old friend Mike Fisher and his long “best available athlete” crusade – disagree, but my thought remains: The Cowboys are one. car. A car with four new tires and a leaking radiator.
Given the opportunity, why on earth would you spend the money to buy another tire?
Of course, the tire is state of the art and, in theory, will allow you to go even faster with sexier handling in the curves. Until it doesn’t. Because, of course, the car will barely make it out of the driveway before the faulty radiator leaves it out in an unusable clunker.
Pitts is a talented weapon. But the Cowboys are already bragging about Blake Jarwin, at the end of his 2020 season. The Cowboys already have a cache of offensive weapons in Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper. Scoring points will not be a problem in 2021, nor for the foreseeable future. But in case you weren’t careful last season, the defense was miserable. Historically horrible. The worst outfit in the NFL. The worst in franchise history.
Dallas gave up 6,000 yards, 57 almost unfathomable touchdowns and 473 points. Do you write when needed? Do you refuse an unnecessary tire upgrade? Do you have an urgent solution for the leaking radiator? You bet you do. Or at least you should.
I repeat: Patrick Surtain II, please. And by the way: As we hear rumors about the Cowboys, at No.10 in next Thursday’s NFL Draft, chatting with the Lions (at No.7) about the trade … maybe for Dallas get Surtain?
I think the Cowboys – as much as maybe they would love cornerback Jaycee Horn and others – are taking that line of thinking as well.
*Premature overreaction: Rangers’ Adolis Garcia reminds me of Ruben Sierra. It’s only been 10 days, but the Cuban outfielder who was left out of the opening list transformed the Rangers and stabbed their fans.
Sierra was a 20-year burst of energy in the organization in 1986. Power on both sides of the plate. Speed. Athletics. Muscles. Flair, accented by showy gold necklaces. He played – and watched – the role of superstar.
There are obvious differences. Above all, Garcia is 28 years old. But he’s got the bat, arms, legs, machismo and infectious enthusiasm the Rangers have lacked since Adrian Beltre took third base. He has three homers in nine games and with him in the roster, Texas are 6-3.
Again, it’s ridiculously early.
But watching Garcia bang his chest and smooth around the bases is… Sierra Mist?
*I am currently working on two theories: Either we really miss our teams, the fans, or our teams just aren’t that good. Since COVID cleaned up stadiums (or at least drastically reduced attendance) in 2020, only the Stars have kept any semblance of an advantage over the home stadium. The Cowboys went 4-4. The Mavs are 15-14 years old. The Rangers have 3-6. The stars are respectable 12-6-8. Don’t ask me to start explaining anything to you.
*Sports, for the victory. I chronicled my Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship to Little Brother JaJa, and on Friday night we shared a memory for a lifetime. Not only did I tell him the story of Jackie Robinson during the Rangers game last Friday night, but the guy ended up catching a foul ball.
In his first baseball game.
At his first professional sporting event.
Calmly. Coolly. Between taking pictures with his cell phone. I just raise my hand and grab it with both hands.
The only problem: he now expects this to happen in every game.
*Want a crazy NBA season mixed with a distorted betting outlook? In December, Luka Doncic of the Mavs was the preseason favorite to win MVP. Four months into the season, he’s averaging 28 points, eight rebounds and nine assists and somehow fell to a contender from afar. The Wise Men of Las VegasThe last chances have Nikola Jokic as the favorite, followed by six other guys not named Luka.