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Mark Cuban was right, depth mattered plenty

Jun 10, 2011, 2:48 PM EST

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is shown on the court before the start of play between the Mavericks and the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Dallas Reuters

Time for some crow. I prefer mine braised with a nice port wine reduction, but nonetheless it is time to eat some.

Back before the start of the season, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was talking about his team’s depth and how that was going to make things different this year.

This is a really, really special opportunity for us. We’re going to have the deepest team in the NBA by far. I think our second unit, J.J. (Barea), Jet, and probably Shawn Marion or Caron Butler switching back and forth with the second unit with rookie Dominique Jones playing the three, Tyson Chandler playing the four and Brendan (Haywood) or Ian (Mahini) playing the five. Our second unit could beat a lot of first units. We’re going to have so much depth that it’s really going to give us an advantage this year. All our guys are coming in with one focus only and that’s to win a championship. That’s the goal. “

I was among many that scoffed at the idea that Dallas’ depth would matter all that much when they ran into the Lakers or other powers in the postseason — depth was great for the regular season but what mattered in the playoffs was having the elite players. When the playoffs came and the rotations shortened all that depth would not help, Dallas lacked the real high-end talent needed to win. Dallas had one elite player, but the Lakers had more.

Right now Miami has more, too.

And it hasn’t mattered, Dallas’ depth has won out. The depth has mattered because throughout the playoffs different guys have stepped up as needed. The depth has mattered because all of the guys have been committed on the defensive end. The depth has mattered because it can be used to create matchup problems and Rick Carlisle has managed that like a master conductor with a symphony. Dallas may only have one soloist (true elite player) in front of that orchestra, but with the right support they can make amazing music.

Mark Cuban was right. His depth, even if it does not end up winning the NBA title this season, has won the argument and reminded us what great team play can accomplish. How a team can be greater than the sum or its parts.

So hand me the crow. And at least some ketchup.

  1. chargerdillon - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Let’s be fair, Cuban is right if they win it this year. Otherwise their obvious advantage in depth didn’t beat quite possibly the most shallow team in all of the NBA.

    • almzor - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      There are about 30 teams that’ll wish their plan worked as well as Cuban’s this year, even if the Heat win.

  2. jamie54 - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Some Kansas City Barbecue style sauce would go well also.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Nothing better than KC bbq!

  3. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    I hope that TMZ and the paparazzi quickly get on Le Bum’s trail, as in shadowing him around the clock! I emailed TMZ and told them that their website will explode with hits if they do, starting with photo’s of Le Bum’s fiance and her lover Rashard Lewis!!!

  4. ocgunslinger - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Right or wrong on the depth issue, I’ve always thought Mark Cuban was just a little to full of himself and it showed. Now I give him credit in that he has kept out of the limelight and is letting his team be the focus. Good thinking Mark.

  5. skip3525 - Jun 11, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Must you get on every post and comment about Rashard Lewis & LeBron James?
    I think we heard about it already or read it the first 10 plus times you posted it.

    • purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 12:31 AM

      skip… you betcha I do!! The more the rumor spreads, be it completely unfounded or not, the more it will mess with Le Bum’s head as the buzz continues to spread like wildfire across the land.

      I’m not a Heat hater, but I really want to see the Heat’s Big 3 Stooges have to eat crow for their premature shameless and narcissistic celebration of winning the next 7 NBA titles in a row from the night of “The Decision”.

      Dirk Nowitski and Jason Kidd have shown nothing but class; they deserve this title.

  6. Justin - Jun 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    All this talk about elite players you fail to bring up elite defenders. I feel like that is just as important to how this series has shaken out as Dallas’ depth.

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