When we work up advanced stats in search of ways for the Dallas Mavericks to be a better rebounding team that we were last year, we naturally look to Chris Kaman.
He's going to be the starting center. He can be that guy, right?
So here's the jump-out number on Kaman: His defensive rebound percentage number (a measure of how many defensive boards a player grabs while on the court) is 23.5. By comparison, Haywood's was 18.0 percent, approximately the same level as a 6-6 forward named Shawn Marion (18.6 percent).
So there it is: Dallas will be an improved rebounding team this season. Right?
DONUT 2: The other end ...
As much as fans used Big Wood as a 7-0 whipping post around here (and in our private conversations with Dallas officials, there is an admission that Haywood didn't answer the bell here with regularity in accord with the contract given him), it's worth noting: Haywood's offensive rebounding percentage was at 13.7 -- leaps and bounds better than Kaman's at 7.9.
As I often say, we can make numbers dance any way we wish. What New Orleans did on offense (and defense) may be different enough from what Dallas does to influence these stats. Also, Kaman can play away from the hoop on offense, and Haywood cannot; that explains away some of this number.
Nevertheless, you combine the projection of Chris grabbing just 7.9 percent of available offensive rebounds with the fact that last year Dirk was good for just a 2.9-percent ORB rate and ... well, Marion better keep it up. Or Brand must carry quite a load. Or, frankly, Dallas better not miss too many shots, because our projections don't suggest the Mavs will be blessed with the wished-for second-chances this year.
We're proud to announce that veteran NBA scout Kyle Leath is signing on again this year to help provide Advance Scouting of all 82 Mavs games!
It's a heck of an undertaking, with Mr. Leath digging into the teams' playbooks, looking at film, making some phone calls ... But it's invaluable to us at DB.com.
The genesis of this, as you may remember:
Newspapers for years have done "previews'' ... but they really just include W-L records and leading scorers and which guy has a hometown connection with the opponent ... and of course, they're written by one of us dopey sportswriters with no real insight into NBA teams' playbooks.
Kyle Leath helps us do something different: A scouting report for Mavs fans that reads like the scouting report the Mavs players are handed before they meet an opponent.
It's gold ... and it's part of what makes DallasBasketball.com the go-to place for Mavs fans who want the inside scoop on what's happening inside Mavs HQ.
Welcome back, Kyle!
DONUT 4: Hope in LA ...
the Lakers have their Shaq ceremony coming and they have their Kareem ceremony coming and maybe the greatest hope for the rest of the West is that the Lakers play the way the Mavs did after most of Dallas' ceremonies last season.
DONUT 5: Dirk's Big Balls Dance ...
The start of Mavs camp is right around the corner, which means DB.com's 24-hour-a-day coverage of what goes on in the front office, in the locker room, during the games, of course ... and even at shootarounds. How else do you think we get to enjoy the exclusive DB.com Video of Dirk Nowitzki's Big Balls Dance?
Yessir. DB.com inside the Mavs ... right around the corner!
Massive watching party on tonight, the NFL season-opener and it's Cowboys at Giants at Red Rock Bar and Grill! The biggest TV screen in Texas ... drink specials ... Barry and the Mavs-lovin', Cowboys-lovin' Red Rock staff to cater to your every sporting need ... Red Rock is DB.com's go-to spot in North Dallas for the big events ... swing in for a coldie on Wednesday night!
DONUT 8: Follow Fish and the Mavs on Twitter ...
DONUT 9: What does 'talented' mean? ...
Andray Blache is a double-double center waiting to happen and yet there he's been this month, on ice, post-amnesty. Why? Our David Lord handles it, shortly and (not so) sweetly:
Blatche is a good case for the question of "What does 'talented' mean?" If you're big, athletic and skilled, but you can't fit into a team format and make a team better, are you really "talented"?
It's intriguing that guys like Blatche and Milicic got amnestied despite supposed talent, and no one wants to even gamble a minimum salary on them ... figuring they're not worth the hassle.
It's been a trait of a decade of Mavs teams that goes grossly underappreciated: Part of "talent'' is fitting into a team concept, playing as a team, bonding as a family. The inability to do that offsets the ability to give a team a 16/10.
DONUT 10: We now pause for this commercial message ...
Click the link and scroll down and you see a trio of columns. One lists teams' spending. There's value there. The second lists agents income. Maybe of interest to some, I suppose.
And the third column? It looks like this:
Kevin Durant 59
Kobe Bryant 40
LeBron James 34
Steve Nash 33
Manu Ginobili 29
Dwight Howard 27
Dwyane Wade 27
Where to begin here ... Am I to read this and assume that Kevin Durant has cut 59 different TV spots? That Nash endorses 33 different products? That Manu is part of 29 ad campaigns? (Really, because either I see none of them or my TV is automatically programmed to switch channels when Spurs propaganda pops on).
And mostly ... am I supposed to care? Is "Number of TV Commercials'' about to appear in my advanced boxscore? Do these factoids count for anything, even as minutiae?
Yes, yes, I am DYING to hear how you did in your Fantasy Football Draft, dude? Fill me in ... but first, finish your story about that incredible golf shot you hit yesterday ... oh, and all the hot girls you made out with in high school, too!