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Houston Rockets Preview

Matt Poves is a name that has been mentioned lately as possibly a player who could develop into a long-term NBA player. He’s currently playing for the Dallas Mavericks. He’s listed at shooting guard, small forward. Devine sports writer Ben Moore has the Mav’s prospect listing at points out that Poves is probably best suited to play at a shooting guard position. If he wants to develop into a great three-point shooter, then it makes sense to start him at shooting guard.

Pearsall also looks to extend his franchise record to 3-1 against the upcoming visiting Pearsall Mavericks, also known as the Pensacola Blue Cats. Pearsall is currently coming off of a 21-17 loss to eventual NBA Eastern Conference playoff teams, including the Orlando Magic. The Pensacola Blue Chips has the worst record in the entire league at three-games. They’ve won one game against the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

This loss to the Cavs was the Mavericks’ third straight. They haven’t been able to overcome adversity, despite putting up big numbers the last few weeks. Things are going nowhere for the Mavericks, especially since they traded away some key players recently to get Putski in return for Zydrunas Ilga.

Ilga is a big name on the team that doesn’t excite fans. He only has career averages of 11 points per game. He’s been traded to Houston as part of the package in the Kevin Martin deal. So, how did the Mavericks manage to get rid of such a big name? I’ll take a look at some potential reasons:

* GM Danny Manning decided that the salary cap situation is dire for the club and so decided to make a trade for a player who will bring experience to the table. This player is none other than Peja Stojakovic. Although he is just a rookie, he’s only played in the NBA for two seasons. He’ll need time to develop as a player and should be ready to play big minutes for Dallas next season.

* Coach Avery Johnson thought that his team was good enough to make a run to the playoffs. His plan was to use rookies like Jason Terry and Jason Poindexter to get the most out of the young players. Unfortunately, Dallas didn’t show much in the way of progress during its games against the Magic. They lack a true leader and are without a real point guard.

* During the off season, the Mavericks apparently had a meeting with Peja Stojakovic in Italy. There is no telling what exactly took place, but it appears as if the Mavs had a talk with him regarding his future in Dallas. In the past, Stojakovic was traded to Washington where he spent one season. Now, he looks to return to the NBA where he could have a bigger say in what happens with his playing career.

The Mavericks are in a bit of a rebuilding process. They need to find a leader to help guide the team while hopefully bringing in some potential stars. If Peja Stojakovic has any intentions of returning to the NBA, then expect him to play his part in this coming season. He may be the missing piece for the Mavericks.

* Vince Carter was acquired by the Mavericks from Sacramento in exchange for a package of draft picks and cash. Carter is a nice talent, but he is just one big guy. This may be a risk worth taking, especially if Jason Terry leaves in free agency. The Mavericks have to hope that someone develops into a competent scorer and that Vince Carter will develop into a good all-around player. The downside is that Carter is on a steep learning curve entering his prime.

* Yogi Ferrell is now with the New York Nets. It’s not a bad move by the Mavericks since Ferrell was a major disappointment in his two years in Dallas. However, the Nets need a veteran big man to compete in the Eastern Conference. Ferrell has to prove himself and rebound from a disappointing stint in New York.

The Mavericks still have a number of young guns such as Jason Terry, Vince Carter, Peja Stojakovic, and even James Harden. The best part of the series was how they played together as a unit. Now it appears that the Rockets are again missing an ingredient. This should be a big game for the Mavs in order to show how they can match up with the Rockets in the NBA Finals.

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