Could Dallas Mavs Be Aided by NBA Uncertainty?
DALLAS – For many professional basketball players, the current COVID-19-induced NBA hiatus has generated the longest period of time they have ever gone without playing basketball.
Whether commissioner Adam Silver decides the league should jump directly into NBA playoffs or have a play-in tournament, if the NBA returns to crown a 2019-20 champion, we can make an argument that the Dallas Mavericks could benefit from the unprecedented format.
Seventh-seeded Dallas was 40-27 before the extended break. Has the hiatus helped or hurt Mavs? It’s a case of "rest'' vs. "disruption of chemistry.'' Perhaps more important though, is that the rest of the league experienced the same interruption that could lead to championship favorites falling off.
Story time … I played on a two-time state champion softball team that had nine of it’s 11 players earn D1 NCAA scholarships. Overmatching most teams in Oregon, we traveled all over the nation to find the best competition. At the risk of sounding boastful, the truth of the matter is, we were the best team in the state.
So, when the spring rain poured down in our semi-final game, the other team’s coach pushed us to play instead of delay. The field was soppy, the softball was slick and he knew that the circumstances could lead to uncharacteristic errors… and their best chance at beating us.
Outside factors impact players.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey believes the NBA’s situation could help Houston return to the Finals for the first time since 1995.
“We do feel like our odds have gone up with the restart,” Morey told AT&T SportsNet's Cayleigh Griffin. “Because we probably can’t call ourselves the favorite. We just haven’t played well enough to say that. Anything that adds uncertainty to the system is generally good for us.”
Morey believes a second training camp would help the Rockets’ newly acquired players merge with the team.
The Mavs are in a different situation. Yes, the roster will be rested overall and predominately healthy. Ultimately, their success will come down to capturing the rhythm they found before the halt amid the second training camp. When their offense got hot, it got near impossible to defend. A youthful roster is a huge benefit for Dallas. Throw in a bunch of unknowns and the chaos could prove beneficial.
After a near five-month break, which teams will adjust well and which teams will suffer under the modifications of a new format? The outside factors even the playing field, which bodes well for the Mavs.
P.S. The softball semi-final game was delayed three days in a row before we gutted out a muddy 2-0 victory to send us to the state title.