It’s never fun to lose. One of the most frustrating moments in a fan’s life is when your team shows incredible promise during the regular season, only to lose early in the playoffs. It happened to the Patriots this year (not winning the super bowl was considered losing early), it happened to the Suns this year and, for the past two years, it has happened to the Mavericks. 2 years ago, the Mavs were essentially 5 quarters away from winning the NBA Championship. Last year, the Mavs had the best record in the league and the league MVP but still lost in the first round. This year, the Mavs traded for a future hall of fame PG that was supposed to bring leadership, stability and a winning attitude to the team but still lost in the first round. As frustrating as that is for the players and the owner, it is arguably just as frustrating for Mavs fans.

I have always respected Mark Cuban. He went from nothing to being the owner of the Mavs. He worked hard and fulfilled his childhood dreams. Financial success aside, what amazes me about Mark is how he uses his blog to talk to Mavs fans. His readers get amazing insight into where the team is going, why decisions were made, and just how much Mark cares about this team. If you havent read any of his posts, i suggest you read his post from last Friday. In it he talks about the team’s struggles at the beginning of the season, why they traded for J Kidd and why the future looks bright. It’s simply a phenomenal post that should make any Mavs fan happy about the future and happy that Mark is the owner.

One of the title’s for this post is “I Wish Mark Cuban Owned the Knicks.” I wrote that because the Isiah Thomas Era was so frustrating for Knicks fans. Every move that he made as the GM and the Coach had little rhyme or reason. Trade for Steve Francis, sign Jerome James, trade for Zach Randolph, hire and fire Larry Brown in the blink of an eye, try out 52,000 difference starting lineups, etc. Knicks fans were kept in the dark about why decisions were made and how they would help the team. It was too much, too fast and it became clear very quickly that Isiah had no idea what he was doing.

The Isiah Thomas Era is thankfully over. The Donnie Walsh Era has begun. Before Donnie makes too many moves (he just signed Mike D’Antoni to a 4-year, $24 million contract), I would like to give him (and our owner Jim Dolan) some advice. Look at how Mark Cuban keeps Mavs fans in the loop and copy that model. Understand that fans in general are rational, passionate, and extremely knowledgeable. We understand teams go through ups and downs. During the downs, we just want an idea of what the team executives are doing to fix the problem, why they are doing it and how long they think it will take to see results. Combine that with players that play with heart every night and we will be ecstatic. We know that you can’t tell the future and that things probably wont go as planned. That’s fine with us. Just please be transparent and keep us in the loop. Use a blog, use twitter, create a social network with Ning – it really doesnt matter. There are tons of options out there. Just keep us in the loop and use the web to not only talk to us but to let us talk to you. I predict that if you do that the bad times wont be as bad, fan loyalty will only increase and the good times will be that much sweeter.

Mark Cuban understands the importance of talking to Mavs fans uses his blog as an outlet. Donnie and Dolan, I hope you copy his model. Go Knicks!

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I check RealGM religiously because it provides exactly what I want from an NBA site – a summary of the most interesting headlines from around the league. If the headline grabs me then ill read the rest. Simple, easy, fun.

Today I decided to write down my reactions to the RealGM headlines of the day.

Enjoy

Marion Questions Teammates’ Desire: The Heat are probably one of the top 5 worst teams in the league with no hope for salvaging this season. Their best player should be healing from injuries instead of playing and the rest of the team’s talent is questionable. Given this, how can Marion be surprised by their lack of desire? What are his teammates even playing for right now? Marion should really just keep his mouth shut because he looks like a fool. He was on a team that was a legit championship contender with arguably the best PG in the league running the show. Sadly he couldnt suck it up and figure out how to play with Amare, essentially forcing a trade to the Heat. Now he has to live with the results of his actions. Careful what you wish for Mr. Marion

Riley Talking about Shutting Down Wade: It’s about fucking time. G d forbid Wade suffers from a career threatening injury while trying to play when hes not 100%. The Heat have nothing to play for right now and should shut Wade down immediately. Seriously dont understand what the dilemma is here.

Isiah Thinks He’ll Be Back Next Year: This season has been depressing enough for Knick fans without Isiah reminding us that he will be back next year. I cant wait to see how he fucks our team up even more next year.

Johnson Stands By Decision to Sit Kidd: What a moron. Mark Cuban’s lawyers are examining Johnson’s contract as we speak looking for a “The Coach is a Moron” clause that will allow him to terminate Johnson’s contract for cause. I dont care what anyone says – you dont trade for Jason Kidd and then sit him for the last two possessions of a 1 possession game. Johnson should just man up and admit he fucked up.

Tonights Box Score Insights

February 23, 2008

A new feature to halfbloghalfmazing.  Here are observations on some of tonights games based solely on the box scores.  Note that not all of tonights games are finished.  Here we go:

Orlando vs. Philly

  • Outside of Iguodola, I cant find any promising talent on the 76ers
  • isnt it amazing how Hedo Turkoglu is outplaying Rashard Lewis on a nightly basis?  Yet rashard is Orlando’s 100 million dollar man!

New York vs. Toronto

  • knicks actually won
  • Eddy Curry played 9:29 despite having only 1 foul.  at the end of last year eddy showed all star potential.  isiah trades for zach and kills eddy’s confidence.  eddy cant play anymore and we will be lucky if we get .30 on the dollar

Wizards vs. Lebron

  • Lebron beat the wizards tonight
  • damon jones played his first good game  in 3 years
  • even with arenas i dont like the makeup of the wizards

Denver vs. Chicago

  • Is george karl just a really bad coach?  The nuggets have AI, Melo and Camby yet they still lost this game.  The AI Melo experiment is not working….
  • call me crazy but steve blake was a very important piece of the nuggets core last year.  its a shame they lost him

Atlanta vs. Golden State

  • Atlanta blowing them out right now.  Bibby was a fantastic pick up
  • webber proving that he is worthless
  • where is Stephen Jackson?

Boston vs. Phoenix

  • Suns up 13 at the half and nash has only 2 assists!
  • Shaq has 8 boards and 1 block at the half.  took only 2 shots.  I like this.

Zach R and Isiah T (aka Worst Coach Ever or WCE for short) just cant get along.

The NY Daily News is reporting that Zach is unhappy with WCE’s decision to go small against Golden State. In the Golden State game, Zach and Eddy C played a total of 13 minutes together – Gross! Sure part of this had to do with foul trouble but a lot of it had to do with WCE reacting to Nelly’s small ball approach.

When asked if he agreed with WCE’s decision to go small, Zach said: “Nah, that ain’t the right way. The right way – how I know, coaches I had in the NBA and in college – they tell me we don’t care how we match up, they gotta match up to us. That’s what I learned playing in the NBA and college.”

As a Knicks fan, it is so refreshing to see this kind of thinking from one of our players. Sadly, the Knicks have no identity and this is all because of WCE. WCE traded for Zach so that he could pair him with Curry and have a monster front line. As a fan, I bought into it – especially after our home opener against the Nuggets when Zach and Eddy were incredible together. Since that game, however, WCE has slowly but surely abandoned the concepts of team identity and team chemistry.

Regarding playing Zach and Eddy together – Why not give it a full season to see if it works? Give them the chance to develop some game time chemistry please. Messing with the lineups and giving them sporadic minutes does nothing except ruin chemistry and piss the players off (not to mention the fans). Please, just please, give some stability to the fans. We are smart enough to understand that teams go through down years. All we want, and all the players want, is a solid game plan that we can all rally around.

Zach obviously cant coach the knicks but hopefully we will find someone that can. I want a coach that will stick with his lineups for a whole season (barring injury); someone that will rally the players and fans around the GMs game plan; someone that will skillfully navigate NBA egos and get the most out of his players; and someone that the players will actually respect. Too bad there isnt a way to trade for Gregg Popovich.