The Warriors may have the Splash Brothers, but the Dallas Mavericks have the Whiplash Brothers Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes – as in they probably had whiplash from how fast the Warriors tossed them aside to make salary cap room for Kevin Durant. They are part the Mavs’ reinforcements for this season, which will begin on Wednesday, October 26th when they visit the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (yo ho, a banker’s life for me). The basketball betting odds for this match-up are… not quite ready yet, but let’s just push on right ahead nevertheless.
This season will be head coach Rick Carlisle’s ninth with the Mavs, who is very well respected by his peers. Carlisle was voted as the best coach in the NBA at making in-game adjustments in the annual GM survey, with 41% of the votes. He finished ahead of San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (31%), and Boston’s Brad Stevens (14%). It doesn’t hurt that Carlisle has God on his side – and one that actually exists, too. According to Mavericks beat writer for SportsDay Eddie Sefko, new player development coach God Shammgod (which is a redundant last name, if one thinks about it) is “a ball-handling genius and has the players doing all sorts of drills to improve their handles.”
Carlisle is a sort of MacGyver in that he “can coax points out of a shoebox and a gum wrapper,” as Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni puts it. And that includes using 38 year old Dirk Nowitzki in the most effective possible way, which is where Barnes comes is. On paper, Barnes should help relieve the burden on Nowitzki and become a swingman scorer who does not just shoot threes from the corner, which is pretty much all he did with the Warriors.
Pacers president Larry Bird is not of the “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” persuasion. True, Indiana was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, but the fact alone that they made the postseason at all was already an improvement over the previous campaign. Nonetheless, Bird fired Frank Vogel – basketball betting fans can almost picture Bird telling Vogel, “If you can tell me why I shouldn’t fire you without using the letter ”E” you can keep your job” – in order to find a “new voice” for the team, which ended up being former assistant coach Nate McMillan – who was a little confused at first on whether he would be replacing Vogel or Mark Boyle.
Bird also dealt George Hill in a menage-a-trois deal that involved the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks, and which got him point guard Jeff Teague. He also traded the draft rights to Caris LeVert for Thaddeus Young, and signed free agent Al Jefferson. Pacers fans who enjoy basketball betting at top sportsbooks will be happy to know that these transactions provide Indiana with more scoring options and a higher ceiling – which really opens up Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Feng shui aside, Paul George may have a point when he says this “could certainly be” the best team that he has ever played on.