Mavs Simply Aren't a Better Team With Rondo, Yet

The more I see of these Mavs, the more I become concerned.

After a tough road win at Memphis on Jan. 19, it appeared Dallas was ready to begin the second half of the season with purpose and momentum. Just more than a week later and after a listless home to those same Grizzlies (playing without two starters), the Mavs are on the verge of chaos.

A 19-point home loss last night extended their losing streak to three games and again has us second-guessing this important question:

Are the Mavs a better team with Rajon Rondo?

“It’s not a good time obviously,” Dirk Nowitzki told reporters after the blowout loss. “But we’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got to get better.”

That win in Memphis, in hindsight, now looks like more of an aberration than a breakthrough.

The Mavs are just 11-8 with Rondo, and the fact that he can’t consistently make an open 15-foot jumper affects everything they try to do offensively. Before the trade the Mavs scored 114 points per game. With him they’re only scoring 106.

“This isn't a Rondo thing,” said head coach Rick Carlisle, “this is a team thing. Right now, we've got to circle the wagons.”

It’s not yet time to proclaim Rondo a bust, but it is time to be convinced that his arrival didn’t automatically, instantly make the Mavs a better team.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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