The Trailing 3 Podcast has now launched!

By Zack Cunningham

The first episode of The Trailing 3 podcast is now live here and ready for you to listen in!

I’ll be doing these at least once a week moving forward and perhaps more frequently depending on the occasion or situation.

Hope you enjoy and leave your feedback!

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Hanlen: Mo Bamba “will be an All-Star”

By: Zack Cunningham

Pure Sweat CEO Drew Hanlen has been in the news recently for a lot of reasons, all of them good if he’s coaching your favorite NBA draft prospect.

Hanlen was credited for working with budding star Jayson Tatum last summer, specifically honing the young forward’s 3-point shot. Looking at the rookie’s 2017-18 stats, you could say Tatum’s work with Hanlen paid off. He shot 43.4%, good for eighth in the league.

Hanlen has also worked with Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal and Andrew Wiggins to name a few other NBA players. This summer? His highest-profile prospect is Mo Bamba, the freakishly long 7’1 center from Texas.

Bamba’s first year with the Longhorns was littered with highlights of the freshman swatting opposing players’ dunks at the rim with his 7’10 (!!!) wingspan and generally wreaking havoc on defense. His offensive game was raw, to say the least.

Bamba shot under 30% from deep at Texas and attempted just over 50 three-pointers a game. He also got moved off the block in the post because of his size (he weighed just 216 pounds his freshman year).

Hanlen is helping to change all of that. I conducted a brief Q-and-A with the 28 year-old former Belmont Bruin about what kind of potential he sees in Bamba and if the hype about his upside is warranted.

TT3 – What has impressed you most about working with Mo Bamba?
DH – He’s obviously athletically gifted, but his attention to detail and crave for knowledge has impressed me the most.
TT3 – You’ve been able to really aid in the transformation of some young players’ games recently (Embiid and Tatum). What are you working on with Bamba specifically that could see his game transform in the same way?
DH – We made the exact shooting changes that I did for Jayson last pre-draft and I’m teaching him the exact moves I taught Joel. If it’s not broke, don’t break it!
TT3 – A lot of the concern about Bamba is his lower-body strength. In your training with him, is it about becoming more imposing physically or being more of a finesse big?
DH – I like to focus on what players bring to the table instead of dwelling on what they don’t. We know he has to continue to add strength to his body, but he’s long (7’10 wingspan long) and mobile. We’re working on skills that utilize his strengths.
TT3 – When you first saw his shot, did you immediately know what needed to be remedied? And how quickly did he adjust?
DH – He had the exact same mechanical flaws as Jayson did, so it was easy to prescribe a program for him to get quick results.
TT3 – In as unbiased of an opinion as you can give, what’s a realistic “ceiling” for Bamba?
DH – He’ll be an All-Star.
TT3 – How do you see him fitting on a team like the Mavs?
DH – I think there are a lot of teams that he’d fit well with. He’s a defensive eraser and a stretch 5. Every team can use that.
TT3 – Finally, what sets him apart from other bigs you’ve worked with?
DH – This is his first time working with a purpose and plan. He has a long way to go but is already really good and will have a long, successful career.

ICYMI – Mavs’ Rick Carlisle isn’t going anywhere

By – Zack Cunningham

One of the big stories of the last month or so has been the coaching search of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Obviously, with Giannis Antetokounmpo heading into his prime years, the next head coach he plays for after the firing of Jason Kidd will play a huge role in the direction of the franchise over the next few years.

Several names that had been associated with the process were former Atlanta Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer and former Charlotte Hornets’ head coach Steve Clifford.

Clearly, the job is an attractive proposition … but enough to draw the eye of Dallas Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle? Surely not.

I’m not sure where Gery Woelfel puts his ear to get “the word”, but the notion was quickly labeled “absurd” by Mark Cuban through dallasbasketball.com.

Carlisle made a statement late Wednesday denying any interest in the job.

Although, Ben Rogers does make a good point …

All of this is to say that Carlisle still has three years left on his 5-year, $35 million extension he signed back in 2015. He is also responsible for Dallas’ only championship and has said repeatedly that he is here to see this current rebuild through.

Mavs’ fans should rest easy as the Bucks near their head coaching decision. Jim Carrey isn’t going anywhere.

 

Weekly Mavs’ Roundup

By – Zack Cunningham

We’re another week closer to the NBA Draft Lottery (now 11 days out from May 15) and another day closer to finding out who the Mavericks are going to hopefully bring in as the third and final piece to their new “Big 3”, a term coined by general manager Donnie Nelson during exit interviews last month.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of change in terms of who is predicted to go first overall or second except for maybe the order. Deandre Ayton has been the consensus No. 1 mock draft pick for months with Luka Doncic close behind.

However, with the Phoenix Suns bringing in Igor Kokoskov as the first-ever NBA head coach born outside North America (he also coached Doncic on the 2016-17 Slovenian national team), there’s a chance Phoenix, if the Suns pick first, could take Doncic there, thus pushing Ayton to No. 2.

At this point, every bit of speculation that can be conjectured at this point has already been said. It’s probably better to just kick back and watch the Warriors and LeBron steamroll towards a fourth-consecutive Finals meeting and weep for the Raptors (and Dwayne Casey … who stopped LeBron in 2011, but is failing to do so this year).


However, all this being said, if you’re still eager to read about head coach Rick Carlisle’s mindset heading into next season, Dwain Price with mavs.com has a revealing piece here for your consumption. Price has been a solid addition to the Mavericks official beat-writing unit.

Also, Price has a piece on Doug McDermott. The 6’8 sharpshooter was a revelation for Dallas post-All Star Break last year and wants to return to the Mavericks. Here’s to hoping they work it out.


Bobby Karalla has always been an astute Mavs’ observer and he brought up some wonderful memories from Dallas’ 2003 WCF series against the Spurs (we’ll just ignore Dirk’s injury in that series for the moment … because, you know, nice things).

It really is crazy to think that things that are common in the NBA now were things the Mavericks were running 15 years ago under Don Nelson. I still don’t think the NBA could handle a full-speed Dirk barrelling in from the 3-point line today.

Oh how’s Nelson doing these days, you ask? Well, he’s playing poker and smoking pot.


One final thing before we head into the weekend. Look, I’m not really one for pipe-dream speculation, however, in the case of Mike Fisher’s two-part Paul-George-to-Dallas-can-happen-like-this piece, I’m all ears.

It should be noted that Fisher isn’t saying this is likely or even probable. It’s just giving the details of what would need to happen for it to be conceivable. If that’s still not your cup of tea, well, there are other links to be clicked, but it’s worth your time.

 

Have a great weekend, #MFFL!