Friday, January 4, 2008

Ask Art Garcia is operational

We’ve been working on some technical glitches, but my first mailbag is up. Thanks to everyone out there who sent in questions and I promise that the next batch will be up a lot sooner. Here’s a sample of a couple of the questions.

I would like to know what happened to Del Harris? We don’t see him on the bench this year. Did he retire? Change teams? I’m sure we’ve been told already on a broadcast, but somehow I missed it. Would love to know.
– Naheed, Fort Worth
Good ole Del is still a part of the Mavericks family. He’s a team consultant and still comes to a number of games. Basically, if Mark Cuban or Donnie Nelson or any of the coaches need another viewpoint on anything, Del is around to offer his insight and experience. Though he decided to take the year off from coaching, he hasn’t retired.

What has happened to DeSagana Diop? During the summer he played to improve on offense. In the preseason and during November he was the starter. Now he only plays garbage time. What happened besides Dampier getting healthy?
– Alan, Dallas
Erick Dampier getting healthy is a big part of that. Avery Johnson has always said the Mavs are a better team with Damp in the starting lineup if Damp is playing to his strengths (rebounding, shot-blocking and the ability to finish). Lately, we’ve seen some of that. As for Gana, he did start the season strong before fading a bit. The ability of Brandon Bass playing center, especially against smaller teams like Phoenix and Golden State , has also cut into Gana’s time. The Mavs will need Gana at some point this season to be productive, regardless of how long he’s on the court.

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