The Best Team in Mavericks' History: '88 vs. '11

Mavericks - 1988.jpg
While contemplating defensive coordinator Dwane Casey's departure to be the Toronto Raptors' head coach and whom they should take with the 26th pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, a couple more Mavs-related items buzzed through my brain this week.

1. Who from the championship team should have their number raised to the roof in retirement at American Airlines Center?

2. Could the '11 squad beat the '88 team?

When at last week's post-parade celebration Jason Terry told Brad Davis and Rolando Blackman to move over because company was headed their way it got us to thinking what Mavs' numbers deserved retiring.

Alongside Davis' No. 15 and Blackman's No. 22? Obviously Dirk Nowitzki's No. 41. He's the franchise's greatest player and he won a NBA Finals MVP in their first championship.

But along with him? Mark Aguirre's No. 24. The team's third all-time leading scorer -- although prone to moments of malcontent in the '80s -- helped Dallas to within one game of the Finals against a legendary Lakers' team in '88 and deserves immortality.

As for the '11 team, Terry's No. 31 might have earned a spot just because of his play in the final three games of The Finals. His huge 3-pointer to seal Game 5 and his 27-point performance in Game 6 -- along with his past Sixth Man Award and "JET" persona -- have cemented his positive legacy.

Jason Kidd? I'd say yes to his No. 2 as both a coronation of his second tour in Dallas but also his Hall of Fame career. I know the bulk of his elite play was sandwiched between Mavs' stops in '96 and '08, but he'll now be forever remembered not a Sun nor a Net but a Maverick. Right?

As for the two best teams in franchise history ...   

Give me the '88 squad over '11 in a 7-game series. Sounds blasphemous in the wake of what transpired last week, but I think Dick Motta's team was more talented than Rick Carlisle's.

The '88 team went 52-30, averaged 109 points per game and lost a Game 7 of the West Finals to a Lakers' team led by Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.

Why do I like '88 over '11?

Mainly because of the defensive looks they could throw at Nowitzki in the form of Sam Perkins and Roy Tarpley, both long enough and athletic enough to at least bother him into tough shots. I don't have the time or patience to construct one of those fantasy series at WhatIfSports.com, but if somebody does I'd be fascinated at the results.

POSITION                             '88                                     '11                                             

Point Guard:                     Derek Harper                            Jason Kidd

Shooting Guard:                Rolando Blackman                   DeShawn Stevenson

Small Forward:                 Mark Aguirre                             Shawn Marion

Power Forward:                Sam Perkins                             Dirk Nowitzki

Center:                            James Donaldson                      Tyson Chandler

Bench:                            Roy Tarpley, Detlef Schrempf      Jason Terry, J.J. Barea


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27 comments
Mokole
Mokole

Ah, what could have been in Dallas in the 80's.  They trade away Aguirre, team falls apart.  As long as Aguirre was there they had a great player who took ALL the abuse, which made life so much easier on Tarpley, Blackman et al.  What if Aguirre had made a power play to fire the coach like Magic, Isiah, Bird, Jordan, and so many other stars did?  Would Dallas have won with a coach who let his best player be the best, who let the team play to their strengths?  One cannot know, but we do know that once Aguirre was traded, all hopes of a contender went out the window,

Moon tan
Moon tan

I think Jason Terry should go up with Ro and Davis because of his championship run. I have a problem with brad Davis being up there. Fun to compare the 1988 team, talent wise the 88 team was better, chandler over donaldson, dirk over Perkins, Aguirre over Marion, Blackman over Stephenson, Harper over kid. Tarpley and detlef and brad Davis gives them a great bench, compares to jj, Terry and Haywood. I pick the 2011 team for two reasons, better and more athletic inside play with Chandler and Haywood and a totally unselfish super star, dirk. That would be the difference in the games down the stretch. Great argument. Dirk was unselfish and unstoppable.

sonjucantdraft
sonjucantdraft

one word..."Heart"

The Heart of the '88 team was Mark Aguirre.

The Heart of the  '11 team is Dirk....

end of discussion. '11 thumps '88

Rudy Gonzalez
Rudy Gonzalez

I was waiting for you mention Roy Tarpley. Probably the best player of all time in the NBA, unfortunately not the smartest one! His ability rivaled that of any player out there before during and after his career. Too bad he didn't have a guardian, no telling what kind of career he would have had!!!!!

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

Oh, and in answer to your other question - Dirk, Kidd, and probably Terry. If Brad Davis is in, Jason Terry must be in IMO. Also, how about Derek Harper?

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

Did the 'What if' sports simulation including lineup corrections.2-3-2 format. 2011 team swept 1988 team with a 15 pt. avg margin of victory. So there you go.

For the record, I was a huge fan of both teams, seeing as they are really one in the same.anyway ....and I've been a Mavs fan since inception in 1980.

P.S. I also ran a simulation of 11 Mavs vs. 88 Lakers. 11 Mavs were up 2 games to none when I decided to quit. LOL. (avg. margin of victory was 12 pts.! in LA!)

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

The 1988 team went 53-29 (not 52-30) according to basketball-reference dot com.

While at first glance it might appear that McCleod's team (not Motta's) had more talent than the 2011 NBA Champions, didn't the 2011 Finals just teach us something about TEAM vs. Talent?

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

The only matchup that 88 wins is Rolando vs DeShawn.

Otherwise, it's gutless Aguirre and worthless Tarpley. Neither of those fools could spell TEAM if you spotted them TE..

105.3 the FLIP
105.3 the FLIP

retired #s are just a sign of idiots grasping for former greatness. live in the now, monkeys!it just means your current team blows.cuz who the fuck looks up to the rafters as your team is getting its ass blown off?

dfw is without question the dumbest fan base in the sports world.

you can thank hitzges, galloway, sham & hanson for all your fathers being sports-retarded.yrs from now will spawn an even dumber sportsfan thanks to the incompetent hosts of 105.3. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

You really do suck at your chosen craft, Richie.

And remember, you get paid to be here everyday. Guess they don't pay you enough to do a 30 second search on coaching history.

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

Dick Motta's team!?? Huh!?? Are u kidding Richie?  John MacLeod was the head coach in '88. You have stooped to a new low. 

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I'm not a Mavericks fan, so explain to me how a guy with a career 8 point average gets his number retired? He might be the only player in the history of the NBA to have their jersey retired and never have dunked in a game.

Robert
Robert

Randy Galloway wrote about this exact topic in his column last Sunday.

Galloway used to dog Mark Aquirre about Aquirre's mysterious knuckle injury.

The Muffin Man (Aguirre) and DePaul came to North Texas State to play Kenneth Lyons & Co. and fellow Fort Worthian Lyons tried to start a fight with Aguirre I think.

Aguirre scoring 27 in one quarter against the Rockets was nice.

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

Lots of Mavs talk lately. Did the Mavs win the championship or something?

Storm_71
Storm_71

Wow RW talk about weird I was just thinging last night if one where to pit the '86 Dallas Sidelicks up aganist the '02 Dallas Burn who would come out on top? The Burn lead by Jason Kreis was good but me thinks the Sidekicks lead by the great Tatu and Wes McLeod would come out on top. What do you think RW??

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

A story to summarize the Mavericks career of Mark Aguirre:Home game against the other up-and-coming NBA team, the Detroit Pistons.  Around '87 or '88.  Late in first half Aguirre is assessed two technical fouls and is tossed. Motta screams to Aguirre, "What about the team?"  Aguirre replies, "Fuck the team!".Not to mention all the big games, especially playoffs, that Aguirre hurt his hand and couldn't play in the fourth quarter.No, Aguirre should never have his number retired by the Mavericks.

David Swinney
David Swinney

IMO, Mark Aguirre will be the last Maverick from the 1988 team to get his number retired (if it ever happens). Though his talent and accomplishments may warrant it, his ongoing petulance and the manner in which he forced his way out of town make such an honor unlikely.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Aguirre's would've been retired by now.

The second Dirk and Kidd retire you ensure nobody will ever wear their numbers again for Dallas--that's a no-brainer. Is LA going to retire Horry's number for good playoff play? That's how I feel about Terry's number being retired in an overly dramatic, perfect for cliche-radio exaggeration. Terry cemented a place in Mavericks lore, but you have to save number retirement for at least quasi-elite.

Couldn't care less about a comparison to a team that couldn't get past the Lakers over 20 years ago. This team got the trophy, that's what matters.

jamal
jamal

Players that force trades don't get their numbers retired.  They get bags of dicks to eat.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I predict no redaction, reply, or correction to this story. Unless RW is formulating why he put that in there. My prediction if he keeps Motta, was that it was Motta's team and that McLeod just picked up the slack. Well that would make '11 Don Nelson's team, no?

mm
mm

A new low?  for Richie?  That's bold talk.

Gordon Rives
Gordon Rives

Better Yet... Tedd Eck or  Oscar Pareja

Storm_71
Storm_71

Oh Scruff this shit matters in RW's world don't you remember he's the biggest Mav's fan ever. He's the one taht told us all along how good Dirk was going to be.

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

RealDirtyP1, that was exactly the excuse I'm thinking he will muster up. He's gonna claim it was Motta's and use the '95 Cowboys under Switzer (Jimmy's team) as a comparison. But lets be honest here. He forgot about MacLeod and like Scruffy said---he just flat out "sucks at his craft."

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

In the context of the sentence he uses Rick Carlisle possessively. There's really no weaseling out of it, but the attempt will likely be made.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Comparing the late 80s teams that were good, but only a footnote in the history of the NBA since they didn't do anything of real note, against a championship team that took out the defending champs and usurped the throne from the media's "rightful" heir in the Heat, is like comparing Full House to Modern Family. They both were at the top in the same eras, but are they really comparable TV comedies just because they are both ABC shows?

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