The interest and intrigue going into the second half of the NBA season will be like none other in recent memory.  With the Western Conference as wide open as the Grand Canyon, teams are putting all their chips on the table and seizing the opportunity at hand.  Of course, the Lakers are an exception as they gave up practically nobody to get Pau Gasol and are immediately reaping the benefits.  But the recent trades by the Suns and now the Mavericks have the similar notion in that they are ridding themselves of  players in their prime and risking the potential loss of chemistry on the court for years to come versus the sexy allure of signing proven veterans all in an effort of winning "now".    With these moves comes the realiziation that the window of opportunity just closed dramatically.  Suns GM Steve Kerr certainly must have weighed these factors in mind before making the unconventional move of bringing Shaq to their fast-paced offense and waving bye-bye to the Matrix.  Certainly there are concerns and questions as to how Shaq will cope, but with the West as deep as ever...

Unconventional might be the way to go.

The Mav's window of opportunity just dramatically closed as well as they wave bye-bye to Devin Harris, veterans Devean George and Desagana Diop, money and potential first rounders {I didn't put Stackhouse because it's reported that the Nets will buy him out and he might resign with Dallas.}  Personally, I believe Cuban gave up way too much to get Kidd.  But two things that the Mavs needed was a point guard and lockerroom leadership.  They got a package deal in that regard with Jason Kidd.  Josh Howard won't have to bring up the ball anymore, which should him even more dangerous and Nowitzki should thrive even more on the offensive end.  The mental toughness that Kidd brings in are what the Mavs needed the most.  Someone that could rally the team when they're in a hole.  Kidd brings that and more.  But by throwing all their chips in, the Mavs are in that "win now" mode as well. They don't have the luxury anymore of saying that they'll be contenders for a long period.  

With all this in mind, this makes for the most intriguing second half probably ever.

Buckle up.


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