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MFFL: Why I Love This Game

by Greg Higgins on April 2, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

LoveThisGame

I have always been a basketball fan. I can remember watching Magic and the Lakers taking on Bird and the Celtics in the 80’s. I remember not liking Joe Dumars and the Pistons as they beat up on other players night in and night out. To this day, I still think there was nobody better than Michael Jordan. Period. End of discussion.

Basketball has always been a passion of mine. I love the Dallas Mavericks. I moved to the area in 1989 and became a fan immediately. We didn’t have television during those years so I remember sitting in my room and listening to every game on my radio. The games were broadcast on WBAP 820 and I would listen intently. Didn’t matter when the game was played, I was going to listen. I imagined the game being played in my head as I listed to the announcer describe each basket and every turnover.

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Allsport

Naturally, I’ve continued to follow the Mavericks in a very fanatical way. Like most fans, I live and die with every shot and every win or loss. I can tell you where I was when they won the title. I know exactly what day it was that I attended my first Dallas Mavericks basketball game (March 17, 1995 against the Philadelphia 76ers). I can remember the excitement when they finally made the playoffs and knocked off the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.

It’s because of this, that I don’t consider myself a reporter. I’m a fan who is extremely passionate about his teams. One of those teams happens to be the Dallas Mavericks. This is why I write for MavsFanatic. Ryan Wilson and Damian Jackson share the same passion I do for the Mavericks.

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to take my nephew to his first ever NBA game. He’s a huge Kevin Durant fan and he loves the Oklahoma City Thunder. Being a huge Jordan fan growing up, I understand this and I understand the desire to watch your favorite player play in person. I never got the chance to watch Jordan in person (not because my parents didn’t try but because the tickets sold out too fast) so I decided for Christmas this year to give my nephew the opportunity I never had.

With Mavs Fanatic I’ve had a chance to cover games and watch games from the press box. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing players and coaches, but this would be my first game this year as a fan sitting in the stands. We sat in the upper deck and from the opening tip my nephew had a blast. It was his first NBA game and he loved every minute of it.

Kevin Durant had a monsterous night along with some huge dunks that got my nephew up out of his seat. This 13 year old was in heaven. Durant scored 43 points but the Mavs won the game in overtime. Both of us were happy. Well I’m sure he would have been happier if he had watched the Thunder win the game. Never-the-less, the Christmas present was a success.

We were surrounded by about six or seven kids who were Mavericks fans. Several officiating calls that the crowd didn’t agree with brought chants of boos across the crowd. One kid yelled to the refs, “Don’t you get paid to actually read the rule book, ref?”

I couldn’t help but laugh and it reminded me of myself at my first Mavs game 19 years ago. I was a teenager but I had the time of my life. That’s why we do what we do, right? That’s why this game is so much fun. We get mad at the officials or we gripe about a player and his shot selection, but we do it because we’re fans. We do it because to some degree we’re just like my nephew attending his first game.

Sure, there are corporate people who come to game to impress the business world. You, the Mavs Fanatic, don’t do that, though. You go because deep down you’re still that 13 year old kid attending the game for the first time with his uncle. You do it because you want your kids to experience the same passion and desire you have for this team.

It doesn’t matter why you fell in love with the NBA and the Mavericks, and it doesn’t matter who your favorite player is or was. What matters is you’re a fan and you support them through thick and thin. You pass it on to your kids, grandkids or nephews. Whether they make the playoff or not, it doesn’t matter because we love this team and we will always be a MFFL.

____________________

Kevin Durant photo courtesy of AP Photo/LM Otero

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Wrap Up: Mavs Take Down Celtics In Ugly Fashion

by Terence Huie on March 18, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up

The Mavs begin their coveted 8-game home stand with an 89-94 win against the Boston Celtics. Luck was not on Boston’s side on St. Patty’s Day, as the Mavs handed the Celtics their fifth consecutive loss.

The Game At Hand:

Coming off the second of a back-to-back game against the Thunder, the Mavericks obviously went into the first quarter on a slow start on Monday night. Boston shot a dismal 25% from the field within the first six minutes of the game. But Dallas seemed to find some rhythm midway through the second quarter. Despite being out-rebounded 26 to 19 at halftime, the Mavs managed to hold a 7-point lead thanks to an 11-3 run.

The third quarter was a fairly different story. The Mavs came out in the second half jumping out to a 64-49 lead thanks to 7 points from Shawn Marion. With less than five minutes to go in the third period, the Celtics would not go away without a fight. A huge three-pointer from the team’s leading scorer Jeff Green, followed by a critical three-point play by Mavs’ first round draft pick Kelly Olynyk would cut the Celtics’ deficit down to three to end the quarter.

From there in the fourth quarter, the Mavs seemed like they had no answer for Boston’s strong performance by Jerryd Bayless. Just under 6 minutes left in the game, Bayless 12 points, including two huge three points would put the Celtics down by three with 1:15 left. But Monta Ellis and Shawn Marion would seal the victory for the Mavs with four clutch free throws down the stretch to end the game.

Inside The Numbers:

The Mavs walked away with a victory, but should be a little disappointed with the shooting percentage from the three-point line. Dallas is ranked third in the league from deep, averaging 39%. Against Boston, the Mavs were 9 for 27 from behind the arch (33%), including Vince Carter making zero three-pointers of his five attempts. There are a total of 27 teams who average shooting better 33% from behind the three-point line this season.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis 

Stat Line: 17 points. 7 rebounds. 4 assists.

Monta Ellis played an exceptionally great game against the Celtics. Although he was 4 of 11 from the field, he was more aggressive in getting to the free-throw line easily (8 of 9 from the charity stripe). Not to mention, his two clutch free –three throws helped in the win for the Mavericks.

Quotes:

“They just kept coming back at us. They’ve got some young, aggressive guys that are hungry and they were hitting shots.” - Rick Carlisle

 

Harris“I almost tore both of my flexors trying to chase that ball, but I’m glad I got to it. That was a big play from Devin.” - Dirk Nowitzki on outlet pass from Harris leading to breakaway dunk

Looking Ahead:

The Mavs continue their 8-game home stand, facing Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

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MGN: Crucial Home Stretch Begins As Mavs Take On Celtics

by Ryan Wilson on March 17, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MGN Paige

The Dallas Mavericks (40-27) were handed a gift heading into last night’s matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder (48-18), and took full advantage of it. Missing Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins, and Thabo Sefolosha, the Thunder were no match for the well balanced Mavericks attack. Today, they will begin their long 8-game home stand as they take on the Boston Celtics(22-45).

The Game At Hand:

The Mavs landed a huge victory last night in what many likely had circled as a loss. They now head in to a make or break stretch for their season, and need to not overlook the Celtics to get it started. There have been let downs all season long, so it is a valid concern, but the Celtics will most likely be resting Rajon Rondo on the second night of a back to back.

Expect Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis to get back into the swing of things tonight, as they struggled last night a bit. Nights like last night aren’t all that bad when you show off a squad that is as well rounded offensively as the Mavericks are. On a night where the Mavs two studs didn’t bring their best stuff, other guys like Shawn Marion, Jose Calderon, and Vince Carter stepped right up.

Last time the Mavericks faced off against the Celtics, they prevailed 102-91. They lead by as much as 24 points, and had six guys in double figures.

The Celtics are 0-14 against the West this season on the road this season.

Keys To The Game:

1. Put Them Away Early

The Mavericks need to come out of the gates fast and early tonight against a Rondo-less Celtics squad. It’s never a good idea to let teams that have nothing to play for hang around. A good quality win will go a long ways in providing some great momentum heading into the rest of the home stand.

2. Run ‘N’ Gun 

While the Celtics might not be a powerhouse on offense, defensively is a whole different story. They allow 95.5 ppg, which is good for 4th best in the NBA, but they do turn the ball over quite a bit, at 15.4 per game. The Mavericks will need to take advantage of that and turn that into easy baskets.

Matchup of the Night:

Mavericks vs Mavericks 

On any given night, you don’t know which Mavericks team will show up. Riding a huge wave of momentum from last nights victory, the Mavericks can’t do what many people think can happen, which is have a let down against a Boston Celtics squad that doesn’t belong in the same gym with the Mavs. The Mavericks are a dangerous team when focused on both ends of the floor, and some teams have started to notice that. It’s the games where the focus and energy is lacking when they can easily be exposed. Which team will show up is anyone’s guess, but for the Mavericks to right the playoff ship and climb the standings, they will need to make sure they bring that energy each and every night.

Quotes:

 

“I’ve never seen an eight-game homestand in this league in 30 years. It’s very unusual. There’s opportunity here, but it’s going to be very challenging, too. We’re going to have to work to keep our edge every day and every night, and we’ll find out a lot about our character. The ability to keep that edge is one of the signs of real competitive character, and we’re going to have to have it.” - Rick Carlisle on 8-game home stand

 

“We can’t jump ahead of ourselves. Every team that we’re playing is capable of beating us and we know that. We’ve got to understand that, go out there and take it one game at a time and see what we can do.” - Shawn Marion 

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at American Airlines Center tonight is at 7:30 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest.

Playoff Watch:

6. Golden State (42-26) | Next 3 – ORL, MIL, &  San Antonio

7. Dallas Mavericks (40-27) | Next 3 – BOS, MIN, & DEN

8. Memphis Grizzlies (39-27) | Next 3 – UTAH, @MIA, & IND

9. Phoenix Suns (38-28) | Next 3 – @BKN, ORL, & DET

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Mavs Pre-Season 4 Days Away – A Look Back At Michael Finley

by Ryan Wilson on October 3, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

Finley1

Can you feel it Mavs fans? We are only 4 days away from the pre-season tip-off. Who else to represent that number than one of the greatest Mavericks ever to play, Michael Finley.

Finley was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the 21st overall pick in 1995. He played for the University of Wisconsin, where he had quite a bit of success, and even held the all-time scoring record for over 10 years. His 1st season with Phoenix landed him on the NBA All-Rookie 1st Team, averaging 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.

Despite his successful season with Phoenix, the Suns decided to trade Finley, Sam Cassell, A.C. Green, and a 2nd Round pick to Dallas for Jason Kidd, Loren Meyer, and Tony Dumas.

FinleyGroupFinley immediately became the leader of the Mavericks, and along with Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, they would become the “Big Three” in Big D, turning the Mavericks franchise contender for many years to come.

Finley would be selected to two All-Star games(2000,2001) and would even play for the US National Team in 2002. The group of Nash, Finley, and Nowitzki would entertain Mavericks fans everywhere for many years, but as much fun as the Mavericks were to watch, they could never ultimately get over the hump with that group.

In 2005, the Mavericks had to waive Finley in order to avoid luxury taxes. He was courted by many teams, but ultimately decided to choose the Mavericks long time rival, the San Antonio Spurs. This didn’t exactly resonate well with Mavericks fans, but even today he remains a fan favorite in Dallas.

In 2007, he went on to win his first and only NBA Championship with San Antonio. Steve Nash now remains the only one of the “Big Three” not to win a Championship. Finley would later sign with the Boston Celtics in 2010, and would eventually announce his retirement at the end of that season.

MichaelFinleyIn the end, Finley was an integral part of turning a franchise full of mediocrity into a championship contender. Today, you can still find Finley getting involved with activities within the organization. Despite winning a ring with the rival Spurs, he is and always will be a Maverick.

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Grading the Mavericks Offseason with Greg Higgins

by MavsFanatic on July 27, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Coming into the offseason, Dallas Mavericks fans have had lots of questions. Fans have been disappointed since the summer after Dallas brought home the title in 2011. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson felt it was best to allow Tyson Chandler (Knicks) and J.J. Barea (Timberwolves) walk away in free agency. Cuban and Nelson kept talking about financial flexibility and leaving room for the summer of 2012 when Deron Williams and Dwight Howard would be available.

The summer of 2012 came and went and Howard wound up with the Los Angeles Lakers while Williams chose the Brooklyn Nets over his hometown Mavericks. After a disappointing season in which the Mavericks missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, there was much optimism about the Mavericks offseason plans this summer. Chris Paul and Howard were the premier ‘Big Fish’ free agents out there and Dallas was hoping to land one of them.

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Once the Los Angeles Clippers landed head coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics, Paul did as most assumed and decided to re-sign with the Clippers while the Howard sweepstakes concluded when he signed with the Houston Rockets. Despite Houston being the popular front-runner, Howard’s decision was anyone’s guess. He had narrowed it down to a handful of teams with the Mavericks being one but in the end he chose Houston over Dallas. Obviously there were other players available in free agency but these were the two that everyone was targeting.

Many people, myself included, wondered what Dallas would try and do next.

Andre Iguodala who reportedly was an hour away from becoming a Dallas Maverick, signed with the Golden State Warriors and Josh Smith went to the Detroit Pistons. These were two other players on the Mavericks watch list.

Two positions Dallas needed to address this offseason were point guard and center. Last year Dallas was terrible on the boards and a big man would help solidify that position. One of the big men on their radar was Andrew Bynum. Although Bynum has had some injury problems in the past, he was someone Dallas felt they could utilize down low with Dirk Nowtizki. Following careful medical consultation, the Mavs brass passed on Bynum, who then decided to sign a partially guaranteed two-year $24 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

bynum

With all the talk of who the Mavericks didn’t get and what they missed out on, one could be led to believe the Mavericks are in worse shape than before. However, let’s not jump to conclusions too quickly. When analyzing the offseason you must understand where the Mavericks were last season.

Dallas ranked 16th in the league in team rebounds last year but they were 29th in opponents rebounding. The Mavs were fifth best in assists (23.2/gm) while being middle-of-the-pack in steals (16th). These were areas they needed to improve and in order to do so they needed to upgrade at the aforementioned center and point guard positions.

 

Let’s grade the Mavericks offseason so far:

Draft – A

Dallas walked away from the draft with a really good point guard in Shane Larkin, a player ranked 9th on the Mavs’ draft board.

“Our pick-and-roll game this past year was not at the level we’re used to, so we wanted to get better in that area,” Carlisle said. “Shane’s one of the best in college basketball at doing that.

During the championship run in 2011, Jason Terry and Nowitzki mastered the two man game and were virtually unstoppable. The Larkin (ankle) addition will eventually benefit Dirk and hopefully free him up for some more open shots.

The Mavericks also drafted shooting guard Ricky Ledo out of Providence. Ledo (6-7; 195) never played a minute in college, but had he his talent was worthy of a late lottery to mid-first round selection. Coming off the bench, he can be a nice complimentary player to go along with some of the other shooting guards the Mavericks have. Expect both Larkin and Ledo to spend time with the Mavs’ D-League affiliate Texas Legends.

Free Agency – B

At first I was really disappointed with the Mavericks free agency approach. Once again it seemed as if they had all their eggs in one basket and when that didn’t pan out, they seemed lost again. That wasn’t the case at all. Instead Dallas had a back up plan. While many of us were trying to figure out what that plan was, Cuban and Nelson seemed to have it figured out.

BF2_JMCmavs1.png

Dallas scooped up the best pure point guard left on the market by signing Jose Calderon (4 years $29 million). Calderon has been on the Mavericks radar for a while and has been the topic of many trade discussions with Toronto over the past several seasons. Nearly acquiring the Spanish vet weeks before the trade deadline, Dallas simply waited to sign him outright. Last year for the Raptors and Detroit Pistons he averaged 11.3 points and 7.1 assists. Calderon along with possibly Devin Harris (toe) plus rookies Gal Mekel and Larkin, the Mavs should have a nice rotation at the point guard position.

 

 

 

Dallas also signed 27-year-old Monta Ellis (3 years $25 million), formerly with the Milwaukee Bucks. Last season, the shooting guard averaged 19.2 points and 6 assists per game. Ellis will take the place of the departed O.J. Mayo and gives Dallas another viable scoring option along with Nowitzki.

Along with Ellis, the Mavericks brought his former teammate Samuel Dalembert (2 years $7.5 million) to help plug up the middle of the lane. Dalembert has career averages of 8.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. The defensive presence will be welcome sight for the Mavs who lacked a defensive anchor last season.

To help out with the center position, Dallas re-signed both Brandan Wright (2 years $10 million) and Bernard James. The fan favorite averaged just over eight points a game and four rebounds.

Dallas also addressed additional shooting by signing former North Carolina Tarheel Wayne Ellington to a two-year deal worth a little over $5 million.

Considering what all Dallas missed out on during free agency, they seem to be sitting pretty right now. Of course nobody knows what will happen during the season with injuries and/or trade possibilities but as a Mavericks fan, I like the position they have put themselves in for the upcoming season. Coach Carlisle has a group of guys that if they come together could be the surprise of the NBA season this year.

Greg Higgins is a contributor with Mavs Fanatic. Video courtesy of @itsKlayAllen





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Mavs Shed Salary, Get Their Guys

by Ryan Wilson on June 28, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

BeFunky_larkinledoblur.jpg

Had I written this last night, it would’ve taken me quite some time to catch my breath. On a night that featured Anthony Bennett becoming the first Canadian born player to be drafted #1, that was only the beginning. Nerlens Noel, the highly regarded #1 pick going into last night dropped all the way to the New Orleans Pelicans, only to be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday and the 2014 1st round draft pick.

Think that’s a stunner? Try this one on for size. It was reported all throughout yesterday that a deal sending Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets was just waiting on Garnett’s approval. Consider that a done deal now.

Then there were the Mavericks, flying under the radar after last night. Their main goal going into last night was finding a way to move down in the draft to shed salary. However, due to certain players drastically falling on the board, it started to look as if the Mavericks could land Trey Burke or Michael Carter-Williams. That was until the 76ers pulled the trade sending Holiday to the Pelicans. In less than 10 minutes, Burke and MCW were off the board, and the Mavericks went into “sell mode”.

The Mavericks ended up trading their 13th pick to the Celtics for their 16th pick, only to eventually trade that pick and Jared Cunningham to the Hawks for their 18th pick. Essentially, with dropping to the 18th pick, and getting Cunningham off the books, the Mavericks saved $1,092,720 in the process.

With the 18th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft the Atlanta Hawks(Picking for Mavericks) select Shane Larkin, from the University of Miami. 

Don’t think this pick will be moved ladies and gentlemen. All signs point to the Mavericks being very happy with Larkin, and have no intention on moving him.

Shane Larkin is a fierce competitor, and at only 6 feet and 170 pounds, is not one you should underestimate. He was named the ACC Player of the Year and lead the Miami Hurricanes to a 27-6 regular season record, the ACC Championship, and a Sweet 16 birth. He averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals in his sophomore season and even shot above 40 % from behind the arc.

He excels in the pick-and-roll game, which should fit nicely with Dirk Nowitzki and possibly Dwight Howard, if things go according to plan. He is a true gamer, and is also son of MLB legend, Barry Larkin. Rick Carlisle was a huge fan of his going into the draft night, so it seems as though he got his guy.

“Our pick-and-roll game this past year was not at the level we’re used to, so we wanted to get better in that area,” Carlisle said. “Shane’s one of the best in college basketball at doing that. A lot of people try to go under screens because of his quickness and he shot behind screens very effectively. He’ll see a lot of different coverages in this league, and what we’ve seen is that he does a good job reading situations.”

Not only did Larkin turn heads during his sophomore season, he also impressed scouts at the NBA Draft Combine last month. He had a 44-inch vertical leap, which was 1st among all players, and was also one of the fastest players as well.

It seems as though Larkin will fit in quite well with the NBA system. His consistent outside jumpshot, pick-and-roll ability, and his determination and winner mentality should help the Mavericks immediately.

“This league now is a lot about playmakers and being able to make plays off the dribble, having a feel for the game,” Carlisle said. “Speed is important. He brings some of those dynamics and characteristics. We think he’s going to help us.”

Larkin figures to come off the bench, which is no surprise to anyone that knows Rick Carlisle.

(On if Larkin is a starter in this league) “I don’t know that. I think what I said was, is I think that he’s good enough to earn playing time. We’ll see what form that takes and what form the roster ultimately takes. We like him. If we hadn’t taken at 18, he would have been gone at 19. We do know that.”

With the 43rd pick, the Milwaukee Bucks(Traded to Philadelphia to Brooklyn to Atlanta to Dallas) select Ricky Ledo, from Providence. 

R-A-W. The one word that comes to mind when you take a look at Ledo. He actually never played a minute for Providence, due to academic probation, but did practice throughout the year. This is a guy who has Lottery potential, but has some character issues to work on. If he turns into anything near the player he’s supposed to be, this will be a STEAL for the Mavericks.

At 6’6 and 200 pounds, he is your prototypical shooting guard, and boy can he shoot. His senior year of High School, Ledo averaged 23.4 points and 6.2 rebounds. He can handle the ball with the best of them, and has a quick first step, allowing him to pull back and hit the jumper or attack the rim and finish.

The Summer League will be huge in determining the type of player Ledo is or can be as a Maverick. I expect Rick Carlisle to do quite well in addressing the character issues and getting the full potential from his player, as he often does.

Please Click The Image Below To Hear MAD Mavs Radio Debut Podcast Covering Last Night’s Draft

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What’s Next?

The Mavericks will now turn their attention to finding a way to shed more salary in hopes of landing Dwight Howard. They will most likely discuss with Shawn Marion and figure out a way to keep him a Maverick, but in a more financially beneficial way. Marion must decide if he will opt in to his final year of contract by Sunday, June 30th.

 

Then the real fun will begin. Monday, July 1st marks the first day that NBA teams can court their potential free agents.

Buckle up Mavs Nation! If you thought last night was exhilarating, you haven’t seen anything yet!

 

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Mock Draft: Mavs Fanatic First Round 1.0

by Damian Jackson on June 6, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

MFMock1

The NBA Draft is three weeks away and player workouts have prospects shifting positions on a daily basis. It’s time that we break out our first edition of the Mock Draft and share our thoughts on who we think will go where based on team need, workout impressions and daily reports.

 

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Nerlens Noel, C Kentucky | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 206

Noel has long been slotted as the top pick in this year’s draft and that hasn’t changed. Expect the Cavs to select the slender defensive center who’s aiming for a December return to the court.

 

 

2. Orlando Magic – Ben McLemore, SG Kansas | Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 188

McLemore has a pure jump shot and great size at SG for the NBA. Along with his shooting, Ben is an incredible athlete and many say he’s likely to be an All-Star level player for years. The Magic need that scoring infusion and McLemore can be that guy.

 

 

3. Washington Wizards – Otto Porter, SF Georgetown | Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 198

Otto Porter wins the Naismith College Player of the Year award if not for Trey Burke’s very impressive run in the tournament. Porter has an all-around game with intangibles that make him as NBA-ready an anyone in this class. Wizards keep Otto in DC.

 

 

4. Charlotte Bobcats – Alex Len, C Maryland | Ht: 7’1″ Wt: 255

Alex Len provides the Bobcats a center they need. With Byron Mullens likely gone it leaves Brendan Haywood. Bismack Biyombo could move to PF while Len offers Charlotte a solid defensive anchor in the middle who isn’t offensively challenged.

 

 

5. Phoenix Suns – Victor Oladipo, SG Indiana | Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 213

The Suns need stability. Victor Oladipo helps in that regard, he’s a relentless worker and plays hard on both ends of the floor. Oladipo would infuse energy into the U.S. Airways crowd, a step in the right direction with a new GM and head coach.

 

 

6. New Orleans Pelicans – Shabazz Muhammad, SF UCLA | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 222

ShaMu this high?! The popular pick is Trey Burke, but they do have the 6-foot-6 Greivis Vasquez running point who averaged 9.0 assists in 78 games last season. The Pelicans have a more pressing need at SF and Shabazz could be the right guy.

 

 

7. Sacramento Kings – Anthony Bennett, PF UNLV | Ht: 6’8″ Wt: 240

Kings need a PG more, but it’d be tough to pass on Bennett if he were to drop here. SI.com says Bennett may have the most star potential in the draft, but is he a tweener? Sneaky skilled for a PF-type, AB would compliment Boogie Cousins well.

 

 

8. Detroit Pistons – Trey Burke, PG Michigan | Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 187

It’s no secret the Pistons want a PG. Michael Carter-Williams could be the choice, but with   Wolverine and College Player of the Year Burke available they may go that route. Burke’s heart and competitiveness would be welcomed in Detroit.

 

 

9. Minnesota Timberwolves – C.J. McCollum, PG/SG Lehigh | Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 197

McCollum makes perfect sense for the Wolves. A combo guard with advanced scoring ability and versatility. The foot injury no longer an issue, McCollum would step in next to Ricky Rubio and relieve some of Kevin Love’s scoring responsibilities.

 

 

10. Portland Trail Blazers – Steven Adams, C Pittsburgh | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 235

Portland hit a homerun (Damian Lillard) and a ground out (Meyers Leonard) in last year’s lottery. Steven Adams represents a true NBA center with his physical tools, rebounding and defense. Tons of upside and an solid fit next to LaMarcus Aldridge.

 

 

11. Philadelphia 76ers – Cody Zeller, PF/C Indiana | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 230

Some have the Blazers snagging Zeller, but he’ll be more of a PF in the NBA. Either way the Sixers will be satisfied to see Zeller fall to them. Cody showed impressive athleticism at the combine and he’d be able to play the 4/5 in Philly.

 

 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Mason Plumlee, C Duke | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 238

OKC could go in several directions with this pick, but smart money says they address the center position. Kendrick Perkins has been disappointing. Plumlee gives the Thunder an explosive big who rebounds very well and finishes with authority above the rim.

 

 

13. Dallas Mavericks – Michael Carter-Williams, PG Syracuse | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 185

The Mavs have their eye set on Carter-Williams. If he makes it to 13, they draft him. His size is special for the position and he owns the best court vision and PG instincts in this class. MCW would be nice addition if Dallas whiffs on Chris Paul.

 

 

14. Utah Jazz – Dennis Schröder, PG Germany | Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 165

Utah has strong interest in Schröder to replace free agent Mo Williams. The 19-year-old PG has a lot of Rajon Rondo in his repertoire. Reports say he received a promise from the Boston Celtics, but he may not make it that far.

 

 

15. Milwaukee Bucks – Jamaal Franklin, SG San Diego State | Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 191

The Bucks face a lot of uncertainties in their backcourt. If Brandon Jennings stays, Milwaukee could use help on the wing. Franklin fits the bill as an above average rebounder, elite athlete and plays aggressive on offense and defense.

 

 

16. Boston Celtics – Gorgui Dieng, C Louisville | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 230

With Schröder likely gone, the Celtics could switch gears and find a center. Dieng owns NBA center size and is skilled defensively. There are other options, but many scouts are high on Dieng ability to contribute immediately.

 

 

17. Atlanta Hawks – Dario Saric, SF Croatia | Ht: 6’10″ Wt: 223

Saric is believed to be the draft’s top international prospect and could go as high as No. 6 to the Pelicans. Naturally this would be quite to steal for the Hawks who will be carefully utilizing their cap space this summer. Saric to withdraw from the draft?

 

 

18. Atlanta Hawks - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Georgia | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 204

The Hawks’ only guards with guaranteed deals are Lou Williams (ACL) and John Jenkins. There’s buzz about Caldwell-Pope and this seems like a good fit for both parties. Hometown kid stays around and Hawks get a legit all-around player.

 

 

19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Sergey Karasev, SG/SF Russia | Ht: 6’7″ Wt: 197

According to reports, sounds like Karasev’s already received a promise and word out there says this is the floor for Karasev. The Cavs really like him. He provides Cleveland a player with immense shooting ability and the size to play either wing position.

 

 

20. Chicago Bulls – Kelly Olynyk, PF/C Gonzaga | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 238

A slide of sorts for Olynyk, but he could still crack the lottery. If the Bulls consider amnesty with Carlos Boozer, the Gonzaga product provides Chicago an ample replacement (along w/ Taj Gibson) whose skill set fit an NBA four.

 

 

21. Utah Jazz – Rudy Gobert, C France | Ht: 7’2″ Wt: 238

The Jazz could double dip in international waters by going Gobert after Schroder. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are set to leave, so Utah could be enticed to take Gobert as a development behind ripe big men Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.

 

 

22. Brooklyn Nets – Tony Mitchell, PF North Texas | Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 237

Mitchell is scheduled to work out for city rival NY Knicks tomorrow, but the Nets have interest as well. Brooklyn could use a PG unless they trust TyShawn Taylor as Deron Williams’ backup. Mitchell’s stock is on the rise nonetheless.

 

 

23. Indiana Pacers – Shane Larkin, PG Miami | Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 171

This would be too sweet for the Pacers. Point guard is an area of need and Larkin falling in their lap is a miracle. Chances of it happening are slim though as he could go as high as 14th or 15th to the Jazz or Bucks.

 

 

24. New York Knicks - Jeff Withey, C Kansas | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 222

Roy Hibbert’s size was too much for Tyson Chandler and the Knicks. Marcus Camby doesn’t play anymore, Kenyon Martin was too small. Withey plugs in as the immediate backup with great basketball knowledge, physical tools and shot-blocking.

 

 

25. Los Angeles Clippers – Allen Crabbe, SG California | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 198

Crabbe is a talented player with a terrific stroke. The Clippers believe Chris Paul isn’t going anywhere and it’s always wise to surround a PG with shooters. Crabbe works well off screens and in transition, perfect wing type for a Paul-run offense.

 

 

26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Ricky Ledo, SG Providence | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 197

Ledo appears to be the mystery and possible best sleeper of the draft. Someone mentioned he had a Kevin Durant-like shot and it’s not far off. He looks like a top-notch scorer and special wing this late in the first round. Minny can use ‘em!

 

 

27. Denver Nuggets – Glen Rice Jr., SF Rio Grande Valley (NBDL) | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 211

Glen Rice Jr. looks to go from the D-League to the NBA by way of draft. The Nuggets who recently severed ties with George Karl will probably lose SG Andre Iguodala to free agency and seek his replacement. Denver will like that Rice Jr. is ready NOW.

 

 

28. San Antonio Spurs – Lucas Nogueira, C Brazil | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 215

With already one Brazlian center on the roster in Tiago Splitter, the Spurs may entertain the idea of selecting Nogueira and stash him away for a year or two. This gives Lucas time to advance his skills and the Spurs to prep a role for him down the road.

 

 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Tim Hardaway Jr., SG Michigan | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 200

The Thunder addressed a vital need in the lottery, but could seek a cheaper SG option here rather than retain free agent Kevin Martin. OKC still has Jeremy Lamb as well and could have two younger, more affordable guard competition in camp.

 

 

30. Phoenix Suns - Giannis Adetokunbo, SF/PF Greece | Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 196

Adetokunbo this late would be amazing for the Suns, who want to ignite new enthusiasm to it’s fan base. He brings different elements to the game than any Suns forward. Channing Frye remains a health concern and there’s zero faith in Michael Beasley.

 

 

 

 

Damian Jackson is a partner at Mavs Fanatic. Follow Damian on Twitter @thedfactor and like our site’s page on Facebook.

 

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Mavs Game Night: The JET Makes His Return to Dallas

by Damian Jackson on March 22, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

bosatdal

I’ve already had the opportunity to watch Jason Terry play the Dallas Mavericks as a Boston Celtic in person when the Mavs were in Beantown back in December. The game was a double overtime thriller that unfortunately ended a 117-115 Celtic win.

My experience will not compare to the likely environment inside the American Airlines Center tonight when JET returns to Dallas, a place he called home for eight NBA seasons. The welcome will be warm for Terry because of all he did for the Mavericks organization and the city of Dallas.

“He meant so much to our franchise,” Nowitzki said. “Not only on the court, where, to me, he’s one of the best clutch shooters I ever played with, but also off the court. He was a great community man. Every other day, he was doing something, appearances left and right. He’s just a guy with a huge heart. I wish him all the best this season, and hopefully he gets the ovation that he deserves.”

No worries Dirk, your buddy will definitely get that roar he deserves after helping you bring the Mavericks their first championship title back in 2011. Clutch Terry was and his walk kept pace with his talk in the critical 2011 NBA Finals where the JET came up huge after Dirk called him out.

Terry actually had been trending worldwide because he was dunked on by LeBron James the other night. James dunks on a bunch of people, but he especially enjoyed the one on Terry he said. That passion definitely stemmed from the Finals two years ago when LeBron couldn’t contain JET for the entire series.

[VIDEO 1] JET Nails Dagger Three in Game 5

[VIDEO 2] Terry Takes Over in Game 6

Terry runs his mouth, yeah sure. He does. But tons of players do, howevert it’s the special ones that back up their talk and Terry has done that in his career. I love his toughness and the immense competitive nature possessed by that man.

“He’s one of the most beloved players, I think, in the history of this franchise because of his personality, his relationship with the fans and the community, and he was a great player,” Carlisle said. “He was a prime-time great player in the clutch. Guys like that always distinguish themselves. It’ll be emotional, I’m sure, for him and the fans and some of us that got to know him well. But we know how good he is, and we’re game-planning for him too.”

Tonight Terry’s Celtics are here to propel their playoff position and in the process push Dallas’ hopes further down the drain.

Neither team has much going right now. The Mavs have recently been trading wins and losses and the C’s have lost their last two.

“We are focused on getting a win,” Terry said, “but it will be good to come back home.”

The Celtics have been without their all-star point guard Rajon Rondo for several weeks now after he underwent season-ending knee surgery. Boston actually went on to play very well after his absence, but have since come back to reality.

Shawn Marion expects to return to action tonight after missing seven games with a calf strain.

The Mavs look to bounce back once again after they took a punch to the face by the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Nowitzki led Dallas with 16 points which wasn’t nearly enough as Brook Lopez and Deron Williams combined for 69 points.

____________________

Playoff Picture Update:

MAVERICKS - 10th seed in West; 3.5 GB of the Los Angeles Lakers for final playoff spot.

CELTICS - 7th seed in East; Tied with 6th Chicago Bulls & 1.5 GB of Atlanta Hawks for 5th seed.

____________________

Celtics at Mavs tip at 7:30 p.m. CT and airs on FSSW/CSNE.

Let’s Go Mavs!

Source: ESPN Dallas, Photo by Jared Wickerman/Getty Images

 

 

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The TC Report: Mavs Drop Ball In Boston

by Ryan Wilson on December 13, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

Turnover: turn-oh-ver; The loss of possession of the ball to the opponent, through misplays or infractions of the rules.

This is usually the part of the article where one would start with a clever yet unoriginal comparison to the Mavs turnovers and how they were “early Christmas gifts” to the Celtics.  So I won’t even mention that in this column.

Dang it.

Last night our Dallas Mavericks met the Boston Celtics at the Garden.  The Mavs were coming into the game winners of their previous 3 games.  On Monday night vs. The Kings, the stat that caught my eye the most was the total of only 8 turnovers.  I was so impressed that I tweeted, “Mavs with only 8 turnovers tonight.”  See how impressed I was?

But last night was a dumpster fire of turnovers.  Coach Carlisle stated that there was reason for optimism due to the fact that the Mavs were even in the game considering the amount of turnovers.  This is true.  It’s a Christmas Miracle that Dallas was able to go 2 over times with the Celtics given the 28 turnovers by the Mavs.  I credit the team for working through adversity but it’s a fact that turnovers cost them the game.  They’ve cost us a few games this year.

As I laid down last night after that frustrating loss, I couldn’t help but think of how careless and how mostly unforced the turnovers were.  Was it a lack of focus?  A lack of will?  Just not smart players?  Great defense?  Bad offense?  The answers to these questions is the popular and frustrating one-word-answer to a complex question; “Yes”.  To manage my restless nature after a Mavs loss, I decided to do something I rarely do after a loss.  I decided to watch the game again and document each turnover.  These are my notes from last night, verbatim.  So here we go. (Due to the overwhelming amount of turnovers, I missed documenting a few.  Turnover overload I guess)

First Half:

  1. O.J. Mayo lost dribble, unforced.
  2. Mayo tries passing to Marion. Bad Pass.  Not even close. Unforced.
  3. Mayo skies a pass over the head of every player on the court.  Unforced
  4. Mayo double teamed.  Loses dribble and lost ball.  Good defense.
  5. Elton Brand loses ball under basket.  Blows easy chance of 2 points. Mavs down 2.
  6. Brand driving to the basket and gets surprised at open rim.  Decides to pass but no one is there. Unforced.
  7. Brand tries forcing a pass to Kaman and assumes the 3 Celtics in the way are holograms.  Good defense…… I guess.
  8. Fisher tries passing to Marion down low.  Pass is too high.  Unforced.
  9. Dahntay Jones gets fouled with no whistle while attacking the rim.  No call, loses ball to the camera men.
  10. Darren Collison attempts an awful sidearm pass with less than a minute left. Picked off.

 Second Half:

  1.  Fisher thinks Kaman is cutting to the basket so passes it through 2 defenders.  Kaman didn’t cut, Celtics ball. Unforced.
  2. Mayo tries passing to Kaman down low.  KG all over Kaman, pass should’ve never been thrown.  Steal for the Celtics.  Good Defense, bad pass.
  3. Shawn “Oven Mitts” Marion loses ball under basket.
  4. Mayo shot blocked by Pierce.  Mayo tries chasing it down but knocks it out of bounds.
  5. Shot Clock violation.

*** At this point the Mavs have a total of 16 turnovers with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. ***

  1.  5 seconds left in the 3rd quarter and Collison loses his dribble on a clear path to the basket.  Guess the ghost of Red Auerbach knocked that one loose.
  2. Brand doing too much at the top of the key. Loses ball and leads to oop by Green.  Crowd goes nuts.
  3. Fisher throws the ball away after Brand fails to cut to the rim.  Miscommunication.
  4. Collison bad pass.  Turnover.  Unforced.
  5. Down by 1 point, Mayo double teamed.  Skies pass into row 12.
  6. Mayo driving for game winner but Rondo knocks it out.  Good defense.

Overtimes:

  1.  Carter driving and dishes to a Celtics player rather than taking a lay up and maybe drawing a foul.
  2. Collison with another horrible pass attempt to Mayo.
  3. Mayo stripped.  Good defense.
  4. Bringing the ball down after a great defensive rebound.  Marion tries to bounce pass it to Collison.  I have no idea what kind of pass that was.  Out of bounds.
  5. Down by 3.  Collison tries inbounding a pass to Roddy.  For some reason, Roddy was at the half court line.  Collison throws it away and that’s ball game.

16 turnovers for Mayo and Collison, 13 turnovers for Boston Celtics.

What?

The most obvious reason for the turnovers is just due to pure lack of focus.  Many of them were because of bad decision making on the part of OJ Mayo and Darren Collison.  Is this something they can grow out of?  Hopefully.  Is this just the nature of those players and nothing will change?  I hope not.  Another reason for turnovers is the obvious lack of playing time together and miscommunication.  Player A is passing the ball and is expecting Player B to make a cut to the rim or back the other way and it fails.  And obviously an opponent’s defense is a cause for the fair share of turnovers.  But from what we’ve seen so far this season, it’s not near as much as a contributing factor as some would lead you to believe.

28 turnovers last night.  28.  That’s unacceptable at this level.  That’s unacceptable in a game of 3 on 3 in my driveway.  But I will credit the team for fighting hard and battling a good Boston team.  But the turnovers have to be corrected.  Maybe last night was the game that will cause the main culprits to assess their passing game.  Their bad decision making is affecting the team.  Take responsibility.


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Mavs Game Night: Mavs(11-10) @ Celtics(11-9)

by Ryan Wilson on December 12, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

Another triple roadie waits on the horizon and begins with the a trip back to the Northeast. The Dallas Mavericks face the Boston Celtics and a very familiar player tonight – Jason Terry. Terry bled Maverick blue for eight wild years. The ‘JET’ was born in Dallas. He and the rest of the 2010-2011 NBA Champion Mavs squad achieved the ultimate goal. JET spent one last abbreviated season defending the title before signing with Boston this summer.

The Celtics have used Terry more as a starter than the 6th man role he owned all to well in Dallas. It could be due in part to the lack of offense provided by Courtney Lee, another offseason addition to replace the void left when Ray Allen chose to sign with the Miami Heat. The statistical numbers have dipped for Terry who averages 11.5 points in about 30 minutes each night.

Aside from Terry the Mavericks will have Rajon Rondo as the primary defensive focus. Rondo isn’t going to hurt you with his scoring, but he’s dangerous in just about every other aspect of the game. Just two games ago Rondo posted 16 points/14 assists/13 rebounds for his 18th career triple double (He also had 3 steals and 3 blocks). On the season he’s averaging 13 points, 12.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds.

The Mavericks enter this game winners of three straight for only the second time this year. Dallas defeated the Sacramento Kings 119-96 Monday night in one home game sandwiched between two three-game road trips. Six Mavs scored in double figures led by O.J Mayo’s 19 and Chris Kaman’s 18.

Mayo continues his all-star caliber play for the Mavericks in the absence of superstar power forward Dirk Nowitzki. Many have compared Mayo’s role to that of Terry in his time here. After a somewhat slow start and a brief slump, Juice has left very few Mavericks fans disappointed, if any.

Dallas has had recent success in Boston, winning all three trips in as many seasons.

1) 2009-2010 – Dirk scores 37 on MLK Day

2) 2010-2011 – Jason Kidd’s Clutch Game Winning 3

3) 2011-2012 – Dirk wins the game on this go-ahead And-1

Now obviously the Mavericks will not have the services of either Dirk nor Kidd, but that doesn’t matter to this group. Mayo has shown he’s more than capable of coming through in the clutch.

NOTES:

Since the addition of Derek Fisher the Mavs have won 4 of 5 games. The Mavs and Celtics each sit in 7th place in their respective conferences. Shawn Marion is a game-time decision with a groin strain. Rookie Jared Cunningham has been assigned to the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate Texas Legends. Rajon Rondo has recorded at least 10 assists in every game he’s played and finished this season.

Tonight’s game tips at 7:00 p.m. CT and airs nationally on ESPN. Also can be seen on CSNE (Boston).

Let’s go Mavs!

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