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All-Access Pre-Game Pass With Higgins

by Greg Higgins on March 25, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

All Access

I’m not sure why, but I still get nervous before Mavericks games in which I’m attending as a part of the media. As I was headed towards the AAC on 75, I was trying to figure out what I needed to do when I got to the stadium. After three games like this, you would think I would have it figured out by now, that is far from the case. I still get nervous and jittery.

Sunday, when I got to the arena, I grabbed my media pass from the lady at the table, had my laptop bag inspected and then I hit the elevator. I made my way to the basement of the AAC and found someone in a maroon coat. They always know what’s going on.

I asked the gentleman sitting at a table where I could find Rick Carlisle’s pre-game press conference. He looked at me and told me he had no idea but to ask this other gentleman. He would know. So much for my theory on maroon coats knowing everything.

The second guy told me to head to Interview Room 1. I know where that is. It’s the same room he does his postgame press conference in. I asked if that’s where Jason Kidd would do his as well. He told me it was the same room.

I walked to the interview room and there were two guys in there setting it up. Just to make sure I was in the right spot I asked one more time if this was where Carlisle would be talking and they said it was. I then asked if it was where Jason Kidd would be doing his and they said no. They explained that he would be down the hall a little ways. It was at that moment I decided maybe I shouldn’t trust the maroon coats anymore.

Carlisle came in and it was quite a different sight. Carlisle was sporting a Mavericks T-shirt and gray sweat pants. It was quite different from the suit and tie look we are accustomed too. He started off by praising the work of Jason Kidd as a coach. He also talked about how the Brooklyn Nets were one of the hottest teams in the NBA. He didn’t speak long.

As soon as he was gone, we all left the room and made our way towards J-Kidd. He already had a group of reporters around him. I could barely hear what he was saying because he speaks so softly. I listened and tried to hear what he was saying but I could only make out a few words.

After he was done I walked towards the Mavs locker room. There were several of us that walked in and went straight for a stepper machine in which Mark Cuban was utilizing. He had been on it for a while as he was pouring sweat.

I had a few questions I wanted to ask Cuban but I was watching the professionals do the asking. He was asked questions about Jason Collison and retiring Derick Harper’s number this year.

ForbescoverPretty sure all 6 of us standing there got “wide-eyed” when Cuban made the announcement that the NFL would implode within 10 years. We all looked around and tried figuring out what he meant. One of the other reporters asked him what he meant so he explained himself.

“When the pigs get fat, the hogs get slaughtered,” he said. “And they’re getting hoggy.”

In my mind, when a multi-billionaire speaks his mind about business, someone should listen.  His reasoning was because the NFL is getting greedy. The idea that they have a great product right now and it’s working good. The problem Cuban sees is they want to expand the television market to take over more days a week and he said that’s going to cause the implosion. People will lose interest in the product on the field because their team may be playing on a Tuesday this week or a Friday next week.

By this time, Cuban is down on the ground with us and he’s talking face to face. He’s still dripping with sweat from his time on the exercise machine.

He wraps up the interview and we all head towards the exit of the locker room. Brandan Wright is sitting there by the locker and he says hello as I walk by. Somehow this still doesn’t get old I think to myself as I walk towards the elevator to get to the press box.

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Wrap Up: Mavs Can’t Stop Teletovic, Nets In Loss

by Greg Higgins on January 29, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (25-20) happened to catch the Brooklyn Nets (19-22) at the wrong time.  Brooklyn has been the hottest team in the NBA in the new year. Coming into Friday night’s contest with the Mavs, the Nets are 8-1 in 2014. This included wins against the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. After Friday night, you can make it 9-1 for Brooklyn as they defeated the Mavs 107-106.

How it went down:

Dallas, finishing up a stretch of games in which they played six games in six different cities in ten different games, were facing Jason Kidd for the first time as a head coach. Not only was it a reunion with Jason Kidd, but the Mavs were also facing Jason Terry for the first time in a Nets uniform.

Terry, however, wasn’t the person that beat the Mavs though. Actually, the Mavs were defeated by the most unlikely of heroes. Reserve Mirza Teletovic drained seven three-pointers for Brooklyn as he scored 34 points in 27 minutes of action.

Teletovic scored 24 points in the second quarter on six of seven from three-point land. His 24 points was almost as much as the Mavs scored for the whole quarter (25). Brooklyn outscored the Mavs 39-25 in the quarter and built an 11-point lead at the break. Dallas’ guard Vince Carter did his best to keep the Mavs close as he scored 10 points in the half, including two from beyond the arc.

Dallas tried to inch back into the game but the Nets kept answering every run. The Mavs, trailing by 11 in the final period kept coming back but in the end, they ran out of time.

Inside the Numbers: 

The 34 points by Teletovic is a career high for him.

Devin Harris had his best game since returning to Dallas. Devin finished with 14 points on 4-6 shooting. He did foul out, however, in only 16 minutes of action.

Impact Play of the Game:  Trailing by three (105-102), Jason Kidd chose to intentionally foul Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk knocked down the first shot and purposefully missed the second one. The Nets got the rebound and were able to hold onto the lead.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Vince Carter, playing with a little extra motivation, led all the Mavs in scoring with 19 points. Carter and Kidd were teammates for the Nets and Vince seemed motivated playing against his former team.

Quotes:

“We didn’t get the job done. But the great thing about it is we can bounce back and take care of business at home and get a little home cooking,” – Vince Carter

 

“We were just poor defensively as a team. [Teletovic] hit his first couple of shots and we just let him keep going. You just can’t do that with professional shooters. He had a great night, but we contributed to it. He took advantage of it, but the second quarter was our downfall.” – Rick Carlisle

On Deck: Dallas will return home on Sunday to face the Detroit Pistons at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game can be seen on FSSW locally.

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Game Night: Mavs Face Former Teammate, Now Head Coach

by Terence Huie on January 24, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Mavs finish a mini two-game road trip tonight as they look to walk in Barclays Center to get a win against the Brooklyn Nets.

The Game At Hand

JkiddWednesday night, the Mavs suffered an embarrassing defeat to the Raptors. The Mavs blew a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter thanks to an 40-point outstanding performance from Raptors’ guard DeMar DeRozan. Dallas looks to rebound with a win tonight against Coach Jason Kidd and the Nets.

The Nets led by former Mavs floor general Jason Kidd has been on a tear in mid-January. Brooklyn is currently on a 4-game winning streak, including an overtime win against the Miami Heat.

Keys To The Game

1. Advantage in the Transition Game

Brooklyn is one of the oldest teams in the league this season. The Mavs should take advantage in the transition game and run fastbreaks when granted the opportunity. The Nets are ranked 28th in transition defense this season.

2. Maintain The Momentum

Part of the reason for the Mavs losing games is losing momentum after a huge run. Just like the blown 21-point lead against the Raptors, the team made too many careless turnovers and not executing the offense. Dallas has to be more careful on offense and avoid taking contested shots.

Matchup of the Night: Kevin Garnett vs. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk and KG are two of the greatest NBA power forwards of this era. These two big men may be past their prime, but can still get it done with their phenomenal mid-range game. It’ll be fun to see these two guys matchup against each other in the post. Dirk also returns tonight from a 1-game rest, so it’s good to know that he has fresh legs.

Quotes:

“You know, we’ve been watching [Kidd] all year and he’s doing a great job. They’ve been the best team in the league since Jan. 1, so everyone has their hands full with them right now.” - Rick Carlisle

 

“Hopefully my legs feel a little fresher tonight and I’ll be able to help the guys. It was tough watching that game. They started off so well, Toronto was sharing the ball, and then unfortunately we fell a little short down the stretch. That was definitely a tough one to watch.” - Dirk Nowitzki

When and Where:

The game starts at 6:30 CST and airs on Fox Sports Southwest.

GO MAVS!

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Mavs Pre-Season 2 Days Away – A Look Back at Jason Kidd

by Damian Jackson on October 5, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Two days until Mavericks preseason basketball. Two also the number of retired Mavs jerseys in the American Airlines Center rafters. Two NBA Finals appearances in the last eight seasons.

We’re on the home stretch of our countdown and brings us to future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.

Most fans know Kidd spent two stints of his career with Dallas. He was drafted second overall by the Mavericks in 1994 and went on to win Co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill.

Traded to Phoenix Suns in 1996 and then to the New Jersey Nets in 2001, it wouldn’t be until 2008 that Kidd would make his second tour of duty in the Metroplex. Dallas would send young, water-bug point guard Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Trenton Hassell, Mo Ager, Keith Van Horn, $3 million cash and first round picks in 2008 and 2010 in exchange for Kidd, Malik Allen and Antoine Wright.

The trade divided the Mavericks fan base. While there were those who thought adding the veteran point was the right move to appease a star in Dirk Nowitzki, others believed that Dallas gave away too much in the deal and traded away their point guard of the future.

It took 3 1/2 seasons for the debate to be settled once Kidd and the 2010-2011 Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat to win the franchise’s first ever NBA championship.

Kidd was never the nightly triple double monster in Dallas that he was in the prime of his career with the Suns and Nets, but it was the small things that made the greatest impact. Kidd’s extensively high basketball IQ was a weapon itself for the Mavs in all situations throughout a game.

Defensively Kidd was an animal for his age. His ability to cover shooting guards and even some small forwards provided Mavs teams with versatility on that end of the floor. This bode well for Dallas’ implemented three-guard lineup that most prominently included Kidd, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea.

It’s still shocking to realize the player once named “Ason Kidd” due to his lack of a “Jumpshot”, now ranks third in 3-point field goals made in NBA history only trailing Ray Allen and Reggie Miller. Kidd’s dead eye shooting became a major part of his impact on the offensive end. No longer could Kidd blow by defenders and create for himself or his teammates by penetrating the lane. He worked on his shot diligently and it more than paid off.

Kidd chose to leave Dallas in the summer of 2012 and play for the New York Knicks in a move his thought more beneficial for his playing career. It would be his last season in the league and he now is the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

The list of accolades for this man is lengthy, but here are the highlights:

  • He’s a 10-time All-Star and 5-time All-NBA First Team member.
  • Champion with the Mavs in 2011 after two failed trips with the Nets in 2002 & 2003.
  • 2nd All-Time in both assists and steals (John Stockton in both).
  • 3rd All-Time with 107 career triple doubles (Oscar Roberson & Magic Johnson).
  • 2 Gold Medals in the Olympics 2004 & 2008

 

Kidd will go down as one of the association’s greatest players ever and certainly one of the greatest Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban wasn’t happy with the way Kidd left Dallas in 2012 and initially said there is no way his jersey will be in the rafters. However, they’ve mended those wounds and it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if one day Kidd hangs in those AAC skies.

 

 

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Mavs Shed Salary, Get Their Guys

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

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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

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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: Deron in Dallas with His Brooklyn Nets

by Damian Jackson on March 20, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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As spring nears its way it means the summer will follow soon after. A summer ago the Dallas Mavericks played some baseball and unfortunately they struck out when it was their turn to bat.

The Mavericks opted for cap room in 2011 rather than bringing back an aging group which won the franchise’s lone championship. Most notably Tyson Chandler was seen as the gem we simply let walk away.

One can view the turn out either way they want, but I lean toward understanding the financial side of the business. I never doubt Mark Cuban’s will to win and right now it’s obviously been rough this past year and change, BUT Cuban is one smart man.

The goal which no longer is a secret of any kind was to fetch a superstar player such as Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and/or Deron Williams. Paul and Howard never actually became free agents, although there was reports that said the two had briefly discussed teaming with the Mavericks.

Two strikes.

Free agent and Dallas native Deron Williams did hit the open market, but eventually opted to stick with the Nets and their transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

Strike three.

This all brings us to tonight and Williams’ first visit back to the arena he said was his favorite to play in. The American Airlines Center will be rocking with rowdy, loud and proud faithful. Dallas’ fan base desperately wanted one of the NBA’s elite point guards to return home and join forces with the great Dirk Nowitzki. So I do expect Deron to hear the boo-birds reign throughout the evening.

It’s not all a downer though with how things transpired even though it may feel that way. The Mavs front office will get another at-bat and put the ball in play. It’s about being opportunistic as our owner loves to say and he’s situated us in relatively favorable position to remain flexible and become advantageous when presented with the right opportunity.

As for this matter at hand, the Nets are in Dallas looking to avenge the loss on the first of March. In this game which I covered in my first ever trip to the Barclay’s Center, the Mavs managed to secure a 98-90 victory. Nowitzki and Vince Carter scored 20 apiece; O.J. Mayo added 17 points. Williams led the Nets with 24 points.

The Mavericks are 6-3 since the meeting in Brooklyn, most recently defeating the Atlanta Hawks 127-113 Monday evening. That win actually assisted the Nets themselves as they continue to fend off the Hawks for the fourth and final seed with home court advantage in the Eastern Conference.

 

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[March Madness Bracket Challenge] Remember to fill out your Mavs Fanatic bracket for a chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card!

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Playoff Picture Update:

MAVERICKS – 10th seed in West; 3 GB of the Los Angeles Lakers for final playoff spot.

NETS – 4th seed in East; 1 GB of New York Knicks for Atlantic Division and 3rd seed.

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Nets at Mavs tip at 7:00 p.m. CT and airs on ESPN.

Let’s Go Mavs!

Source: Rotoworld.com, ESPN & ESPN Dallas

 

 

 

 

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Mavericks in Brooklyn: My All-Access Media Experience

by Damian Jackson on March 2, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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This wasn’t the usual Friday for me. I woke up in the morning with the realization that’d I’d fulfill a long awaited desire of mine and cover the Dallas Mavericks as an all-access media member.

More than a few emotions ran through my body as the days turned to hours and hours to minutes. My undeniable excitement was slightly subdued by the nerves and anxiousness I was unable to dodge. This didn’t prevent me from sharing the upcoming opportunity with friends and family who have long known my goals and passion for sports journalism.

And with that I’m thankful for Ryan Wilson, founder of the Mavs Fanatic, for allowing me to be a partner going forward and opening doors to valuable experiences that will aid the website in turning baby steps into full-grown man strides.

Brooklyn was the destination and by all means I was ready to make the drive on my own, but my amazing wife surprised me with a limousine through Today’s Limo. A buddy of mine works there as a manager and the two put it all together in what turned out to be a wonderful birthday gift.

I was off and on my way five hours before the start of the game. All was smooth cruising until we hit New Jersey and all the Metro commuter traffic in what is relatively normal rush hour on a Friday evening. You know it’s a jam when the GPS says 45 minutes for only seven miles. Thanks to some breaks and my driver Nick, we made it right on time and my moment had arrived.

No lines. No long waits. Press and media entrance, check. The feeling was foreign, but I tried and probably failed at an attempt to make it appear I knew what I was doing. Security checked my bag, body scanned and directed me to the box office. After a short delay, I received my single game media pass affiliated with MavsFanatic.com and Dallas Mavericks.

IMAG0247Next I’d be escorted downstairs toward the visitors locker room where I’d meet Mavs PR Director Sarah Melton. After introducing myself, she told me to gather around with the rest of the media members awaiting Rick Carlisle’s pregame presser.

Surrounded by the likes of Dwain Price, Earl K. Sneed and other prominent names in Dallas media Coach went on to take questions about the matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

Certain things stood out to me immediately, Carlisle has huge feet, DPrice is way taller than I expected and Mark Followill has the voice of champions.

“We’re going to have to do a better job at finishing games,” said Carlisle. “We’re going to have to defend without fouling, been a big problem for us. And really it comes down to just thin margins for error all year for us at the expense of some tough losses.”

 

Asked about leaning on veteran players during this difficult time and overall challenging season:

“A lot, we depend on those guys to do it on the floor, to keep things upbeat in the locker room, keep the younger guys going. Dirk, Shawn, Vince and Elton…these guys have been through it all, seen it all. Their wisdom is important to us.”

On what the challenge is for the coach dealing with a loss in Memphis after having a 25-point lead:

“Just keep emphasizing the importance of playing 48 minutes and not 20. We played a 20-minute game the other night. I have to remind the guys what got us the lead and continue to reinforce the positive things.”

Carlisle wrapped up and went back into the locker room for final preparation before the game. I went on to introduce myself to both Dwain and EKS, Mr. inVESTed himself.

I headed over to the media room where numerous members were gathered to chat, eat or simply jot up reports in the print room. My stomach urged me to grab some grub from the enticing buffet. Also taking advantage of the flank steak and salmon-headed food choices were Mavs broadcast member Derek Harper and his former Knicks teammate Greg Anthony.

It now came time to locate my seating on press row. Once again the Barclays Center security was extremely helpful in guiding exactly where I needed to go. Though not court-level seating, the vantage point was suffice for easy coverage.

Spent the night seated between two guys, Larry Fleisher of Metro newspaper and Adam of SLAM Magazine. I was interested in the coverage each did for their respective work, while being able to discuss my take on the Dallas Mavericks.

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The game itself was one to enjoy. Never more than a seven point lead for the Mavs, it was a tight one at halftime. In polar opposite fashion from the Memphis game, the Mavs came alive in the third and took a 14-point lead into the final quarter.

A Mike James triple made the score 83-63 and provided the Mavs the largest lead of the game. All seemed to be in good standing, but we’ve grown accustomed to Dallas’ struggles to close games. The Nets closed the margin to five on a C.J. Watson bucket with 1:05 remaining, but never got any closer.

The Mavs win 98-90 and improved to 26-32. Six wins away from a clean shave. I had to explain to SLAM that they were ‘get to .500 beards’ and not ‘get to playoff beards’.

Time to make my way back to the locker room where Carlisle would meet us once again for his post game presser. Before he emerged, Dirk was concluding a TV interview and walked by with a compliment, “Nice shoes Dwain!” he said passing Dwain Price and his fancy pair.

Carlisle on the win:

“They’re all big. So in dropping the last three, we needed one. We put together a solid game and we were solid enough to beat one of the better teams in the East.”

Mike James ability to stabilize the offense in the second half:

“I really liked Mike’s game tonight, real solid floor game…didn’t shoot it great, but he hit two big threes. He’s a gamer, he goes out there, he’s not afraid.”

The locker room opened up and it was time for some player interviews.

First Mav I approached was Anthony Morrow, who was inactive for the game and has only played four minutes for the Mavs since his arrival.

Wanted to introduce myself to Morrow in person after the phone interview we had done. Talked briefly about his adjustment since it’s been slightly over a week since the deadline trade. Morrow was in positive spirits regardless and said he’s really enjoying Dallas. I told him it’s simply a matter of time and I’m looking forward to him playing and contributing for the team.

Congratulated Mike James in the hallway on his good game and impact triples during the all important third quarter run.

Shawn Marion’s take on the victory:

“They (Nets) had some big plays. They didn’t hit many jumpers, all getting to the basket and getting and-1s. They doing that, that’s a lose-lose situation for us, you know. However, we were able to prevail, withstand it and win the game.”

Dirk on winning despite making it close down the stretch:

“I think we made it more interesting than we wanted to again. They hit some threes, I think C.J. Watson made two or three, DWill had a couple drives…and-1s, Brook got to the basket, we couldn’t get stops. Next thing you know it was almost a ballgame. Our lead was big enough and I think we played well most of the game.”

Dirk stated the things the Mavs do to build the leads need to be done consistently. In his words play like your down all the time.

The significance of the next 2 games against Houston:

“Well it’s been a frustrating year overall, losing a lot of close games we feel we should have had. We have to go into these with a free mindset, kinda forget what happened so far and let it all rip.”

“I mean Houston’s a great team and (James) Harden’s having a phenomenal year. They’re a tough team, we have our hands full, but we’re gonna push the pace as well. We’ve had some really fun games in Houston over the years, so we’ll just go in let it all rip, play as a team…should be fun.”

Approach to the final 24 games:

You have to take it one game at a time, you can’t look big picture if you gotta go 20-4, that’s not how you want to look at it. The next game is a big, that’s how you want to prepare and approach as a team.”

I saw every Mav player in the locker room outside of Kaman, Collison and Wright. It’s quite redundant to mention how tall these guys are, but Bernard “Sarge” James was massive. Caught myself twice in awe when he walked by. Still need to get a phone interview set up with him soon.

Finally exited the Mavs locker room and headed out the way I entered. There awaited my limo and it was time to bid farewell to the Barclays Center, which indeed was a beautiful arena.

My experience as a media member for the Mavs Fanatic and Dallas Mavericks was over and one I will never forget. This was a progressive step into the right direction for me and our website. Thank you to Sarah Melton and all of those involved from the Dallas Mavericks organization for the unbelievable opportunity!

Look forward to doing it again!

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Mavs Game Night: Dallas Mavericks (4-1) @ NY Knicks (3-0)

by Ryan Wilson on November 9, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

It’s been a week of reunions for the Dallas Mavericks. They already welcomed home former top assistants Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts. Tonight they visit the Big Apple and will see two integral players to the championship run two seasons ago.

Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd now wear the blue and orange for the New York Knicks. Chandler is in his second year with the Knicks and has changed the defensive culture almost single-handedly. His efforts did not go unrecognized as he took home the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Kidd’s exit from Dallas in the offseason came as a surprise. The original plan was to lure Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams home and employ Kidd as his backup. When Kidd bolted back to the New York area (Kidd played for the New Jersey Nets from 2001-2008) it caught Mavs’ star Dirk Nowitzki off-guard and didn’t sit well with owner Mark Cuban.

“I was more than upset,” Cuban said. “I thought he was coming. I was pissed…

“J. Kidd is a big boy; he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. That was … yeah. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.”

It was somewhat frustrating as a Mavs fan simply because we didn’t have another natural point guard on the roster. Personally, I wasn’t too hurt by the news. I love J-Kidd for all he did as a Maverick, but paying him $9 million for three more years until he’s 42-years-old would have been a poor investment.

We know how it all played out. Mavs went a different direction and quickly turned a signed-and-traded Ian Mahinmi into Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones. Mavs now have their starting point guard, a 25-year-old with speed, scoring ability and a high basketball IQ.

Kidd and his undefeated Knicks will be up against a vastly new-look Mavs squad. The Mavs will once again be without key players when Dirk and Marion sit out. Roddy B will be a game-time decision with a bum ankle.

A key for the Mavs in this game with be keeping Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony in check. Well, at least try to without top wing defender Marion to handle those duties. One would expect Rick Carlisle to go with both Dahntay Jones and Jae Crowder.

When the Mavs let their best impact center in franchise history, Tyson Chandler, walk to ‘keep the powder dry” it left fans dumbfounded and infuriated. Chris Kaman temporarily has eased those concerns and helps some move on. Kaman is by far Dallas’ best offensive center EVER. It’s only been a handful of games, but it’s that obvious.

Kaman looks natural out there on the offensive end. He can shoot, he can post and he can create problems for opposing big men. He will certainly make Chandler work tonight.

O.J. Mayo and Collison will need to push the tempo and create opportunities for one another as well as the rest of their teammates. Mayo is averaging 28 points per contest in November, but is finding other ways to impact the game.

This game should have plenty of storylines and excitement.

New York’s local broadcast network ‘MSG’ has had two Knicks promo posters pulled for possible inappropriate meanings (Check them out below). Both were clever and hilarious in my opinion. One other TV ad though for tonight’s game said, “Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler will show Dallas how basketball’s played in New York.” No problem, the Mavs will see how they play.

In the end we just want to also show them our new brand of Mavericks ball and hope it’s better than theirs. Another result to place in the standing’s left column. Go Mavs!

Actions tips at 6:30 p.m. CT and airs on Fox Sports Southwest and MSG.

Knicks Ad #1 “Kidd and Dimes” | Knicks Ad #2 “Real Men Fly”

Follow me @thedfactor on Twitter

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NBA Releases Schedule: 5 Games To Circle

by Ryan Wilson on July 26, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

Perhaps not since the 2003-04 season when Mark Cuban brought in Antawn Jamison and Antoine Walker have the Dallas Mavericks been a bigger mystery than they are entering the 2012-13 season.

With the roster now appearing to be finalized — barring any trades before the start of training camp in late September — the re-tooled Mavs now know who and when they’ll play as the NBA released the full 82-game regular-season schedule Thursday.

There’s no Christmas Day game and no Martin Luther King Jr. day game. Dirk Nowitzki and his new pals won’t be on national television at the rate that they were a season ago as defending champs. Still, the Mavs will have eight games on TNT — including the opener at the Lakers — seven on ESPN, seven on NBATV, one on ABC and two on ESPN Radio.

None of it means this won’t be one of the more intriguing seasons of Cuban’s ownership. At the moment, just about anything — from being lottery bound to a top-four finish in the Western Conference — seems possible.

We take a look at five games to circle, and why not start with the opener?

No. 1: Mavs at Los Angeles Lakers, Oct. 30
Not only will it be the first real game for a Mavs club that features five new key players around Nowitzki, but it will also be Steve Nash‘s debut with the Lakers. And for that matter, since we’ve already mentioned Jamison, he’ll also be wearing the purple and gold for the first time. The big question as of July 26 is if Andrew Bynum will still be calling the Staples Center home or if Dwight Howard be manning the rim and playing alongside Pau GasolKobe Bryant and Nash?

No. 2: New York Knicks at Mavs, Nov. 21
Coach Rick Carlisle predicted that Jason Kidd would receive a standing ovation when he returns to the American Airlines Center. We won’t have to wait long to find out if he’s right — and he probably is. Two-fifths of the Mavs’ championship starting lineup will suit up for the Knicks as Tyson Chandler makes his second trip back to Dallas since the title. Kidd’s last-minute departure to the Big Apple was stunning, but in retrospect it’s allowed the Mavs to add a bit more shake-n-bake to their backcourt with Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo.

No. 3: Mavs at Boston Celtics, Dec. 12
A trip to the Garden is always special, but now that Jason Terry will be writing ctc on his green and white sneakers, it’s extra special. And don’t think that Terry, who played eight seasons with the Mavs, won’t want to drill about 15 buckets from downtown and send his former team out of town with a loss. Terry never wanted to leave Dallas, but he knew he was no longer in their plans. He’ll try to fill the very large shoes of Ray Allen, who took his talents to South Beach. Terry won’t make his Dallas return until March 22.

No. 4: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Mavs, Jan. 18
It’ll take a few months for the Western Conference champs to make it Dallas, which isn’t a bad thing since the Mavs will need some time to break in the new rotation. Although Dallas is a drastically different team than the past two seasons, consecutive playoff series have elevated the Thunder to the top of the Mavs’ rival list, or at least just notch below the Spurs. This game will show the Mavs how far they’ve come or how far they still have to go.

No. 5: Mavs at Brooklyn Nets, March 1
Who knows if the Nets will have Dwight Howard by this first meeting of the two teams, but this game is all about Deron Williams, who spurned his hometown Mavs to re-sign with the Nets as they move to Brooklyn. In the grand scheme of things, this game will mean little, but the free-agent process was emotional for Williams and the two teams, and that could make this the most intense Mavs-Nets game of all-time. Less than three weeks later, Williams will make his return to Dallas. He won’t be staying.

Jeff Caplan

ESPNDallas.com

Jeff Caplan joined ESPNDallas.com in December 2009. Jeff covers the Mavericks, Rangers and colleges. He has a wealth of experience in the area, covering multiple beats in his 11-plus years with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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