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All-Access Pass With Greg Higgins

by Greg Higgins on March 3, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

All Access

Growing up like most people I was a huge Michael Jordan fan. Because of this I always followed the Chicago Bulls. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a diehard Dallas Mavericks fan but I’ve always had a special place for the Bulls in my little sports heart.

Because of this, as soon as the schedule comes out I try to see when the Bulls will be playing in Dallas because I want to try and go.  When MavsFanatic asked me if there were any particular games I’d like to go cover, I jumped at the opportunity to be in the stadium for Mavs/Bulls.

I got the confirmation email about a week before the game informing me that I would be allowed to be at the game as a member of the media.

I left my house Friday afternoon to drive that direction. I wanted to make a few stops in the Metroplex so I gave myself plenty of time. The game started at 7:30 so the doors were open at 5:30.

Obviously I want to get there in time to get Carlisle’s pregame interview so I do what I can to get there by 5:30. Unfortunately Dallas traffic didn’t seem to concerned with whether or not I got to the AAC in time to hear Carlisle before the game. What would normally take about 20 minutes to get from 635 to the AAC, took me almost 50 minutes.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the parking around the AAC was under construction so I had to find a different place to park from where I normally do. After finally getting my spot, I made my way to the AAC. With iPad in hand I found the media entrance. It wasn’t hard to spot. Jeff “Skin” Wade was walking in the door so I figured it had to be the right place.

IMG_1499There is a table next to the door with a couple ladies to assist in handing out credentials and passes for the games. I gave them my name and the website and they gave me my press pass.

I climbed into the elevator and headed downstairs. Not sure if I was going to make Carlisle’s press conference. I walked around the bottom of the arena hoping to catch them but as I walked up they were just finishing the talk.

I walked by the media dining area and thought about going in for a quick bite, but decided against it when I realized I was going to have to pay $13. I thought I’d get a hot dog or something upstairs.

 

 

IMG_1492After getting back into the elevator I rode up to the Press Box. I found a seat in the middle of the press box and got my iPad and keyboard set up. I was asked to live tweet the game.

I had a little time to kill so I started going through the media notes for both teams. The time went by fast and before I knew it the Mavs and Bulls were out on the court warming up prior to the game. During the pregame introductions, the crowd yelled for Joakim Noah almost louder than they did any of the Mavs players.

Once the game started, it was electric in the building. It could be felt all the way into the press box as both teams moved up and down the court.

The game was full of emotions as the Mavs took a 16-point lead in the first half only to watch the Bulls erase it and ultimately win the game. As the game was nearing the end, we left the press box and went back to the basement of the AAC. After we found our way into the pressroom, Carlisle walked in. It was absolutely the shortest talk I’ve ever heard the coach give. He talked for two minutes and 45 seconds.

IMG_1506During those brief moments, though, he expressed his frustration with the rebounding.

“We couldn’t overcome the rebounding margin and the way we didn’t make shots when we needed to,” Carlisle said.

After the Carlisle interview we made our way into the locker room. Several players were already  in there dressing and almost ready to leave. Shawn Marion was the first person that everyone wanted to talk to. The media surrounded him and I was stuck at the back of the circle. Something I learned really fast, the players seem to talk really soft after a loss.

I decided to sneak away get a word from DeJuan Blair while nobody else was around. I asked him about their play on Joakim Noah and how they managed to keep him from being a huge factor.

“We just tried being physical to take him out of his game. He’s a great player and a playmaker,” he said. “We lost our focus and didn’t make shots. Nothing went down for us,” was his response when asked what happened in the second half.

After standing around for a little bit, Vince Carter came out and all the reporters gathered around him. He answered questions along the same lines as Marion and Blair. Of course everyone was still waiting to talk to Dirk. We all stood around the middle of the Mavs locker room waiting for the big guy to come out of the showers and to his locker room.

During this waiting period, I took full advantage of the locker room experience as I looked around and observed everything. It was quite amazing to look at. Each locker had a really nice chair and a television.  There was a huge television hanging on the wall and you could see the weight room off to the side of the lockers.

At this time, Dirk finally came out to talk to the media. I made sure and positioned myself right next to Dirk as he spoke.

“First-half leads mean nothing in this league,” Dirk said. “I’d rather not be up 16 to be quite honest with you in the first half. A 16-point lead in the first half means a couple of stops, a couple of threes and that lead is gone. And if you’re up 20 on them, it doesn’t really matter. They compete the same way and they continue grinding and grinding on both ends of the floor.”

After listening to him talk about the game and the disappointment in his voice, he turned around and went back to his locker.  We all walked away from the AAC to get into our cars. Once again I couldn’t help but think about how extremely lucky I am to get the opportunity to do what I do.

 

 

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Wrap Up: Mavs Can’t Hold Lead Against Bulls

by Damian Jackson on February 28, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpReport18

The Dallas Mavericks (36-24) couldn’t maintain the 32-point first quarter scoring tonight as the Chicago Bulls (32-26) defense locked down and as a result the Mavs shooting plummeted.

How it went down:

Dallas started the game the way they needed to with solid offensive flow and molding the style in its favor. Every Mavericks starter took part of the team’s first 14 points. Chicago came in one of the best rebounding clubs, but Dallas had the advantage on the glass halfway through the opening quarter.

Monta Ellis and Samuel Dalembert would come out of the game’s first full timeout and connect on a beautiful alley-oop slam. That would be followed by another Ellis drive and kick to Vince Carter for three before Monta made a third insane feed to Marion on the break for an easy two.

Everyone who played the first for the Mavs made contributions which led to a 32-20 advantage. Dallas is second best in first quarter scoring while the Bulls give up a league low 22.4 points in the opening frame.

Dallas remained the aggressor in the second by drawing five Bulls’ fouls only 3:34 into the quarter. Chicago used a 13-3 run behind Taj Gibson’s strong play to trim the Mavs lead to six. Carter would return and drill a pair of triples to fuel Dallas’ lead up to 51-38. Once again the Bulls went on a 13-3 to close out the half only down 54-51.

Ellis recorded the 3-point basket and steal to reach both 1000 career steals and 500 made 3-point buckets. Gibson and Jimmy Butler had more than half of Chicago’s halftime points. Carter’s 14 points and four 3-pointers paced the Mavs.

Dirk and Monta kicked the scoring off for Dallas after the intermission. Dalembert and Shawn Marion each had a tip score as the Mavs continued to hang with the rebounding juggernauts. Mike Dunleavy provided the Bulls a lift with his shooting and kept the game close throughout the third.

Dallas went into the final period leading 76-73, but watched Chicago dart out to an 11-2 run which gave them a six point lead at the 8:09 mark. The Bulls defense took over the game and the Mavericks couldn’t into another offensive flow. Chicago closed the game on a 16-6 run.

Inside the Numbers:

After scoring 32 points in the opening quarter in what appeared to be a game that would stick Dallas’ pace, they were clamped down by Chicago who only allowed 37 points in the second half.

Bulls hold opponents to 43.2% FG shooting on the season and allowed Dallas to shoot only 40% tonight.

The trend continues – since 2006 if the Mavs fail to score 100 or more against Chicago they don’t win; now 0-7 and averaging just 84 points in those defeats.

 

Impact Play of the Game:

With 5:24 left in the fourth, the Mavs were down four when Jose Calderon made the Mavs first 3-pointer of the quarter after five straight misses. Monta would steal the ball the following possession to give Dallas the 85-84 lead.

However, the Bulls would devise a play after the timeout in which Dunleavy buried a deep ball to push Chicago back in front and they would not relinquish the lead.

On Deck:

The Mavs travel to face rival San Antonio who expect to get the services of Tony Parker back in their lineup.

GO MAVS!

 

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Mavs Game Night: Streaking Mavs Host Chicago Bulls

by Damian Jackson on February 28, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightPaula

The Dallas Mavericks ( 36-23 ) enter tonight playing their best basketball of the season, winners of four straight and 11 of 13 overall. The Mavericks handled business on Wednesday night 108-89 against a subpar New Orleans team.

The Game at Hand:

Tonight the Mavs conclude a short two-game homestand against the feisty Chicago Bulls (31-26). Chicago is the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and has one eight of its last 10 contests just like Dallas. The Bulls have consistently shown over the past couple years that despite injuries they compete at a high level.

While it may be easy to overlook the Bulls with two of your next three games against San Antonio and Portland, I actually believe the Mavs will be focused with the game at hand. Chicago handily defeated the Golden State Warriors 103-83 Wednesday night.

After dropping four consecutive games to the Bulls from 2010 to 2012, the Mavs have won the past two meetings; The most recent a 105-83 win in Chicago on December 28 and Dallas currently holds the 33-32 all-time advantage.

Keys to the Game

1. Set the Pace.

While Dallas ranks 7th in the league at scoring (104.6), the Bulls are dead last (92.9). Chicago held a Warriors team averaging 103 points on 45.6% shooting to 83 points and 35.7% FG. The Mavs who shoot at a 47.4% clip need to force their style and avoid the ground and pound ways of the gritty Bulls. Dallas hasn’t scored under 100 and won against Chicago since January 2006. In the 14 games since that point, the Mavs are 8-6, scoring 108.9 in the wins and just 82.8 in six losses.

2. Be Aggressive.

The Mavericks are one of the best shooting teams in the NBA, but you never want to settle for jumpers. Monta Ellis leads the league in points made off drives to the basket and the Mavs could use plenty of it against one of the most stout defensive squads. Why? Well, Ellis’ penetration starts with his aggression and when he drives it either leads to a layup, foul or quality look for a teammate. The key factor here though will be forcing the issue and getting to the foul line as much as possible where Dallas’ 80.3% is second only to Portland.

Matchup of the Night: 

Jimmy Butler vs. Monta Ellis

Jimmy Butler is one of the reasons the Bulls could trade Luol Deng away and not feel completely lost. Butler, who has missed 15 games [Chicago 5-10 in those games] this season due to injury, is one of the Bulls’ best improving two-way players. This is Butler’s third season and in the near 37 minutes he plays every night, his averages have likewise gone up across the board – Scoring, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.

Monta Ellis remains the only Mavericks’ only Iron Man, playing every game this season. He’s much smaller than his opposition tonight, but that doesn’t usually matter for Monta. Ellis pours in 19 points with a healthy 3.4 rebounds for a undersized shooting guard, but it’s his 5.8 assists that stand out. The flow has come easy for the Mississippi product now in a comfort zone in the Big D. He’s creating great opportunities for the shooters and finishers while also improving his shooting percentage and efficiency.

_________________________

Quotes:

“We’ve done better over the last couple of weeks. But we’ve got a long way to go; It’s all going to be coming fast and furious. The home games are obviously of great importance.”

- Rick Carlisle on Mavs’ stretch

__________________________

EarlKSneed
Monta Ellis on the verge of a couple of milestones: one steal away from 1,000 thefts for his career and one trey from 500 3-pointers.
2/28/14 10:43 AM

__________________________

“They’re playing well, I’ve got the most respect for that team. I watched them last year, no [Luol] Deng, no [Derrick] Rose and they go into Brooklyn and win Game 7. Coach Thibs has the boys play hard, physical every night, so they’re going to give us a dogfight and we got to be ready for it.”

- Dirk Nowitzki on the Bulls

When and Where:

The game will tip off at 6:30 CST and will air on Fox Sports Southwest

_______________________

Sources – ESPN, Miami Herald, Mavs.com

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Wrap Up: Mavs Hot At Start, Cruise To Win In Chi Town

by Terence Huie on December 29, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (17-13) began a 3-game road trip as they took on the Chicago Bulls (11-17) on Saturday night. The Mavs prevailed in thrilling fashion with a 105-83 victory.

How it went down: 

From tip-off, the Mavs looked be aggressive and jumped out to an early 11-point lead in the first quarter. With just under two minutes left in the first quarter, the Mavs produced a 15-2 run thanks two huge three-pointers from Vince Carter.

Dallas carried their first quarter momentum for the rest of the first half, outscoring the Bulls 30 to 15 in the entire second quarter. The Mavericks held Chicago to 39 points through two quarters, the lowest point total that Dallas has held an opponent in the first half this season.

The Mavs slowly let their foot off the gas pedal through most of the second half. The Bulls stepped up on defense, holding Dallas scoreless in the first six minutes of the final quarter. The Bulls went on a 16-0 run with Joakim Noah’s 8 points, but it just wasn’t enough to pull out the victory.

Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki finished the game with 18 points. Shawn Marion recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Monta Ellis’ 22 points made him the team’s scoring leader. Five Bulls players finished the game in double figures, led by Joakim Noah’s double-double performance: 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Inside the Numbers: 

 

Chicago experienced countless issues on the offensive side of the ball. The Bulls shot a grueling 38 percent and turned over the ball 13 times in the first half alone. At the end of the game, the Bulls finished shooting 18% from behind the arch.

The Mavericks looked nearly flawless on offense. Dallas was 10 of 11 (90%) from the free throw line and 50% from the three-point line.

Impact Play of the Game: 

In the beginning of the second quarter, Dirk Nowitzki converts a 4-point play after being fouled on a made three-pointer at the top of the key. Two minutes later,  Jae Crowder also converts a huge 4-point play after being fouled. This helped the Mavs jump out to an early 14-2 run in the second period.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Dirk Nowitzki

As of lately this month, Dirk Nowitzki has arguably carried the team on his back. Dirk ended the game with 18 points, but 12 of his point came from behind the three-point line. Nowitzki also recorded 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and was a defensive threat in the paint with 3 blocks.

On Deck:

The Mavs continued their 3-game road trip traveling west to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

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Wrap Up: Mavs Fall To Danny Green and the Spurs

by Greg Higgins on December 27, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsSpurs

The Dallas Mavericks (16-13) returned home after their short two-game road trip to face their rivals from south Texas, the San Antonio Spurs (23-7). The last time the Mavs were home, they blew a 19-point lead to the Toronto Raptors and fell in overtime 109-108. This would be the first meeting of the year for Dallas and San Antonio and it didn’t end the way Dallas wanted it to as the Spurs defeated Dallas 116-107.

How it went down: The Mavs kept the game close in the first quarter, even having an 18-15 lead with 3:45 left in the quarter. The Spurs, however, went on a 12-2 run to close out the quarter and they never relinquished the lead again.  The Spurs even jumped out to a 12 point lead in the second quarter, had an 11 point lead in third quarter and a 15 point lead in the final quarter.

Danny Green fueled the Spurs off the bench with 22 points, including a perfect shooting night from the field. Green was 7-7 from the floor, including 5-5 from three-point range and 3-3 from the free throw line.

The biggest difference in the game was the play from the benches. The Spurs got 49 points off their bench while the Mavs only got 28 points from theirs. The problem is the Mavs only had two players score off their bench. Vince Carter poured in 28 and Samuel Dalembert put in eight. That’s it. Jae Crowder, Gal Mekel  and Shane Larkin only attempted two field goals in a combined 28 minutes of playing time.

Inside the Numbers:

Besides the pour play from the bench, the Mavs also only shot 29.4% from three-point range and only 77.4% from the free-throw line.

The Mavs and Spurs scored the same amount of points in the second and third quarter (31 and 26 respectively). They were outscored by seven in the first quarter and two in the fourth quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Impact Play of the Game:  After trailing by 15 points in the fourth quarter, Dallas cut the lead down to three at 110-107. After Monta Ellis fouled Manu Ginobili with 34 seconds left, Manu made both free throws, which fueled a 6-0 run for the Spurs to finish the game.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: DeJuan Blair

Blair had this game circled on his calendar from the moment the schedule came out. Playing his former team in the Spurs, Blair stepped up too. Blair finished the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds with seven of them on the offensive side of the boards.

Quotes:

“This is one of the things when you play San Antonio — you have to be really precise with your offense and your defense and we just had little slippages here and there. Their team has been together for a long time. They are highly skilled. They have a lot of guys that are great players and they took advantage of it.” – Rick Carlisle

 

“Sam [Dalembert] showed up sick, throwing up. He heard Brandon wasn’t going to be here so he showed up for us and that was big for us. He played really well. He has put two really good games in a row together. I thought Blair played well, too. This game came down to shot-making and untimely mistakes made by us and timely opportunities to take advantage of mistakes by them.” – Rick Carlisle

 

On Deck: The Mavs return to the road on Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls. The game will air at 7:00 Central on FSSW.

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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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In The Face Of Adversity, Nowitzki Impresses Yet Again

by Ryan Wilson on March 31, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks

You’d have to see it to believe it. In a game the Mavericks desperately needed, the one player they have leaned on for years, delivered once again.

With the Mavericks trailing 97-85 with only 4: 07 remaining, Dirk Nowitzki put the entire team and season on his back, beard and all. Those fans who left thinking the Mavericks chances were over missed out on all the heroics, and those who stayed were treated to yet another legendary performance from Nowitzki.

In those 4 minutes, the Mavericks outscored Chicago 15-1, with Nowitzki notching the last 8 of them, the final 3-pointer being the final blow.

“It’s kind of like the story of our season, honestly,” said Nowitzki, who was 14-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-6 from 3-point range in the game, 6-of-7 and 3-of-4 in the fourth. “Every time people write us out or say we’re done, for some reason, we find a way to hang around.

I couldn’t have put it better myself. This team just plays with so much heart. Regardless of if they land that final playoff spot, I can sit here and thoroughly enjoy being a fan of a team and organization like this.

For all of those who have said Nowitzki’s decline has already begun, take notice. Yeah, he’s another year older, but he continues to show that when you have the heart and desire like he does, you can throw all that other stuff aside.

“Whatever they say we can’t do as a team or he can’t do as a player, he finds a way,” Elton Brand said. “He works at it and finds a way to win. That’s the bottom line.”

For those new Mavs who haven’t been accustomed to the long legacy that is Dirk Nowitzki, they are starting to take notice.

“He hit some crazy shots, man, and just did what he does,” O.J. Mayo said. “He pulled us through. He’s a cold boy; got ice in his veins.”

When Dirk’s career is over, we will look at performances like these. He’s an MVP, a Finals MVP, an NBA Champion, 11 time All-Star, and has been the face of a first class organization since he came into the league.

I advise anyone who thinks the Mavericks team is done to take caution. They have one of the all time clutch players in the game. A player that continues to impress, even with all of those analysts who seem to think he is on that proverbial decline.

So, for those who may have turned off that game, and forgot that the “Tall Baller From The G” was still on the court, here is the video that will put it all into perspective.

On Tap:

Los Angeles Lakers (April 2nd) - The razors will once again be out in full force, while the Mavericks look to take one more step towards that 8th and final playoff spot.

Credits: Tim MacMahon
Video Credits: Max Frishberg

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Mavs Game Day: Crowder, Mavs Seek to Slow Bulls

by Damian Jackson on March 30, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

chiatdal

People will be scraping the eye boogers to watch this early afternoon game between the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls.

Perhaps most of us will actually have been up for some time actually, but still quite an odd time on Saturday for NBA action.

The Bulls are in Dallas riding a 3-game win streak that includes a victory over the Miami Heat which ended a 27-game victory coaster.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 21 points in Thursday night’s 103-78 loss to Indiana. It was an opportunity for several Mavericks players to shave their wild beards, but will now be put on hold for at least a few more days. Indiana used a dominant second half to run away after the game was tied at halftime.

“They kicked our butt in every facet of the game really,” said Nowitzki. “We lost to a team that’s deeper and better in all facets of the game.”

Chicago defeated the Heat on Wednesday 101-97 without center Joakim Noah (foot) and guard Marco Belinelli (abdomen). Both players are game-time decisions tonight.

Bulls starting front court of Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler and Carlos Boozer combined for 66 points and 28 rebounds. Nate Robinson provided 14 points off the bench.

The Mavericks ran into Pacers defense that remains the most stingy in the league (89.5 PPG allowed) and the Bulls aren’t far behind owning the third best opponent points per game allowed (92.4).

Rebounding has been a struggle area for the Mavs all season and it was evident against Indiana as they were out-rebounded 55-34. Dallas gets outdone on the glass by an average of 3.5 while the Bulls are +2.4 each night.

“It was a wipe out inside as far as the rebounding and that’s been a challenge for us and we’ve got to get ready for it again Saturday,” said Rick Carlisle. “Chicago is going to have the same kind of team.”

A little concern rests in the status of O.J Mayo and his shoulder injury. Mayo had an MRI scheduled to determine the severity of the shoulder. He’s a game-time decision. Juice has not missed a game this season.

“He’s sore,” Carlisle said. “He’s been one of our soldiers. He’s played hurt all year long.”

In the first meeting this season, the Bulls handily beat the Mavericks 101-78 in Chicago. Deng paced the Bulls with 22 points. Shawn Marion had 18 points in the losing effort.

With just 10 games left in their season, this game hold more importance as Dallas looks to bounce back from the ugly loss to Indiana Thursday night.

____________________

Playoff Picture Update:

MAVERICKS - 10th seed in West; 1.5 GB of the Los Angeles Lakers (8th) and Utah Jazz (9th) for final playoff spot.

 

 

 

 

BULLS - 5th seed in East; 2 GB of the Brooklyn Nets (4th) and 1.5 games ahead of 6th seeded Boston Celtics.

 

 

 

 

____________________

Bulls at Mavs tip at 1:00 p.m. CT and airs on FSSW/CSCH.

Let’s Go Mavs!

Sources: TheTwoManGame; Associated Press (O.J. Mayo photo)

 

 

 

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Mavs Game Night: Mavs(7-8) @ Bulls(6-7)

by Ryan Wilson on November 28, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

We NEED a win. It’s been a grueling stretch for the Dallas Mavericks since their 4-1 start. It’s not necessarily the competition that has been the killer, but rather the Mavs beating themselves in close games due to the Turnover Plague. With only three wins in the last 10 games, basketball has been anything but fun for the Mavs or us fans.

Last season Dallas defended its title with a depleted championship roster. Instead they brought in guys like Vince Carter, Delonte West and the ill-favored Lamar Odom. It was a season of distress, complaints and questions about the directions the Mavs Brain Trust was taking the team. The point is last year was a miserable excuse for a real chance to defend our first world championship.

Now with a new season and basically a brand new team, 15 games in and after a quick start that raised all of our hopes, we’re back to feeling uneasy and frustrated with this Mavs basketball. The youth that we all wanted to be entertained by has had several moments that make us miss the luxury of having smarter, seasoned veterans Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.

The Mavericks look to avoid dropping two games under .500 when they hit up the Windy City to face the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls without their own star Derrick Rose also enter this game with more losses than wins.

In the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers the Mavs received solid performances from their front line as Elton Brand and Shawn Marion recorded 17 points and 8 rebounds apiece. Chris Kaman scored 20 points and Vince Carter added 15 points on 6-10 shooting. They still found a way to not come away with the victory because the turnover bug destroyed them late in the game when they spilled the beans on six straight possessions.

Erase the memory and focus on the Bulls. Chicago always plays the game with intense grit and rebound the hell out of the basketball. The Mavs really haven’t had much luck against Tom Thibodeau’s team. Based on what one has seen you’d expect Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and the active Taj Gibson to dominate the glass. Luol Deng also does work on the boards so we need to hope our team can hold its own and compete with them.

The other keys really don’t need more mention. Stop the elementary turnovers and value the ball. Efficient passing and good ball movement should lead to better offensive execution. Try O.J. Mayo running the point some and Juice needs to be way more aggressive attacking early.

OK I need to get this steak on my grill and finish the rest of my dinner. Remember this isn’t a MUST WIN game by any means, there just aren’t any of those this point in a young season. Enjoy it MAVSNATION!

Action tips at 7:00 p.m. CT and airs on both FSSW and CSN Chicago.



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Mavericks Land Curry Off Waivers…End Of Line For Delonte West?

by Ryan Wilson on October 25, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

To start the morning, we discovered that Delonte West was once again suspended. Then came a bunch of tweets by Delonte. He was under the impression that he was wrongfully accused of an argument that took place in the locker room…which lead to him being texted this morning not to come to practice.

About 6 hours later, and the Mavericks seem to be looking past this whole ordeal.

The Dallas Mavericks have just claimed veteran center Eddy Curry off of waivers.

”We are excited to bring Eddy Curry to Dallas, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said in a release. He has worked extremely hard this offseason and can provide our front line with much needed depth.”

Even though Delonte was suspended, he is still considered a player on the Mavericks active roster. With the addition of Eddy Curry, they now have one to many pigs in the pen. Most likely, this will mean the end of the line for Delonte West as a Dallas Maverick.

Eddie Curry once showed huge promise. Drafted 4th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2001 draft, he had some strong seasons. He has always been considered a LARGE basketball player, but his weight gains were starting to take its toll on his performance on the court, and his health as well. He has had issues with chest pains and being lightheaded.

He was just was recently released by the San Antonio Spurs, but many sources say that he was playing quite well, until the decision was made by Spurs management. This begs the question…Why the cut?

Forget that question for now. The Mavericks are a little undersized at the moment with Dirk Nowitzki sidelined the start of the season and Chris Kaman questionable for opening night. This was Dallas doing away with a player they couldn’t help, and taking on a new player they believe they can help. A win win? Not sure about that.

All in all, it’s been a very odd start to the 2012-2013 campaign. The ride has definately not been smooth.

 

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