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Mavs’ Final Four – A Year’s Difference

by Damian Jackson on April 8, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Last year on April 10th, a Los Angeles Lakers‘ 113-106 victory in Portland eliminated the Dallas Mavericks from playoff contention for the first time in 12 seasons.

The Mavericks ended the 2012-2013 season 41-41.

It’s actually quite remarkable they even did that well. Dirk Nowitzki missed 29 games for a team built around an overload of one-year contracts.

And remember those long, scruffy beards that some players pulled off much better than others? Of course you do! O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter looked rather normal, Chris Kaman just increased his caveman appearance and Dirk looked like he’d gone crazed with all the chaos surrounding him.

The worst part about the fiasco was the fact they were ‘Get to .500′ beards, not ‘Make the playoffs’ beards. A team recently celebrating its first NBA championship, was reduced to reaching for mediocrity.

We’ve almost come full circle to that April 10th night, but this time around the Mavericks find themselves in a full-fledged battle with three teams for two playoff spots.

It only happens that Dallas is likely to end up 6th through 8th in the extremely talented Western Conference while they along with the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns would all be a 3rd seed in the East.

Making the playoffs is what counts. Dirk and his much-improved cast have four games left to stake their claim for a postseason return.

With four games left last year, the Mavericks were solely playing to finish .500. This time they’re final four mean everything. They win, they’re in. It’s a great feeling.

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Photos courtesy of Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins and TheSportsFan Journal

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MF Free Agency Tracker: Dalembert to Dallas

by Damian Jackson on July 18, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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From the moment Dwight Howard chose the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks already had Samuel Dalmebert on their radar. Next was Andrew Bynum who came to town, met with Mavs’ brass and ultimately left town without a contract offer.

The highly regarded Mavericks medical staff did their due diligence and after consulting with the Dallas front office, they let Bynum be Cleveland’s option.

Milwaukee Bucks’ free agent center Samuel Dalembert quickly captured the top spot on Dallas’ center pursuit, followed closely by the oft-injured 25-year-old Greg Oden. Despite two face-to-face meetings with Oden, the two sides haven’t talked contract and the Mavs knew they had to seal a deal with Dalembert.

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Mavs owner Mark Cuban was in the building last night for the Dallas summer league contest against the Los Angeles Clippers. He took time to provide a “State of the Mavs” update to ESPNDallas. Inside he mentioned Sammy D was all but ‘signed, signed.’

Y! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) broke the news on the Dallas and Dalembert contract details. The expected deal is 2-years worth $7.5 million with the second year partially guaranteed.

For this Mavs teams that sorely lacked a starting center, Dalembert represents a very solid value addition. Dalembert owns career averages of 8.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Last season with the Bucks, Dalembert didn’t see consistent playing time, but still managed a respectable Player Efficiency Rating of 18.60 (ESPN).

As for fit with the current Mavericks roster, Dalembert slides in nicely. Dirk Nowitzki plays his best basketball with a defensive and rebounding presence next to him. Last season Chris Kaman (paid $8 million) wasn’t the defensive match needed next to Dirk. Over his career, Dirk has played some his best ball next to guys like Erick Dampier, Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler.

The Mavs address two needs, defense and rebounding, in one player and paid less than half the price of Kaman last year. Dalembert isn’t known for his offense, it’s not his role. However, he’s able to convert around the basket with a decent hook and can knock down the face-up jumper from time to time.

Dalembert did have himself a career night last season against the Denver Nuggets when he poured in 35 points and 12 boards on 17-of-21 shooting. That likely won’t happen often or while a Maverick, but he’s a clip of him as a Rocket that shows his impact.

Despite landing Dalembert, the Mavs still are in high pursuit of Oden who plans to meet with the New Orleans Pelicans. Some say the Pelicans are ready to offer Oden a contract up to 2 years worth around $3 million per season. That is a price tag Dallas probably cannot match. Depending on the amount of space the Mavs have left, it’s hard seeing them offering more than maybe $1.5-$2 million per.

For now the Mavs have to be satisfied they have a starting center who fits next to their franchise player in Dirk. Dalembert provides a defensive anchor necessary with a small backcourt not known for its defense.

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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Go! Caution! Stop! Mavericks Traffic – Who should be Back Next Season?

by MavsFanatic on April 20, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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What to do with the final 15 Mavs players of the 2012-2013 season?

With a bevy of changes on the horizon in Mavsland, let’s take a glance at the 15 players on the 2012-2013. We’ll take time to discuss who we think who will definitely be back, who should return and those on a thin line.

It’s never simple to determine exactly who will fall into the needs while a whirlwind of changes occur, but we’re going to base this on the season’s production and abilities to best contribute in Dallas going forward.

Below the Mavs are listed by minutes played per game with the exception of listing Dirk Nowitzki ahead of O.J. Mayo.

Green Light – GO Yellow Light – CAUTION Red Light – STOP

The 15 Mavs players to end the season in Dallas:

Dirk Nowitzki – 31.3 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

Ryan Wilson: GO Ladies and Gentlemen, the Pride of the Dallas Mavericks. The Tall Baller From The G. One can only hope that Nowitzki gets some solid talent to surround him for the final stage of his career. After missing 27 games to start the season, and having to get his conditioning in order, he began to show signs of his old self the final few weeks of the season.

Damian Jackson: GO for the greatest Dallas Maverick ever. Dirk said he belongs to the city of Dallas and wants to never put on another NBA jersey. Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson and all Mavs fans share the same feelings. The soon-to-be father is the easiest decision.

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O.J. Mayo – 35.5 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: CAUTION the man that everyone has a different opinion on going into next season. Mayo started off his 2012-2013 campaign on a very high note, but fizzled as the season continued. His inconsistent shooting combined with his poor ball-handling skills make him tough to go forward with. However, you forget that Mayo is only 25 years old, and even though that excuse is getting old, he can still be molded into a fine sixth man. A starter he is not, and it’s important the Mavericks know that when negotiating with him.

DJ: CAUTION with the 25-year old shooting guard. His choice to become a free agent made financial sense because he simply wants a longterm deal for security. The Mavs and Mayo appear to want one another going forward, but at what price? I think Mayo at $5M-$6M annually over three of four years is reasonable. Even better would be using Mayo as the sixth man, a role Jason Terry also shifted to and had great success.

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Shawn Marion – 30.0 MPG (ETO for 2013-2014)

RW: GO Marion will most likely opt in for his $9.3 million and stay with the Mavs for the 2013-2014 season. The “Matrix” had a very solid year, and his numbers increased across the board from last year. He still remains a solid defender and can still be very effective around the rim.

DJ: GO with the only other mainstay from the champion team besides Dirk. Matrix fully expects to stick with Dallas on his $9.3M. He’s aging, but you wouldn’t notice since he always plays hard and still remains among the league’s best defenders. Only way Marion isn’t a Mav next season is if the MBT utilizes him as part of a high profile blockbuster deal/signing that clearly improves the roster.

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Darren Collison – 29.3 MPG (Qualifying offer for 2013-2014)

RW: STOP Collison was brought in to be the Mavs point guard, and one who could possibly be the point guard of the future. After 47 games off inconsistent play, he was summoned to a bench role, where he flourished often. He is a restricted free agent, and after saying he wants to be a starter, it should prove to be the end of a short road in Dallas for DC.

DJ: CAUTION for the speedy Collison depending on the situation. The Mavs front office knows they cannot go into next season with DC as the starting point. Despite his view, Collison excels as a change of pace PG off the bench. If the Mavs can add a quality starter and don’t select a PG in the draft, I think they will try and convince DC to return as a reserve. That may be easier said than done.

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Vince Carter – 25.8 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

RW: GO Vinsanity proved to be a major punch off of the bench, and had the Mavericks competed enough to make it to the post-season, could’ve proven to be a candidate for “Sixth Man of The Year”. He shot a higher percentage from the field, and from behind the arc. He is set to make a little over $3 million next season, and should be a solid bet to produce off the bench again next season.

DJ: GO for the former half MAN/half AMAZING. He was outstanding in other ways this year besides his signature high-flying jams. He became a major locker room/veteran presence and shot the 3-ball with his most success since his third NBA season in 2000-2001. VC is set to earn $3.81M next season and he’s one of the league’s top value players based on a production-to-cost ratio (Excluding players on rookie-scale contracts).

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Elton Brand – 21.2 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: STOP Brand was brought in on a very small one year deal, and after enduring an injury plagued season, contributed very little. He averaged career lows in points, rebounds, and assists. While that has a large part to do with playing significantly low minutes, he is more likely to join a team where he can finally get a chance at his first championship.

DJ: CAUTION As most guys say, Brand wants back in Dallas. He did add that he prefers strictly backup PF minutes, not center. EB plays with force and would be a great keep if he earned similar or less money than this year ($2.1M). He shouldn’t be a top priority and therefore patience will be important. Once the dust settles, Mavs can see what they have left to offer the former Dukie.

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Chris Kaman – 20.7 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: STOP Kaman was brought on to a Mavs franchise who struggled ever having a consistent big scoring option. Kaman was also plagued with a few injuries during the season, but could never really mesh with this ball club. As a result, he lashed out at coaching and upper management a few times, resulting in his worst year in terms of scoring and rebounding.

DJ: STOP for a center I was initially quite happy about signing last summer. Kaman can score, but he doesn’t bring much else on the court. Despite their friendship, their partnership on the floor didn’t flow as well. Dirk needs a rim protector at center for the utmost success of the team. Not sure Kaman wants to take less money to be a reserve center. Therefore I believe he will receive better offers elsewhere and move on. The Mavs won’t stop him.

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Mike James – 19.2 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: CAUTION The Mavericks brought in James once Derek Fisher pulled the ol’ Lookly Lue on the Mavericks, leaving them for family issues only to eventually join the rival Oklahoma City Thunder. While James shot pretty well from beyond the arc, he failed to do so overall, shooting only 37% from the field. He has played for 11 teams in his career and most signs point to a 12th here in the near future. I could, however, see the Mavericks keeping him as a player off the bench.

DJ: GO even though this seems crazy. At one point I had been calling Mike James ‘Tenday’ but he’s an ultra competitor, plays with heart and has embraced the Mavs fan base. If James wants to stick around to be the second/third string PG at the vet minimum, I have no issue with it.

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Brandan Wright – 18.0 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: GO Brandan Wright had a good year, once Carlisle decided to let the kid play. We might not be able to see much more of him in a Mavericks jersey, as other teams would likely be able to outbid the Mavericks for his services, as the Mavericks try to free up as much cap space as possible. The Mavericks front office has made it very clear they want him to stay, which is an approach I would have to agree with.

DJ: GO without almost any doubt. BWright finally received consistent minutes and his confidence flourished along with his game. He still has some flaws with defensive rotations and covering bigger centers, but he’s more than made up for it offensively and improved rebounding. Wright will command more than the minimum he’s had the past two seasons and the Mavs should pay him fair to watch his prime years develop in Mavs Blue.

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Jae Crowder – 17.3 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

RW: GO I like Jae Crowder. I don’t care what everyone says. He’s young, and makes a lot of mistakes, but he’s young. He’s a very physical player and if he can work on his shooting and presence in the open court, Jae could prove to be a very nice piece off the bench.

DJ: GO for the tough Marquette product. Crowder proved to be a solid rotation player most of the season drafted in the second round. He’s guaranteed money next season at a very reasonable price and fits in the Maverick future plans. However, it is possible Jae becomes a sweetener in an offseason trade, but if he avoids that fate he’ll return to the play where he wants to call home – Big D.

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Roddy Beaubois – 12.2 MPG (Qualifying offer for 2013-2014)

RW: STOP Poor Roddy. Another up and down year led to him finally putting together some solid games, only to break his hand immediately after. It’s always been an up and down career for Roddy as Maverick, and this seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

DJ: STOP in what should mark the end of Roddy Buckets with the Dallas Mavericks. A guy who showed incredible promise his rookie season never panned out due to several injuries that hindered his progress. The MBT has waited long enough and will likely not bring Roddy B back for a fifth season. For sure…

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Bernard James – 9.9 MPG (Non-Guaranteed for 2013-2014)

RW: STOP Bernard actually cracked the starting lineup a few times this year, but seriously, who didn’t? His numbers weren’t anything to take note on, but he did seem to be a presence on the defensive end. He has a non-guaranteed contract for next season, so could be on his way out.

DJ: CAUTION here simply because Sarge and Brandan Wright are redundant. Wright is younger and has an advanced offensive arsenal. Both protect the rim in similar manor. The price isn’t the issue so it’ll come down to fit. James wouldn’t be a bad third string center if the Mavs can acquire a full-time starter for the position. My guess at this point is Sarge returns, there’s no risk.

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Anthony Morrow – 4.8 MPG

RW: STOP Morrow was brought in to hopefully give the Mavericks some shooting options off the bench, but never really was given the opportunity. He will now be a free agent, and seeing as there are better options out there in terms of shooting guards, it figures to be a short stay for him.

DJ: GO and light it up A-Mo! Morrow came to Dallas midway in the season, but didn’t crack the rotation behind Mayo, Carter and Crowder. Morrow’s chances of returning may depend on what happens with Mayo. Fans love Morrow and he owns one of the purest jumpers in the league. Will he get an opportunity with the Mavs? He has my vote.

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Jared Cunningham – 3.3 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

RW: CAUTION Not really sure what the deal is with J1Flight. His athleticism is off the chart, but he is a work in progress. He still has another year under contract, so hopefully the Mavs can do some work and get him ready to contribute.

DJ: STOP even though he’s on a first round guaranteed deal. I think it’s very likely Cunnington ends up dealt over the summer in some kind of trade. He never really made an impact for the Mavs, spending much time with the D-League affiliate Texas Legends. He’s got the athletic aspect on his side, but development needs to happen, but finding court time with Dallas may not happen.

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Josh Akognon – 3.0 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: CAUTION Akognon was on the Mavs for 8 games, and played a total of 9 minutes in 3 games of action. While there could be potential there, he is not under contract. He could come back for a small contract and see what he could become as a Maverick.

DJ: STOP although he’s a cool ass story. Akognon straight killed the Chinese league with a 29.0 point per game average. He did play in three games for the Mavs at the end of the year and scored his first NBA points. That said, Akognon will more than likely find work elsewhere in the association or back overseas.

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Now it’s your turn; tell us who you think should be Mavericks next year. Also who you feel it’s time to move on. It’s going to be one of the craziest and most active offseasons for the Dallas Mavericks. Gear up MavsNation!

- Mavs Fanatic Founder & Partner Ryan Wilson, Damian Jackson

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Mavs Game Night: A Return Home to Face Cavaliers

by Damian Jackson on March 15, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks concluded their 4-game road trip with a 3-1 record.

Actually impressive for a group that had consistently struggled away from home all season long. The lone loss happened last night in a gut-wrenching 92-91 defeat at the hands of rival San Antonio.

The Spurs completed the season series sweep of the Mavericks for the first time in 15 years.

“It has been the motto for our year,” Dirk Nowitzki said after scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double. “We are right there, we just cannot get over the hump.”

With no time to mull the loss over, the Mavs switch gears and will concern themselves with the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs’ lone all-star Kyrie Irving is out with a shoulder injury.

I find this hard to consider a ‘trap’ game for Dallas, but it’s one I can see them possibly taking too easy. That could be dangerous, but the Cavaliers are extremely poor on the road and the Mavericks should have an edge after the loss yesterday.

Dion Waiters, Cavs 4th overall pick out of Syracuse, has picked up the slack during Irving’s absence. Over six of his last seven games played, Waiters is averaging 22 points. He thrives at earning trips to the line, evident by his 50 attempts over the past seven.

“It’s going to be an interesting week,” Byron Scott said. “We play five pretty good basketball teams, four real good ones. We’re going to have our hands full. Anytime you make a Texas swing, it’s a tough matchup on that road trip.”

“As I told our guys today, we had a great practice today and we have to bring that same intensity and enthusiasm into this road trip. If we do that for 48 minutes, we have an opportunity to win.”

It appears that Scott believes his team’s most winnable game is here in Dallas. The Mavs have the worst record of the Cavs next five games.

While the Cavs are playing to develop their young players, this season still holds the possibility of playoffs for our Mavericks. That alone should be the driving force to come out and handle the business of winning these games at the American Airlines Center.

The Mavs had six players score in double figures Thursday night, led by Dirk’s 21. It’s that kind of balanced effort which usually transpires into victories, but it happened to be against the best team in the West.

It seems that the calf has been bothering Shawn Marion more than originally thought. Reports say Marion likely won’t be back earlier than next week.

Cavs at Mavs tip at 7:30 p.m. and will air on FSSW/FSOH.

Let’s Go Mavs!

Playoff Picture Update:

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

Team News: Mavericks and this Chris Kaman situation

“I try to be as professional as I could in this situation, but it’s definitely not what I anticipated,” Kaman said. “When I decided to come here, I thought it would be a greater opportunity for me, especially coming into a one-year deal. But I like it. It puts the pressure on me to play better.”

– Dallas Morning News

 

- The Mavs locker room was split on the Dahntay Jones/Kobe Bryant play.

– Delonte West reportedly will report and play for Legends; NBA teams to monitor including the Knicks.

– Could O.J. Mayo opt into his $4.2 million deal next season?

 

 

 

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The Wrap Up: Mavs Get Revenge, Keep Slim Playoff Hopes Alive

by Terence Huie on March 7, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Mavs came into the second of a two-game series against the Houston Rockets at home. Dallas looks to seek vengeance after an embarrassing 36-point loss in Houston on Sunday night.

Coach Carlisle added Mike James and Brandan Wright to the starting lineup, putting Darren Collison and Chris Kaman on the bench to begin the game.

OJ Mayo started off with great first quarter with 5 assists, giving the Mavs a 12-3 run. The Mavs shot 15-of-21 from the field the entire quarter, including Shawn Marion’s 12 points (6-8 FG) and Dirk’s 8 points. Houston Rockets’ point guard Jeremy Lin recorded 15 points, but the Rockets shot 9-for-23 (39.1%) from the floor.

The Rockets began the second quarter with a 15-5 run, led by four three-pointers from Carlos Defino and Chandler Parsons. The Mavs’ 11-point lead to begin the second quarter slimmed down to just a 3-point lead halfway through the period. The Mavs ended the quarter on a 9-2 run with a 4-point lead going into halftime.

At halftime, Marion was the game’s scoring leader with 16 points. The Mavs were 25-for-40 from the field while the Rockets shot 19-for-46. OJ Mayo had just 5 points but with 7 assists. The Mavs had the advantage of Fast Break Points (12 to 4) and Points in the Paints (36 to 16). Rockets’ James Harden led his team with 14 points (3-11 FG, but 7-7 from the free throw line). Also, Chandler Parsons had 13 points including 3 three-pointers.

In the third quarter, the Mavs shot 11-25 from the field. The Rockets were 10-for-16 from the floor. The Rockets got within a 1-point lead after a 15-3 spur towards the end of the third period. Dallas replied from a clutch three-pointer from Vince Carter to begin the fourth quarter with a four-point lead.

The fourth quarter became real aggressive towards the end of the game. Dirk Nowitzki recorded his fifth personal foul and a technical foul after arguing with referees after knocking Carlos Defino during a fast break. Rockets’ gained momentum with 5 points from James Harden to hold a 2-point lead. OJ Mayo gave the Mavs a huge 7 straight points. In the final minutes after two Harden free throws, the Rockets went 0-for-4. That gave the Mavs’ three free throws to end the game.

The Mavs defended their home court and got revenge on the Rockets winning this game 112-108.

Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs in team scoring with 22 points. OJ Mayo displayed a fantastic performance of 12 points and a career-high 13 assists. James Harden shot a total 5-for-17 but 16 for 16 from the free throw line. Harden recorded 28 points and 9 assists. Rockets’ center Omar Asik had a double-double, 12 points and 15 rebounds.

The Mavs look forward to a 4-game road trip, including a big game against the Spurs next Thursday.

GO MAVS!

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The Mavs Wrap Up: I'll Have Extra Mayo With That

by Ryan Wilson on December 19, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

The Mavs returned to Dallas Tuesday night after a heartbreaking road trip in which they dropped all three games, two of them in overtime. They faced the 12-12 Philadelphia 76ers, who were missing starting point guard Jrue Holiday and are struggling to win without him, as this was their 4 straight loss, 3 without Holiday. Dallas was also expected to be without their starting point guard Derek Fisher because of the flu, however Fisher showed some guts and gave it a go, only to strain his knee five minutes into the game. Fisher was able to walk off under his own power, however he would not return. He will be reevaluated on Wednesday. The Mavericks don’t expect the injury to be serious. Fisher had 2 points and an assist in his 5 minutes of play.

So with both teams missing their starting point guard for the majority of the game, Doug Collins as well as Rick Carlisle would have to utilize their bench more than usual, which would fair much better for the Mavs. Jrue Holiday is averaging 18 points a game and 9 assists this season, all-star type numbers. Nick Young would start in his place, who is a natural born shooting guard. Young scored 8 points in 24 minutes with 0 assists and Maalik Wayns who is also handling a lot of the point guard duties with Holiday out, added 3 points in 21 minutes, but did contribute 9 assists.

Evan Turner, who has dramatically improved his game relative to his first two seasons, shoveled most of the load offensively for Philadelphia, with a lot of help from the 8-year veteran Dorell Wright, who lead Philly with 25 points off the bench and went 7-13 from long range after missing badly on his first two attempts. The Mavs turned to their former starting point guard Darren Collison to log serious minutes and lead them to victory. Collison had 12 points and 2 assists in his 31 minutes, and only turned the ball over once. Dominique Jones also contributed with Fisher in the locker room. If your a Mavs fan you have to like the fact you can have both of those guys coming off the bench with young, fresh legs to replace the 38 year old Fisher. Playing 30 plus minutes isn’t new to Collison, and if he can remain aggressive, without turning the ball over, he should see more playing time late in games.

Elton Brand missed the game with a strained right groin and Brandan Wright proved once again that his offensive game is constantly improving and if he can work a little harder on the defensive glass, should be a nice young piece to this team moving forward. B-Wright had 10 points and 6 boards in 17 minutes. Shawn Marion had 14 points and 9 rebounds, 1 rebound shy of his fourth straight double double. More importantly, the Matrix became only the fifth player in NBA history to record 16,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, and 1,500 steals. The other four? Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Garnett, and Charles Barkley. Pretty elite company. The Mavericks were led by their two center pieces Chris Kaman and O.J Mayo, who clearly didn’t want to drop another close game and fall to three games under .500. The duo made key baskets late in the fourth quarter to hold off the 76ers, who fought hard until the buzzer.

Mayo led all scorers with 26 points, and continued to be efficient from three point range going 2-2. He still leads the league in three point percentage. Mayo added 8 assists and 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Kaman reached 20 points for only the fifth time this season. He also grabbed 7 rebounds. Kaman displayed his entire offensive game, knocking down that mid range jumper and also putting it on the floor and taking it to the rim. The Mavs only turned the ball over 11 times and gave up 14 offensive rebounds, two statistical areas you could point to on pretty much every Maverick loss. The offense seemed to flow very nice, even with Fisher out. If Mayo can continue his offensive output and Kaman can take some of the pressure off of Mayo with performances like Tuesday night, look for Dallas to be one of the best offensive teams in the Western Conference when Dirk returns.

The Mavs are now 12-13, 10th place in the West. They face a tough stretch the next couple weeks. Their next game is at home against the champion Miami Heat on Thursday, after that Dallas goes to Memphis, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City, then return home for a game against Denver and San Antonio again.

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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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The Mavs Wrap Up: Mavs Crown Kings In Rout

by Ryan Wilson on December 10, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

With a date with Jason Terry and  the Boston Celtics on ESPN looming just 2 days away, the Mavericks didn’t want to waste any energy on the Sacramento Kings. The Kings came in to tonight’s game with a 5-12 record, and managed to stick around for 1 whole quarter. Then everything started to unravel for the hapless Kings. The Kings failed to score in the 2nd quarter until Jason Thompson’s tip-in with 2:26 remaining. The Mavericks outscored the Kings 29-14 in the 2nd Quarter.

“There was just nothing that we could establish,” Kings coach Keith Smart said. “They kind of took us out of what we can do.”

O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman each had 16 points at the half, and the Mavericks were well on their way to moving a game over .500. These types of games by Kaman and Mayo have to have Mavs fans salivating all over Mavs Nation. With Dirk’s return “crawling” back to a reality, the Mavericks could add their most lethal weapon, and still have two dependable sidekicks.

Sacramento came out guns blazin in the 3rd Quarter, but the Mavericks managed to weather the storm. The Mavericks had 6 guys in double figures, and only turned the ball over 8 times. Turnovers have plagued this team in many of their losses this season. If the Mavericks can find a way to be more secure with the basketball, these kinds of performances won’t surprise so many.

Jae Crowder and Darren Collison were the two guys that stepped up most in my opinion. Darren Collison played well on both ends of the floor, leading to 15 points and 2 steals leading to breakaway slams. The shooting form of Crowder that had all of our jaws dropped to start the season looked like it may have made a return. He missed some shots early, but managed to put up 11 points on 5-9 shooting, to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

O.J. Mayo Update:

Stat Line: 19 points(6-9),7 rebs,4 asts.

You tell me!

“We’re playing good basketball right now,” Mayo said. “But now we’ve got to take it on the road with us and continue playing hard. We need to continue playing with effort and energy.”

Interesting Notes:

Strong Bench Play: Crowder(+24),Brand(+29),Collison(+22)

In the 2nd quarter, O.J. Mayo and DeMarcus Cousins were hit with a double technical. Replay showed Cousins hit O.J. Mayo in the groin area(OUCH!) with a closed fist. Looked pretty blatant. Potential fine could be just a day away. Wouldn’t be the first time for BoogieCousins!

On Tap:

The Mavericks will head to Boston to take on Jason Terry and the Boston Celtics. The game tips off 7:00 CT and you can find it on FxSW or ESPN.

As always, GO MAVS!


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Mavs Game Night: Kings(7-12) @ Mavs(10-10)

by Ryan Wilson on December 10, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

Several rarities surround the Dallas Mavericks following the 116-109 win against the Houston Rockets. For starters the Mavs played their 20th regular season game without Dirk Nowitzki. The team won consecutive road games inPhoenix and Houston. O.J. Mayo splashed a 40 spot on the Rockets. You have to go back to Roddy Beaubois’ rookie season and his promising night in GoldenState to find the last Maverick not named Dirk to score 40 points.

If for some reason you missed the Juice Explosion Saturday night, missed the highlights or simply want to see them again…and AGAIN…well here you go. Video of OJ’s big night:


Then there’s this from ESPN’s Marc Stein on just how especially rare Mayo’s 40-point outburst was for a Mavericks starting guard:

“According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mayo assembled just the second 40-point game from a starting Mavs guard in the last 18 — yes, 18 — seasons.

 Before Mayo’s 40-point eruption that enabled the Mavs to pull out a 116-109 victory on the Rockets’ floor, Dallas hadn’t seen a 40-point game from a backcourt starter since Michael Finley’s 42 points against Detroit on Nov. 27, 2002.”

When the Mavericks take the court tonight and aim for their third consecutive victory, they will be facing a team riding a three-game win streak of their own – the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are just 7-12 and 13th in the conference, but anytime you string together wins your confidence level elevates.

The Kings defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on the road 99-80 Saturday night. DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds. John Salmons added 19 points with 11 helpers.

“It feels good,” Salmons said. “Especially coming off two home wins, to go on the road and get that third win. Hopefully, we can continue doing that.”

Winning in Dallas will be a daunting task for the Kings who have lost to the Mavs 16 straight times in the American Airlines Center. This may be their best opportunity with Dirk not in the lineup, but Mayo and the Mavs are just trying to win ballgames. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, seven wins or 17 wins.

“O.J. [Mayo] is definitely on the kind of roll where he’s putting the team on his back,” said Derek Fisher. “He’s playing at an unbelievable level. It sounds simple, but I think O.J. just wants to win.”

A lot is going right for Mayo this year in Dallas and he’s more comfortable than ever. He himself stated how much he just understands his role as a Maverick and the coaching staff and locker room supports him 100%. It’s showing on the court as Mayo continues to play at career-best levels.

In the shadows of the heroic performance put on by Juice Mayo in Houstonwas the effort given by Mavs center Chris Kaman. Most the evening Kaman was laboring, clearly limping on his badly bruised ankle. Then we found out Kaman’s ankle was indeed purple. Yet, somehow he battled through the pain to score 20 much need points in only 19 minutes of action.

“Kaman showed a lot of guts even being out there,”Carlisle said. “He went out there and gave us everything he had.

It’s unclear whether or not Kaman will be able to play tonight and Shawn Marion’s status also is questionable as he nurses a groin strain. You’d want the Matrix out there, but it’s best to be cautious with any type of groin issue.

The Mavs and Kings tip 7:30 p.m. CT and the game airs on FSSW and CSCA.



 

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Mavs Game Night: Mavs(9-10) @ Rockets(9-9)

by Ryan Wilson on December 8, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

The Dallas Mavericks conclude their three-game road trip with the first divisional contest against the Houston Rockets. The Los Angeles Clippers steamrolled the Mavs Wednesday night and the following evening saw our guys narrowly escape Phoenix with a victory over the Suns. The Mavs will look to end the trip with two wins when they leave the Toyota Center late tonight.

What to look for as Dallas breaks the Southwest Division ice and takes on their interstate foe Rockets. James Harden is now the face (or beard) of the franchise. Jeremy Lin didn’t last long in that position, but is having a suitable season thus far with his new backcourt mate. Mavs shouldn’t need worry about any “Linsanity” this time around as that phase has long past.

Houston has the NBA’s youngest roster, but still talented enough to be a .500 team in the deep Western Conference. Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson are both starters now and have made progressive improvements to their games. Along with Lin, the Rockets signed former Chicago Bulls reserve center Omir Asik this summer to round out the starting group.

In the midst of a personal tragedy, Rockets head coach Kevin McHale has been away from the team. McHale’s 23-year-old daughter Sasha passed away after a lengthy battle with lupus. In his absence Kelvin Sampson has been on the sidelines as acting head coach. Reports say that McHale might make his return to the team and coach in tonight’s matchup with the Mavs. Our condolences and continued prayers are with the McHale family and friends.

The Mavericks survived “Satisfaction Guaranteed Night” against the Suns, but at this point you take any win you can get. The goal is to just have as many victories by the time Dirk Nowitzki finally makes his grand return. Dallas currently sits in 10th place and out of the playoffs with its 9-10 record.

Not one Mavericks player has been steadfast with consistency, although O.J. Mayo still remains a pleasant addition with his much needed production offensively without Dirk. Vince Carter has been a major player off the Dallas bench, providing scoring and leadership when it’s needed most. His bright green light trigger draws the ire of fans at times, but I think most fans now appreciative his contributions.

The Matrix (doubtful) could sit this game out with a groin strain that he aggravated in the game Thursday night. Center Chris Kaman (questionable) may also be iffy after sustaining an ankle injury the same night. If both miss the game, the Mavs would be thin in the front court with only Elton Brand, Brandan Wright and rookie Sarge James available.

One Maverick player of note is Jae Crowder. His struggles the last couple weeks have been evident. The shots are not falling and he hasn’t been attacking more either. Crowder has not connected on a three point shot since the November 24th game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The cure for a grueling shooting stretch would be attack and see the ball go in at the foul line. I would like to see Crowder do just that in the minutes he may or may not play tonight.

The Mavericks and Rockets tip tonight at 7:00 p.m CT and airs on FSSW and CSH. Let’s go Mavs!

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