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Mavs vs. Spurs Playoff Preview – Staff Predictions

by Greg Higgins on April 19, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

PreviewPt2

By now, more than likely, you’ve had a chance to read the articles breaking down the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs first round playoff series (including ours). We’ve given you the breakdown, now let’s tell you what our writers think will happen during the series. Here’s our predictions:

Ryan:

What a difference one loss makes huh? The Mavericks were so close to locking up the 7th seed and having a better matchup with Oklahoma City. Now, all odds will be against them. I would love to say the Mavericks could pull off the impossible, but then I really wouldn’t be living in reality.

Yes, the Mavericks have the Hall of Fame Legend in Dirk Nowitzki and a great sidekick in Monta Ellis, but the Spurs can hurt you from a plethora of different angles. They had the best record in the NBA this season, and did it without a scorer averaging more than 20 points per game. What that says is that they can lean on many different players on any given night.

Guys like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marco Bellinelli have provided sparks all season for this club, and they still have the usual savvy veterans in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.

The Mavericks will have to lean heavily on Nowitzki and Ellis in order to even have a shot, but that is not where the problem lies. The Mavericks have lacked a true legit center all season long, and the problem is beginning to cause some real concern. If the Mavericks were to have a shot at taking down the Spurs, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair, and Brandan Wright would have to show up on a consistent nightly basis. Since that really hasn’t been the case all season, it’s hard for me to give the Mavericks any possibility of the huge upset.

While it would be fun to think of the Mavericks reversing the 1-seed vs 8-seed curse that haunted them back in the 2006-2007 season, I would be coming off as a true homer, which is something even I can’t do.

Prediction: Spurs in 5




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Damian:

The Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies fighting NOT to play the San Antonio Spurs said plenty on Wednesday night.

Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan go head-to-head in their teams’ sixth meeting in the postseason. The difference remains that Duncan has had the same coach and a familiar core around him for most of the Texas playoff tussles.

Rick Carlisle is among the best coaches in the NBA, but he gets trumped by the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich. Carlisle possesses the most recent Larry O’Brien trophy by a Texas squad, but Pop still has four to his name.

It’s no secret the Mavericks have struggled against the Spurs lately, losers of nine consecutive matchups. San Antonio has been dominant over the stretch with an average margin of victory in double figures.

Hard to envision the Spurs dropping four games to their Texas rival this series, but Dallas will fight. The Mavericks veteran team still has plenty of pride and experience. Unfortunately, it comes against a team with the same strengths but in a more bolstered version.

Prediction: Spurs win in 5


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Huie:

Thanks to a heartbreaking 1-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavs prepare themselves for a dogfight 1st round series against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. I’m sure the sports world thinks the Spurs would win in an easy sweep, but as a fan I disagree.

This year’s Mavericks team has been on a roller coaster ride for the season. But if it’s one thing I’ve learned about this squad it is that the Mavs play their best basketball when their backs are against the wall. Take for account the Monta Ellis game-winner in Portland, or Dirk’s game-winner in the historic Madison Square Garden. Remember when the Mavs coming back from a 15+ point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets at home?

The Mavs have one thing: HEART. These guys can make some noise in the playoffs if they give 100% every single game, every single minute.

I think the Mavs can win this series. If not, I know for sure that they can give the Spurs a run for their money.

Prediction: Mavs win in 6 games. GO MAVS.


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Marc:

I really do hate writing this but the way I write is totally unbiased. Although I love the Mavericks with everything I have I must type the facts. The facts are the Mavs cannot guard three point shooters. They are slow to rotate and ball movement is one of their greatest weaknesses.

The Spurs do not beat you with one superstar, they play methodical, almost surgeon like and together as a team will beat you down. I’ve seen it all year, Tony Parker penetrates the lane, kicks it out to one of their many guards who then swings it to a wide open Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Manu Ginobli or Patty Mills. All of which are absolutely deadly from three.

If I could pick a team designed to destroy the Mavericks it is the Spurs. Notice I haven’t even mentioned the annoying Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter down low.

With all of this death and destruction I will give you one sliver of hope. We have Dirk, and we have Monta Ellis. The two-man game will have to be perfect to give us a chance. We have to play the best defense this squad has ever played and get some easy fast break buckets.

Prediction: With all of this said I’ve got the Spurs in 5.  Man I hate to say that.


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Greg:

I’ve been saying it for a month now, “We have to avoid the Spurs in the first round at all cost.” Unfortunately for the Mavs, they did not do this. This is a nightmare matchup for the Mavs because of the inability to defend the paint and the rotation defense on three-point shooting has been terrible all season.

The Spurs have defeated the Mavericks nine straight times. Because of this, I do not think this will be a sweep for San Antonio. I mean, you can’t beat the Mavs 13 straight games, can you? I hope not.

One thing I like is the way Monta Ellis plays in the fourth quarter of games. Against Memphis on Wednesday, he had four points through the first three quarters. He scored 14 in the fourth quarter and overtime of that game. With him and Dirk Nowitzki, I like the Mavs to at least win a game or two. I do think, however, the Spurs will be too much in the end.

Prediction: Spurs in 6

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Photos courtesy of Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins; Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports; AP Photo/Eric Gay; Derick Hingle USA TODAY Sports

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Mavs vs. Spurs Playoff Preview – Who Holds the Edge?

by Greg Higgins on April 18, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

PlayoffPreview

After a grueling 82 game season, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves back in the postseason after taking last year off. Dallas finished out the regular season with a one-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The loss put the Mavs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Of course being the No. 8 seed does give the Mavs the unenviable position of having to play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Dallas fans are all aware of the upset factor involved with a No. 8 seed taking out a No. 1 seed. In 2007, the Mavs finished the regular season with an astounding 67-15 record only to be ousted in the first round by the Golden State Warriors in six games.

The Spurs are aware of this as well as they were knocked out of the playoffs in 2011 by the No. 8 seeded Memphis Grizzlies. Although it has happened twice in recent memory, it is a very unlikely scenario. Only five No. 8 seeds have ever knocked off a No. 1 seed.

The first time this happened was in 1994 when the Denver Nuggets knocked off the Seattle Supersonics. The famous image of Dikembe Mutombo lying on the floor in Seattle holding the ball up above his head is forever engrained in our minds.

Of course that was back when the first round series was the best of five. What about today? Do the Mavericks have a realistic shot at defeating the Spurs? Obviously, anything can happen in the series. Someone from either team could go down with an injury or perhaps a player has a terrible shooting night. All of these things could have a positive or negative effect on the series depending on which side you’re cheering for.

These two teams have played each other four times this season, and the Spurs have won all four matchups. San Antonio has defeated the Mavs nine straight times all together.  In the four games this year, the Spurs have averaged over 112 points per game while Dallas has been just under 101 points per game.

Who has the edge in the different areas? Let’s find out:

Team:

When it comes to playing like a team, does anyone in the four major sports do it better than the San Antonio Spurs? They’ve been a model of consistency since the late 90’s when they won their first title. This year has been no different, either. San Antonio finished with the best record in the NBA at 62-20.

The Mavs, on the other hand, have been trying to find their identity this year. Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion are the only players remaining from the championship team, so Rick Carlisle is having to teach new people his style and get them to buy into that system. They made the playoffs but it was a cat fight all the way down the stretch. This could potentially help the Mavs because they have been playing playoff basketball for a month now.

Advantage: San Antonio

Coaching:

This one is hard to breakdown. Gregg Popovich is one of, if not the best coach in all four major sports. He’s the ultimate chess master when it comes to playing the game and coaching. He’s been known to rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli in the same game to save them for the playoffs.

However, Rick Carlisle showed the entire world how great of a coach he is when he took Dirk and a bunch of dudes in 2011 to the championship. He was able to move people around so that they took down Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James on their way to their first title.

If Pop is 1, Carlisle is 1A in my opinion. However, the advantage still goes to Pop because he’s done it more times than Carlisle has.

Advantage: San Antonio (by the slightest of margins)

6109432Superstar:

There’s something to be said about the superstar player for each of these teams. Tim Duncan will probably go down as the best power forward of all time while Dirk will probably finish in the top six in NBA scoring when his career is done. Duncan averaged 15.1 points per game this season while Dirk put in 21.6 for the Mavs. Duncan’s fundamentals are precise while Dirk can hit his one-legged fade away over anyone. Right now, for this series though, give me the big German.

Advantage: Dallas

Defense:

They say defense wins championships and you don’t have to look any further than 2011 to know that’s true. Dallas had amazing records and could score at ease through the Don Nelson/Avery Johnson years. However, it wasn’t until they got someone like Tyson Chandler down low defensively that the Mavs went on to win a title.

The Spurs have won and continue to win based on this motto. Among the starting lineups that played at least 200 minutes together, the Spurs’ starters were the best defensively.

The Mavs are the worst defensive team among those that made the playoffs. The Mavs rely on help defenders and they haven’t gotten a lot of that this season. If they hope to beat the Spurs, they have to get better in this area and they have to do it quick.

Advantage: San Antonio

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron – USA Today Sports; AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

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Dirk & Nash: What Could Have Been?

by Ryan Wilson on April 18, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

DirkNash

This morning, Bill Simmons & Grantland released episode 4 of the “The Finish Line”, documenting the up and down season for Steve Nash in Los Angeles, and his battle to get back on the court.

The Dallas Mavericks were in town, and as they typically do, Dirk Nowitzki and Nash got together. Nowitzki, Nash, and Al Whitley, equipment manager for the Dallas Mavericks, and childhood friend of Nash’s sat down for a dinner to reminisce about the past and what could have been.

It’s a fascinating video that really shows how Nash is dealing with decisions from back in the day, and the fact that his career is coming to a close. It’s layered with questions about what could have happened with Dallas had Nash resigned back in 2004. Dirk mentioned how the Western Conference wasn’t all that great after Nash left, and that there was a window of opportunity there that we will all just never know.

It was an honest conversation between two longtime friends – one from Canada and the other from Wurzburg, Germany. On the court, they were a lethal duo who entertained the Dallas Metroplex on a night to night basis, but many believe it was ended to short.

DirkNashAs they talked about the battles between the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks, Nash even points out that it was a “rough time” for him when the Mavericks prevailed over his Suns in the 2006 Western Conference Finals, and he wasn’t even really pushing for Nowitzki in the Finals that season. He does mention right after that once the Mavericks got back to the 2011 NBA Finals and won it, it was fun for him to watch Nowitzki back in the big dance and finally get that trophy.

“I almost feel like I wasn’t cheering for you. Instead, I was kind of like ‘I don’t care’” - Steve Nash on Nowitzki reaching NBA Finals in 2006

 

“It was fun for me to root for you. It felt great to see you get back there and to have me rooting for you.” - Steve Nash on Nowitzki returning to NBA Finals in 2001 and winning 

But what really could have been?

The real important thing to remember here is the Mavericks had a whole different Steve Nash than the one the Suns received. Phoenix had a guy in Amar’e Stoudemire who was amazing on the pick and roll and finishing with his athleticism. He provided Nash a real true inside power, whereas Dirk at the time, was really just a shooter. Many feel that they were only just growing at that point, but as Dirk mentioned in the video, it really allowed the two of them to develop on their own, which is something that maybe never would have materialized had they remained together.

“I’m not sure, but it would have been a hell of a time” - Dirk Nowitzki on what would have happened if Nash stayed in Dallas. 

At the conclusion of the dinner, Nash asks Nowitzki what he would do if he was in his position at 40 years old, and if he would come back.

“With what you are going through with all the treatments, I’m not sure I could do it” - Dirk Nowitzki 

Two things are for sure. The NBA is going to miss these two superstars when they ride off into the sunset and they have developed a bond that will last a lifetime.

Photo Credit: G.J. McCarthy

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Wrap Up: Mavs Fall In Overtime; Will Face Spurs In Round 1

by Greg Higgins on April 17, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up Mavs Drop Rough One

For the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies, the playoffs started a game earlier than the rest of the NBA. Both teams came into the final regular season tied at 49-32.  The winner gets the seventh seed in the playoffs; which means avoiding the San Antonio Spurs in round one of the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, the seventh seed wasn’t meant to be for them as they fell 106-105 in overtime.

How It Went Down: 

It was a close game the entire way. For a brief period in the first quarter, the Grizzlies had a 10-point lead over Dallas. Other then that, though, the Mavs and Grizzlies battled back and forth for the seventh seed.

The same thing that has bothered Dallas all year, though, reared its ugly head. The Mavs had a hard time with interior defense and help in the weak side defense down low. Memphis had 58 points in the paint.  Memphis also had 20 offensive rebounds for 19-second chance points.

Dallas, trailing by two after three quarter would rely on Monta Ellis to do what he’s done all season long. Monta, who only had four points in the first three quarters, scored 14 points between the fourth quarter and overtime. His biggest shot came with 13 seconds left in the game and the Mavs trailing by three points. Monta hit a three-pointer to tie the game and eventually send it to overtime.

MavsGrizzIn overtime, the Mavs had a chance to put the game away. Dirk Nowitzki hit a three-pointer to put Dallas up 105-102 with 46 seconds left, Mike Conley missed a three-pointer that would tie the game. However, three Dallas players couldn’t secure the rebound as Tony Allen got the offensive board and put back to cut the deficit to one. Monta dribbled the clock down as much as he could but missed on a jump shot with just under seven seconds left in the game. Mike Conley took the rebound and drove the length of the floor in and drew a foul by Vince Carter as he was trying to shoot. He calmly sank both free throws to put Memphis up by one with 1.1 seconds left. Monta’s jumper from 20’ out clanked off the back iron and Memphis celebrated the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

 

 

Inside the Numbers:

Dallas made the eighth seed in the playoffs but how high could they have gone? Dallas lost five games in which they held at least a 17-point lead in the game..

There were 15 lead changes and 16 ties in the game.

Impact Play of the Game: 

With 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis calmly knocked down a three pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

Monta scored seven points in the fourth and another seven in the overtime period. Despite losing the game, Monta keeps proving himself as a player that can be relied upon during the stretch run of games.

Quotes:

 

 

 

On Deck:

Dallas will play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Game 1: Sunday April 20 @ 12:00 in San Antonio

Game 2: Wednesday April 23 @ 7:00 in San Antonio

Game 3: Saturday April 26 @ 3:30 in Dallas

Game 4: Monday April 28 @ 8:30 in Dallas

Photo Credit: Lance Murphey, AP

 

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MGN: Dallas Visits Memphis with Implications on the Line

by Marc Cashion on April 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightPaula

The battle for seventh place and not having to play the San Antonio Spurs will be decided tonight. The Dallas Mavericks take on the Memphis Grizzlies, each at 49-32. Neither team wants to face the Spurs and a matchup with either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Los Angeles Clippers are both more favorable. The Mavs have swept the Grizzlies so far this season winning three straight so going into the matchup the Mavs have the upper hand.

The Game at Hand:

The Grizzlies come into the game winning four straight and probably playing their best basketball of the year. They’ve won four must win games in a row beating Miami, Philadelphia, the Lakers and Monday’s exciting game against the Phoenix Suns to clinch a playoff berth.

Each team plays a different style with the Grizzlies force feeding their bigs Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on seemingly every possession. The Mavs move the ball around using plenty pick and roll to create an open looks.

The Mavs have answered the bell lately only losing to the Spurs in the past six games. Their defense has been better and with the Grizzlies as their last opponent, they will need to play some of the best inside defense they have all year. The Mavs will also be going for their 50th win of the season, a huge accomplishment when you look at the 41 wins from just a year ago.

Keys to the Game:

1. Guarding Zach Randolph: 

Zach Randolph has been an absolute beast of late, bullying opposing power forwards and getting to the paint with ease. In the must win against the Suns, Randolph posted 32 points and 9 rebounds. He destroyed the likes of Channing Frye and any Morris twin they put on him. When Randolph is hot it makes the entire Grizzlies team better opening room up for Mike Conley and giving even more freedom for Marc Gasol.

Dejuan Blair may have to step up tonight as he seems like a pretty good body to body matchup against Randolph, and as the story is seemingly every night the beast version of Samuel Dalembert will need to show up and do his best to neutralize Marc Gasol.

2. Rebounding: 

With Randolph and Gasol being the Grizzlies’ emphasis on offense we have to keep the second chance points to a minimum. In the Mavs last meeting against the Grizzlies the Mavs out-rebounded the Grizzlies 35-32 and ended up winning the game pretty easily. In Memphis’s huge win against the Suns they out-rebounded them 42-30. Not only do we have to watch Gasol and Randolph but Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen like to get in on it too.

There were many honorable mentions in this games key’s to the game. Mike Conley hit some huge shots at the end of the game in Pheonix and Tony Allen has the ability to really give Monta Ellis some trouble on offense. The take home point here is everyone needs to be on his absolute A game to be able to keep the 7th seed.

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Zach Randolph
 

Both Randolph and Dirk will have the upper hand on offense. Randolph is a bully down low and will take Dirk to the paint, potentially making him uncomfortable. On the other end of the floor Dirk is quicker and taller, if his mid range shot is on, like it normally is in big games, this could also frustrate Randolph. In my opinion, the winner of this matchup will likely be on the winning team.

 

 

 

Quotes:

“That’s the goal we set at the beginning of the season, that if we get 50 wins we’ll be in the playoffs.”

- Monta Ellis

 

When and Where:

Tip-off is in Memphis, Tennessee at FedEx Forum and will start at 7:00 PM CST. It will be nationally televised on ESPN.

Inclinations:

 

Winner – Locks in 7th Seed and will play OKC if the Thunder win vs Detroit tonight. If OKC loses to Detroit and the Clippers win in Portland, winner will face LAC in first round

Loser – Will be the 8th seed and face the San Antonio Spurs

 

 

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Mavs Need Win To Avoid Nightmare Matchup With Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsTeam

The term “fighting for your playoff lives” takes on a new perspective tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. The Dallas Mavericks will face the Memphis Grizzlies in what seems like a must-win game. The teams each sit at 49-32 and have secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference thanks to both teams defeating the Phoenix Suns in each of their last games.

With both teams already in the playoffs, who would have thought game 82 would have such an impact, though? The winner of this game will have the seventh seed in the playoffs while the loser will have the eighth seed.

“What’s the difference?” you might be asking yourself.

There’s a big difference. The no. 8 seed has the daunting task of having to deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. The seventh seed will have to face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

San Antonio Spurs v Dallas MavericksThe Spurs have locked down the top seed but the No. 2 seed is yet to be determined. If the Clippers win and the Thunder lose on Wednesday night, LA will have that second seed. Otherwise OKC will have the advantage.

What does this mean for the Mavs? Dallas has lost nine straight to the Spurs. This year, the Mavs took the season series with the Thunder 2-1 and lost the series with the Clippers 3-1. However, the games against the Clippers were some of the most exciting games this season. The total points’ separating the teams in the four games was 21 total points. In the three games Dallas lost to LA, the Mavs held a double-digit lead at some point during the game.

I don’t know if they can beat the Clippers or Thunder in a seven-game series, but I like that matchup way better than I do the Spurs. So I repeat, “The Mavs are fighting for their playoff lives in Memphis tonight.”

 

Photo Credit: CBS-DFW

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A Waiting Game For the Mavericks

by Damian Jackson on April 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WaitingGame

The Dallas Mavericks were the only NBA team to have played 81 games when Saturday night concluded.

A playoff berth was clinched, but the seeding remains undetermined.

What we do know is that after the loss by Golden State in Portland and a Memphis win in Los Angeles, the Mavericks can land anywhere from 6th to 8th.

6th Seed – To steal the 6-spot, Dallas would need the Warriors to loss their last two games and win its last in Memphis. Likely opponent in first round – Los Angeles Clippers.

7th Seed – Either Memphis loss in its last two (@PHX & vs DAL) or Dallas win at Memphis. Likely opponent – Oklahoma City Thunder.

8th Seed – In order to land here the Mavericks would have to lose to Memphis and the Grizzlies win its final two. First round – San Antonio Spurs.

Since the Mavs don’t play until the last day of the regular season, it becomes a wait and see approach.

DALMEMPHX

The Phoenix Suns host the Grizzlies tonight. A Memphis victory would eliminate the Suns from playoff contention. If the Suns win, it would come down to the last night with Memphis holding the tiebreaker. Dallas would be guaranteed 7th with a Phoenix win.

Golden State returns home and welcome in the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday evening. Stephen Curry scored his season-high 47 points in the overtime loss last night. A Warriors win against the Wolves would end Dallas’ chances for 6th.

Dallas controls its own destiny. They may get help before Wednesday night, but for now Monday and Tuesday will be a waiting game.

 

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Wrap Up: Monta, Dirk Lead Mavs Back to the Playoffs

by Damian Jackson on April 13, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up

The Dallas Mavericks (49-32) showed a sure-fire determination to return to the postseason. With their backs against the wall at halftime, the Mavericks fought back to defeat the Phoenix Suns (47-33) in an all-so crucial battle for playoff hopes. Dallas’ victory punched a playoff berth after missing out last season for the first time in 12 years.

How it went down:

It wasn’t the ideal start as the Mavericks watched Phoenix F/C Channing Frye connect on four 3-pointers and push the Suns out to the early lead. Monta Ellis put his stamp onthe game from start to finish. Ellis’ aggressiveness kept Dallas within striking distance despite weak team defensive play.

“He’s (Monta) missed the playoffs a whole lot, and I know he wanted it and you could tell he wanted it,” Devin Harris said. “You could tell he was engaged from the start. I’m just happy for him.”

Dallas allowed 57 points in the opening half and trailed by 11.

 

Dirk Nowitzki had yet to make his presence felt until after the intermission. Only 1-for-6 in the first 24 minutes, Nowitzki came alive in the third quarter with 14 points.

The Mavericks would carve into the Suns’ lead and head into the decisive 4th quarter down three.

Dallas would outscore Phoenix by six in the final frame to seal the deal behind the play of Monta, Dirk and Brandan Wright.

Inside the Numbers:

Monta matched his season-high with 37 points on 15-for-23 shooting.

Nowitzki and Ellis tallied 44 of the Mavericks 55 second half points.

Impact Play of the Game:

There was no shortage of important plays for Dallas, including the Dirk back-to-back triples in the third during the Mavs comeback. Monta also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during that crucial stretch plus some amazing finishes at the basket.

That said, the impact play goes to high-flying big man Brandan Wright who’s block of the night prevented an Eric Bledsoe layup to tie the game with 12 seconds left. Wright finished the evening with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in 32 minutes.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

If not for Monta’s heroics tonight, Dallas would in some trouble right now. You could say that for the entire season, but specifically this game. You learn to live with the mistakes he’ll make at times, but his good easily outweighs the bad these days. Monta was sensational in the biggest game of the Mavericks season.

 

Monta told Inside Stuff, the main reason he chose Dallas was the opportunity to play alongside Dirk. It’s worked out better than most expected and the two form one dynamic duo as they showed tonight.

 

Quotes:

 “The reason we won is because we had one of the best players on the planet in Dirk and because Monta Ellis, at the time we needed him most, stepped up and had his biggest game of the year.”

— Rick Carlisle

 

On Deck:

The Mavs conclude the regular season on Wednesday night in Memphis. The Grizzlies play two games before then, so it remains to be seen what will be a stake. A Memphis lost to either the Lakers or Suns before Wednesday would lock up the 7th seed for Dallas.

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Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports & AP Photo/LM Otero; Quotes Via Jeff Caplan of NBA.com and Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas.

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MGN: Mavs Host Suns in Battle for Playoffs

by Marc Cashion on April 12, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightb288

In the biggest game of the year to date the Dallas Mavericks (48-32) take on the Phoenix Suns (47-32) trying to keep their grip on the 7th seed in the West. The Suns are on the second night of a two-game set where last night they blew a 21-point lead to the San Antonio Spurs without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

The Mavs are 9-4 this year versus teams in second games of a back to back. With each game holding playoff implications they’d love to make it 10-4.

The Game at Hand:

The Mavs get the Suns tonight and the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday to close out the season. Dallas leads these two teams by ½ a game and currently have the 7th seed.  This clearly means that these two next games are absolute must wins. While winning only one game clinches a playoff birth, it could result in the 8-seed and playing the dreaded Spurs. San Antonio beat Dallas for the ninth consecutive time on Thursday, playing them would not be ideal.

The Suns guards are quick and explosive and will be a challenge for the Mavs. It feels like I’m a broken record but again it will be up to our defense to not let the Suns score at will.  A win tonight would be a huge lift, since we do have a break until Wednesday’s date with Memphis.

Keys to the Game:

1. Three Point Defense: 

The Mavs defense against the three point shot was just not good enough on Thursday.  The Spurs were 16-34 from three and the Suns are not short of three point shooters.  Bledsoe, Dragic occasionally, Channing Frye, and Gerald Green all have a good shot and if we let them shoot wide open threes that doesn’t bode well for our chances. Closing out on good shooters and rotating properly will be key.

2. Contain Eric Bledsoe: 

It’s no secret, Jose Calderon isn’t known for his defense. Speedy point guards like Bledsoe pose Calderon quite the challenge. Similar to players such as Ty Lawson or Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe is explosive and can take it to the basket and shoot an effective three point shot. With Goran Dragic also on the court these Mavs guards are in trouble tonight. Not letting these guards penetrate and get into the lane every possession must be accomplished.

Notice these keys that I do are almost never about offense. I’ve never been concerned about the Mavs offense; it is the defense that will get us that seventh seed.

Matchup of the Night:

My main matchup of the night is Bledsoe and Dragic vs. the Dallas guards. Bledsoe recorded 30 points 11 rebounds and 9 assists in the Spurs loss Saturday night so at least containing him will be huge. If Dragic cannot play, enter Gerald Green. Green has been impressive all season and can post a huge game any given night.

Quotes:

“If you don’t like this, you’ve got to get into another line of work. You work all year for opportunities to play in games like this.”

- Rick Carlisle

 

When and Where:

Tip-Off starts at 7:30 CST and will take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Game time 8 PM CST on TXA 21.

DALMEMPHX

Playoff Watch:

7. Dallas Mavericks (48-32) | Next Up – PHO, @MEM

8. Memphis Grizzlies (47-32) | Next Up – @LAL, @PHX, DAL

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NBA Silences Mavs PA Announcer

by Ryan Wilson on April 11, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsSuspension

It was announced yesterday that the NBA would be suspending Sean Heath, Dallas Mavericks public-address announcer, following his tweets at the conclusion of the Mavericks and Golden State Warriors game.

We’ve all seen the replay of Jermaine O’Neal’s “block” at the conclusion of the game, which ultimately lead to Stephen Curry delivering the knockout punch at the other end of the court.

Heath wanted to voice his opinion and the NBA overreacted, as they typically do. Here is what Heath had to say on Twitter:

 

 

MavsAnnouncerIt was most likely the last tweet that earned Heath the suspension, but what is so wrong with someone voicing their opinion? The NBA is a league in which referees have already been under the magnifying glass in terms of behavior detrimental to the league.

Heath just brought to light one of the issues with the NBA and their review system. They can challenge out of bounds calls, but not this one?

While Heath probably bit off a little more than he could chew, the NBA didn’t really have to suspend him either. In a league where warnings are often handed out prior to fines and suspensions, Heath got neither of those. He let his passion for the Mavericks get in the way of his judgment and started to rattle off tweet after tweet, but I guarantee he never thought he was going to be punished for it, and definitely not to this extent.

 

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