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Mavs Schedule Release: 5 Must See Match-Ups

by Greg Higgins on August 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a bitter-sweet season. It was a season in which they finally made it back to the postseason after sitting out the year before. However, they got beat in the first round in seven games against the San Antonio Spurs. They did manage to take the eventual NBA champions further than anyone else did in the playoffs – which was encouraging.

The offseason has brought about significant changes to the Mavericks and fans are extremely optimistic. Bringing back Tyson Chandler and adding Chandler Parsons, Richard Jefferson and Jameer Nelson make for a very interesting basketball team.

One of the more interesting days in the offseason, is when the NBA releases their schedule for the upcoming season. Today happened to be the lucky day. It’s always fun to look ahead and see the weird oddities of the schedule. For instance, four of the first six games are on the road. This includes an opening night stint with the defending champions in San Antonio as the Mavs will have to watch Tim Duncan and crew raise another championsip banner.

Dallas has a home-and-home series with the Denver Nuggets in January and another one with the Spurs in March. Dallas will face every team at least once at home as part of their 41 home games. Here are five home games that are a must see if you’re a Mavs fan.

 

Sunday, November 9 – Miami at Dallas

Even though the rosters are different, there is something about this game that gets fans going every year. I guess playing each other in the finals twice in six seasons will do that to a fan base. These are two teams that don’t need any introduction. Even though LeBron James is gone, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are still holding down the fort in South Beach. No matter how both teams are playing, each one seems to bring their “A” game for this matchup.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 21 – LA Lakers at Dallas

After sitting out most of last season with an injury, Kobe Bryant makes his return to the AAC for the first time in a long time. The new-look Lakers will be interesting to watch, and could this be Kobe’s last year in the league?

 

 

Saturday, December 20 – San Antonio at Dallas

This game needs no introduction, or at least it shouldn’t. These two teams battled for seven games in one of the more dramatic playoff series we’ve ever seen. Even though the Spurs won the seris, nobody will ever forget where they were on Saturday afternoon when Vince Carter hit the game winning three-pointer to put Dallas up 2–1 in the series. Both teams have mutual respect for each other but hate one another at the same time. Two of the best power forwards of all time will be battling it out again. The crowd at the AAC will be rocking for this game. Make sure you’re there.

 

 

Sunday, December 28 – Oklahoma City at Dallas

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will make their way into the AAC for the first time this season right after Christmas. They will probably be wanting a little payback as Dallas took two of the three games from them last year, including a thrilling overtime game in March. Durant, one of the most exciting players to watch in the game is worth the price of a ticket himself most nights.

 

 

Monday, February 9 – LA Clippers at Dallas

This isn’t a huge rival game but last year these two teams played the most entertaining baseketball of the season. It was the Clippers who came storming back from a 17 point deficit in the final five minutes of the game to defeat Dallas. The fact is, all four games between the Mavs and Clippers were high-drama. The chances of them giving us an encore this season is slim but still worth trying in my opinion.

 

 

(Bonus) Tuesday, March 10 – Cleveland at Dallas

It’s hard to imagine how crazy good the Cavs might be with Kevin Love and LeBron on the same team. Pairing the best player in the game with the best rebounder in the game is a scary combination but should be a lot of fun to watch. This will be the Cavs only trip to Dallas this year, barring a matchup in the Finals. I’m pretty sure that’s an NBA Final’s matchup that every Mavs’ fan would sign up for in a heartbeat.

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Mavs Reloaded: Championship Resemblance?

by Michael Lark on July 31, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks are wrapping up what looks to be their best offseason since hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2011. We all remember how that offseason began; the Mavs utilized the well-known DUST (Dampier’s Ultimate Sign Trade) Chip for Tyson Chandler. The Mavs were hoping to somehow flip the DUST Chip for cap space in order to sign then free agent, Lebron “I’m Coming Home” James, but instead ended up with the often injured Chandler who was better known for his alley-oop dunks with Chris Paul then his defensive fortitude. Without a big name free agent the Mavs were forced to build with role players around Dirk Nowitzki.

The 2011 edition of the Dallas Mavericks were one of the most unique teams in NBA history. They weren’t a team comprised of individuals, but rather a group of individuals (See: Heat, Miami) working together as a team. All 15 players on the roster had a role; and while some roles were bigger than others, each person played a valuable role in the collective goal of the team – win a championship.

Three seasons later, the Mavs offseason looks eerily similar. Lebron chose to take his talents and ego elsewhere while the Mavs utilize their Euro Chip, Jose Calderon, to bring Chandler back to Dallas. While fans are excited about the move, it doesn’t thrust the Mavs into the discussion for a title and they still didn’t land a big fish. Instead, they still have Nowitzki and have added key role players around him following the same blueprint from 2011.

So how do the players on this team fit into their roles compared to the 2011 Championship team? Let’s take a look.

 

The Leader

2011 Rick Carlisle vs. 2014 Rick Carlisle

Four years later, Carlisle is still around and remains highly regarded as one of the top coaches in the NBA. He’s a smart coach who has made a name for himself as a coach that can get the most out of any player. Carlisle has continued to get better each year and remains the number one strength, aside from Mark Cuban, of the Mavs organization.

 

 

The Superstar

2011 Dirk Nowitzki  vs. 2014 Dirk Nowitzki

Now 36, Dirk is four years older and a half step slower. His season averages have dropped slightly from 2011 (23.0 ppg, 7.0 rebs, 2.6 asts) to his 2013 numbers (21.7 ppg, 6.2 rebs, 2.7 asts). After an injury riddled 2012-13 campaign, Dirk came back to his usual form and earned a trip to the NBA All-Star Game in 2014. Since 2001, when trailing by 3 points or less in the final 30 seconds of a game, Dirk has the highest field goal percentage of any player in the NBA at 45.2% (19 of 42) when shooting for a tie or a lead according to Basketball-Reference.com.

 

The Sidekick

2011 Jason Terry vs. 2014 Monta Ellis

Last year, Monta Ellis stepped into the role of Dirk’s sidekick. He proved many critics wrong who labeled him an inefficient, volume shooter by utilizing the “Dirk Effect” to get open opportunities and improve his shot selection. The Dirk and JET two-man game was resurrected and ultimately proved to be an enormous success. On paper, Monta’s 2013 numbers (19.0 ppg, 3.6 rebs, 5.7 asts) demonstrate that he can easily fill the role of 2011 Jason Terry (15.8 ppg, 1.9 rebs, 4.1 asts). However, it’s JET’s intangibles as a leader and clutch shooter that may have Monta falling short.

 

Tuff Juice

2011 Caron Butler vs. 2014 Chandler Parsons

Caron Butler was the forgotten Maverick on the 2011 Championship team. During the regular season before a torn patella tendon ended his season, he averaged 15.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He was a reliable option every night that could provide a little bit of everything. In 2014, the Mavs struck gold with Chandler Parsons (16.6 ppg, 5.5 rebs, 4.0 asts) who they hope can be the reliable second or third scoring option this season, playing the role of Caron Butler.

 

The Defensive Anchor

2011 Tyson Chandler vs. 2014 Tyson Chandler

Chandler is perhaps the most valuable piece of the puzzle. Just as in 2011, (10.1 ppg, 9.4 rebs, 1.1 blks) he’s in a contract year. His season averages have dipped (8.7 ppgs, 9.6 rebs, 1.1 blks) and the tag “always injured” still haunts him. After a down year in 2013, the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year believes he can be even better than he was in 2011.

 

Ole Reliable

2011 Jason Kidd vs. 2014 Jameer Nelson

In 2011, 37 year-old Jason Kidd (7.9 ppg, 4.4 rebs, 8.2 asts) was “Ole Reliable” in the Mavs backcourt. He provided the Mavs with a backcourt leader who could facilitate and consistently knock down open three-point shots (35%). At 32, Jameer Nelson looks poised to do the same as a facilitator (7.0 assists per game in 2013) and three-point shooter (35%). Though, he lacks the size on the defensive end that made Jason Kidd so unique, who was even able to guard Lebron James in the Finals at times. But hey, it’s ok because we started from the bottom now Jameer.

 

The Defensive Stopper

2011 Shawn Marion vs. 2014 Jae Crowder/Al Farouq-Aminu

Shawn Marion was the Mavs most versatile player in 2011. He was the team’s defensive stopper, often guarding the opponent’s top players while boasting solid numbers on the offensive end (12.5 ppg, 6.9 rebs, 1.4 asts). This year the Mavs fall overwhelmingly short of the 2011 Matrix. In 2014, The Matrix Reloaded presents a double feature of players with solid defensive abilities in Jae Crowder (4.6 ppg, 2.5 rebs, 0.8 asts) and athletic sensation, Al Farqou-Aminu (7.2 ppg, 6.2 rebs, 1.4 asts). Both are just what you’d think: they’re comparable, but the original Matrix is better.

 

That’s Penetration Holmes

2011 J.J. Barea vs. 2014 Devin Harris

Mr. Drive and Kick at 5”8’ J.J. Barea (9.5 ppg, 2.0 rebs, 3.9 asts) supplied the 2011 Mavs with a player who could break down defenses, get to the basket and score or find the open man on the wing. The 2014 Mavs have a similar player in Devin Harris (7.9 ppg, 2.5 rebs, 4.5 asts), but this time with a lot more size. Now, the only question that remains is, can he stay healthy?

 

The Marksmen

2011 Peja Stojakovic vs. 2014 Richard Jefferson

In 2011, Stojakovic (8.6 ppg, 2.6 rebs, 3.9 asts) had one role and one role only: to make three-pointers. And that’s exactly what he did, shooting 41% from behind the arc while providing little else, finishing his career with the ninth most three-pointers made. Jefferson (10.1 ppg, 2.7 rebs, 1.6 asts) is 109th on that same list, is three years younger and has the athleticism to get to bucket and convert at the three.

 

The Back Up Big

2011 Brendan Haywood vs. 2014 Greg Smith

As much flack as Haywood got as a member of the Mavs, he was actually one of the top backup centers in the league in 2011 (4.4 ppg, 5.2 rebs) who embraced his role as the lace clogging big man. This year’s Mavs feature a little known center, Greg Smith (3.5 ppg, 2.5 rebs), who comes to the team with little experience and a history of injuries.

 

Hey Youngster!

2011 Roddy Beaubois vs. 2014 Gal Mekel

Roddy B was last seen in the 2014 Vegas Summer League. In 2011, Beaubois’ roll was virtually non-existent.  Expect Mekel role to be the same.

 

“Hey Lebron! How’s my Dirk taste?”

2011 DeShawn Stevenson vs. 2014 Raymond Felton

DeShawn Stevenson (5.3 ppg, 1.5 rebs, 1.1 asts) was a significant, multipurpose role player for the Mavs in 2011, capable of hitting big time three-point shots and guarding players like his good buddy Lebron James. While Raymond Felton had a down year in New York (9.7 ppg, 3.0 rebs, 5.6 asts) last year, he at least appears to be working on his shooting, albeit illegally.

 

Born Ready

2011 Corey Brewer vs. 2014 Brandan Wright

With one of the deepest benches in the league in 2011, the Mavs didn’t always have enough playing time to go around.  When his name was called, Corey Brewer was ready to go and even helped saved the Mavs  in a pivotal game against the Lakers in the playoffs.   The 2014 Corey Brewer will be Brandan Wright, who may be not play a significant role for several games at a time, but when his name is called he’ll be ready to provide the energy the Mavs need with his length and athleticism.

 

The Custodian

2011 Brian Cardinal vs. 2014 Eric Griffin/Ivan Johnson

The Custodian was there to clean up the mess.  Brian Cardinal was Dirk’s best friend, capable of knocking down big shots, setting picks and providing all-around toughness.  Newly acquired forwards Eric Griffin and Ivan Johnson are just as capable of stepping into that role, while providing much more skill and athleticism on the offensive end.

 

The Replica Fadeway

2011 Ian Mahinmi vs. 2014 Bernard James

Third string center Ian Mahimi is most remember for his replica one-legged fadeaway in the closing second of the third quarter in the 2011NBA Finals (http://youtu.be/Z657Q1NcNF8) despite being regulated to the teams 14th man.  In 2014, Bernard James, who is expected to re-sign with the Mavs, will provide the same role as a practice body and bench leader.

 

The Future

2011 Dominque Jones vs .2014 Ricky Ledo

DoJo was supposed to be the next starting point guard for the Mavs, but his development never really materialized and he was last seen playing for the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball League (30.6 ppg, 5.8 rebs, 6.5 asts).  The Mavs are hoping Ricky Ledo, the #6 prospect on Rivals 150 for 2012, will and should have more potential the Jones.

If things come together as they did back in 2011, this Mavericks squad will be one to reckon with even in the ultra competitive Western Conference.

Why Not Us?

Credit: Basket4us.com (DeShawn Photo); ProSportsBlogging.com (Marion Photo); TotalProSports.com (Dirk Photo); CBSSports.com (Tyson Photo)

 

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Shawn Marion: Never Forget The Matrix

by Damian Jackson on July 27, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Continuity didn’t quite follow through in the Dallas Mavericks’ offseason. While Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Harris re-signed, the Mavs watched Vince Carter (Memphis), DeJuan Blair (Washington) and now likely Shawn Marion leave.

Marion, speaking with Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

“It was memorable, baby,” Marion said. “It’s hard to say it wasn’t fun. We had a great run and made the playoffs four of five years and won a championship. We set goals every year, and most years we reached them. And to win a championship, it was unbelievable. I wish we could have made a couple more runs at it, but it is what it is.”

The Mavs always knew Nowitzki was coming back, felt strongly about the returns of Harris and Carter before he chose to take a three-year, $12 million contract with the Grizzlies. But a comeback for ‘The Matrix’ always seemed in limbo and more strung on hope.

It appears rather clear now, Marion’s five-year tenure in Dallas is all but officially over.

Dallas has 15 players under contract, including a new starting small forward in Chandler Parsons. The Mavericks also signed forward Richard Jefferson, want Jae Crowder to play more and will soon officially sign 23-year-old Al-Farouq Aminu.

The Matrix also owns one of the most unique basketball styles ever. While he spent his best statistical seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Marion came to Dallas and anchored the team defense for five seasons.

Marion exemplified team basketball and fit perfectly next to Nowitzki whom he guarded year in and year out as a member of the Suns. Dallas shifted to the Matrix after the falling out with Josh Howard whose off the court antics clouded a mostly successful six-plus year run with the Mavericks.

A combination of tricks and talents, Marion impacted the game in a multitude of areas. He reduced his three-point shooting in favor of a back-to-the-basket game. Stellar, hard-nosed defense always came first for the former UNLV Running Rebel.

Movement without the basketball to create easy scoring opportunities for himself, crashing the boards (led Dallas for two seasons) and contributing with his most baffling unorthodox versatility all made Marion special.

Marion provided us with plenty of ‘No, no, no’ and ‘What was that?!’ moments, but they were easily overshadowed by his relentless motor and drive to be the best teammate possible in a Mavericks uniform.

Shawn Marion, NBA Champion and Dallas Mavericks great.

So if this is goodbye, we will never forget. Thanks for everything Shawn!

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What Jameer Nelson Would Bring To New Look Mavericks

by Michael Lark on July 23, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Last night, it was reported by Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com that the Mavericks front office has scheduled a face-to-face meeting on Thursday with recently cut veteran point guard Jameer Nelson.  The Mavs only have the room level exception of $2.7 million to offer Nelson, but there have also been reports that Mavs have also met with veteran combo guard Mo Williams who lives in the Dallas area.  The Mavs currently have three roster spots open (Rashard Lewis’ contract has been voided due to injury) and sources have indicated to ESPNDallas.com that Bernard James is expected to take one of those slots and the other should go to a backup power forward.

This is your latest update regarding the Mo Williams/Jameer Nelson update.

This was meant to be a debate between the two guards, but due to this recent development, I will break down what the Mavs and all of Mavs Nation can expect with an addition of Jameer Nelson to the Mavericks.

This summer the Mavs were able to bring 2011 championship defensive anchor, Tyson Chandler back to Dallas, but in return left a gapping hole at the starting point guard position by giving up Jose Calderon in the process.  The Mavs were fortunately able to re-up with oft-injured guard Devin Harris for four-years, $16.5 million to add to an already crowded backcourt that included firearm enthusiast Raymond Felton and little known, second-year Israeli point guard Gal Mekel.   The Mavs currently have Harris penciled in as the starting point guard for the 2014-15 campaign.  Defensively Harris is quick and fulfils the defensive inabilities that Jose Calderon had. Offensively, he leaves a lot to be desired and is not the pass-first, veteran starting point guard Rick Carlisle envisions, which is why the Mavs are on the prowl for another guard.

Enter recently waived veteran, point guard Jameer Nelson, the all-time leader in assists for the Orlando Magic.  At 32, Nelson is a savvy, pass-first point guard who can defend well with adequate size (6′ 0″, 190 lbs).  He has excellent ball handling skills and has vastly improved his jumpshot since entering the league in 2004. From behind the three-point arch, Nelson has shot 38% for his career, something that Mavs will desperately need after the departure of Calderon who shot 45% from three last season.  Nelson is a great floor general who can facilitate the offense and consistently knock down big shots.  Last season Nelson put up solid numbers, averaging 12.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game for the lowly Magic, while showing little drop off in his game despite being on the wrong side of 30.  Most importantly Nelson is known around the league as a leader and great locker room guy.

Nelson can also help stick it to Houston Rockets forward, Dwight Howard.  In March 2013, after whining and crying his way out of Orlando, he publicly declared the Orlando Magic a team “full of people that nobody wanted.”  Nelson responded back calling Howards antics unprofessional, reacting to the implication that Howard said he didn’t need him.  Wow, trashing your teammate on the way out the door? It seems to be a common trend for Howard who recently said that Chandler Parsons’ departure from the Rockets wouldn’t affect them at all.  Also, let’s not forget how Howard chose the Rockets over the Mavericks last offseason.  I would bet that Nelson is ready for some payback as a Maverick against an important division rival.

Take a look at what type of game Nelson put together back in February against Cleveland. 14 points, 4 3PM, 6 Rebs, 9 Asts. With a much more talented group behind him in Dallas, he figures to get plenty of good looks and have a plethora of options for him in the passing game as well.

 

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Optimism At An All Time High In Mavs Nation

by Ryan Wilson on July 23, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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My, how things have changed. It was around this time last year when the Mavericks were once again left scratching their heads in disbelief, after failing to land yet another big name free agent. Dwight Howard had given the Mavericks the opportunity to woo him, but in the end, he chose to join forces with James Harden and Chandler Parsons in Houston. How he could pass up on a pitch of this magnitude I’ll never truly understand.

 

Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson, as they typically do, found the best way to make do with what was left, eventually striking gold with Monta Ellis, a player that was labeled selfish by many of his critics.

The 2013-2014 season proved to be a season of ups and downs for the Mavericks, and dealing with the Western Conference night in and night out didn’t help their cause much either. After finishing the season in the eighth and final spot, many NBA “analysts” gave them no chance whatsoever in competing with the San Antonio Spurs in the 1st round. What the analysts failed to understand was the Mavericks were ready for the challenge, as they pushed the eventual NBA Champion Spurs to the brink of elimination in 7 games, ultimately falling short.
TysonChandlerFast forward to June 26, 2014. What had been rumored as a possibility had finally became the reality all Mavericks fans had dreamed of. Tyson Chandler would be returning to the Dallas Mavericks in a 6-player trade that would also land them troubled point guard Raymond Felton. Dallas gave up quite a bit to get Chandler back in the Mavericks blue, including Samuel Dalembert and Jose Calderon. In completing the trade, the Mavericks would once again have that big defensive presence in the middle, which was an obvious weakness in the San Antonio Spurs series.

That brings us to July 1, 2014, a Christmas of sorts for NBA fans everywhere. Free Agency was finally underway, and all of the MFFL’s clung to their social media apps waiting for news of who the Mavericks were going to bring in. Once again, they had their sights set on another big time name in Carmelo Anthony, as the Mavericks were one of five teams to get a sit down meeting with the highly coveted forward. In typical fashion, the Mavericks were left waiting for a response from Carmelo, ultimately allowing other free agents to sign elsewhere. That was until they prepared a huge offer sheet for Houston Rockets forward, Chandler Parsons. Later that night, Parsons would meet with Mark Cuban in a Florida nightclub, and sign the offer.

We were all prepared for the Rockets to eventually match that offer sheet, but the curveball that Chris Bosh delivered in the Rockets direction was something they couldn’t swaChandlerParsonsllow. It had seemed likely that after hearing the news of LeBron’s return to Cleveland, Bosh would sign with Houston, and they would match Parson’s offer sheet, giving them a “Big Four” in Howard, Bosh, Parsons, and Harden. When Bosh decided to return to Miami, Houston couldn’t convince themselves to match the Parsons offer sheet, officially landing him in Big D.

The Mavericks now featured a starting lineup that looked like this:

C – Chandler

PF – Nowitzki

SF – Parsons

SG – Ellis

PG – Felton/Harris 

A week or so later, the Mavericks would replace Vince Carter with Richard Jefferson, who still appears to have plenty of gas left in the tank, and should still be able to provide a spark off the bench with his shooting ability.

The Mavericks won the NBA championship back in 2011, and the team was ultimately dismantled in the wake of the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Act. Many people were hard on Mark Cuban and criticized some of the moves he made. It looked like Nowitzki’s best chance of winning a 2nd NBA Championship had ultimately vanished. Year after year of failing to land the proverbial “big fish” was hard for the Mavericks and their fan base to understand. Fast forward to now, and the Mavericks find themselves once again being talked about as possible championship contenders again. Credit everyone from the top down. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson stuck to their game plan. Rick Carlisle got the best from what he was given, which he always does, and Dirk Nowitzki showed just how valuable he is, and just how lucky all of us are to have him as the cornerstone of this franchise. He could’ve signed for a max contract in Houston or Los Angeles, but he wanted to give this city one more good run, so he signed for far less than he should’ve received, ultimately allowing the Mavericks to land Parsons and some others.

It’s a great time to be a Mavericks fan, and we have all of the organization to thank. They have given Nowitzki one final run at a title, and we may have found the future of the franchise in Parsons.

Good times ahead MFFL’s. Good times!

Mavs

 

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Dirk’s Act Of Humility, Generosity And Loyalty

by Michael Lark on July 15, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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While the big story around the NBA this offseason has been centered on the “Chosen One” deciding to “come home,” a more humble story was developing for the player who never left.

12-time NBA-All Star Dirk Nowitzki officially signed off on a $25 million deal to remain with the Dallas Mavericks for the next three seasons. Following the last year of a 4-year, $80 million contract, Dirk made it clear that he intended to come back to the Mavs on a discounted price in order to allow the team to go out and get other big time free agents.

The Mavs courted LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in free agency, but ultimately took a free agent gamble and successfully landed restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, after trading for defensive stalwart, Tyson Chandler. Put those Chandlers Bings together and you have a team ready to compete for another championship.

The best 7-footer to ever play the game began his career with Dallas in 1998 as a skinny, awkward kid out of Wurzburg, Germany with uncertain expectations.

In his first season, he led the Mavericks to a mediocre 40-42 seasons and missed the NBA playoffs after averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. He continued to improve every season and successfully led the Mavs to their first-ever NBA Finals trip in 2006, before ultimately losing to the Miami Heat, 4-2.

The bitter end to the season didn’t have Dirk looking for the exit, and he didn’t need to collude with other free agents in order to win an empty championship, in a random town of bandwagon fans.


He instead chose to believe in his city and his owner. In Dirk’s eyes, if he was winning a championship, it was happening in Dallas.

In 2007, Dirk won the league’s Most Valuable Player awards after averaging of 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists, while leading the his team to a franchise record 67 wins – but fell short of an NBA championship yet again.

Finally in 2011, Dirk hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy in a parade in front of his town with the same fans that were there with him from the beginning.

In 16 seasons, Dirk has never had an NBA agent. He’s made over $200 million in his career and reportedly left max offers in the $60 million range from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets to remain with the only franchise he’s even known.

When the free agency period began at midnight on July 1, the Mavs never questioned his desire to compete for another NBA championship in Dallas. Dirk realizes the landscape of the NBA. He desires winning over money. Loyalty over royalty.

Dirk Nowitzki is Dallas Mavericks basketball and when he’s ready to retire, Mavs fans will remember this sacrifice that he took, because the one-legged fadeaway statue in front the American Airlines Center won’t have one ring on it. It will have two.

Photo credit – AP Photo/LM Otero

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Chandler Parsons, The Wait Is Over

by Greg Higgins on July 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

ChandlerParsonsArt

Each year around this time, the NBA goes into a frenzy as marquee players are offered contracts by teams from all over. Every year, a group of elite players are wined and dined in hopes that they will wind up in their city.

Because there are only a few of these superstar players each year, usually it’s the next group of guys that make the difference. This next group of players don’t quite fit the “max contract” mold like the superstars but they are good enough to fill a role on a team.

This is where the Dallas Mavericks come into play. Every year, the Mavs take a shot at one of the big-named free agents on the market. Every year, these free agents flirt with the idea of making Dallas their home and yet ever year the Mavs wind up empty handed (unless it’s bringing back one of their own like Dirk Nowtizki.)

Even though there were talks with Carmelo Anthony, most Mavs fans knew he wasn’t going to sign with Dallas. There was too much money to be had with the New York Knicks. LeBron James was a good thought as well but we all knew that wasn’t happening. Instead of being left high and dry, though, Mark Cuban went on the offensive.

The Houston Rockets were in advanced talks with Chris Bosh and had offered him a max contract. Sources said Bosh was considering this move so Cuban went after Rockets’ small forward Chandler Parsons. Parsons, a restricted free agent, was offered a three year contract worth around $46 million. Being a restricted free agent, though, meant Houston could match the offer sheet the Mavs had in place.

As the waiting game ensued, reports came out that if Houston could land Bosh, they would match the offer made by the Mavericks. Luckily LeBron left the Miami Heat and signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This caused the Heat to keep Bosh and the Rockets allowed Chandler to walk away and become a Maverick.

This was a move that almost all Mavs fans wanted to happen during this offseason. As great a defender as Shawn Marion was, the Mavs needed to get younger at the small forward poition. Chandler allows this to happen.

Chandler (25) will be replacing the 36 year old Marion. Parsons, in only his third NBA season averaged 16.6 points per game. He also had 5.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.2 steals in 74 games with the Rockets. Compare those numbers to Marions (10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals) and you can instantly see an improvement in the small forward position.

Last season the Mavericks won 49 games with Dirk, Marion and Samuel Dalembert in the front court. How many more can they win this season with Dirk, Parsons and Tyson Chandler? I don’t know the exact number but I can’t wait for the season to start so we can find out.

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Devin Deal: Mavericks Keep Harris with 3-Year Agreement

by MavsFanatic on July 5, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

DevinStays

Devin Harris always considered Dallas his NBA home.

He’ll be calling it that for the foreseeable future as he and the Dallas Mavericks close in a new three-year pact.

The Mavericks were in need for point guard security with the recent trade which sent last year starter Jose Calderon to the New York Knicks. Raymond Felton and Gal Mekel are the other two point guards on Dallas’ roster.

Harris returned to the Mavericks last year after being traded away from the organization in 2008 for Jason Kidd. After stints with New Jersey, Utah and Atlanta he found his way back to Big D.

Originally agreeing to a 3-year $9 million contract last summer, a toe injury and surgery forced the Mavs to void his deal. It led Harris to delaying his return before eventually signing a one year contract at the veteran minimum.

The extra money allowed the Mavericks to strike a value signing in Monta Ellis who chose less money in Dallas to win than a 3-year $36 million extension in Milwaukee.

Harris played in 40 regular season games averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 assists. He also played an important role off the bench in Dallas’ playoffs series against San Antonio.

Fantastic keep by the Mavs.

 

 

 

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Carmelo Anthony: Free Agent Scouting Report

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

MeloFI

Strike One. Strike Two. Strike Thr

Let’s hold off on Strike Three for a moment and delve into Carmelo Anthony, the Dallas Mavericks’ most realistic ‘Big Fish’ option this time around. (LeBron isn’t happening)

The Mavericks half-heartedly whiffed on Deron Williams in 2012, followed by watching Dwight Howard pick neighbor Houston last summer.

Dallas enters this shopping season with ample cap space while also coming off an impressive season and playoffs in which they took eventual champions San Antonio to a complete seven-game first round series.

Already in good spirits, the Mavericks’ bolstered their roster by reacquiring defensive center and beloved 2011 champion Tyson Chandler in a six player trade with New York on Wednesday.

Take a closer look at what he brings to any squad in this loaded Free Agent Scouting video put together by Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress.com:

It’s important to take this information and analyze how Anthony’s strengths can be enhanced while also seeing his weaknesses reduced in the right situation.

We used the comparison of Mavs guard Monta Ellis and his adjustment to the Dallas system under head coach Rick Carlisle and playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki.

While Anthony is an even better talent than Ellis, this basic concept exists. Carlisle rests comfortably among the elite active coaches in this league. Carlisle does his best with veterans, pros, guys who relish the desire for ultimate success. Can Carmelo show he’s that dude?

The health uncertainty in Chicago paired with somewhat stripping away parts to make room for Anthony, leaves them with the hope Derrick Rose stays healthy and Joakim Noah recovering from a knee injury himself.

In the Eastern Conference your odds to make it to the NBA Finals are better, but winning always comes down to the best team. Indiana didn’t even get the chance and Miami got served a wealthy plate of whoop-ass from the Spurs.

If Anthony’s choices came down to Houston and Dallas, I look at it this way. Both would become better and closer to legit championship contender.

The difference for me is what Anthony said in his interview with VICE in which he said this free agency decisions depends largely on the family aspect just as much as the basketball side.

“The average person just sees opportunity to say that, ‘Oh, Melo should go here, Melo should go there. I think he should do this, I think he should do that.’ But they don’t take into consideration the family aspect of it. Your livelihood. Where you’re going to be living at.”

Dallas’ core of Dirk, Monta and Tyson share something in common that has nothing to do with basketball. They’re married, they have kids, they are family men.

I’m only pinging off Anthony’s comments about the importance of taking his family into consideration, not saying I have inside knowledge of any family members.

The Mavericks are a well-structured organization that focuses on the ultimate goal – WINNING.

Ellis wants to win. Dirk and Tyson want to win, again.

 

 

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Mavs Fanatic Six Pack: Tyson Back In Big D: Good Move?

by MavsFanatic on June 26, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

TC

A rumor that started a little over a month ago turned into a reality much faster than any Mavs Fanatic could have imagined. Tyson Chandler is back in Dallas, and we can only hope that he can fill the void many believed was missing following the historic 2011 championship run.

We gathered all of the Mavs Fanatic contributors to get their thoughts on this move. Here is what they had to say:

Ryan Wilson 

Good opening move by Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson, but there must be more to follow in order to make a true impact. The Mavericks did give up one of the top three point specialists in the NBA in Jose Calderon, and both of their draft picks, along with a few other players. However, they are filling two huge needs before Free Agency even begins: A defensive presence in the paint, and attitude. Tyson Chandler provides both, and the Mavericks didn’t even have to give up Brandan Wright in the process.

Sure, they gave up both of their draft picks, but the Mavericks have never really prided themselves on the NBA Draft anyways. It’s also important to note that the Mavericks could still find a way to get back into the 1st Round of this deep draft class.

If the Mavericks are able to land Carmelo Anthony, because of his respect for Tyson Chandler in New York, great! If not, the Mavericks need to add two solid players to go along with Nowitzki, Chandler, and Ellis.

The addition of Felton is questionable at best. Losing Calderon leaves no point guard on the roster at the moment, because Devin Harris is a free agent at the moment. Even if the Mavericks re-sign Harris, as expected, I’m still not sure he is a starting point guard in this league.

It’s too early to tell. One thing is for sure, the Mavericks came out guns blazin’ and have gotten this “arms race” started far earlier than expected.

Damian Jackson 


The trade works for me, easily.

TysonIf anything really stung it was the short-term idea of losing our starting point guard Jose Calderon and the 34th pick in the draft.

Dallas is in win-now mode and this trade exemplifies such. We landed the best player in the deal.

The most iffy part about the whole trade was taking back Raymond Felton, but financially made out well by shedding Calderon’s contract which runs through 2017.

Parting with Shane Larkin, a waste of a draft pick,  and Wayne Ellington was not and shouldn’t be tough. Neither guy was making an impact on this team going forward.

Sam Dalembert had a roller coaster season and did well in stretches. DeJuan Blair was the Mavericks best center in the playoffs against the Spurs, a series in which Dallas struggled to defend the interior.That problem was addressed with Chandler. Chandler also poses a possibly important figure in the Mavericks pitch to Carmelo Anthony whom he was locker pals and most respected Knicks teammate.

Oh, and Dirk’s happy about this trade, so I’m happy that Dirk is thrilled.

Greg Higgins 

Any time I hear the name Tyson Chandler in association with the Dallas Mavericks, I get excited. I mean, let’s face it, he’s one of the main reasons the Mavericks made it to the Finals in 2011. Most Mavericks’ fans don’t understand the legistics as to why Mark Cuban let him go after the championship and they will always ask the question, “What might have been?”

Unfortunately that’s a question that will never be answered. We do, however, have another saga to discuss. Tyson Chandler 2.0 will be in effect this next season. Chandler was traded to the Mavs along with Raymond Felton for Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington and Shane Larkin. The Knicks also get two second round picks (34 and 51 overall).

At first I didn’t know how I felt about this trade. I’m a huge Chandler fan and I love the fact that he will be back in a Mavs uniform this next year. However, I was a little worried that the deal involved two point guards in Larkin and Calderon. With Devin Harris not guaranteed back next season, I was a little baffled by getting rid of those players in this deal.

Then I was reminded of something by another MavsFanatic.com writer. I was reminded to trust in Cuban. Sometimes we don’t understand every move but there’s usually always a means to an end. There have been times I didn’t agree with his moves and there have been times my reasoning was proven right. However, more times than not, I’m proven wrong in my reasonings.

I know there’s a long way to go with free agency and we’ve only just begun to see the moves that will be made. I know the Mavs have an idea of where they want to go with this so I’m going to trust them. Because I’ve decided to do this, the Chandler deal makes me extremely happy.

Michael Lark 

I love the deal. The Mavs get back the player that was the defensive anchor to the only championship this franchise has ever known and a fan favorite that brings a number of intangibles to the table, including leadership and energy that the Mavs have been severely lacking since he left.  Sure, it sucks to lose Calderon, who finished 5th in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (44.9%) but most importantly I think it’s a great trade because as free agency kicks off in a matter of days, the Mavs are armed with a core of Monta, Dirk and now Chandler that they can bring to the discussion table as they attempt to lure the “big fish.”

Dwight-Howard-Deron-Williams-Future-MavericksClearly, Mark Cuban and the Mavs front office have learned from their unsuccessful attempts to sign Deron Williams and Dwight Howard the past couple of off-seasons. Williams was quoted as saying the Brooklyn Nets trade for Joe Johnson just hours before he re-signed, significantly influenced his decision to re-up with the Nets.

This time around the Mavs are ahead of the curve, having decided to not rely solely on cap space to lure free agents, but to upgrade their roster via trade in the process. Worried about those draft picks? Quick, name me a 2nd round prospect you believe can immediately and significantly help this team become a top 5 contender? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

This team is and will always be in win now mode as long as Dirk Nowitzki is in a Mavs uniform so, you can forget about getting younger and developing players for now.  Let’s retool and get another championship with Dirk.  Who knows? Maybe the Kings will buyout the last year of Jason Terry’s contract and we’ll resign him for the minimum and defend that 2011 title, three years later.  The possibilities are endless. It’s a win for the Mavs.

Terence Huie


I might be the only MFFL who doesn’t agree with this trade. For the most part, I feel that the Knicks-Mavs trade could have been negotiated better so that Cuban would not lose all the assets.

Losing Jose Calderon puts the team at a huge disadvantage right now. The team loses a guy who is in the top 10 category for three-point percentage. After dropping Darren Collison and picking up Calderon last summer, the Mavs jumped from 12th to 4th in team offensive efficiency. Not to mention, the backup guard Devin Harris is currently a free agent. Right now, Raymond Felton is the only point guard on the team now. This isn’t a good feeling considering Felton coming off a struggling year.

It’s good that Tyson Chandler is back in a Mavericks jersey. BUT, Chandler is 31 years old with injuries that are affecting his play on the court. Chandler only played 55 games last year, compared to Dalembert who played 80 games. If the Mavs want to content for a title, Chandler has to stay healthy. Point blank, period.

Marc Cashion 


The biggest complaint that I have seen over this giant Tyson Chandler trade has been the loss of Jose Calderon.  The best way to look at the results of this trade is to look at the depth of each position.  According to ESPN’s Real plus or minus stats the 25th best point guard is Jrue Holiday, who actually is a really good point guard in the NBA. The 25th best center is Pero Antic, who I honestly have absolutely zero knowledge of.  The point being point guards are replaceable, Damian in his top 10 PG free agent article has Isaiah Thomas as his 7th best point guard.  While my top 10 Center article, that will be out Friday, has (SPOILER ALERT) Jermaine O’Neal.  Thomas is a starter in this league while Jermaine O’Neal is not.  Point being, a good solid Center is much more difficult to come by than a point guard.

After those that are angry about losing a good point guard have died down, you have to look at the big picture.  We now have a great core of players that are just begging for a superstar to catapult us to a championship caliber team.  The addition of Melo, for example, would give us Monta Ellis, a rim protecting center in Chandler, and one of the greatest power forwards of all time Dirk Nowitzki.  Breaking down the trade piece by piece looking at last year’s results: Wayne Ellington was a no factor, Shane Larkin was a no factor, Samuel Dalembert sometimes didn’t even want to play, and Jose Calderon was great on offense but had no defense.  This team will never have an issue scoring so adding a high caliber defensive center is a dream scenario.

The main thing to realize is this front office is not even close to through, Mavs fan’s need to hang tight and be excited about this teams future.

 

Photo Credits: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

 

 

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