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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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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.

__________________________

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

9. Phoenix Suns (47-32) | Next Up – @DAL, MEM, @SAC

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Wrap Up: Mavs Fall to NBA-Best Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 11, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpDirk

In a game in which the Dallas Mavericks (48-32) really needed to win to help their playoff chances, the San Antonio Spurs (61-18) showed why they are the top seed in the Western Conference. For the second straight year, the Spurs have swept the season series with the Mavs after a 109-100 victory Thursday night.

How it went down:

Dallas didn’t get off to a great start in the first quarter and it didn’t help that Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard finished that quarter 4-7 from the three-point line. Trailing by eight after one period, the Mavs would get a much-needed lift from their superstar. Dirk Nowtizki, who was scoreless in the first period, poured in 12 during the second quarter as he help give the Mavs a two-point lead at the break.

The second half was a different story, though. Dallas could not keep the Spurs off the glass and they couldn’t defend the three-point line. Dallas was out-rebounded 27-19 in the second half, including 10-4 on the offensive glass. San Antonio also hit nine of the 19 three-pointers they made in the second half.

Patty Mills, who started in place for the injured Tony Parker, finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-25 shooting, including 6-11 from three-point range. Leonard finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds.

The loss doesn’t move the Mavs out of the playoffs, however, they are now in the eighth spot with two games remaining. The Suns, who currently own the seventh seed, will play the Spurs Friday night before visiting the Mavs for a crucial game Saturday night. Dallas needs to avoid playing the Spurs in the playoffs at all cost. In order for this to happen, Dallas needs to finish in the seventh seed or higher. The loss to the Spurs made this a little more difficult.

Inside the Numbers:

San Antonio has now defeated the Mavs nine straight times.

The Spurs became the 13th team in NBA history to win at least 30 road games in a season.

Impact Play of the Game:

With 1:17 left in the game, Jose Calderon hit a three pointer to bring the Mavs within six points. Just a minute and a half earlier it was a 14-point lead for the Spurs. After the 8-0 run, though, Leonard calmly sinks a three pointer to put the Spurs back up by nine and the game out of reach.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

Once again, Monta Ellis tried to do what he could to get the win for the Mavs. Monta finished with 24 points, with 12 of them coming in the final quarter. Monta also had four rebounds and four assists.

Quotes:

 

 

On Deck:

The Mavs will play their final home game of the regular season Saturday night as they face the Phoenix Suns. The Mavs and Suns are playing for their playoff lives and both will want to win this game. Tip is at 7:30 on NBATV/TXA 21. If you’re coming to the game, be prepared for a playoff-style atmosphere.

__________________________

Photo: AP Photo/LM Otero & AFP Photo/Ronald Martinez; Quote Via Earl K. Sneed/Mavs.Com

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MGN: Will Dallas Bring Its Road Cooking Home?

by Terence Huie on April 10, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightChantel

The Dallas Mavericks (48-31) look to keep their 7th seed berth chances alive with the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies breathing down their neck. But Dallas faces another bump in the road to the playoffs as they defend home court against the division rival San Antonio Spurs (60-18).

The Game at Hand:

The Spurs currently hold the top seed in the Western Conference, clinching fourth straight Southwest division title and 17th consecutive playoff appearance. A win against Dallas would help keep their first seed with the Oklahoma City Thunder trailing just three games back in the standings.

Tonight is a must-win game for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs couldn’t get help from the Miami Heat or New Orleans Pelicans last night, as those teams failed to win against the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns respectively. Coming into Thursday night, the Mavericks have on momentum on their side thanks to winning four straight games on their 4-game road trip. Tonight will be a true test for Dirk Nowitzki and the 7th seeded Mavericks.

Keys to the Game:

1. Force Turnovers: 

San Antonio is a team full of countless veterans and a great coach in Gregg Popovich. This team has been successful for so many years because of their limit of mistakes on the offensive side of the ball. The Spurs are ranked first in offensive efficiency this season. Dallas has to come out and play their best defense of the season and force turnovers. There is no room for error when facing a team like the Spurs.

2. Offensive Contribution: 

Looking at the previous Mavs-Spurs matchup, Dallas came up short 106-112 against San Antonio. In that game, only three Mavs players finished with double figures in points; compared to six Spurs players finished in double figures. Every player in a Mavs’ jersey has to contribute the moment that guy steps on the floor tonight.

X-Factor of the Night:

Sixth Man of the Year Candidate Vince Carter has made a huge impact for the Mavs this season. The 15-year veteran may have lost his touch in the dunking department, but has put in a great deal of effort on the bench.

Carter averages 12 points a game, shooting 39% from behind the three-point line. Vince needs just 13 points to place himself 25th on the NBA All-Time Scoring List. Expect the 37-year old to put up monster numbers tonight to get that 25th spot and help the Mavs win tonight.

Quotes:

“I don’t know if it’s an advantage against a team like San Antonio. … It doesn’t matter who they’re missing.”

- Jose Calderon on Parker’s injury

 

“He’s such a great player. Nobody stops him, at least giving him a different look makes me feel better like I’m trying, like I’m doing something.”

- Gregg Popovich on game planning for Dirk

 

When and Where:

The big game starts tonight 7 p.m. CST in the American Airlines Center and will air on TNT.

GO MAVS!.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (51-28) | Next 3 – @UTA, GSW & LAC

6. Golden State (48-29) | Next 3 –  DEN, @LAL & @POR

7. Dallas Mavericks (48-31) | Next 3 – SAS, PHO & @MEM

8. Phoenix Suns (47-31) | Next 3 – @SAS, @DAL & MEM

9. Memphis Grizzlies (46-32) | Next 3 – PHI, @LAL & @PHX

 

 

_________________________

Photo Source: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports; Quotes from Earl K. Sneed & ESPN.com

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Wrap Up: Mavs Top Off Perfect Road Trip In Utah

by Greg Higgins on April 8, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUp

The magic number is now at two for the Dallas Mavericks (48-31). After Dallas’ 95-83 win over the Utah Jazz (24-54), the Mavs have put themselves in a good position with three games remaining in the season.

How it went down:

With the exception of a brief stretch in the first quarter in which Dallas trailed by seven points, the Mavs took care of the Jazz pretty easily. Dallas capitalized on a record-breaking performance in the first quarter to take care of Utah. The Mavs shot an unbelievable 94% from the floor in the first quarter as they put up 39 points. Dallas shot 17 times and only missed one of them.

The Mavs took a 14-point lead to the second quarter and pretty much rode that to victory. Dallas eventually took the lead up to 20 points at 77-57. The only thing left in the game was to see when Dirk Nowitzki would pass Oscar Robertson on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list.

That feat happened in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Dirk knocked down a 20 foot jump shot and put himself in the top ten in scoring. More importantly, though, the Mavs have put themselves in the drivers seat for a playoff spot. The formula is simple for Dallas: Win two of the final three games and you’re in the playoffs. They don’t need to worry about anyone else. They just need to take care of business themselves.

Inside the Numbers:

Dallas shot 94% in the first quarter while Utah shot 47%

Dallas won the game despite being out rebounded 47-36. They also gave up 23 offensive rebounds to the Jazz

Impact Play of the Game:

Less than a minute into the game, Dirk proved once again his greatness to the rest of the NBA. The power forward has put himself in the top 10 in scoring as he passed the great Oscar Robertson.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki

From the very beginning, Dirk was ready to play. He hit nine of 11 shots including two three-pointers. Dirk had a game high 21 points in the win.

Quotes:

 

On Deck:

Dallas will return home to face the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game can be seen on TNT and will begin at 7:00 p.m. CT.

__________________________

Photo: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer; Quote Via Earl K. Sneed/Mavs.Com

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MGN: Mavs Look For Yet Another Important Victory Before Returning Home

by Marc Cashion on April 8, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightLauren

The Dallas Mavericks (47-31) take on the last place in the West Utah Jazz (24-53).  The Mavs have won the last three while the Jazz are coming off a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors in which they gave up 130 points.  With only four games left the Mavs must take care of business and come out with a victory.  A victory against Utah will hopefully give them some confidence leading up to their three biggest games of the season.

The Game at Hand:

Coming off a California sweep beating the Clippers, Lakers, and Kings the Mavs play against another team with nothing to gain from a victory.  Although the Jazz have no real star players they do have players that, when firing from all cylinders, can hurt you.  Although it seems to be the story every night for the Mavs with Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward on the opposing team our guards will again have to step up and defend.

With the Spurs, Suns, and Grizzlies up next on the schedule it will be important for the Mavs to not overlook this game and do what they have on this current road trip, take care of business. The Jazz’s only real motivation is to play spoiler so it will be up to Dirk Nowitzki and company to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Certainly worth noting, a potential historic game could go down tonight.  Nowitzki is 18 points shy of passing Oscar Robertson to crack the top 10 in career points scored.  As most around the league will tell you, there is no one more deserving than the tall baller from the G.

Keys to the Game:

1. Defending the Jazz’s Point Guards: Stand out rookie Trey Burke will be a key tonight for the Mavs defense and our guards Calderon, Harris and Ellis. When he is able to penetrate the lane and distribute the basketball to an open Derrick Favors the Jazz are a completely different team.  Even  when he is on the bench 22 year old Alec Burks does much the same when he is given the space. Averaging 14 points per game this year, Burks is no slouch.  Getting these point guards out of the paint and not a huge factor in the offense will almost certainly lead to a Mavericks easy victory.

2. Team Defense/Rebounding: Like a stated earlier, this team really doesn’t have just one star that can beat you by himself.  It’s a combined effort(although it hasn’t worked this year). Marvin Williams has played big against(waiting to hear if he is playing or not) the Mavs and Gordon Hayward is always liable to have a great offensive game.  Even down low Enes Kanter has shown flairs of offensive production and great rebounding.  Overall, as long as the Mavs play a solid team game and don’t let any one person catapult this Jazz offense to a new level, the Mavs should be fine.

Derrick FavorsMatchup of the Night:

My matchup of the night belongs to Derrick Favors and the Mavs big men.  Favors is averaging 13 points and 9 rebounds.  If Dalembert and Wright can keep Favors off of the offensive glass and not give away extra possessions, I do not believe the Jazz have enough talent to handle the Mavs offensive fire power.

Quotes:

“I just think everyone’s locked in to what we’re trying to do,” Carter explained. “We’re trying to make that playoff spot and it means something. And a lot of these guys weren’t here last year for the disappointment of breaking the streak, but it feels like they were because it all means something. And everybody is coming together and ready to go.” Earl K. Sneed Mavs.com

When and Where:

The Utah Jazz host the Dallas Mavericks in Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Game time 8 PM CST on TXA 21.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (49-27) | Next 3 – PHO, NOP & SAC

6. Golden State (48-29) | Next 3 –  DEN, @LAL & @POR

7. Dallas Mavericks (47-31) | Next 3 – @UTA, SAS & PHO

8. Phoenix Suns (46-31) | Next 3 –@NO, @SAS & @DAL

9. Memphis Grizzlies (45-32) | Next 3 – MIA, PHI, @LAL

Photo Source: George Frey/Getty Images North America)

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Mavs’ Final Four – A Year’s Difference

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

MavsTeam

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.

_______________________

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

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About…Chris Arnold

by Greg Higgins on April 7, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

10 Things

Being a MFFL is something to be proud of. It’s a community of hardcore Mavericks fans dedicated to one thing and one thing only: Supporting the Dallas Mavericks. This tight knit group has long been recognized as one of the better fan bases in the NBA, and any time you have a group that is recognized, you are going to come across some key individuals who help drive that fan base.

Chris ArnoldWith that being said, we wanted to start a new segment here at Mavs Fanatic where we get to learn some things about some of your favorite Mavs personalities. We just recently asked 10 questions to Mavericks game night emcee, Chris Arnold. He was the first emcee ever in the NBA and has been entertaining thousands of MFFL’s for 18 years now.

 

Here is what he had to say:

 

 

1. Favorite Movie:
I love too many genre’s to pick one. One day I’ll give you a list of my top 10 favorites. (People really do love lists)
 
2. Favorite Song:
Love You Better by LL Cool J (Written by Pharrell Williams)
 
3. Favorite thing to eat:
Barbeque! (It’s a sport)
 
4. How did you become the emcee at the AAC?

I was the courtside reporter for the Mavs television broadcasts for eight years then Mark Cuban asked me to be the first emcee in NBA history. He wanted me to add some excitement to the arena during time outs. I’m a people person so it’s a perfect fit.

5. What do you love most about the job?
The excitement of 20,000 people, the challenge of making it interesting and the pressure of going “live”.
 
6. Favorite Mavericks Moment:
Winning the championship in 2011 and the parade that followed. The most perfect sports parade ever!
 
7. What’s the most memorable Mavericks game you’ve been a part of?
I loved the game vs Houston when Dirk and Tracy McGrady had a shoot out. It was a regular season game that required Overtime. T-Mac had 48 points, while Dirk had his career high of 53 points…epic
 
8. Favorite Sports Team not named the Mavericks:
Oklahoma Sooners football. I graduated from Oklahoma University. 
 
9. Most embarrassing thing that happened on the job?

Nothing really so far. They threw the mic to me one time and it didn’t work. I played it off and made it a cool “inside” moment for the crowd. 

 
10. A hobby that you have/do that people may not be aware of:
Scuba diving. I’m certified and have swam with sharks. 

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