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Free Agent Forecast: Shooting Guards

by Greg Higgins on June 24, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The 2013-2014 season didn’t end quite the way the Dallas Mavericks had hoped as they lost in seven games to the San Antonio Spurs. With free-agency looming and the chance for the Mavs to improve their team. One of the areas to look at is the shooting guard position. Last year, Monta Ellis did a great job in the starting role and Vince Carter played his heart out in the role coming off the bench.

Here’s a look at the top players at that position this summer:

1. Dwyane Wade | Heat (Early Termination Option)

19.0 PTS 4.7 AST 4.5 REB

I don’t think anyone expects Wade to leave Miami, but there’s always the possibility. When healthy, he’s one of the most dynamic players in the league. Dallas might explode, however, if Mark Cuban does the unthinkable and brings Wade to Dallas.

2. Lance Stephenson | Pacers (Unrestricted)

13.8 PTS 4.6 AST 7.2 REB

One of the most dynamic young players in the game when he keeps his head on straight. Only 23 years old, it would appear there are plenty of good years ahead for Stephenson. The only question is whether or not coaches want to put up with his antics.

Are the Mavericks and Stephenson a match, no?

3. Vince Carter | Mavericks (Unrestricted)

11.9 PTS 2.6 AST 3.5 REB

The Mavericks should absolutely explore the idea of bringing Carter back to Dallas next season. Vince has taken over the role of “fan favorite” as he comes off the bench to help spark his teammates. His 37 year old frame seemed fine with the minutes Rick Carlisle was able to give him as well.

Carter in an even more limited role would be quite effective and you cannot underestimate his influence in the locker room for the Mavs as a veteran presence.

4. Rodney Stuckey | Pistons (Unrestricted)

13.9 PTS 2.1 AST 2.3 REB

If the Mavericks decided to go in a different direction and not bring Carter back, Stuckey might be the perfect player to take his place. His numbers are very similar and he’s nine years younger.

5. Jodie Meeks | Lakers (Unrestricted)

15.7 PTS 1.8 AST 2.5 REB

Meeks was one of the few bright spots on a Lakers team that looked lost without Kobe. The question will be, is there room for Meeks this year if Kobe comes back healthy and to his true form? He may be looking to go somewhere else so he doesn’t have to play under the shadow of Bryant.

6. Thabo Sefolosha | Thunder (Unrestricted)

6.3 PTS 1.5 AST 3.6 REB

Sefolosha is one of the players you love to watch. He always seems to give 100% on both ends of the floor. His offensive numbers may not be the greatest but, perhaps, that’s because he does a good job on the defensive end. Let’s face it, the defensive side of the ball is where the Mavs really could use some help.

 

7. Ben Gordon | Hornets (Unrestricted)

5.5 PTS 1.1 AST 1.4 REB

Gordon, who used to be a prolific scorer in the NBA has watched his career decline. However, he is a veteran that can still play and can help eat up some minutes if needed.

8. Andrew Goudelock | UNICS Kazan, Russia (Unrestricted)

20.1 PTS 2.8 AST 

Drafted by the Lakers in 2011, Goudelock is been shuffled around between the D-league and playing in Russia. He was the MVP of the NBADL in 2013 and the MVP of the Eurocup in 2014.

9. Malcolm Delaney | Bayern Munich, Germany (Unrestricted)

13.9 PTS 4.5 AST

Delaney could be another player the Mavericks target. They have a thing for players that nobody really knows much about (Gal Mekel is a prime example).

10. Keith Langford | Olimpia Milano, Italy (Unrestricted)

18.9 PTS 3.2 REB

Langford is another one of the players Nelson may try to lure to Dallas. Langford led the Euroleague in scoring. The GM of Olimpia Milano has stated his interest in keeping the player in Italy, though.

 

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Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 4

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

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Game 4: June 7, 2011 Dallas, Texas

After winning home court advantage in the NBA Finals with a comeback win in Game 2, the Mavericks lost the advantage in Game 3 after losing by two points. Down 2-1 in the series, Dallas hoped game 4 would turn the series back in their favor. They would have to do it with their leader, Dirk Nowtizki, battling a 101 temperature and sinus infection.

Dirk hit his first three shots of the game but then missed 10 of his next 11 shots. However, like he had done all postseason, he showed up when it counted. Dirk finished with 21 points for the game with 10 of them coming in the final 12 minutes – including a layup with 14.4 seconds left in the game.

Dirk’s dominance in the fourth quarter was somewhat overlooked because of the play of LeBron James in the fourth. Dirk’s 10 points in game 4 was more than James had scored in the fourth quarter for the whole series. James scored five in game 1, two in games 2 and 3 and zero in game 4. There were some games in which LeBron hung around the three-point line and acted like he didn’t want the ball.

His eight points in Game 4 broke a stretch of 433 consecutive playoff and regular season games in which he scored in double-figures. Of course Mavs fans didn’t care. The series was now tied 2-2 after Dallas defeated the Heat 86-83.

The Mavs and their fans needed Dirk to get some rest. Game 5 would be a critical point in the series. Of the last 26 times the Finals were tied 2-2, the winner of game 5 won the title 19 times. Dallas needed their big man ready, but for tonight, they would celebrate tying the series at two games a piece.

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Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 3

by Greg Higgins on June 9, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Game 3: June 5, 2011 Dallas, Texas

After doing what they needed to do in Miami by stealing a game, the Dallas Mavericks returned home for three games, hoping to lock up their first championship. Of course this task wouldn’t be easy since they would have to win three in a row against the Miami Heat but it was the task before them.

Dallas tried riding the momentum from Game 2’s big comeback victory. Dallas, who rallied from 15 down in Game 2, rallied from 14 down in Game 3. However, this time, Miami was able to hold on for the victory. Dwyane Wade finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in the win for the Heat, who pulled within two games of winning the title.

The Mavericks superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, proved once again why he deserves to be in the discussion of greatest performers of all time. With his team trailing 81-74 with 6:30 left to play, Dirk scored 12 straight for the Mavs to tie the game at 86.

Chris Bosh, however, would hit the final shot of the game with just under 40 seconds to play to give the Heat an 88-86 win. Dirk finished the game with a game-high 34 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Fifteen of those points, though, came in the fourth quarter. The problem, though, was the rest of the Mavs only scored seven points in the final period.

With the loss, Dallas was 8-2 at home during the post season. No surprise to Mavs fans, Dan Crawford officiated the game. Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Mavs had lost 16 of 17 games in which he refereed.

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Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 2

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

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The Dallas Mavericks were in need of a win in the worst way coming into Game 2 against the Miami Heat. Dallas had already lost the first game of the series and things didn’t bode well for a team, statistically, if they went down 0–2. A team that had won the first two games of the series had won the series an incredible 93% of the time. The last team to lose the series after winning the first two games was the Mavericks in 2006 against the Heat.

This game, however, was extremely hard for me. I was in Pennsylvania for a family members’ graduation and most of them are not sports fans and they do not watch very much television at all. Trying not to be rude, I decided to just keep up on my iPhone instead of trying to watch the game there or somewhere else. It turns out, I made the wrong choice.

Miami seemed to have their way with the Mavericks down low early in the game as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had a dunk-fest. It was the fourth quarter, though, where things got really dicey.

After a three-minute stretch in which the Heat took a three-point lead and extended it to 15, Dallas looked dead in the water. With just over seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Wade hit a jumper to put Miami up 88–73.

The play, however, will be known for more than just a jump shot for Wade. After hitting the shot in front of the Mavericks bench, Wade stook there with his arm up in the air as he posed in front of the Mavericks players. LeBron ran over and joined in the celebration. Whether it was that or something different, the Mavericks seemed to have new life coming out of the timeout.

The defense of Dallas shut down Miami over the next 7:13; holding them to five points over that time. Dallas outscored Miami 22–5 as they came storming back to win the game. The winning basket came from Dirk Nowtizki as he made a layup with just over five seconds to put the Mavs up 95–93.

It was about this time that I thought I was going to ge kicked out of my family. I’m not sure how loud I yelled but I know it was loud enough to cause quite the disturbance in the force. Dirk, the ultimate Mavericks’ Jedi Warrior, had just done the unthinkable as they evened the series at one game apiece.

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Should Mavericks Take Chance On Stephenson?

by MavsFanatic on June 6, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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When the Eastern Conference Finals tipped off a couple of weeks ago, Lance Stephenson took it upon himself to try and become the kryptonite to the super hero, LeBron James. He would relentlessly harass James throughout the series, and even go so far as to blow in his ear. While his plan ultimately fell short when the Heat eliminated the Pacers in six games, his actions may have also had an impact on Stephenson’s value heading into free agency, which leads us to the question: Should the Mavericks take a chance on Stephenson? Staff writers Michael Lark, and Terrence Huie dive into the difficult question and give their thoughts. As the world watch the Eastern Conference Finals this year, all eyes were glued feud between Lance Stephenson and Lebron James.

Yes, Bring Stephenson to Big D

Terence Huie, Staff Writer

A “MFFL” might say, “Well, Lance Stephenson isn’t a guy we would want in Dallas because of his immaturity on and off the court”. But let’s reflect back to the 2011 Finals of a fellow Maverick who feuded with LeBron James. That man is DeShawn Stevenson. That Stevenson-Lebron James rivalry dated back to almost 2008. It all started during the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards. DeShawn StevensonNo DeShawn didn’t blow air in Lebron’s face, instead he created a “diss track” about James. In the 2011 Finals, took quite a few jabs at Lebron via talking to the media. One in particular relates to Stevenson telling the press that Lebron “checked out” in Game 4 of the Finals. But eventually, Lebron would get the last laugh now as he currently sits at being a two-time NBA champion. Lance Stephenson has undoubtedly made some noise in the 2013-2014 season. The 6’5” Pacers shooting guarding averaged 13.8 points per game off 49% shooting, 4.6 assists per game, and 7.2 rebounds per game (all career highs). Stephenson will be 25 years-old and is heading into his fifth NBA season, which is impressive given that he is performing at such a high level. Indiana Pacers GM and Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird will make re-signing Stephenson a priority. “I always want him back. You just don’t let talent like that walk away”, quoted Bird. Larry Bird is absolutely right. It’s not often that you find a special gifted player like Lance Stephenson, who is the regular season league leader in triple-doubles. Shot ChartIf we dig deeper and look at the stats, Lance Stephenson’s behavioral stunts overshadow how well he performs on the court. Looking at the shot chart for Stephenson in the regular season, majority of his points come from scoring in the paint. With his speed and athleticism, he’s easily unguardable when it comes to scoring in the paint similar to Monta Ellis. His double-double total of 20 is ranked first at the shooting guard position. On the defensive side, Stephenson is a big reason why the Pacers were arguably the best defensive team in the NBA this season. Looking at the shooting guard position alone, the Pacers held shooting guards to just 19.57 points per game (best in the league). Also the Indiana led the league in opponent field goal percentage amongst shooting guards with 39%. So we know that Lance Stephenson is a great player offensively and defensively; but how would he fit in with the Dallas Mavericks organization? At his height of 6’5, it is uncertain if he could possibly start at the small forward position. What we do know is that he can guard some of the tall 6’7-6’8 guys in the league. As for his crazy trash-talking and on-court frolics are concerned, Coach Carlisle and his staff can take care of that. We’ve seen players who have played under Carlisle and displayed great progression during a season. Monta Ellis is a perfect example of this. If it hasn’t happened already, at some point Stephenson will look back at the Eastern Conference Finals series as a learning experience. He’ll realize the way he behaved during that series, it was ultimately a detriment to the Pacers’ journey to the NBA Finals. Once he comes to that realization, Lance Stephenson will become an elite basketball player.

The Mavericks Should Pass On Stephenson and His Antics

Staff Writer Michael Lark

Haven’t we seen this type of player before? Oh yes, that’s right he was the artist formally known as Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) as a member of the Indiana Pacers. They are eerily identical players – young, rugged and talented, born in New York, full of athleticism, versatility and the potential to be NBA All-Stars. They can shoot the three just as well as they can play the role of defensive stopper against the NBA’s elite. So, let’s recall how “Mr. World Peace” overstayed his welcome for the Indiana Pacers. Ron ArtestIt was November 19, 2004, with less than one minute left in a game between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers, Artest fouls Piston’s center Ben Wallace hard in a play that results in a shoving match between the two players. In the heat of the moment, both benches spilled onto the court into a physical confrontation between the teams that seemed to come to a quick resolution.  Then, as Artest lay on his back on the scorer’s table, a Detroit fan throws a cup at Artest’s chest. Artest immediately gets up and runs into the stands and complete insanity ensues, erupting into one of the most embarrassing, scariest moments in the history of the NBA known as the Malice in the Palace. This little incident seemingly derailed the promising, young career of Artest, who never appeared to quite reach the potential many believed he would. And today, at the age of 34, Artest isn’t even worth a roster spot for the lowly 37-win New York Knicks (or any team for that matter) and now finds himself out of the NBA.  Stephenson seems to be headed down the same path. While Stephenson isn’t quite the same guy, there are some obviously alarming similarities. Only four years into the league, Stephenson has already created a reputation for himself as a bad locker room guy. Before first round of the playoffs this year, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Stephenson and fellow teammate Evan Turner had to be separated after being involved in a physical altercation in the Pacers locker room. Before that, on March 31, David Aldridge of NBA.com quoted Pacer’s center Roy Hibbert as saying, there are “some selfish dudes” in the team’s locker room, a statement many believed to be targeted at the polarizing shooting guard. Apparently, Hibbert is so upset that after falling just two games short of the NBA Finals he is “open to a trade” from Pacer’s Nation. Then there’s the Pacer’s star forward, Paul George. “I mean, I don’t know,” is what George said following Indiana’s season-ending loss to Miami in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, when asked about whether he felt that the unrestricted free agent should return next season. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for a guy who supposedly has played a pivotal role in the success of the Pacers this past season. Apparently, his play on the court hasn’t been good enough to encourage George to publicly declare his support for the enigmatic Brooklyn native. So, what makes Stephenson such a polarizing player that has owners and general managers around the league reluctant to sign him this offseason? D StevensonStephenson seems to be more concerned with making headlines and drawing personal attention rather than focusing on playing basketball. Before the beginning of the ECF, Stephenson made headlines for saying he hoped to run Dwyane Wade to the point his balky knees flared up.  Before Game 4 of the ECF, he told reporters that LeBron James’ response to his trash talking was “a sign of weakness.” While he did go on to play well, averaging 14 points, 5 assists and 5.8 rebounds against the Miami Heat, his performance was overshadowed by the stats that truly mattered: two fines for flopping, one special blow into the ear of Lebron James, a flagrant foul on Norris Cole, and the continuous foolish and outrageous antics done in an attempt to take Lebron out of his game. Lebron averaged 22.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists and shot 56% from the field. Sorry, Lance but I don’t think the “buffoonery,” as Ray Allen of the Heat called it, worked There is no mistaking Stephenson’s talent, but it’s the actions and bizarre behavior that has created the head case known as “Bad Lance” that is just not a fit for the Mavericks. With Shawn Marion set to hit the free agent market, the Mavs will be on the hunt for a new defensive stopper. At 23 years-old, Stephenson ranked 14th in the league in defensive efficiency, which will most certainly peak the interest of the Mavericks’ front office for a team that clearly needs to improve defensively. Perhaps, the Mavs decide to ignore the immaturity of Stephenson and decide his talent alone is worth the risk, and that he could benefit from being in an organization with a better culture just like Monta Ellis. While the Ellis case study may provide reasons for fans to think that the Mavs organization could rehabilitate his erratic behavior as a bad locker room guy, there has to be a willingness on his part to buy into what the Mavs and Mark Cuban are selling. Remember Lamar Odom, Delonte West and Josh Howard? Those situations didn’t exactly end well despite the opportunities the Mavs organization provided. Thankfully, the Mavs weren’t locked into long-term contracts with any of those players, so there was little risk on their part. However, locking up Stephenson in a long-term contract could spell complete disaster for the Mavs in the final years of Dirk’s career. Sometimes players just do not mature over time, despite being given a good opportunity to succeed. Even seven years later after the Malice in the Palace, World Peace was the same classless player he has always been, but this time as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. With 24.4 seconds left in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals in 2011 against the Dallas Mavericks, for no apparent reason, Artest decided to clothesline Mavs point guard J.J. Barea in a play that resulted in a one-game suspension. What a poor representation of yourself and the organization. It has already been reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com, that the Mavs front office “doesn’t see Stephenson as a fit, particularly since they’d probably have to offer near max contract.”  Stephenson is not a fit simply based on finances alone – plus, the Mavs already have a great starting two-guard in Ellis and have plenty of other positions that are of higher priority. While Stephenson has the potential to become a mature, All-Star several years down the road, the Mavs are still looking to maximize the career of Dirk and the “win now” motto should suffice to say thanks but no thanks to Lance Stephenson.

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Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 1

by Greg Higgins on June 6, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Game 1: May 31, 2011

 

The 2011 NBA Finals brought more intrigue than anyone could imagine as the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat would face off. This wasn’t just in Dallas or Miami but all over the country. People were anxiously awaiting to see how the new trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would do in South Beach. It was only about 10 months prior they were promising seven championships in Miami and the whole world wanted to see if they could deliver.

In Dallas, fans were anxiously waiting to see the rematch between the Mavs and Heat. This was the same team that had taken them down in 2006 after Dallas had a commanding 2–0 lead in the series. Dallas hadn’t fully recovered from the heartbreak of that series. The anticipation of the rematch was alost too much to handle.

dirknThe only two remaining Mavs players from that team, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, were glad for a rematch as well. Both players had waited for the opportunity to be called champion and in 2006 they let it slip through their fingertips. Dirk and Terry had something to prove this time more than anyone else on the team, with the exception of Jason Kidd. Kidd had been to the finals twice with the New Jersey Nets only to be beaten by the LA Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs.

The series opened in Miami since they had the better record during the season. After it was all said and done, the Mavericks were held to thier lowest point total of the playoffs with 84. With the exception of Dirk, the Mavs struggled offensively as they only shot 37.3% from the field.

Dallas also had trouble keeping the Heat off the boards. Miami out-rebounded Dallas 46–36 and 16–6 on the offensive glass. Dallas had their chances, though. With just under four minutes to play in the game Dallas was withing striking distance at 77–73. Miami went on an 8–2 run in less than a minute to break the game open as they cruised to the victory.
Dirk, who scored a game high 27 points, tore a tendon in his non-shooting hand and revealed after the game he’d have to wear a splint for the remainder of the postseason. It was only one game, but it sure did feel like the winds were let out of the sail. The Mavericks seemed like they had probably met their match with Miami.

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Historic Title Run: A Look Back

by Greg Higgins on June 1, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The 2014 NBA Finals are all set with the San Antonio Spurs facing off against the Miami Heat. This time of year is a little bitter-sweet for me as a Mavericks’ fan. It’s bitter because I want Dallas to be competing for a championship and they’re not. It’s sweet, though, cause it’ll always reminds me of the 2011 NBA Finals.

As a Mavs fan, who could ever forget that epic title run by the Mavericks. Dallas finished the postseason 16-5 that year. Over the next few week, we are going to bring back the memory of the six games with the Heat.

It started in the first round when they played the Portland Trail Blazers and defeated them 4-2. Dallas fans everywhere didn’t expect this at all. Even though the Mavs were the higher seed (No. 3 seed. They finished tied with the Lakers but the Lakers held the tie-breaker), everyone thought LaMarcus Aldridge and company would take care of the Mavericks.

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The Mavericks hadn’t won a playoff series in a long time. After going 67-15 in the 2006-2007 season, the Mavericks were knocked out of the first round by Golden State. Why would this year be any different than the previous four or five?

The Mavs even blew a 23-point lead in game 4 after having a 2-1 series lead. After that game, everyone felt like the same Mavericks were back. This team for whatever reason couldn’t win a big game when they needed to. That changed in the next two games as the Mavericks closed out the Blazers and moved on to the semifinals.

Round two was going to be tougher, though. I couldn’t imagine a possibility of how the Mavericks would get by the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant was on a mission to show the world why he was the best player on the planet. The Lakers had been to three straight NBA Finals, winning the last two. I didn’t think they could do it.

Something happened in that series, though, that would define the Mavericks for the rest of the playoffs. The Mavericks, who fell behind in game 1 against the Lakers in the fourth quarter, came back to win the game. Dallas would use that trick to win six games from here on out.

Dallas took the next game at Staples Center before returning home to finish the sweep. The most impressive part of the sweep was Game 4, in which they blew out the mighty Lakers on Mother’s Day. It was the first time Phil Jackson had ever been swept in his coaching career.

After sweeping the Lakers, the up and coming Oklahoma City Thunder was next up. The only hiccup for the Mavericks in that series came in Game 2 when the Thunder stole a game in Dallas. Dallas won that series in five games. The Mavericks had finally returned to a place that had haunted them for five years.

Dallas, who blew a 2-0 series lead to the Heat in 2006, would finally get a rematch with Miami. This time, though, it would be more than Dwyane Wade they would be facing as LeBron James and Chris Bosh had joined forces. That didn’t matter for now. The Mavericks were in the Finals and that was something spectacular in and of itself.

Photo credit to StreetBall.com, DeviantArt.

 

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Game Night: Mavs Begin Stretch Run Against Miami

by Damian Jackson on February 18, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Dallas (32-22) aims to continue its recent ride of success when they host the Miami Heat (37-14) Tuesday night. The Mavericks are winners of six out of the last seven, the most recent a 81-73 road victory against the Indiana Pacers.

The Game at Hand:

You won’t find many outside the Mavericks and maybe Heat fan bases that feel the still smoldering rivalry between the two squads. There aren’t any worthy extra curricular story lines here, but rather just two playoff teams that know this game holds great significance.

The Mavericks return home for this single game before heading on the road for another three-game trip. Miami continues its six-game roadie in Dallas tonight before finishing it up in Oklahoma City on Thursday. The Heat have won three of four on the current trip and eight of ten overall.

Miami defeated Dallas 110-104 in South Beach on November 15. LeBron James scored a game-high 39 points and Dwyane Wade added 17 points with eight assists and eight steals. Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points in the loss, Monta Ellis added 20 points and Vince Carter dropped 21 off the bench.

Keys to the Game:

 

1. Force Miami into Tough Shots: The Mavs’ defensive focus was on point in Indiana six days ago. Can they replicate such a performance? Miami shoots a league-best 50.8 percent from the field. The Mavs chances greatly decrease if they allow the Heat to meet its average. Both teams have identical opponent field goal percentages (.461).

2. Rebound and Prevent Second Chances: This won’t be the easiest task for the Mavericks, but could be a deciding factor tonight. Dallas hauls in only 40.1 rebounds each game, good for third to last in the NBA. On this night they face the worst rebounding team in Miami who average a league-low 36.7 per game. The Mavs need to defensive rebound the hell out of the ball tonight. Box out!

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs. LeBron James

How can you go with anyone else? The best player in the NBA today against the greatest international player in league history. Both players with double digit All-Star appearances. Of course, LeBron played extensively on Sunday night, producing 22 points seven rebounds and seven assists in 33 minutes. Dirk on the other hand played a game low eight minutes.

In short, All-Star games fit the LeBron mold more so than that of Dirk. Fans get hype off alley-oops slams and highlight reel dribble moves which aren’t the Big German’s style. Dirk may be a little jealous of some Mavs teammates who had more days off to relax than he did, but all in all excited to be back with his guys ready for a strong playoff push.

Looking forward to a battle between two of the games greatest stars. This is an important game to Dirk and LeBron. Most teams have an average of 30 game left and they all matter to those fighting for playoff positioning.

Quotes:

“We played well (in Indiana) and it was great, but it’s over and we have to look forward now to Miami, who has played extremely well. They’ve won back-to-back games in Phoenix and Golden State, which is very hard to do. And they’re coming off the break, too, so it’s an interesting matchup.”

– Mavs Rick Carlisle

 

“Look, his game is timeless. It really is. He’s a great player.”

Heat coach Eric Spoelstra on Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki

 

“I’ve probably taken it a dozen times this year and shooting over 60 percent. I call it The Dirk.”

– LeBron on his 1-legged fadeaway shot

 

When and Where:

The game will tip off at 7:30 CST and will air on Fox Sports Southwest

Go Mavs!

__________________

Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Mark Humphrey; Quotes provided by Dwain Price & Inside Report with Earl K. Sneed

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Mavs Game Night: Dallas vs Miami

by Greg Higgins on November 15, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Anytime the Dallas Mavericks (5-3) travel to South Beach to play the Miami Heat (5-3), you can’t help but think about June 2011 when Dirk and company hoisted the championship trophy.

The Game at Hand

The two-time defending Heat are coming off a game in which they absolutely destroyed the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat are led by LeBron James with 25.5 points per game and 7.3 assists.Heat Champions Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have the ability to dominate a game at any point in time as well for Miami.

Both teams average 106.8 points per game so expect this to be a high-scoring affair. Since the Mavericks won the Finals in 2011, the Heat have won all four matchups with Dallas by an average of 14.3 points and scoring an average of 110.0 points per game.

 

 

 

Three Keys of the Night

1)      Contain everyone else: You know LeBron is going to get his points. He has 503 consecutive games with double-digit scoring. He has averaged 28 points per game against Dallas in the last four contests so you know he’s going to get his. The Mavs have to limit the play from everyone else. Stop the role players from coming in and scoring 10 points and you put yourself in a position to win the game.

2)      Win the rebounding battle: Dallas is averaging 43.1 rebounds per game to the Heat’s 34. This is an area Dallas has tried to improve on in the past and they need to dominate the glass against a very good offensive team like the Heat. The last thing you want to do is give them second and third chances on the offensive glass.

3)      Rick Carlisle must be the better coach: Last year Erik Spoelstra outcoached Gregg Popovich in the NBA Finals and they won a championship because of it. During the offseason, the GM’s around the league voted Carlisle the second best coach at making in-game adjustments behind Popovich. Tonight, Carlisle has to be the better coach and will need to make adjustments to counteract the offense of the Heat.

Matchup of the Night

Dallas’ Role Players vs. Miami’s Role Players. Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki should probably even out the scoring of LeBron and Dwyane. The game will be won by everyone else. Which bench player can step up and help out the team when they need it?

The Mavericks bench is averaging 35.1 points per game while holding the opponents to 32.1 points. If Dallas can get good minutes and contributions from DeJuan Blair, Gal Mekel, Vince Carter and Jae Crowder, they have a very good chance at ending the losing streak to the Heat.

Quotes:

“We’re getting better each and every game. Our rotations are better. Our individual defense has been better. But just more than anything our help side and our team defense has been better, and it’s fueled our offense.” – Vince Carter

 

“They’re defending champions, so they’re a great team. They’ve got a lot of playmakers, great 3-point shooting and they’re great defensively. They’re solid in every area and they’re dynamic. You’ve got to throw a hard 48 minutes at them, and you’ve got to be real smart and tough.” – Rick Carlisle

How To Watch:

The game can be seen on FSSW at 6:30.

Injury Report:

Dallas Mavericks

  • Brandan Wright PF – Nov 13: Out
  • Wayne Ellington SG – Nov 12: Day-To-Day
  • Devin Harris PG – Nov 12: Out

Miami Heat

  • Udonis Haslem PF – Nov 14: Day-To-Day
  • Ray Allen SG – Nov 14: Day-To-Day

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Mavs Pre-Season 5 Days Away – A Look Back At Josh Howard

by Damian Jackson on October 2, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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You can now count the days left with one hand – five days remain until preseason action for the Dallas Mavericks and we continue the countdown with Josh Howard. We know Jason Kidd also wore the #5 in his first Mavs stint, but there’s a sense Kidd will eventually show up as the countdown winds down.

The 1996 NBA draft is likely one of the best in NBA history, but the class of 2003 isn’t far behind. A group that includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade will do that and the depth is evident in the fact the Dallas Mavericks selected Josh Howard 29th overall with the final pick in the first round.

Howard was the ACC Player of the Year his senior season at Wake Forest and has his #5 jersey retired by the school.

Josh played his rookie season with tons of energy and used his 23.7 minutes per game to its fullest averaging 8.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and a steal each night. He was rewarded by earning All-Rookie Second Team honors.

Howard’s production and points would improve each of his first five seasons with the Mavs. Just one of eight players from the 2003 draft to make an All-Star game, Howard would get his only selection during the 2006-2007 season in which he averaged 18.9 points and 6.8 rebounds for the 67-win Mavericks.

J-Ho would go on to average 19.9 points and 7 boards the following year in 2007-2008, but this would also be the year in which Howard made some questionable choices off the court.

 

Reports of Howard racing back in his hometown surfaced added to his well-documented radio appearance in which he admitted to smoking weed during the NBA’s offseason in the midst of the playoff series with the New Orleans Hornets. There was the tiff with then head coach Avery Johnson about partying after a playoff loss and of course the video of Howard disrespecting the National Anthem at an Allen Iverson charity event.

After one last productive season in 2008-2009 that saw Howard post 18 points and 5.1 rebounds in 52 games, Howard would start only nine more games for the Mavs before the team sent him to the Washington Wizards with James Singleton, Quinton Ross and Drew Gooden for Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson.

Since the trade in 2009, Howard has played in just 76 games for the Wizards, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves due to suffering a torn ACL twice in that span.

Howard’s best years were wearing the Mavs #5 and it will more than likely remain that way. I’ll always remember Josh being one of my favorite Mavericks in that span and cheering him on to score 30 points or more because it seemed he’d start fast and never eclipse 29.

He finally did score more than 30 points – it was Seats for Soldiers night (December 8, 2007) and he dropped 47 points on the Utah Jazz.

 

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