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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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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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Dirty Talk: Nowitzki Checks in with Jim Rome

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

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The Dallas Mavericks’ franchise player took time this Valentine’s Day to join Jim Rome’s radio show ‘The Jungle’ and dish out his high quality commentary.

Dirk Nowitzki has previously appeared on Rome’s television program, but never his radio show and both were very thrilled to have each other’s company today.

Rome kicked it off asking about Dallas’ ability to win six of seven heading into the All-Star break including the physical, defensive win against the East-best Indiana Pacers.

Dirk: That was a big win for us, because they have a very tough front line; they’re long at every position and we kept battling. We had a tough loss the night before in Charlotte, we talked about how we wanted to be better defensively, we needed to compete harder on both ends of the floor. Any time we feel we defend and rebound well, we give ourselves a chance…if we don’t we’re usually in trouble.

Dallas faced the Pacers prior to the break and will host the Miami Heat on Tuesday after the season hiatus. Rome wants to know whether Dirk and the Mavs approach the two teams as next game on the schedule or statement games.

Dirk: Usually you look at the schedule before the season and you circle some games and those two are definitely on. Miami and Indiana are both great teams in the East, and will probably end up playing in the Conference Finals. Plus, with them being in the East you only play them twice…in Dallas once. Miami comes in next week, the only time, and I know the crowd will be ready. We had a little thing going, we beat them in ’11, they’ve won the last two years, they’re a great team and I know our crowd and fans will be ready…one we have circled on the calendar.

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Jason Terry was a guest on ‘The Jungle’ previously and mentioned he still hates the Heat despite beating them in the Finals. Does Dirk share the same hate for Miami or is it just a Terry thing?

Dirk: That’s a Jason Terry thing, I don’t really hate anybody. I think rivalries or big matchups are great for this league. We played the Spurs almost every year in the playoffs for years back in the day and it was always a fun rivalry. Both teams respected each other, but once the ball went up it was physical, hard playing. Those are great and great for the league, so I don’t necessarily hate much, they’re just fun rivalries.

Rome: You don’t run on that kind of fuel, we know the Jet does. [Gets a chuckle out of Dirk]

As a 12-time All-Star who did not make the team last year, does it mean more to get back there this season?

 

 

Dirk: Yeah, I put a lot of work in. These last two years were disappointing for me starting with the lockout season. All these games; My knee started to act up and last year I thought I’d be fine and then right before the season I ended up needing knee surgery and almost missed 30 games so it’s been a tough two years and I wanted to put a lot of work in to get ready. It’s paid off, been uphill to play at a high level and that’s where I wanted to get back at, helping my team win every night. Missing the playoffs last year and watching from home was tough on me. We had made the playoffs 12 years in a row, it motivated me again and that’s why I’m here. With 30 games left, we hope to finish strong.

 

Dirk recently eclipsed 26,000 points in his career and could possibly crack the NBA’s top 10 all-time scoring list by season’s end. What would that milestone mean to you?

Dirk: That’s insane, really. If you think about when I first got here as a 7-foot guy that weighed barely 200 pounds, didn’t really know if I was gonna make it in this league with all these athletes the way they play. 16 years later knowing the crazy ride we’ve been on; the All-Star games are tough, the championship run in 2011, it’s been an amazing ride. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and if I were to end up in the top 10 in scoring that’s an amazing accomplishment. Those things and accomplishments are great once your career is over and you look back over your entire career at what you’ve done. So far chasing and competing every other night it’s not as important, but in 10 years when you’re showing your kids what you’ve done, all those things are unbelievable.

 

 

When he entered the league, the power forward position was in the mold of guys like Charles Barkley. Dirk defined the stretch-four term used frequently in today’s game. Dirk describes his evolution from his NBA beginning to present day.

Dirk: It was just really tough for me, I wasn’t strong enough. [Laughs some before retelling one of his common early NBA stories] When a ‘four’ or power forwards caught the ball on the block and I was guarding him, I would hear the whole [opposing] team yell, “Go at him! Please go at him! Kill him!” It was always in the back of my mind that I have to get stronger, you don’t have to be a great defender but you have to be a smart defender, team defender and help your team if they need you. So I got stronger, my base, my legs to keep guys out of the post more. Then the rule change from few years ago changed the game to more of a flow and not as much iso and post ups. Fours now need to be able to run, jump, shoot a little bit. Even the fives now need to be able to shoot a little, I think the game has evolved away from the one-on-one pounding into more five-on-five with ball screens and flow.

You get stronger and your game evolves. Others NBA greats like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant start emulating the trademark Dirk one-legged fadeaway. What do you think of having a move so unique other guys are trying to copy it?

Dirk: That made me proud, to know that some of the best in this game are using that move and what’s good about that shot is you can always get it off. You could be stuck somewhere on the wing, no dribble, all you do is create a little separation, step back and you’re able to get your shot off. That’s how I started to shoot it more, because as you get older you don’t want to drive as much and take the pounding. All you do is take one little step back, have decent balance, lean back and get the ball over. Obviously, it helps me that I’m 7-foot, I can still get that shot off over anybody. It’s really helped me still score a lot of points even though I can’t drive as much anymore and I’m glad that some of the best are putting it in their [arsenal] even though it’s not their main weapon, I think it’s a big weapon to have.

Dirk provides insight on his role in all these classic music video parodies the Dallas Mavericks create for him and his teammates. Fun times.

Dirk: I’m not that talented in other things besides basketball, but I love making a fool out of myself, always have. The Mavericks always come up with fun stuff for me to do. I mean the camel commercial [Spoof on Gieco's Ad] when I walk through the office and yell “GAMEDAY!” Stuff like that…the fans in Dallas have really soaked up over the years and people only see me on the court when I’m really fired up, they don’t really know how I am off the court so those kind of things let them know I have fun and am really laid back. All those videos and clips just show that I’m a fun guy, I love to have fun, but I don’t think I have a career in singing once I’m done.

Tennis was and is a part of Dirk’s life. Is he a baseliner or one to charge the net? Prefer serving or playing the volley?

Dirk: I did try to serve and volley a little bit. I used to love Boris Becker growing up in the nineties, he was the man, he was our hero in Germany. I even went to the hair salon and said I want a hair cut like Boris Becker [Rome laughs] so I was a huge fan. I had a big serve for my size, I used my serve well, had a big forehand, my backhand was struggling, but I like to come forward and make the points shorter. If you’re a tall tennis player, the less you have to move the better, the less court in the back you have to cover the better, so it’s better for us to move in and keep the points short.

Rome: “That was a great interview Dirk, you do a great interview Dirk. What a blast, that’s so much fun, such a good interview. Literally, one of the best guys ever.

Dirk is known for his one-of-a-kind fadeaway jumper. It’s time more people found out about his one-of-a-kind personality on and off the basketball court.

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Photos provided by NBA.com; ‘Mavs Music Mix’ by Dallas Mavericks; Quoteboard content collaborated from Jim Rome’s CBS Sports Radio interview with Dirk Nowitzki (02/14/14)

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Wrap Up: Mavs Can’t Stop Teletovic, Nets In Loss

by Greg Higgins on January 29, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (25-20) happened to catch the Brooklyn Nets (19-22) at the wrong time.  Brooklyn has been the hottest team in the NBA in the new year. Coming into Friday night’s contest with the Mavs, the Nets are 8-1 in 2014. This included wins against the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. After Friday night, you can make it 9-1 for Brooklyn as they defeated the Mavs 107-106.

How it went down:

Dallas, finishing up a stretch of games in which they played six games in six different cities in ten different games, were facing Jason Kidd for the first time as a head coach. Not only was it a reunion with Jason Kidd, but the Mavs were also facing Jason Terry for the first time in a Nets uniform.

Terry, however, wasn’t the person that beat the Mavs though. Actually, the Mavs were defeated by the most unlikely of heroes. Reserve Mirza Teletovic drained seven three-pointers for Brooklyn as he scored 34 points in 27 minutes of action.

Teletovic scored 24 points in the second quarter on six of seven from three-point land. His 24 points was almost as much as the Mavs scored for the whole quarter (25). Brooklyn outscored the Mavs 39-25 in the quarter and built an 11-point lead at the break. Dallas’ guard Vince Carter did his best to keep the Mavs close as he scored 10 points in the half, including two from beyond the arc.

Dallas tried to inch back into the game but the Nets kept answering every run. The Mavs, trailing by 11 in the final period kept coming back but in the end, they ran out of time.

Inside the Numbers: 

The 34 points by Teletovic is a career high for him.

Devin Harris had his best game since returning to Dallas. Devin finished with 14 points on 4-6 shooting. He did foul out, however, in only 16 minutes of action.

Impact Play of the Game:  Trailing by three (105-102), Jason Kidd chose to intentionally foul Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk knocked down the first shot and purposefully missed the second one. The Nets got the rebound and were able to hold onto the lead.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Vince Carter, playing with a little extra motivation, led all the Mavs in scoring with 19 points. Carter and Kidd were teammates for the Nets and Vince seemed motivated playing against his former team.

Quotes:

“We didn’t get the job done. But the great thing about it is we can bounce back and take care of business at home and get a little home cooking,” – Vince Carter

 

“We were just poor defensively as a team. [Teletovic] hit his first couple of shots and we just let him keep going. You just can’t do that with professional shooters. He had a great night, but we contributed to it. He took advantage of it, but the second quarter was our downfall.” – Rick Carlisle

On Deck: Dallas will return home on Sunday to face the Detroit Pistons at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game can be seen on FSSW locally.

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Mavs Pre-Season 1 Day Away – A Look At Dirk Nowitzki

by Ryan Wilson on October 6, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

Dirk

One day Mavericks fans. One day remains until pre-season tip-off. While the number #41 has been engraved into Mavericks fans brains forever, he will always be the best Maverick of all time. He has stuck with this franchise through the good times and bad. He came from overseas a young boy, and has turned himself into a legend, a Champion, and a future Hall of Famer. He has arguably the most un-guardable shot in the history of the NBA, and work ethic that can’t be beat. Ladies and gentlmen, Mavs fans everywhere, I give you Dirk Werner Nowitzki.

Nowitzki was born in Wurzburg, Germany. He came from a very athletic family, and despite having in interest in tennis and handball, his height caught the attention of a former German basketball player, Holger Geschwinder.  He took Nowitzki under his wing, and put him through a very different type of training regimen.

Nowitzki played for multiple German basketball squads. He was an impact player for a couple of years, but never really caught any attention back in the States. That was until 1997, when he played in a Nike event with NBA Legends, Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen. He sure caught Barkley’s attention, which you can see in the video below.

The summer of 1998 would bring new life to the Dallas Mavericks and begin the legendary career for Nowitzki. The Mavericks were highly interested in acquiring Nowitzki, so they worked out a deal with Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavericks drafted Robert “Tractor” Traylor(Desired by Milwaukee) and traded him to the Bucks for the rights to the 8th pick, Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks would also land Steve Nash in that summer, and would now piece together the new “Big Three” in Dallas, made up of Nowitzki, Nash, and Michael Finley.

While the hopes of a revitalized franchise was in the near future, it wouldn’t be the 1998-1999 season. Nowitzki struggled with the faster and more physical NBA league, and was often called Irk, instead of Dirk, because players thought he lacked the defense in his game.

“I was so frustrated I even contemplated going back to Germany”

After the nightmarish rookie season, the 1999-2000 season brought a new sheriff to town. Mark Cuban purchased the Mavericks franchise for $280 million. Cuban brought to the Mavericks an energy that would quickly be displayed in their effort on the hard wood. Nowitzki’s second season was a major improvement over his first. He was runner up in the NBA Most Improved Player Award, and averaged 17 points and 6 rebounds per game. Despite the successful individual accolades, the Mavericks failed to reach the playoffs yet again. The Mavericks front office knew they had the right ingredients, so it was only a matter of time.

Dirk_6The 2000-2001 season was the year that marked the Mavericks new found relevance in the NBA elite. Nowitzki continued his stellar play along with Finley, but it was Dirk’s best buddy Steve Nash who began to find his niche with the team. The new “Big Three” in Dallas led the Mavericks to a 53-29 regular season record, and their first playoff appearance since 1990. The Mavericks would defeat the Utah Jazz in the opening round, but would eventually lose to the San Antonio Spurs. One thing was for sure. The Dallas Mavericks weren’t going to be going anywhere. They were legit and would be around for a long time.

Dirk and the “Big Three” would spend a couple more seasons together, but could never get over the proverbial hump. They would continue to win but would fall short each and every season. In the summer of 2004, Steve Nash signed with the Phoenix Suns. A year later, the Mavericks had to waive Finley to avoid luxury taxes. Dirk was now the lone member left of the “Big Three”.

The 2005-2006 season would be historic for the Mavericks. Dirk continued his All-Star play and led the team to 60 wins and the longest playoff run in the history of the franchise. They stormed through the Western Conference, and found themselves facing Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, and the Miami Heat. The Mavericks jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, and would never win another game, falling to the Heat in 6 games. For a competitor like Nowitzki, it was a crushing blow that many feared he would never overcome.

The 2006-2007 season would bring both good and bad to Nowitzki and the Mavericks. They would win a franchise best 67 games, and cruise to the #1 seed in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, those playoffs would be cut short, because Dallas would become the first #1 seed to lose to an #8 seed(Golden State Warriors) in the history of the NBA. Dirk would still be honored with the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, but it paled in comparison to what had just happened in the playoffs.

The Mavericks would tinker around with their roster for a few more years. Leading up the 2010-2011 season, the Mavericks had now acquired some pieces that could make a run. With guys like Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, and Tyson Chandler, the Mavericks seemed poised to prove doubters wrong. They finished the season the #3 seed in the Western Conference, where many NBA analysts picked them to lose in the 1st round to the Portland Trail Blazers. That would never happen. Nowitzki was playing at a Hall of Fame level, and led the Mavericks past Portland, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma City to win the Western Conference Finals. They would once again find themselves in the NBA Finals taking on the much hated Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade would still be a member, but this time was teamed up with Chris Bosh and Lebron James.

DirkNowitzki and the Mavericks found themselves in a 1-0 hole in Game 2, and were trailing by 15 points in the 4th. The Mavericks stormed back and won, capitalized with a Nowitzki drive by finger roll to close the game out. The Mavericks would eventually take out the Heat in Miami in Game 6, and win their 1st ever NBA Championship. Nowitzki was crowned the Finals MVP. He had now established himself a true NBA Legend in every sense of the word.

Following the historic season was the NBA lockout. The Mavericks had to retool and get rid of some of the players that made up the championship roster. They would make the playoffs, but get bounced by Oklahoma City in the 1st round.

Last season, the Mavericks once again found themselves with a completely new roster. Dirk had to get off-season surgery, which forced him to miss 27 games. The Mavericks battled throughout the season, but finished 42-42, and missed the playoffs for the 1st time since 2000.

The Dallas Mavericks head into the 2013-2014 season with fresh faces, but it should be a team that compliments Nowitzki quite well. What is in store for the remainder of Nowitzki’s career is unknown, but one thing is for sure…he’s a rare breed of NBA player. He doesn’t look to join the super teams, or try to market himself. He’s a man who plays for his city, his country, and does it with dignity and grace. He’s a true legend in every sense of the word. He is Dirk Nowitzki. All Star. Champion. Hall of Famer.

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Mavs Pre-Season 2 Days Away – A Look Back at Jason Kidd

by Damian Jackson on October 5, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Two days until Mavericks preseason basketball. Two also the number of retired Mavs jerseys in the American Airlines Center rafters. Two NBA Finals appearances in the last eight seasons.

We’re on the home stretch of our countdown and brings us to future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.

Most fans know Kidd spent two stints of his career with Dallas. He was drafted second overall by the Mavericks in 1994 and went on to win Co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill.

Traded to Phoenix Suns in 1996 and then to the New Jersey Nets in 2001, it wouldn’t be until 2008 that Kidd would make his second tour of duty in the Metroplex. Dallas would send young, water-bug point guard Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Trenton Hassell, Mo Ager, Keith Van Horn, $3 million cash and first round picks in 2008 and 2010 in exchange for Kidd, Malik Allen and Antoine Wright.

The trade divided the Mavericks fan base. While there were those who thought adding the veteran point was the right move to appease a star in Dirk Nowitzki, others believed that Dallas gave away too much in the deal and traded away their point guard of the future.

It took 3 1/2 seasons for the debate to be settled once Kidd and the 2010-2011 Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat to win the franchise’s first ever NBA championship.

Kidd was never the nightly triple double monster in Dallas that he was in the prime of his career with the Suns and Nets, but it was the small things that made the greatest impact. Kidd’s extensively high basketball IQ was a weapon itself for the Mavs in all situations throughout a game.

Defensively Kidd was an animal for his age. His ability to cover shooting guards and even some small forwards provided Mavs teams with versatility on that end of the floor. This bode well for Dallas’ implemented three-guard lineup that most prominently included Kidd, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea.

It’s still shocking to realize the player once named “Ason Kidd” due to his lack of a “Jumpshot”, now ranks third in 3-point field goals made in NBA history only trailing Ray Allen and Reggie Miller. Kidd’s dead eye shooting became a major part of his impact on the offensive end. No longer could Kidd blow by defenders and create for himself or his teammates by penetrating the lane. He worked on his shot diligently and it more than paid off.

Kidd chose to leave Dallas in the summer of 2012 and play for the New York Knicks in a move his thought more beneficial for his playing career. It would be his last season in the league and he now is the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

The list of accolades for this man is lengthy, but here are the highlights:

  • He’s a 10-time All-Star and 5-time All-NBA First Team member.
  • Champion with the Mavs in 2011 after two failed trips with the Nets in 2002 & 2003.
  • 2nd All-Time in both assists and steals (John Stockton in both).
  • 3rd All-Time with 107 career triple doubles (Oscar Roberson & Magic Johnson).
  • 2 Gold Medals in the Olympics 2004 & 2008

 

Kidd will go down as one of the association’s greatest players ever and certainly one of the greatest Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban wasn’t happy with the way Kidd left Dallas in 2012 and initially said there is no way his jersey will be in the rafters. However, they’ve mended those wounds and it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if one day Kidd hangs in those AAC skies.

 

 

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Mavs Pre-Season 11 Days Away – A Look Back At J.J. Barea

by Ryan Wilson on September 26, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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As the Mavericks begin to close in on the start of the 2013-2014 season, we find the start of pre-season only 11 days away. As part of our featured countdown to the start, we are doing a segment on a Maverick who player who either once wore the #11, or does today.

When we looked at #11, there was only one real number that came to mind. There was the tough defender and 3-point specialist Raja Bell who did well during his stay in Dallas, but nobody quite captures the allure of the Dallas Mavericks other than Jose Juan Barea.

Atlanta Hawks v Dallas MavericksBarea played all four years at Northeastern and proved to be a very good college point guard. Once he graduated, he declared for the 2006 NBA Draft, but ended up undrafted. He then threw his hat into the NBA Summer League tournament, and participated with the Golden State Warriors. He also played as a Dallas Maverick in the Rocky Mountain Revue, where he would eventually earn a contract with the Mavericks organization. He would enter the 2006 season as the Mavericks back up point guard, but nothing really materialized for Barea. He would then be sent down to the NBA Developmental League, where he would only participate for a few games, eventually being recalled by the Mavericks. His role would be limited on and off throughout the season, but every once and a while he would show you a glimpse of some serious promise.

The 2007-2008 season brought forward a new challenge for Barea. The Mavs starting point guard Devin Harris fell to injury, which meant Barea would have to fill in. Rick Carlisle isn’t the easiest on young players, so Barea had his moments in the proverbial “dog house”. It wasn’t until the 2008-2009 season where Barea really started to get some playtime. Injuries would haunt the Mavericks during the season, which meant added minutes for the little point guard out of Puerto Rico. His ability to get to the rim and spread the floor with his jump shot added a challenge for opposing defenses, which is what Carlisle looked to do multiple times throughout the season.

The 2009-2010 season would be very similar to the year before. Barea continue to add where he could, but the season would eventually fall short once again for the Dallas Mavericks.

The following season would be the official launching pad for Barea’s career. Statistically, he had his best season with the Mavericks, averaging 9.5 points and 3.9 assists per game. The Mavericks would reach the post-season for the 11th straight time, but this time around, things would be different. After disposing of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Mavericks would face the defending champion L.A. Lakers. After taking Game 1 of the series, J.J. Barea decided to make Game 2 his coming out party. On the NBA big stage, he scored 12 points off the bench in the 4th quarter, leading the Mavericks to a 2-0 lead in the series. In the Game 4 series clinching victory, the Mavericks put on a 3-point shooting clinic, provided by Jason Terry and Peja Stojokovic. It was Barea who finally got under the Lakers skin, or most importantly Andrew Bynum. bareaWith the game well in hand, Barea drove the lane for a floating layup, only to have Bynum’s elbow deliberately thrown towards his chest in mid-air. Bynum would be eventually ejected, but it’s proof of just how good of a player Barea is. He is a little point guard, with a big time heart, who continues to nag away at you until you are mentally exhausted.

The Mavericks would eventually take down the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, and then take down the Miami Heat in 6 games to win their first ever NBA Championship. He scored 15 points in the clincher and is only the 2nd Puerto Rican player to win the NBA Championship.

Following the Mavericks epic championship season, Barea signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He will be entering his 3rd season with the Timberwolves, but doesn’t rule out a return to the Dallas Mavericks in the future.

“It’s a great relationship with Mark Cuban. If they want to bring me back to Dallas, I am very good with it”

 

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Games To Mark Down On That Calendar

by Ryan Wilson on August 8, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Okay, I know we are 83 days away from the Mavs embarking on the 2013-2014 season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get our big games marked on the schedule. Here’s a look at our top games for the upcoming season.

vs. Atlanta Hawks, Oct. 30: This will be our first look at the new look Mavericks at the AAC. It’s been back to back seasons full of many new faces, and this year will be no different. You will be able to see our new starting lineup, one that figures to feature newcomers Jose CalderonMonta Ellis, and Samuel Dalembert.

WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder, Nov. 6: Our first chance to show national television the new look Mavericks against a big time Western Conference contender. The Thunder will be fully healthy, following the return of Russell Westbrook, but will they overlook these Mavericks? Anytime these two teams hook up, it’s bound to be a delight. 

Miami Heat, Nov. 15: Forgive me I get stuck in the past a little bit, but I feel like the Mavericks have made Miami (American Airlines Arena) their second home ever since they clinched Game 6 of the NBA Finals in 2011. Hate them all you want, but the Miami Heat are always must see television, and this is one you won’t want to miss.

vs. Houston Rockets, Nov. 20: The Mavericks entered the 2013 summer of free agency with huge goals. One of them was to land Dwight Howard. All of Mavs Nation waited for an answer from Dwight, only to be let down when he chose the Houston Rockets instead. Is he now a hated villain in Big D? This will be our second look at Howard in a Rockets jersey, but the first one in Dallas. It shouldn’t take long to see how Mavericks fans feel about it either.

act_jj_redickvs. Los Angeles Clippers, Jan. 3: Chris Paul came into this summer the Mavericks’ #1 target in free agency, which quickly went out the window when Doc Rivers became new head coach, and Paul signed his 5-year, $107 million contract. The Clippers loaded up on new talent in J.J. RedickJared Dudley, and former Maverick Darren Collison. They figure to once again be one of the more entertaining teams, so it figures to be a heck of a ball game in Big D.

vs. Miami Heat, Feb. 18: Just like the Mavericks made Miami their second home, this must be gut wrenching anytime King James comes to Dallas. Each and every time he walks into the AAC, he will be reminded of the 2011 defeat by a banner high up in the rafters and have to deal with the fact that the only team to beat the Miami Heat in a playoff series is our Dallas Mavericks.

timthumbvs. Brooklyn Nets, March 23: Did you ever think you would have a chance to watch a team that featured Deron WilliamsJason TerryKevin GarnettPaul Pierce, and Joe Johnson? How about Hall of Fame point guard and former Dallas Maverick NBA Champion Jason Kidd coaching the squad? Not satisfied yet? Don’t know what else to tell ya. Must see. 

Los Angeles Lakers, April 4: The Mavericks figure to be battling for playoff position, and the Lakers could as well, depending on how Kobe Bryant responds to his achilles surgery. The Lakers will no longer have the burden of the Dwight Howard drama, and should be able to focus solely on basketball. This game could be of little meaning, but it figures to be just the opposite. I expect this to be a pivotal matchup in Hollywood..one that the Mavericks and Lakers tend do so well.

 

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Mavs Shed Salary, Get Their Guys

by Ryan Wilson on June 28, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Had I written this last night, it would’ve taken me quite some time to catch my breath. On a night that featured Anthony Bennett becoming the first Canadian born player to be drafted #1, that was only the beginning. Nerlens Noel, the highly regarded #1 pick going into last night dropped all the way to the New Orleans Pelicans, only to be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday and the 2014 1st round draft pick.

Think that’s a stunner? Try this one on for size. It was reported all throughout yesterday that a deal sending Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets was just waiting on Garnett’s approval. Consider that a done deal now.

Then there were the Mavericks, flying under the radar after last night. Their main goal going into last night was finding a way to move down in the draft to shed salary. However, due to certain players drastically falling on the board, it started to look as if the Mavericks could land Trey Burke or Michael Carter-Williams. That was until the 76ers pulled the trade sending Holiday to the Pelicans. In less than 10 minutes, Burke and MCW were off the board, and the Mavericks went into “sell mode”.

The Mavericks ended up trading their 13th pick to the Celtics for their 16th pick, only to eventually trade that pick and Jared Cunningham to the Hawks for their 18th pick. Essentially, with dropping to the 18th pick, and getting Cunningham off the books, the Mavericks saved $1,092,720 in the process.

With the 18th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft the Atlanta Hawks(Picking for Mavericks) select Shane Larkin, from the University of Miami. 

Don’t think this pick will be moved ladies and gentlemen. All signs point to the Mavericks being very happy with Larkin, and have no intention on moving him.

Shane Larkin is a fierce competitor, and at only 6 feet and 170 pounds, is not one you should underestimate. He was named the ACC Player of the Year and lead the Miami Hurricanes to a 27-6 regular season record, the ACC Championship, and a Sweet 16 birth. He averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals in his sophomore season and even shot above 40 % from behind the arc.

He excels in the pick-and-roll game, which should fit nicely with Dirk Nowitzki and possibly Dwight Howard, if things go according to plan. He is a true gamer, and is also son of MLB legend, Barry Larkin. Rick Carlisle was a huge fan of his going into the draft night, so it seems as though he got his guy.

“Our pick-and-roll game this past year was not at the level we’re used to, so we wanted to get better in that area,” Carlisle said. “Shane’s one of the best in college basketball at doing that. A lot of people try to go under screens because of his quickness and he shot behind screens very effectively. He’ll see a lot of different coverages in this league, and what we’ve seen is that he does a good job reading situations.”

Not only did Larkin turn heads during his sophomore season, he also impressed scouts at the NBA Draft Combine last month. He had a 44-inch vertical leap, which was 1st among all players, and was also one of the fastest players as well.

It seems as though Larkin will fit in quite well with the NBA system. His consistent outside jumpshot, pick-and-roll ability, and his determination and winner mentality should help the Mavericks immediately.

“This league now is a lot about playmakers and being able to make plays off the dribble, having a feel for the game,” Carlisle said. “Speed is important. He brings some of those dynamics and characteristics. We think he’s going to help us.”

Larkin figures to come off the bench, which is no surprise to anyone that knows Rick Carlisle.

(On if Larkin is a starter in this league) “I don’t know that. I think what I said was, is I think that he’s good enough to earn playing time. We’ll see what form that takes and what form the roster ultimately takes. We like him. If we hadn’t taken at 18, he would have been gone at 19. We do know that.”

With the 43rd pick, the Milwaukee Bucks(Traded to Philadelphia to Brooklyn to Atlanta to Dallas) select Ricky Ledo, from Providence. 

R-A-W. The one word that comes to mind when you take a look at Ledo. He actually never played a minute for Providence, due to academic probation, but did practice throughout the year. This is a guy who has Lottery potential, but has some character issues to work on. If he turns into anything near the player he’s supposed to be, this will be a STEAL for the Mavericks.

At 6’6 and 200 pounds, he is your prototypical shooting guard, and boy can he shoot. His senior year of High School, Ledo averaged 23.4 points and 6.2 rebounds. He can handle the ball with the best of them, and has a quick first step, allowing him to pull back and hit the jumper or attack the rim and finish.

The Summer League will be huge in determining the type of player Ledo is or can be as a Maverick. I expect Rick Carlisle to do quite well in addressing the character issues and getting the full potential from his player, as he often does.

Please Click The Image Below To Hear MAD Mavs Radio Debut Podcast Covering Last Night’s Draft

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What’s Next?

The Mavericks will now turn their attention to finding a way to shed more salary in hopes of landing Dwight Howard. They will most likely discuss with Shawn Marion and figure out a way to keep him a Maverick, but in a more financially beneficial way. Marion must decide if he will opt in to his final year of contract by Sunday, June 30th.

 

Then the real fun will begin. Monday, July 1st marks the first day that NBA teams can court their potential free agents.

Buckle up Mavs Nation! If you thought last night was exhilarating, you haven’t seen anything yet!

 

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

by MavsFanatic on April 20, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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

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

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

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

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

The 15 Mavs players to end the season in Dallas:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Elton Brand – 21.2 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

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

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

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Chris Kaman – 20.7 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

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

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

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Mike James – 19.2 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

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

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

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Brandan Wright – 18.0 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________________

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

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

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

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Anthony Morrow – 4.8 MPG

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

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

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

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

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

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Josh Akognon – 3.0 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

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

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

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

- Mavs Fanatic Founder & Partner Ryan Wilson, Damian Jackson

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