Become a Fanatic! Register Here or Already a fanatic? Sign in Here


Dirty Talk: Nowitzki Checks in with Jim Rome

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

DirtyTalk288

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.

____________________________________

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.

____________________________________

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)

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mavs Game Night: Looking To Get Back On Track

by Terence Huie on January 7, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightb288

The Dallas Mavericks (19-15) are in their final game of a three-game home stand taking on the Los Angeles Lakers (14-20).

The Game At Hand:

The Mavs have been performing dismally as of late, winning only one of three games to start the 2014 year. Dallas faced the New York Knicks on Sunday night, losing in embarrassing fashion 92 to 80.

The Lakers have been on a terrible slump with their franchise guard Kobe Bryant being inactive for six weeks due to a fracture in his left knee. The “Kobe-less” Lakers have lost six of their last eight games.

Keys To The Game:

1. Battle of the Benches:

The Lakers are ranked first in points per game (44.0 PPG) in the league from their bench. Coach Mike D’Antoni has utilized his bench more effectively without the presence of Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup this season. The Mavs have to strategize a way to outscore the Lakers’ bench in order to maintain a lead.

2. Consistency:

The Mavericks may be over .500, but their level of play against teams with a under .500 record has left fans somewhat disgusted. When facing teams over .500, the Dallas is ranked second in the league in efficiency (120.9). In contrast, the Mavs are currently placed 17th in efficiency (114.6). The Mavs have to play tonight with a chip on their shoulders against the Lakers with little room for error.

Matchup Of The Night: Pau Gasol vs. Dirk Nowitzki

Tonight’s matchup is the “Battle of the Europeans”. Dirk Nowtizki and Lakers’ forward Pau Gasol, are arguably two of the greatest European-born basketball players. In November, Gasol passed Detlef Schermpf for second-most in points ever by a European NBA player; of course Nowtizki holds the top position.

With Pau Gasol once again in the trade rumors talks, he looks to make a huge statement tonight in convincing the Lakers front office that he should stay in Los Angeles. Dirk on the other hand, continues to battle through the struggles of the Mavericks recent performances this year.

When and Where:

Tip-off starts at 7:30pm CST and broadcasted on Fox Sports Southwest.

GO MAVS!

Back to Top

Back to Top

Wrap Up: Deep Mavericks Squad Storms Past Lakers

by Greg Higgins on November 6, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsWrap

The Dallas Mavericks took full advantage of a Kobe Bryant-less team on Tuesday night as they dismantled the Lakers 123-104. It was the first of four games in five nights for the Mavericks. A blowout win was just what they needed as they were able to rest guys. Monta Ellis is the only Maverick to play more than 30 minutes in the game.

How it went down: Dallas jumped on L.A early in the game as they scored 35 in the first quarter and 32 in the second. The 67 points were the most in one half since scoring 68 against Atlanta in March of this year. Dallas moved the ball efficiently as they 34 assists on 49 made field goals. The Mavs shot 52.1% from the field. Perhaps more impressive, though was the fact that they shot 48.1% from beyond the 3-point line.

Dallas also out-rebounded the Lakers by 15 and they pulled down 10 offensive boards. Dallas had seven players finish with double-digit scoring and they had two others (Gal Mekel and Vince Carter) finish with nine and eight points respectively.

The Dallas bench, led by Jae Crowder’s 18 points provided a huge lift as the starters were able to rest. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night is that Dirk Nowtizki only scored 11 points on the night. Dirk made up for it in other areas, though, as he pulled down eight rebounds, had four assists and two steals.

Add it all up and it equals one dominating performance over a team they may be competing with for a playoff spot at the end of the season.  Dallas is 3-1 on the season as they are about to embark on a three game road trip.

Impact Play of the Game: The play of the game is actually a series of plays that started with 4:47 left in the first quarter. This is when Gal Mekel and DeJuan Blair entered the game for Dallas for the first time. At this point Dallas had a 20-14 lead. These two provided a spark off the bench that would ignite a 15-8 run to close out the quarter. Both players are becoming more and more comfortable in their roles as bench players for the Mavericks.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Monta Ellis

Ellis finished with another 30 point performance for the Mavericks. Ellis finished with 11 of 14 from the field and had nine assists. Ellis was driving to the rim, pulling up for jumpers, and getting other people involved as well. If he plays like this on a consistent basis and Dirk gets back to being Dirk, this team is going to be hard to beat.

Quotes:

“Monta Ellis was fantastic tonight,” Carlisle said with high praise for the newcomer.  “I mean, all aspects of the game. He defended, he made plays at the rim, he was under control, he hit mid-range shots and he hit guys cutting to the basket. You know, it was a great all-around performance.”

“We’ve got all of our veteran guys starting out the game. We’re asking them to give us four to six hard minutes at the start of the game, and we’ve got to come in and pick up the same slack.

Back to Top

Back to Top

Game Night: Lakers vs Mavericks

by Kaomi Machelle' on November 5, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightb288

The Dallas Mavericks (2-1) continued their winning streak at home defeating the Memphis Grizzlies (2-2) 111-99 Saturday night. In a game the Mavs dominated throughout, it was Shawn Marion and his 21 points and 14 rebounds performance that sealed the victory.

The Game At Hand:

Looking to keep their winning streak at home in tact, the Mavericks will take on their Western Conference rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers (2-2). The last time these two squads faced off, the Lakers defeated the Mavs 101-81.

The Lakers dominated that matchup as Kobe “Bean” Bryant tallied a triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. The Lakers hold a 104-32 regular season record against the Mavericks, but the Mavericks will be looking to make it 33 losses.

Three Keys For A Win:

1) Play young. Coming into the 2013-2014 season, the Lakers have a fresh young roster. With two days of rest and having to travel, the Mavs should have fresh legs and more rest. They’re going to need it to keep with the fast pace that these young Lakers play at.

2) The least amount of turnovers, the better. Turnovers seem to be a consistent problem this season, but playing against big man Pau Gasol and guard Xavier Henry, those turnovers can become costly mistakes.

3) Capitalizing and keeping the lead. The Mavs are no strangers when it comes to building early leads, but it is their ability to lose those leads so quickly that is a problem. In the last game against Memphis, the Mavs grabbed an early 21 point lead, but allowed it to get to as low as 5 at one point. They will need to make sure nothing like that happens tonight.

Matchup Of The Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Pau Gasol. It is a battle between two of the best power forwards in the game. Tonight should be yet another great battle between these two future Hall of Famers. With Dirk in full form and Pau Gasol being the focal point without Kobe Bryant in action, this figures to be a good one.

Pau Gasol is averaging 15.8 ppg and 11 rpg, while Nowitzki is averaging 23 ppg and 4.7 rpg.

Quotes:

“We can score the ball like we should, but we’ve got to play defense, too” – Shawn Marion

 

“We’re still trying to find the right combinations and rack up the wins while we do it. We have a lot of new guys, and a lot of guys still need to learn how to play with each other. We’re trying new lineups and stuff, so we’re still going to be working and trying to compete.” – Xavier Henry

Game action tips off at 7:30 P.M. CT and will be televised on NBA TV and Fox Sports Southwest.

Back to Top

Back to Top

Games To Mark Down On That Calendar

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

MustSeeTV

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.

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mavs Game Night: Mavericks at Lakers in Late Night Showdown

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

dalatlal

The Dallas Mavericks are in Los Angeles to face the Lakers, the start of a four-game road trip. It’s a battle of two teams involved in a playoff-chasing triangle along with the Utah Jazz.

Utah leads the trio and currently owns the Western Conference’s 8th and final playoff spot. This will be the fourth and final season meeting between the Mavs and Lakers, the Mavs looking to even the series 2-2.

Dirk Nowitzki’s go ahead three led the Mavs to a Saturday afternoon victory. Nowitzki put on a shooting exhibit going 14-for-17 with 35 points. Brandan Wright had a big game with 17 points and 13 boards.

The Mavs survived a fourth quarter Nate Robinson explosion (25 points; 7-for-7 3PT) and 50 combined points from Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng.

Later that evening the Lakers edged the Sacramento Kings 103-98 on the road. Kobe Bryant moved up to 4th on the all-time scoring list, passing Wilt Chamberlain. Dwight Howard led the Lakers with 24 points and 15 rebounds.

Already without Metta World Peace (knee) Steve Nash exited the Kings game and would not return. Nash (hamstring/hip) is OUT for tonight’s game.

Pau Gasol has averaged 10.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in five games since his return from plantar fasciitis.

This game decides the fate of the Mavericks. That’s my take. A loss would set the Mavs at a major disadvantage to both the Lakers and Jazz – forced to win outright over both. The Jazz already own the tiebreaker over Dallas and a loss to LA tonight would give it to the Lakers.

Dallas’ level of play has improved dramatically of late and much has to do with Dirk’s dominance.

Mavs will once again need Dirk to be special.

____________________

Playoff Picture Update:

MAVERICKS – 10th seed in West; 2 GB of the Utah Jazz (8th) and 1.5 GB of Los Angeles Lakers (9th) for final playoff spot.

 

 

 

 

LAKERS – 9th seed in West; 0.5 GB of the Utah Jazz (8th) and 1.5 games ahead of 10th seeded Dallas Mavericks.

 

 

 

 

____________________

Mavericks at Lakers tip at 9:30 p.m. CT and airs on TNT.

Let’s Go Mavs!

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mavericks Spoil New Look Lakers Debut

by Ryan Wilson on October 31, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

Steve Nash. Dwight Howard. Pau Gasol. Kobe “Bean” Bryant.

Darren Collison. Shawn Marion. O.J. Mayo. Elton Brand.

That’s how last night looked on paper.

Things didn’t play out that way when the final whistle blew. The Dallas Mavericks put forward a gritty effort, as they dominated the Lakers for the last 3 quarters, and went on to beat Los Angeles 99-91.

“I told you we’re a scrappy little team,” Marion said. “It’s going to be like that all year.”

The Mavericks entered last nights game without Chris Kaman, and Dirk Nowitzki. The Lakers had everyone. Nobody gave Dallas the time of day. Even some of our Dallas Mavericks writers have waived the white flag.

“Your Dallas Mavericks, among the NBA’s best franchises since owner Mark Cuban bought them, are headed to the lottery for the first time in forever.” – Jean Jacques Taylor (ESPN Dallas)

The problem with all these naysayers is that you can’t judge a team that has 9 new players on it before they even hit the court for their first game of the year. I will also be quick to add that you can’t judge a team based off one performance. This is important to reiterate to all of MavsNation. It was a huge win. Did we catch the Lakers at their best? Probably not.

“It’s growing pains, and it’s a struggle,” Nash said. “We’re out of sync, and we’re going to probably have some more moments in games like that.”

The key to last night’s win, and a sight for sore eyes was the play of Darren Collison. How nice it is to see a point guard with speed, and one that can offer some scoring as well. Everytime the Mavs got possession of the ball, they were looking to push. These guys are FAST. Ricky Bobby Fast. Collison outplayed the future HOF Steve Nash putting up 17 points to go along with 4 assists.  The veteran and much older Lakers looked a bit slow as the younger and faster Mavericks had their way in the 2nd half. The bench of the Mavericks outscored the Lakers bench 37-17. Vince Carter and Roddy B poured in 11 points, while Jae “The Beast” Crowder was impressive early and finished with 8 points.

If you took away anything from this game it’s this. Rick Carlisle gets everything he can from each and every player on the roster. The Mavericks are also very deep. On paper, you overlook it. However, they have the ability to wear you down.

“We got a locker room full of guys who can play, man. And we know that.” – O.J. Mayo

The Mavericks will now head to Salt Lake City to play their 2nd game in as many nights. Taking a back to back to start the season is far more than everyone expected.

Maybe these new look Mavs can stay the course while the German prepares to return. Once again, it’s important to not underestimate Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle’s Mavericks.

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Pre-Game Press: Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers

by Ryan Wilson on October 30, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

Eddy Curry will start at center for our Dallas Mavericks in the 2012-2013 season opener against the newly-bolstered Los Angeles Lakers. Not one person saw that news coming this time last week. Not even Curry himself knew he’d go from Spurs camp to waiver wire to Mavs’ starting center in a matter of days.

“I talked to them (Mavs) this summer, so I knew there was some interest there,” Curry said in an interview with DallasBasketball.com.

Shawn Marion represents the only starter from last season. He will be joined by the aforementioned Curry and rookie Jae Crowder in the front court.California natives Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo formulate the much younger and quicker backcourt for the Mavs.

The German duo of 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki (knee) and center Chris Kaman (calf) were thought to be the opening night starters, but remain sidelined as the regular season gets underway. While Nowitzki stayed in Dallas to rehab, Kaman traveled with the team on its two-game road trip in Los Angeles Tuesday and Utah on Wednesday night. He’s not expected to play.

The Lakers open the year with a new starting center of their own. His name is Dwight Howard. Howard finally switched teams after the extensive, overly-documented “Dwightmare” concluded with the newly-managed Orlando Magic trading its franchise center in a 4-team blockbuster.

As Kobe Bryant, who’s questionable for tonight’s opener (foot), enters his 17th season he will have one of his best supporting casts in recent years. In very Laker-like fashion they somehow acquired Howard without losing the versatile 7-foot Pau Gasol. Bryant’s new backcourt pal is two-time league MVP Steve Nash. Metta World Peace completes the star-studded lineup.

“From our perspective, there’s no rush,” Nash said. “If he’s ready to go (Tuesday), great. But if he’s not, he’s not. I think we’ve got a lot of ballgames to play this year and there’s no point in causing something to linger at this stage of the season.”

It stills remains to be seen how the new Lakers pieces fit together on the floor as games and titles are not won on paper, but on the court.

The Mavericks will need a strong, balanced effort across the board tonight without Nowitzki. Who will step up as the go-to guy? Many expect it to be Mayo, who in his first two NBA seasons averaged 38 minutes and 18 points per contest. He should come close to matching those minutes and the scoring ought to follow.

Defense, rebounding and the transition game may be the Mavs’ best bet to a successful evening. Coach Rick Carlisle needs to utilize his team’s lack of size and younger legs to push the ball and create easy scoring opportunities before the Lakers’ defense can situate itself in the half-court.

The Mavs are eager to discover where they sit with eight new players and early tests do not come much better than a true Western Conference power such as the Los Angeles Lakers.

Game action tips approximately at 9:40 p.m. CT and airs nationally on TNT.

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mavericks Blueprint Changing?

by Ryan Wilson on August 24, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

The long-range plan is to keep the powder dry and wait out a superstar. It’s why when Deron Williams chose Brooklyn over Dallas, Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson didn’t get in a bidding war for a player such as Goran Dragic but rather targeted players either on the last year of their current deals or who were open to a one-year contract.

Check out the current roster. Of the five players acquired this summer — excluding the three rookies that give Dallas eight new faces on the 15-man roster — all are on one-year deals. O.J. Mayo‘s reduced-rate contract is technically for two years, but the second year is a player option that he will almost certainly exercise.

One-year deals allow the Mavs to easily create cap space for next summer to chase marquee free agents. But with the 2013 “big fish” free agency class threatening to be a dud with Dwight HowardAndrew Bynum and Chris Paul all with good reason to stay put, could the Mavs’ philosophy be moving away from the rent-a-player approach of these last two offseasons?

After all, how do you sell player jerseys of guys that won’t be around but eight or nine months?

“I’m not a big believer in rent-a-players, not in your top seven or eight guys anyways,” Cuban said during his Tuesday appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Ben & Skin Show. “I want these guys to stay and develop because they can be a great, young nucleus. The devil you know is always better than the devil you don’t know in basketball, particularly when you have an infrastructure that hopefully can continue to develop these guys. That’s the goal and we still have flexibility then to do sign-and-trades, potentially sign a free agent; just see where it takes us.”

Cuban’s great, young nucleus comment is in reference to 24-year-old guards Darren Collison, penciled-in to start at point guard, and Mayo, who will start at shooting guard. Collison will be a restricted free agent next summer and can entertain offers from other teams with the Mavs being able to match. Mayo, with a strong year, could get the payday he hoped for this summer. Chris Kaman and Elton Brand will be seeking to play their way to multiyear deals as well, either with Dallas or somewhere else.

The Mavs might be the team to give it to one or all of them, but likely only after they are convinced that none of the superstar free agents will be available to any team but their current one, which can offer one more year and millions more than other teams. And they’ll also keep an eye on the bottom line for the summer of 2014, when the Mavs will have no players under contract and could chase multiple potential free agents such as LeBron JamesDwyane WadeKobe BryantChris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony.

“The blueprint is to say, like a Jet (Jason Terry) scenario, or even Josh Howard’s first year, Marquis’ (Daniels) first year, where it’s not apples to apples, it’s like wow; we want these guys to develop into a D.C. and O.J. tandem that can be a foundation for years to come and we keep them together and we improve and we grow with them and have the ability to continue to add players,” Cuban said. “So the optimum scenario is everybody plays great.”

And then perhaps instead of gutting the club to chase a Dwight Howard, the team-building focus turns to re-signing their own and chasing, say, a Josh Smith and cohesion.

Jeff Caplan

ESPNDallas.com

Jeff Caplan joined ESPNDallas.com in December 2009. Jeff covers the Mavericks, Rangers and colleges. He has a wealth of experience in the area, covering multiple beats in his 11-plus years with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Back to Top

Back to Top

We Need The CBA To Save Us, Not Superman

by Ryan Wilson on August 10, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

For a brief moment, during the Olympics and while looking into the eyes of the USA basketball team; I caught a glimpse of something special.  I saw those millionaire superstars putting money and contracts aside and playing hard for a cause.  Playing for their country and representing our brand of basketball against the world.  Then last night we learned about this  Dwight Howard trade and my love for the NBA took a hit.  I was quickly brought back to the reality of today’s game.  These superstars, with exception of a few (Mostly Texas based) always get what they want.  They want flashy lights, endorsement deals, and easy wins.  Respect for their country is one thing, but respect for the city they once represented is another.  They could care less.  They don’t care that they’re leaving cities with young fans that live and breathe with their team.  They could care less that a cities economy can depend on that team at times. These players don’t care about parity or the repercussions of their moves when going to big markets.  Today’s NBA superstars are full of pride but only for themselves, nothing external.  It’s a bad lesson taught to today’s youth, and it’s terrible for the game.

I once wrote a blog after hearing an ESPN personality predict the OKC Thunder and Miami Heat Finals series in the middle of last year’s NBA season.  I couldn’t believe the nerve of this guy for predicting the series based on “Star Power” alone.  The saddest part is that he was right.  In that blog I tried to stick up for other teams in the league, believing that they had a chance, i.e. Mavericks, Pacers, and Bulls.  I was wrong.  As if I were consoling a friend that was going through some hard times by telling him to think positive and that it’s not a certainty that the bad thing you think will happen, will happen.  That bad thing happened.  Hope was lost.

But the great thing about sports is that THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR!  Right?

Another NBA offseason has come, and another joke of an NBA transaction has transpired.  Not only did the Lakers acquire Dwight Howard, but they also kept Pau Gasol and gained Chris Duhon and Earl Clark.  They shed a player in Andrew Bynum that they weren’t fond of anyways as he was sent to the 76ers and also lost Josh McRoberts.  What’s that?  You’ve never heard of McRoberts?  Neither have a majority of Laker fans.  And in a weird twist, the Lamar Odom move last season ended up opening a door for Steve Nash.  The Lakers got what they wanted……again.

Everyone keeps telling me that it’s no big deal because Howard hasn’t agreed to resign in LA in the offseason of 2013.  Don’t believe that.  It’s obvious that the guy loves attention and loves getting what he wants.  Plus he’s been in LA all summer long; mucking it up with the locals.  He’s been seen at Dodger games, getting ice cream at Sprinkles, and walking around Beverly Hills.  Oh yea, it just seems soooo terrible in LA.  Why on earth would he want to resign there?

There’s also the fact that the Lakers have NEVER been without a powerful center on the team.  Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Bynum, now Howard.  So I don’t see the Lakers letting Dwight Howard get away next summer.

Also, what in the WORLD was Orlando thinking?  I know they were concerned about Bynum not resigning in Orlando so the straight up trade didn’t interest them.  But after months of this Dwight drama, I assumed they were holding out for some key pieces.  They ended up with Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington from Denver.  Decent players but not worth the time and effort put into to the Dwightmare.  It seems that all other teams in the trade got better (Lakers, Nuggets, Sixers) and the team that was holding the biggest piece, the Magic, got worse.

Hands down, without a doubt, the absolute worst part about this whole trade is the fact that the media has started with the predictions.  Just last night, SECONDS after learning of the Dwight trade, the first tweet surfaced.  (Dallas media, Dwaine Price Ft. Worth Star Telegram)

“@DwainPrice: Its official. The #Lakers will beat the #Heat in six games in the 2013 NBA Finals.”

Then another, minutes later……..

“@DwainPrice: With Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace, Kobe is going to pass Michael Jordan and win 7 NBA titles.”

I thought for sure he was being sarcastic.  But after a few twitter exchanges with him I learned that he was dead serious.  That’s great!!  Let’s just not even watch next year or put any other team on the floor.  It’s Game. Set. Match for the NBA finals right?

I’m certain there were other tweets but the tweets above particularly bugged me due to the timing of it.  Nobody knows how healthy Dwight will be.  Nobody knows if Nash’s body will hold up.  Nobody knows how much the pressure will get to the Lakers now that they’re a “shoe in.”  It reminds of that scene in Black Sheep when Chris Farley is falling down that hill and finds a tiny twig to hold on to. “Thank you little Root, please stay strong.”  My root is Howard and Nash’s back and the media pressure.  But most likely, much like Farley, NBA fans will be falling to the bottom wondering, “What the hell was that all about!?”

There’s also this article from Arash Markazi of ESPN LA.  It’s as unbiased as the sky is Yellow.  In the article he’s basically calling out the Heat and is probably working on getting to Kinkos as soon as possible to get the “2013 NBA World Champion” banners made.  These smug LA sports writers so confident that they’ll be in the Finals and so sure it will be against the Heat.  “Uggghhhhh” I say with a fist in the air!!

Moves like this take away the fun of following the game.  It tilts the scale so far to one direction that making a prediction on Lakers/Heat finals is an easy one to make.  It will most likely come to fruition and that’s sports-depressing.  I still feel that the new CBA might find a way to level out the playing field some but not as long as these teams are finding ways to land star players and somehow losing minimal assets.  I also feel that regardless of the pessimism surrounding the Mavs that they have as shot to make a decent run in the playoffs.  And if not, then my only hope at this point is to enjoy watching the Heat and Lakers lose as much as possible.  Come playoff time, I’ll be rooting for any other team to defeat these monsters, even if it means the Spurs.  Yes, it’s come to that.

MFFL

 

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube