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


Mavs Schedule Release: 5 Must See Match-Ups

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

Mavs

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

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

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

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

 

Sunday, November 9 – Miami at Dallas

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

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 21 – LA Lakers at Dallas

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

 

 

Saturday, December 20 – San Antonio at Dallas

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

 

 

Sunday, December 28 – Oklahoma City at Dallas

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

 

 

Monday, February 9 – LA Clippers at Dallas

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

 

 

(Bonus) Tuesday, March 10 – Cleveland at Dallas

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

Back to Top

Back to Top

Chandler Parsons, The Wait Is Over

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

ChandlerParsonsArt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Top

Back to Top

Free Agent Forecast: Small Forwards

by Terence Huie on June 25, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

SF

Free Agency is quickly approaching and the Mavs’ front office has some crucial decisions to make this summer. Possibly the most important hole in the Mavericks’ roster is at the Small Forward position. 15-year veteran Shawn Marion has reported that he wants to sign with a title-contender in the final years of his career. Also, Vince Carter, coming off an amazing Sixth Man of the Year campaign season is rumored to be gaining strong interest from the Miami Heat.

So here’s a look at the top 10 players at small forward in the Free Agency pool this summer:

1. LeBron James | Heat (Unrestricted)

27.0 PTS 6.4 AST 6.9 REB

The sports media have anxiously waited and now the news has released. Lebron James has decided to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat. With an embarrassing Finals defeat against the Spurs, the decision to opt out is supposed to fuel the Heat’s front office to bring younger better role players with the two-time NBA champion.

It should be an interesting summer for Lebron; either taking his talents to another team or remaining in South Beach.

LeBron to the Clippers?

2. Carmelo Anthony | Knicks (Unrestricted)

27.4 PTS 3.1 AST 8.1 REB

Carmelo enters this free agency period with more career years behind him than ahead. The obvious intent is that Anthony wants to go to a title-contending team who will offer the most money. If the Mavericks desire the sign Melo, they’ll have to sacrifice giving up $96 million in a max contract.

Anthony will have plenty of suitors lined up on July 1, but time will tell whether he truly wants to win or if money and the allure of a big market keeps him in New York.

3. Chandler Parsons | Rockets (Restricted)

16.6 PTS 4.0 AST 5.5 REB

The Rockets declined the fourth year of Chandler Parsons’ rookie deal, freeing up $964,750 in the salary cap. Parsons is clearly one of the best underrated players in this league. Chandler ranked top ten amongst Small Forwards in points, field goal percentage, assists, and minutes played.

After a great season, Parsons might be considering requesting to teams a max contract for his services. Teams could very well take advantage of the Rockets’ situation as they aim for the marquee names and be forced to see Parsons slip away.

4. Luol Deng | Cavaliers (Unrestricted)

16.0 PTS 2.7 AST 5.7 REB

Cleveland will likely select Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, both small forwards, with its #1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. It looks as if the Cavs will not make an effort to re-sign the small forward from Sudan.

Despite Deng’s several injuries, he’d improve the Mavs on both ends of the court. Deng’s tenure with the Bulls before being traded this year might have been the best offensive stretch of his career, averaging 19 points a game while shooting 45% from the field.

Are the Mavericks a perfect match?

5. Trevor Ariza | Wizards (Unrestricted)

14.4 PTS 2.5 AST 6.2 REB

Trevor Ariza enters the summer having just played statistically his best season of his career. He shot a decent 40% from behind the three-point line, which is third-best amongst small forwards in the regular season.

The 6’8” swingman has very good defensive skills around the perimeter. Ariza’s defensive ability is a good option guarding guys like Kevin Durant in Western Conference matchups.

Viable option in Dallas?

6. Gordon Hayward | Jazz (Restricted)

16.2 PTS 5.5 AST 5.1 REB

You have to wonder the reason as to why the Utah Jazz so desperately wanted to ship Gordon Hayward off during the regular season. Hayward averaged career highs in points, assists, and rebounds. Playing at a high level and just 24-years-old, Hayward would be a nice fit for the Mavericks in position of signing him to a long-term deal.

Only this won’t be easy, the Jazz have plenty of room to match any kind of lousy offer for their wingman. Wouldn’t expect the Mavs to get into any type of bidding war for Hayward.

7. Evan Turner | Pacers (Restricted)

14.0 PTS 3.2 AST 5.0 REB

Evan Turner’s free agent stock has undoubtedly dropped after being traded from Philly to Indiana. In his 54 games with Sixers, Turner recorded a monster 17.4 PPG, 6 RPG and 3.2 APG. His PPG number dropped over 10 points after the Sixers/Pacers trade in late February coming off the bench.

Looks like Turner might not re-sign with the Pacers with Indy’s President Larry Bird making Lance Stephenson his offseason priority.

8. Caron Butler | Thunder (Unrestricted)

10.5 PTS 1.5 AST 4.1 REB

Remember Caron? Yes, The former Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Champion is a free agent.

At 34 years old, Caron is probably looking to sign with a title contender to get another ring before he hangs it up. Caron shows he can still produce offensively averaging 10 points 25+ minutes coming off the bench. OKC is considering Butler’s age and possibly wont re-sign him.

9. Paul Pierce | Nets (Unrestricted)

13.5 PTS 2.4 AST 4.6 REB

“The Truth” as we fans like to call him, probably has one of two years left of good basketball before his career is over.

He isn’t the best choice to replace Shawn Marion in the starting lineup, but could be a vital asset coming off the bench. A guy like Pierce is valuable being that he is arguably a top 20 clutch performer in NBA history. We must not forget his game-winning block against the Raptors in Game 7 in the first round.

Kevin Garnett and Pierce returning to Brooklyn?

10. Danny Granger | Clippers (Unrestricted)

8.2 PTS 1.0 AST 3.2 REB

Danny Granger was once before an elite performer in this league before injuries plagued the growth of his career. The ’09 NBA All-Star selection is only 31 years-old looking to not let his career go down the drain.

Maybe a new change of scenery can help Granger become the all-star selection that he once was. But in reality he’s more a shell of his former self, a nice bench role suits the former New Mexico star.

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 4

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

10388531_704232630793_354686265_n

Game 4: June 7, 2011 Dallas, Texas

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Top

Back to Top

Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 3

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

game3

Game 3: June 5, 2011 Dallas, Texas

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Top

Back to Top

Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 2

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

10443754_703088413813_1658055268_n

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Top

Back to Top

Should Mavericks Take Chance On Stephenson?

by MavsFanatic on June 6, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Stevenson

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

Yes, Bring Stephenson to Big D

Terence Huie, Staff Writer

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

The Mavericks Should Pass On Stephenson and His Antics

Staff Writer Michael Lark

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

Back to Top

Back to Top

Historic Title Run: A Look Back – Game 1

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

FI Game 1

Game 1: May 31, 2011

 

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Top

Back to Top

Historic Title Run: A Look Back

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

2011FI

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 3.33.47 PM

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.

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Free Agent Tracker: Trevor Ariza A Viable Option?

by Marc Cashion on May 28, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Ariza2

With the Free Agency period getting closer, and the Mavs having plenty of financial flexibility, the speculation begins.  The Mavs have seemingly been a candidate for just about every big free agent rumored so far.  As we have seen in the past Plan A does not always come through and it is important to have a good B and C plan.  While Luol Deng, Marcin GortatLance Stephenson, and yes even Carmelo Anthony have been looked at as possibilities, a maybe more reasonable target has emerged; Trevor Ariza.

Ariza made $7.73 million in the 2013-2014 season and will certainly demand a higher pay check after seeing the impact he made this year and during the playoffs. His WAR for the Wizards was 5.8.  WAR is a stat on ESPN that calculates your Wins Above Replacement, meaning he gives your team close to six more wins above his replacement, showing how much value he has for your team.  A stat is meaningless without a little persepective, 5.8 puts him at 74th in the NBA.  74th is just below Lance Stephenson, Reggie Jackson and Tyson Chandler.  He was a huge part in the surprise that was the Wizards this year. He marked the opponent’s number one scorer for much of the year and still put up 14.4 points per game and 6 rebounds. This defensive presence is something the Mavericks desperately need and at 28 years old, a three or four year contract would still be within his prime.

ArizaWhile Trevor Ariza may ask for a large chunk of money it won’t be the max.  If the Mavs miss out on Deng, Stephenson, and Melo Dallas could be an intriguing possibility.  Ariza may look around and see that there aren’t a ton of options available any longer. Although just resigning with the Wizards could be an option, I doubt they would be able to offer the money he is looking for.  With the contract of Nene, John Wall, and also having to have the money to resign Bradley Beal, there won’t be a ton to go around.

The Mavericks could provide Ariza with another winning option, but with a team full of proven veterans, but the young talent that the Wizards possess has obviously caught his attention:

How He Would Fit In:

For the Mavs, Ariza would only be our third or fourth scorer on the team.  This would mean he would have plenty of energy to mark the opponents top scorer.  With all the space Dirk Nowitzki provides for his teammates and Monta Ellis and his ability to penetrate, Ariza would get plenty of open threes, his offensive specialty. I can picture a Monta and Dirk pick and roll with Ariza sitting in the corner with space to hit in rhythm three pointers.

With the addition of Ariza, and Dirk taking less money, we would still have plenty for a big time center.  Let’s say we land either Ariza’s teammate, Marcin Gortat, or Tyson Chandler comes back to Dallas.  We would then have a Calderon, Ellis, Ariza, Dirk, and Gortat/Chandler lineup.  While I still do not believe this would be enough to contend, it would still be a great improvement from last year.  With a deep bench I could see this lineup making a run.

Photo Credits: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post ; Paul Buck 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube