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Wrap Up: Dirk, Wright Lead Mavs Past Lakers

by Greg Higgins on April 5, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (46-31), coming off a great win against the LA Clippers on Thursday night, desperately needed to keep the momentum going forward against the LA Lakers (25-51) on Friday night. The Lakers kept it close in the beginning but the Mavs were able to secure the 107-95 victory and the season sweep of the Lakers for the first time in their history.

How it went down:

The Mavs seemed to be toying with the Lakers for most of the game. They would take a little lead and then the Lakers would counter with a few baskets. This went on for much of three quarters until Dallas decided to stop playing and get serious.

Jordan Hill and Jodie Meeks played brilliantly for the Lakers in the first half. Meeks had 15 points on 6-8 shooting while Hill was 4-6 for 10 points. Just as equally brilliant was the play of Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Brandan Wright for the Mavs in the half. Dirk had 17 points on 7-10 shooting. Wright came in off the bench to be the spark that he always is. Not only was scoring points, he was rebounding, blocking shots and creating steals.

Second half was a different story, though. Dallas and LA seemed poised to have another nail biter but Dallas was able to pull away at the beginning of the fourth quarter, led by Wright and his 11 points. Dallas cruised to the win. It was a good win, too, as the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors all won. Dallas remains in the seventh spot in the West playoff picture.

Inside The Numbers:

Dirk moved past Dominque Wilkins for 11th place on the NBA All-Time scoring list.

Dallas is now 6-0 on the second night of a road back-to-back this season.

Impact Moment of the Game:

With 47 seconds left in the third quarter, Meeks hit a three-pointer to put LA up by one (78-77). Over the next two minutes, Dallas went on a 14-0 run to blow the game open and put it out of reach for the Lakers.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Brandan Wright

On a night in which Vince Carter scored zero points and Monta Ellis only had eight, Brandan Wright came off the bench and scored 23 points. He was perfect from the floor in doing so as he shot 10-10 from the field and 3-3 from the free-throw line.

 

Quotes:

 

On Deck:

Dallas will continue road trip Sunday as the face the Sacramento Kings. The game will be played at 5:00 pm CT local time and can be seen on FSSW.
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Photo courtesy Photo by AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

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MGN: Mavs Look To Improve Position in Western Conference Playoff Race

by Marc Cashion on April 4, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (45-31) must be feeling great coming off a road victory to the Los Angeles Clippers and closing at the end of the game.  They now take on the really bad, I mean really bad, Los Angeles Lakers (25-50).  To make matters worse for the Lakers on top of all the injuries they have sustained neither Paul Gasol nor Chris Kaman will be active.  The Lakers sit at second to last place in the West and have only two roles to play for, either spoiler or lose for a higher draft pick.  While they may try to play spoiler tonight, the Mavs just have superior talent.

The Game At Hand:

The Mavericks took the crucial game last night, but let’s be honest…each game is at this point. They must carry the momentum from last night into tonight’s game and do everything possible to prevent any letdown against the Lakers. Sunday night, the Lakers dealt a huge blow to a Phoenix Suns team who is also doing battle in the deep Western Conference race. I’ve always had the mentality that it’s never a good thing to play a team that has nothing to lose, and that is what they will be dealing with the next couple of games.

The Lakers have had one of the more disastrous seasons in franchise history, and have been dealt one injury after the next. The Mavericks should have no problem taking this Lakers team down, despite playing less than 24 hours ago. They are far more talented and well rounded than the Lakers, and have no serious injuries to boot.

At A Glance:

- This marks the third and final meeting this season; Mavericks lead 2-0.
- The Mavericks sit alone in the 7th spot in the West, where they would be taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder

- The Suns have a tough matchup tonight at Portland, while the Grizzlies will be hosting the Nuggets.

 

Keys To The Game:

1. Mavs Perimeter Defense

Really the only chance the Lakers have tonight against the Mavs is if one of their streaky shooters just absolutely catches fire.  Yes, I am referring to Nick “Swaggy P” Young.  The Mavs cannot give him early open looks and let him shoot with confidence for the rest of the game.  We’ve all seen those games where if just a little defense is applied to Young, he will turn the ball over or force up horrible shots, giving the Lakers almost no chance at a victory.  The Mavs will also need to contain Jodie Meeks, who is always liable to have a good game.  Closing out on shooters and not giving open looks should result in a Mavs victory.

2. Wright and Dalembert

Last night against the Clippers both Brandan Wright and Samuel Dalembert showed that they can actually make a real impact on both sides of the ball.  Posted earlier were Wright’s two highlight plays, the huge dunk over Griffin and block on Dudley.   Although the highlights are great, it was his all around game on both sides of the floor that impressed me.  Dalembert also played a great game holding his own against Deandre Jordan.  Although the Lakers don’t have Kaman nor Gasol, Jordan Hill is no slouch either.  Getting him off the offensive glass will be an important key for the Mavs tonight.

DirkNash

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Steve Nash

Nowitzki will get maybe one of his last opportunities to square off against his long time friend, Steve Nash tonight. Nash has been dealing with injuries ever since his final year with Phoenix, and has never been able to get into any sort of groove in L.A. While these two will certainly be 1st Ballot Hall of Fame players one day, the impact each one of them are having on their team are drastically different. Dirk Nowitzki, at age 35 is having one of his best all around seasons, where Nash, 40, is just trying to find a way to stay on the court and out of a suit. It will be fun to watch these two square off one more time, but coming off of yet another injury and only averaging 7 points per game, Nash shouldn’t figure to make much of an impact.

 

Quotes:

 

“We’ve had a tough trip, but there were a lot of opportunities for a lot of our guys.” - Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni

 

“You know, every game on this road trip is tough, because we’ve got a lot of teams we don’t match up well with. Regardless of their records, we’re still going to have battles out there. Just because a team doesn’t have a winning record, they still are capable of beating you. We’ve got to understand that, and we know there is no overlooking anybody. We’ve got to go out here and get ready for this game.” - Shawn Marion 

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at Staples Center tonight is at 9:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Southwest.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

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

6. Golden State (46-29) | Next 3 – SAC, UTA, & DEN

7. Dallas Mavericks (45-31) | Next 3 – @LAL, @SAC & @UTA

8. Memphis Grizzlies (44-31) | Next 3 – DEN, @SAS & MIA

9. Phoenix Suns (44-31) | Next 3 – @POR, OKC & @NO

 

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Quotes via Lakers.com and Mavs.com

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MFFL: Why I Love This Game

by Greg Higgins on April 2, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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I have always been a basketball fan. I can remember watching Magic and the Lakers taking on Bird and the Celtics in the 80’s. I remember not liking Joe Dumars and the Pistons as they beat up on other players night in and night out. To this day, I still think there was nobody better than Michael Jordan. Period. End of discussion.

Basketball has always been a passion of mine. I love the Dallas Mavericks. I moved to the area in 1989 and became a fan immediately. We didn’t have television during those years so I remember sitting in my room and listening to every game on my radio. The games were broadcast on WBAP 820 and I would listen intently. Didn’t matter when the game was played, I was going to listen. I imagined the game being played in my head as I listed to the announcer describe each basket and every turnover.

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Allsport

Naturally, I’ve continued to follow the Mavericks in a very fanatical way. Like most fans, I live and die with every shot and every win or loss. I can tell you where I was when they won the title. I know exactly what day it was that I attended my first Dallas Mavericks basketball game (March 17, 1995 against the Philadelphia 76ers). I can remember the excitement when they finally made the playoffs and knocked off the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.

It’s because of this, that I don’t consider myself a reporter. I’m a fan who is extremely passionate about his teams. One of those teams happens to be the Dallas Mavericks. This is why I write for MavsFanatic. Ryan Wilson and Damian Jackson share the same passion I do for the Mavericks.

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to take my nephew to his first ever NBA game. He’s a huge Kevin Durant fan and he loves the Oklahoma City Thunder. Being a huge Jordan fan growing up, I understand this and I understand the desire to watch your favorite player play in person. I never got the chance to watch Jordan in person (not because my parents didn’t try but because the tickets sold out too fast) so I decided for Christmas this year to give my nephew the opportunity I never had.

With Mavs Fanatic I’ve had a chance to cover games and watch games from the press box. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing players and coaches, but this would be my first game this year as a fan sitting in the stands. We sat in the upper deck and from the opening tip my nephew had a blast. It was his first NBA game and he loved every minute of it.

Kevin Durant had a monsterous night along with some huge dunks that got my nephew up out of his seat. This 13 year old was in heaven. Durant scored 43 points but the Mavs won the game in overtime. Both of us were happy. Well I’m sure he would have been happier if he had watched the Thunder win the game. Never-the-less, the Christmas present was a success.

We were surrounded by about six or seven kids who were Mavericks fans. Several officiating calls that the crowd didn’t agree with brought chants of boos across the crowd. One kid yelled to the refs, “Don’t you get paid to actually read the rule book, ref?”

I couldn’t help but laugh and it reminded me of myself at my first Mavs game 19 years ago. I was a teenager but I had the time of my life. That’s why we do what we do, right? That’s why this game is so much fun. We get mad at the officials or we gripe about a player and his shot selection, but we do it because we’re fans. We do it because to some degree we’re just like my nephew attending his first game.

Sure, there are corporate people who come to game to impress the business world. You, the Mavs Fanatic, don’t do that, though. You go because deep down you’re still that 13 year old kid attending the game for the first time with his uncle. You do it because you want your kids to experience the same passion and desire you have for this team.

It doesn’t matter why you fell in love with the NBA and the Mavericks, and it doesn’t matter who your favorite player is or was. What matters is you’re a fan and you support them through thick and thin. You pass it on to your kids, grandkids or nephews. Whether they make the playoff or not, it doesn’t matter because we love this team and we will always be a MFFL.

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Kevin Durant photo courtesy of AP Photo/LM Otero

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Wrap Up: Nowitzki Leads Balanced Attack Over Lakers

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

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The Dallas Mavericks (20-15) desperately needed a win on Tuesday night against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers (14-21). The Mavs, losers of their last four home games, were trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season. The Mavs did just that too as they defeated the Lakers 110-97.

How it went down: The Mavs came out on fire in the game as they shot 60% from the floor in the first quarter. Shawn Marion and DeJuan Blair both had eight points in the quarter and Dirk Nowtizki added seven. However, Pau Gasol did his best to keep the Lakers close as he poured in 10 points.

The Mavs, in the first half, shot 52% while the Lakers shot 47.5%. The scare for the Mavs, though, came towards the end of the half. Shawn Marion was trying to move on defense with his man and his legs got tangled up with Dirk. Marion fell hard to the ground, banging his shoulder in the process. Marion would head to the locker room and not return.

DirkGasolThe second half belonged to Dirk and Monta Ellis. Dirk took over the third quarter for Dallas as he scored 10 of his 27 points in the third quarter, while Monta took over in the fourth. Monta finished with 16 total points and he scored 10 of those in the final frame for the Mavs.

The win put Dallas at the 20 win plateau and kicks off four-games in five night stretch for Dallas that will have them playing the Spurs and a back-to-back with the Pelicans.

Inside the Numbers: Dallas had a distinct advantage in the paint against the Lakers as Dallas outscored them 58-32.

The Mavs are 10-3 this season with they shoot at least 50% from the field.

Dallas had 32 assists in the game. It’s the fifth time this season Dallas has recorded at least 30 assists.

The 17 steals were a season-high for the Mavs as well.

Impact Play of the Game: 

After watching the Lakers cut the lead down to four in the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis took over as he scored 10 straight points to blow the lead wide open.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Monta Ellis

Although he only scored 16 points, he scored most of them when it mattered. Not wanting his team to lose another game at home, Ellis put the team on his back in the fourth quarter and brought home the victory.

Quotes:

“I kept attacking the basket and kept taking my shot and eventually they started going down.” – Monta Ellis

 

“He’s banged up. X-rays were negative. He’s not going to travel with us (to San Antonio) and we hope that he feels better tomorrow or the next day. We’ll see.” – Rick Carlisle on Marion’s status

 

“It was great. He kind of brought it home for us. His shot looked good there. I think he got his confidence back by getting a couple of layups in transition. He played some good defense, got a couple of steals and then he got on the break and got his confidence up by getting to the basket a couple of times. … He looked like he was unstoppable again.” – Dirk on Ellis’ performance in the fourth quarter

On Deck: The Mavs will head south to face division rival San Antonio Wednesday night. The game has an earlier tip time (6:00 pm Central) and can be seen locally on FSSW and nationally on ESPN.

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Mavs Game Night: Looking To Get Back On Track

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

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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!

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Mavs Game Night: Memphis at Dallas

by Ryan Wilson on December 18, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks(14-10) have had 3 days off to take in their commanding victory over Milwaukee Saturday night, despite not having Dirk Nowitzki or Rick Carlisle in tow.

“I felt a lot better during the day Saturday, but it really hit me Friday night,” Nowitzki said. “Friday, I was struggling to keep fluids in, so Saturday I didn’t feel that hot. But I’m glad the boys pulled it out.”

Brandan Wright made his season debut and did so emphatically, putting up 19 points on 9-10 shooting to go along with 6 rebounds. The Mavericks will welcome back Nowitzki into the lineup and Coach Carlisle will be ready to orchestrate the action from the sideline tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

THE GAME AT HAND:

The Memphis Grizzlies(10-14) will be playing their second game of a back to back, as they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 96-92 last night. The Mavericks took down the Grizzlies back in early November 111-99. Dirk Nowitzki put up 24 points in that one, and the Mavericks came right out of the gates early and built a huge lead. The Grizzlies continue to have issues in falling behind early, and on the 2nd night of a back to back, they will have to make sure they don’t do the same in Dallas.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

Rebound the ball. The Mavericks should have a huge boost in the rebounding department now that Brandan Wright is back in action. The Grizzlies have been a very good rebounding team in past years, but are averaging only 41 rebound per game, good for 22nd in the NBA. They have always been a very physical team, so the Mavericks will have to make sure they get a body on everyone and clean up the glass.

Take care of business.  The Mavericks have two home games left (Memphis, Toronto) and then they head out on the road for a couple tough games in Phoenix and Houston, before returning to Dallas to take on the San Antonio Spurs. Taking tonight’s game will be a good start.

EllisMATCHUP OF THE NIGHT: Monta Ellis vs Tony Allen

This figures to be a matchup of offense vs defense, and could be crucial in deciding tonight’s winner. Nowitzki and Zach Randolph should provide plenty of excitement, but the result is going to hinder on how well Ellis can produce with Allen defending him. Allen has been one of the better defending guards in the NBA over the last few years and is averaging 2.1 steals per game this season. He’s also coming off of his best scoring night of the season last night when he put in 16 points.

QUOTED:

“I felt a lot better already come Sunday, until I watched the Cowboys game. Then I got sick again.” - Dirk Nowitzki

 

“(We’ll) be sharp hopefully on Wednesday against a physical team that always gives us trouble on the boards so we gotta be ready,” - Dirk Nowitzki

 

“We are letting teams get up by shooting the basketball and getting loose balls. They are getting after us instead of us getting after them.” - Dave Joerger

WHEN AND WHERE: Game action starts at 7:30 p.m. CT and airs locally on Fox Sports Southwest.

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Source – Earl K Sneed (Nowitzki and Joerger Quotes); (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

 

 

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Game Night: Dallas vs Oklahoma City Thunder

by Kaomi Machelle' on November 6, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (3-1) pushed their undefeated at home record to 3-0 last night with an amazing 123-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. In a game where the Mavs led by as much as 30, the offense dominated once again. Seven Mavs scored in double figures led by Monta Ellis’ 30 points and 9 assists.

The Game At Hand:

Mavs head up the interstate to face The Oklahoma City Thunder (2-1). The last time these two teams met, Thunder defeated the Mavs 107-101.

Russell Westbrook – who returned early Sunday and scored 21 points in his return for knee surgery – and Kevin Durant combined for 66 points in the last win against Dallas. Durant dominated in the clutch with 19 of his 31 points in the final quarter.

With the Mavs leaning heavily on their offense, one would expect this game to have a uptempo style and combined score over 200 points.

All-time OKC (and formerly Seattle) franchise leads the series 71-65 and has won 11 of the last 12 meetings.

Three Keys For A Win:

1) Second unit needs to be strong. OKC bench has always been filled with depth and this season is no different. Having to come to OKC off a back to back, Mavs second unit has the work cut out for them.

2) Quick bounce back. Mavs time to recover is less than 24 hours. Playing against an elite OKC squad with their all-star point guard Russell Westbrook back. Mavs have no time and little rest to be ready, but have no choice.

3) Guarding the a perimeter. Against a great shooting OKC, Mavs have to guard the perimeter. Allowing an open shooter on the OKC offense is not an option if you plan to win the game.

Matchup Of The Night: Dirk Nowitzki vs Kevin Durant

The reason why I chose Dirk and Kevin is because their games mimic each other. Dirk and KD are both unique in the way they play for their respective size. Durant even took a page out of the Big German’s book by adding his own version of the one-legged fadeaway.

Dirk will look to swing the tide back in the Mavs favor. This matchup has been mostly sour for Dallas since they defeated OKC in the 2011 Western Conference Finals.

Quotes:

“We’ve just got to contain the ball,” Ellis explained, “stop [Durant] and play everybody else, making sure they don’t have a good game as well. Just go out there and play as a team.”

“You know, he’s just a different kind of weapon,” Carlisle said of Ellis being able to attack the rim.

 

Game action tips off at 8:30 P.M. CT and will be televised on ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest.

 

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Game Night: Lakers vs Mavericks

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

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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.

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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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Mavs Pre-Season 12 Days Away – A Look Back At Derek Harper

by Kaomi Machelle' on September 25, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

DerekHarper

Continuing the countdown to the tip-off of the 2013-2014 Mavs pre-season, today makes just 12 days left until the first pre-season game. What better way to honor the number 12 with no other than Mr. Derek Harper.

DerekHarper1Derek Harper was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks as the 11th overall pick in the 1983 NBA draft. Becoming just one of six rookies of the 83-84 season to play in all 82 games, Harper went on to average 5.7 ppg. Spending his first 10 seasons as an NBA point guard playing for the Mavs, he averaged just over 15 points and 6 assists per game.

With the Dallas Mavericks being a young franchise, only 3 years old prior to drafting Harper, they were out to prove they belonged in the NBA. Within the same season of drafting Harper, the Mavericks went on to have a winning record and earned their first playoff birth. That was only the beginning of the impact Derek Harper would have for the Dallas Mavericks.

Within the first eight seasons, Harper’s scoring average improved every season. He was voted to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in the 1986-1987 season and again 1989-1990. Harper became known for this strong defense and led all Mavs in ever season from 1987 – 1993.

As everyone knows, all good things come to an end. In wake of a season that was going Derek Harper 2down hill, the Dallas Mavericks decided to trade Derek Harper  to the New York Knicks in exchange for Tony Campbell and a 1st round pick. While the Mavericks season ended in disappointing fashion, the Knicks would be a team that eventually went all the way to the NBA Finals.

Just two years later, Harper rejoined the Mavericks franchise to only be traded away once again to the Orlando Magic. He then would have a stint with the L.A. Lakers, and eventually would retire soon after.

There is no doubt that Derek Harper is one of the greatest Dallas Mavericks of all-time. Scoring 12,597 points, setting multiple Mavericks franchise records, and was an integral part in sparking the new Dallas Mavericks franchise. He would lead them to six playoff berths, and a trip to the Western Conference

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