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Dirk’s Act Of Humility, Generosity And Loyalty

by Michael Lark on July 15, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

DirkFeature

While the big story around the NBA this offseason has been centered on the “Chosen One” deciding to “come home,” a more humble story was developing for the player who never left.

12-time NBA-All Star Dirk Nowitzki officially signed off on a $25 million deal to remain with the Dallas Mavericks for the next three seasons. Following the last year of a 4-year, $80 million contract, Dirk made it clear that he intended to come back to the Mavs on a discounted price in order to allow the team to go out and get other big time free agents.

The Mavs courted LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in free agency, but ultimately took a free agent gamble and successfully landed restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, after trading for defensive stalwart, Tyson Chandler. Put those Chandlers Bings together and you have a team ready to compete for another championship.

The best 7-footer to ever play the game began his career with Dallas in 1998 as a skinny, awkward kid out of Wurzburg, Germany with uncertain expectations.

In his first season, he led the Mavericks to a mediocre 40-42 seasons and missed the NBA playoffs after averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. He continued to improve every season and successfully led the Mavs to their first-ever NBA Finals trip in 2006, before ultimately losing to the Miami Heat, 4-2.

The bitter end to the season didn’t have Dirk looking for the exit, and he didn’t need to collude with other free agents in order to win an empty championship, in a random town of bandwagon fans.


He instead chose to believe in his city and his owner. In Dirk’s eyes, if he was winning a championship, it was happening in Dallas.

In 2007, Dirk won the league’s Most Valuable Player awards after averaging of 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists, while leading the his team to a franchise record 67 wins – but fell short of an NBA championship yet again.

Finally in 2011, Dirk hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy in a parade in front of his town with the same fans that were there with him from the beginning.

In 16 seasons, Dirk has never had an NBA agent. He’s made over $200 million in his career and reportedly left max offers in the $60 million range from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets to remain with the only franchise he’s even known.

When the free agency period began at midnight on July 1, the Mavs never questioned his desire to compete for another NBA championship in Dallas. Dirk realizes the landscape of the NBA. He desires winning over money. Loyalty over royalty.

Dirk Nowitzki is Dallas Mavericks basketball and when he’s ready to retire, Mavs fans will remember this sacrifice that he took, because the one-legged fadeaway statue in front the American Airlines Center won’t have one ring on it. It will have two.

Photo credit – AP Photo/LM Otero

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Where Will Greg Monroe Play Next Season?

by Marc Cashion on May 15, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Detroit Pistons

Stan Van Gundy now coaches and runs basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons. Simply put, Van Gundy now has a lot of control and says in Detroit basketball matters.

The Pistons were a mess this year, having plenty of talent but absolutely no chemistry. In comments after the season, Pistons forward Greg Monroe stated there was a lack of chemistry within the locker room.

The team construction was very oddly thought through as front court players Monroe, Josh Smith and Andre Drummond didn’t mesh well. There just isn’t enough room in the paint for each player and together they do not make a great fit.

Drummond is the Pistons’ rising star; he patrols the paint it becomes difficult to reach maximum potential with two other paint players. Greg Monroe is a great rebounder and can score points on the block. If that isn’t enough Josh Smith was not working as the starting small forward. Without Monroe he could play his much more natural position at power forward.

Monroe will be a restricted free agent this summer. This means the Pistons can match any contract other teams throw at him. The question becomes…will they match?

Now that we have established reasons why the Pistons could likely part ways with Monroe, let’s look at his potential new suitors and see where the Mavericks stand in all the hoopla.

Charlotte Hornets: 

Yes, you read that correctly. The HORNETS are BACK! Charlotte ditches the Bobcats tag and returns to its original name before the franchise left for New Orleans in 2002.

Last summer the then Bobcats added big man Al Jefferson in free agency and he turned in a fantastic All-Star level season, including only the second playoff berth in team history. One summer later and they’re after another front court player – Greg Monroe.

Charlotte sounds willing to deal with the defensive deficiencies a Monroe and Jefferson pairing would bring, because they’d present a wicked offensive duo.

Michael Jordan’s squad isn’t going to land any of the marquee free agent names, so landing a player like Monroe would be a major win in the off-season.  

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Los Angeles Lakers:

The Lakers seem to be in play for every big name free agent; add Monroe to the list. They may look to replace their own free agent Pau Gasol, so Monroe could be his predecessor.  The Lakers currently do not have a coach and the coaching has been a mess ever since Phil Jackson left. This definitely could sway the reserved Monroe away from the Lakers.  

Los Angeles’ flashy lights aren’t for everyone. With Monroe being 24 he will definitely be looking for a competitive team that can maximize his skill set. Time will tell if the Lakers can put together a quality team again.  

If offered a max deal from the legendary Lakers, it probably would be hard to pass up for Monroe when all said and done.

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Washington Wizards:  

The Washington Wizards, in my opinion, are the most intriguing team for Monroe’s services. With Marcin Gortat possibly on the move this summer, Monroe is the best option to fill in. Side by side with Nene, the pairing would be outstanding. As John Wall and Bradley Beal get better and better by the year adding Monroe would make them a force in the East for years to come.

Interest in Monroe isn’t new for Ernie Grunfeld’s Wizards. They kicked the tires on a possible trade during the season, but nothing transpired. One would expect Washington to make a hard play to keep Gortat who has been an incredible fit. If they cannot retain Gortat, they’ll certainly take another look at the former local Georgetown product.

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Dallas Mavericks:

I’ll start by going over the things that Monroe does well. Monroe is a great offensive player.  He can do it all around the rim along with solid passing ability. He averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds last year, both decreases from the year before. Monroe has a decent mid range shot, but could use some improvement.

He is not a great shot blocker according to his stats. He has only averaged .6 blocks throughout his career. At 6’11” and 250 pounds you would really expect more. Monroe may like the mix of Dallas, being a big market while not experiencing the microscopic scrutiny the Lakers bring. An established, top-level coach in Rick Carlisle should also be a drawing point.

Per Basketball Insiders Senior Writer Eric Pincus:

Greg Monroe leaves the Detroit Pistons for the Dallas Mavericks

The Pistons might match an offer to Monroe, who will be restricted, but with Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and little sign the group has chemistry, Detroit may let him go if the price is too high.

The Mavericks need help at small forward and center, Monroe would be an interesting, young big to pair with Nowitzki.

Restricted free agents typically come at a premium.  Detroit might not match a max, four-year offer to Monroe (starting at roughly $14 million, $57.9 million total).

Dallas might be able to re-sign Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Devin Harris, while keeping Nowitzki and adding in Monroe.

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Everything considered, I will say Greg Monroe could be a fit for the Mavs.  If the Mavs could acquire improved on ball defense along with Greg Monroe I think our defense could improve without missing a beat on offense.

However, the lack of shot blocking from Monroe could steer our front office away from Monroe. I, for one, hope they do everything they can. Very rarely does one of the league’s top young big man become a possibility for the Mavs.


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Dirk & Nash: What Could Have Been?

by Ryan Wilson on April 18, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

DirkNash

This morning, Bill Simmons & Grantland released episode 4 of the “The Finish Line”, documenting the up and down season for Steve Nash in Los Angeles, and his battle to get back on the court.

The Dallas Mavericks were in town, and as they typically do, Dirk Nowitzki and Nash got together. Nowitzki, Nash, and Al Whitley, equipment manager for the Dallas Mavericks, and childhood friend of Nash’s sat down for a dinner to reminisce about the past and what could have been.

It’s a fascinating video that really shows how Nash is dealing with decisions from back in the day, and the fact that his career is coming to a close. It’s layered with questions about what could have happened with Dallas had Nash resigned back in 2004. Dirk mentioned how the Western Conference wasn’t all that great after Nash left, and that there was a window of opportunity there that we will all just never know.

It was an honest conversation between two longtime friends – one from Canada and the other from Wurzburg, Germany. On the court, they were a lethal duo who entertained the Dallas Metroplex on a night to night basis, but many believe it was ended to short.

DirkNashAs they talked about the battles between the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks, Nash even points out that it was a “rough time” for him when the Mavericks prevailed over his Suns in the 2006 Western Conference Finals, and he wasn’t even really pushing for Nowitzki in the Finals that season. He does mention right after that once the Mavericks got back to the 2011 NBA Finals and won it, it was fun for him to watch Nowitzki back in the big dance and finally get that trophy.

“I almost feel like I wasn’t cheering for you. Instead, I was kind of like ‘I don’t care'” - Steve Nash on Nowitzki reaching NBA Finals in 2006

 

“It was fun for me to root for you. It felt great to see you get back there and to have me rooting for you.” - Steve Nash on Nowitzki returning to NBA Finals in 2001 and winning 

But what really could have been?

The real important thing to remember here is the Mavericks had a whole different Steve Nash than the one the Suns received. Phoenix had a guy in Amar’e Stoudemire who was amazing on the pick and roll and finishing with his athleticism. He provided Nash a real true inside power, whereas Dirk at the time, was really just a shooter. Many feel that they were only just growing at that point, but as Dirk mentioned in the video, it really allowed the two of them to develop on their own, which is something that maybe never would have materialized had they remained together.

“I’m not sure, but it would have been a hell of a time” - Dirk Nowitzki on what would have happened if Nash stayed in Dallas. 

At the conclusion of the dinner, Nash asks Nowitzki what he would do if he was in his position at 40 years old, and if he would come back.

“With what you are going through with all the treatments, I’m not sure I could do it” - Dirk Nowitzki 

Two things are for sure. The NBA is going to miss these two superstars when they ride off into the sunset and they have developed a bond that will last a lifetime.

Photo Credit: G.J. McCarthy

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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

MavsGameNightMavsDancers

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

LoveThisGame

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

WrapUpFI

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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