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Just A Thought: Dallas’ Case for Kevin Love

by Greg Higgins on May 20, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Kevin Love – a name synonymous around the NBA with rebounding. Love, who has averaged 12.2 rebounds for his career and had three years with at least 13 rebounds per game is much more than just a rebounder though. Love has averaged 19.2 points per game over his six-year career.

Let’s forget about the career numbers, though, and let’s look at his performance this past season. Love averaged 26.1 points per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Only Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James averaged more points this season.

His 12.5 rebounds per game were only surpassed by DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond. Did I mention he’s only 25 years old as well? That’s right; the great Kevin Love hasn’t even entered the prime of his NBA career.

Why all the attention on Love, you ask?

Reports have surfaced in which Love has informed the T’wolves he isn’t happy with all the losing. He wants to contend; therefore he has informed the team that he will not be resigning with them after his contract ends in 2015.

This ultimately forces Minnesota’s hand into listening to offers and eventually shopping the 6’10” power forward before next season’s trade deadline or they risk the thought of losing him with no compensation.

Sources told ESPN that Love finds the Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls very desirable and he would be open to joining either organization. However, if they are looking to deal the big man, they’re going to do what’s best for the team and not for Love.

That being said, would Love be a good fit for the Dallas Mavericks?

The Mavs still have Dirk Nowtizki and as he showed this year, is still their number one option. At 36, though, it’s hard to keep Nowitzki in that burdensome position for the next couple of years. Love and Dirk are very similar except Love is a better rebounder and defender.

Could Love become the heir apparent to Dirk in Dallas?

With Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson calling the shots, I wouldn’t put anything past them. As they do each year, you know they will be going after the big-name free agents and top players available in trade.

There’s no telling who tops the Mavericks priority list of offseason targets. You can bet, though, if there’s a chance they could add Love to the rotation of Dirk, Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon they will.

Check out this piece by Mike Fisher and David Lord on the various paths the Mavs could take towards a Kevin Love trade, with financial insight of both pre and post July transactions:

The asking price will be high for a player like Love. I can imagine you’d have to put together a package that would include a mixture of valuable players and several future draft picks.

I’m not sure the Mavs will have a chance to work out something with the T’wolves, but it’s a guarantee they will try and this is one fan who hopes they do so successfully.

Transitioning from Dirk to Love would be fun to watch. Perhaps we’ll get that chance or maybe we’ll have to watch him try and succeed in another uniform.

Either way, let the Kevin Love sweepstakes begin.

Mandatory photo credit to AP Photo/Eric Gay

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Wrap Up: Mavs Suffer Overtime Loss to Timberwolves

by Damian Jackson on March 19, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (41-28) took one to the jugular tonight. It hurt. After battling back from a 22-point deficit and rallying in the 4th quarter to force overtime, it just wasn’t meant to be. Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love led the Minnesota Timberwolves (34-32) to the 123-122 overtime victory.

How it went down:

The start to this game was anything, but what the Mavericks were hoping for. Minnesota had all the energy and converted 15 fast break points off six Dallas turnovers in the first quarter.

Minnesota would gradually build a 22-point lead in the second quarter before the Mavericks worked their way back into the game with a 12-2 fast break advantage in the frame.

The Wolves would go into halftime with a 66-59 lead after Vince Carter hit a buzzer beater 3-point basket to close to first half.

Both teams would tussle back and forth in the third quarter, neither gaining ground. Rubio was the story of tonight’s game. The Spanish point guard played what may have been his best all-around game, notching his third triple-double of the season with 22 points 15 assists 10 rebounds and also four steals.

Dirk finished with 27 points, but you wouldn’t have known the way his shot was NOT fouling in critical moments throughout the contest. He still converted a few tough shots down the stretch, but several Dirk dagger opportunities failed. Dirk shot 11-of-27 from the floor without an assist.

Monta Ellis was phenomenal late in the final minutes of regulation, kicking off his personal run with an And-1 score then following it up with three straight makes from beyond the arc.  American Airlines Center was buzzing with energy until the quarter ended.

In the extra session, the Mavericks started the scoring, but could not build any separation. Dirk would put the Mavs up with 30.3 seconds left, but it was Love’s go ahead basket with 17.1 ticks that put the Wolves ahead for good. Dirk would take one last crack at his free throw line sweet spot, but tonight the winner didn’t fall.

Inside the Numbers:

Without Dirk (0-7 3PT) the Mavericks shot 9-fot-20 (45% on 3PT)

Vince Carter made three 3-pointers tonight and has 1,777 in his career, passing Rashard Lewis for 7th all-time in 3PTM.

Impact Play of the Game

Kevin Love gets the ball, turns his back to the bucket with the undersized Harris on him. He scans the court quickly before putting the ball on the court, Shawn Marion shifts over to help, but after looking stuck Love slipped through the double team to score a floating jumper over the out-stretched arm of Brandan Wright.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

Monta really came alive late in the fourth and appeared to take the game over before it resulted in overtime. His rally alone made this a game and gave Dallas a chance when it seemed the Wolves were weather almost every storm thrown at them.

Maybe most impressive of all when Ellis shooting 4-for-6 on 3-pointers tonight. It’s not his game to launch too many deep balls, but Monta really got into one of those grooves where the rim looks huge and the confidence is sky high.

Monta finished with 22 points 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

What They Said:

 

BallinWithBryan
Dirk: “This feels like a playoff loss. I don’t know what to say.”
3/19/14 11:47 PM

 

EarlKSneed
Carlisle: “Our poor play at the beginning of the game is the reason it came down the way it did. Shame on us.”
3/19/14 11:24 PM

On Deck:

The Mavs continue their lengthy 8-game home stand on Friday night when the Denver Nuggets visit. Dallas will be looking for its first win in the last meeting with the Nuggets. The game can be seen on FSSW at 7:30 p.m. CT.

 

(Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

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Mavs Game Night: Dallas Hosts Minnesota Timberwolves

by Damian Jackson on March 19, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (41-27) opened their historical 8-game home stand with a grind win over the pesky Boston Celtics (22-46). Tonight they face a Minnesota Timberwolves (33-32) team fighting to get into the race for one of the final playoff spots.

The Game At Hand:

In what will be the fourth and final season meeting between the Mavs and Wolves, Dallas aims to even the season series 2-2. Minnesota has taken six of the last 10 games with the Mavericks.

Kevin Love averages 29.7 points 12.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists in three games against Dallas this season. He’s been dominant and efficient in the process, shooting over 54 percent from the field in those contests. This will be a tough defensive matchup as any for Dirk Nowitzki who was recently ‘called out’ by owner Mark Cuban about his need to step up on the defensive end.

It’s not about getting involved early, because you don’t need to be involved offensively to be there defensively,” Cuban said. “You know when Dirk’s trying to get 10 rebounds and you know when he’s not. And we need a little bit more of those try-to-get-10 games, because I think our starters in particular respond to his energy.

Another player to keep an eye on will be Kevin Martin who has averaged 26 points against Dallas this season. Martin remains one of the league’s more underrated, crafty scorers because he finds many unique ways to put the ball in the basket.

Dallas’ backcourt of Jose Calderon (14.5 points 7.5 assists 55.6% FG) and Monta Ellis (19.3 points 6.0 assists 4 rebounds) have played particularly well against the Timberwolves this season. The Mavericks will also have the services of Devin Harris for the first time against the Wolves – Harris (13 points 5 assists in last four of five games) missed the first trio of meetings after his toe surgery.

The Timberwolves are 3-13 as road underdogs this season; they have a +5.0 line against the host Mavericks tonight. Dallas owns a 21-5 record as home favorite.

Keys To The Game:

1. Limit Their Second Chances

Minnesota’s 4.8 extra scoring chances rank first in the NBA. This would correlate with the fact the Timberwolves also rank second in offensive rebounding. It wouldn’t take a genius to recognize by now that the Mavericks don’t excel at rebounding, but crashing the glass is  more a battle of will than skill. If Dallas can come out with good energy and be the team with better effort, they’ll be fine.

2. Win The Turnover Battle

Dallas and Minnesota are second and third in the NBA when it comes to assist to turnover ratio. Clearly the secret here is each has a Spanish starting point guard. Okay, there really isn’t anything secretive about it, but Calderon and the 23-year-old Ricky Rubio play a major role in their teams success. This game could easily come down to whichever squad plays the cleanest basketball.

Matchup of the Night:

Monta Ellis vs Kevin Martin 

Love and Nowitzki, yes an awesome power forward duel…but let’s go with the shooting guard position tonight.

Both Ellis and Martin have played very well against each other this season and I’m looking forward to see who comes out with the best performance in the season series finale. While we mentioned Martin putting up 26 per night in the three games, it has been Monta with the more well-rounded production.

Ellis hasn’t been the explosive scorer all the time, but part of his drastic improvement is showing how he impacts the ball game in other aspects to give the Mavs a better chance to win. With Martin, he loves to get in a rhythm early from distance which he then utilizes to incorporate his midrange game or drives for contact.

Martin shoots 89.4% at the foul line, good for third in the league behind only Chicago’s D.J. Augustin (90.3%) and NBA-leader, yours truly Dirk Nowitkzi (91.8%).

Quotes:

 

Hey, he’s a tremendous player. We got a lot of respect for him, and we’ve got to throw the kitchen sink at him.

- Rick Carlisle on Kevin Love

 

Dallas is playing well. We’ve beaten them a couple times already, but we really need to have everybody ready to go in this game. They’re trying to separate themselves, so any win we can get on the road is big.

- Rick Adelman 

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at American Airlines Center tonight is at 7:30 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest.

Playoff Watch:

6. Golden State (43-26) | Next 3 – vs MIL, vs SAS & vs MEM

7. Dallas Mavericks (41-27) | Next 3 – vs MIN, vs DEN & vs BKN

8. Memphis Grizzlies (39-27) | Next 3 – vs UTAH, @MIA, & vs IND

9. Phoenix Suns (38-28) | Next 3 – @BKN, vs ORL, & vs DET

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Wrap Up: Marion, Mavs Head Into 2014 On Winning Note

by Greg Higgins on December 31, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (18-13) entered Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves (15-16) looking to avenge two earlier season losses.  Dallas was also looking to go 2-0 on their current three-game road trip. It took some hanging on in the end but the Mavs got the job done.

How it went down: Dallas, for the second time in 11 days, was in danger of losing a game in which they held double-digit lead. The first time, against the Toronto Raptors, Dallas lost 109-108 in overtime after they held a 19-point lead in the second quarter. Monday, the Mavs had a 21-point lead in the third quarter only to watch Minnesota go on a 36-15 run to end the quarter and tie the game at 81.

Minnesota even took a three-point lead in the fourth quarter. Thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Shawn Marion, Dallas quickly too the lead back and never let it go. Dallas held on for a 100-98 victory over the T’wolves.

Although the Mavs won the game, there has to be a concern about their inability to hold onto big leads against teams they should. The Raptors and T’wolves are two teams the Mavs have to be able to beat if they’re going to have a chance at the playoffs. Luckily for them, they were able to hold on to the lead this time.

Inside the Numbers: Kevin Love has scored at least 30 points or had 10 rebounds in all 30 games he’s played this season. This is the longest such streak since Bill Walton did it in his first 34 games for Portland in the 1976-77 season.

The Mavs bench outscored the T’wolves bench 26-5.

Impact Play of the Game:

With the Mavs trailing by one in the fourth quarter, Shawn Marion hit back-to-back three-pointers to put Dallas up by five and they never looked back.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion scored a season-high 32 points in the game. He also grabbed six rebounds in the game.

Quotes:

“That’s an extension of what I used to do.” – Shawn Marion

 

“We’ve obviously got to play better in the third quarter than we did. That’s something that we know. … You don’t want to give up a 38-point quarter, like we did in the third, but they have that kind of scoring punch. And when you get hit like that the important thing is to bounce back and hit back, and we did.” – Rick Carlisle

On Deck:

The Mavs will finish their road-trip against the Washington Wizards on New Years Day. The game will be aired on FSSW at 5 p.m. Central.

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Mavs Game Night: Minnesota (8-9) at Dallas (10-7)

by Damian Jackson on November 30, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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If only the Dallas Mavericks could play all 82 games at home this season. The road hasn’t been kind thus far and after faltering late against the Atlanta Hawks, the Mavs return home to try and ease the pain. Minnesota visits Dallas in the second meeting of the year between the two squads.

THE GAME AT HAND:

In the first game between the Mavs and Wolves, Kevin Love and Kevin Martin dominated the evening with 64 points in a 116-108 win.

Love enters tonight’s game averaging 24.3 points and a league-best 13.9 rebounds. His 16 double-doubles pace the NBA right now. Only once has Love not recorded 10 or more boards in a game this season – a game in which he had 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Wildly impressive.

Both teams enter tonight struggling off late. The Wolves have lost five of their last six while Dallas has won just once in its last four. The formula favors the host Mavs tonight who are 8-1 at home against a Minnesota team with similar road difficulties.

Ricky Rubio had his best scoring output with 17 points on Wednesday against Denver. He’s handed out double digits assists in eight games this year and his 8.7 helpers per game ranks 3rd in the league. Rubio’s leads the NBA with 3.1 steals each contest.

Fellow Spaniard point guard and Mavs starter Jose Calderon left Friday’s game in the second half with an ankle injury. It was last reported he took X-rays, the ankle was heavily wrapped and put very little weight on it.

Dallas clearly wasn’t the same without its floor leader and his status for tonight remains unknown. In the possible absence of Calderon, the Mavs will lean heavily on rookies Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel.

THREE KEYS OF THE NIGHT:

1) POINT GUARD PLAY:  With Calderon’s status iffy tonight, the Mavs would be without its floor leader who does an excellent job at limiting mistakes and shooting the ball very well.

 

2) KEVINS : Kevin Love (24.3) and Kevin Martin (22.9) are 4th and 7th among the league’s top scorers. Both players are crafty in their ways of putting the ball in the basket. Each shoot it with great efficiency, Love takes advantage of points off rebounds and Martin knows how to get freebies at the charity stripe. Can the Mavs prevent this duo from doing damage once again?

3) CONCERN WITH MONTA: Ellis is on the injury report with relation to back and ankle concerns. He hasn’t made much noise about it, but his play the last two games may do more talking. Monta’s last two – Just 16 points on 28.5% shooting, 10 turnovers and zero trips to the foul line.

MATCHUP OF THE NIGHT

Kevin Love vs Dirk Nowitzki:  Love is the best power forward in the NBA today. Dirk is one of the greatest of all time at the position. Dirk defined the term ‘stretch four’ and Kevin is showing his version while also dominating the glass. Neither player is equipped to stop the other, but the offensive battle will always be entertaining.

According to Noey Kupchan, the Wolves are 4-0 this year when their star forward drops 30+ and over his last three games against the Mavericks is averaging 31.7 points.

 

 

_________________________

QUOTES:

“We’ve got to get over it. We don’t have a choice, and we’ve got to do it quickly. This is one time where you’ve got to have a short memory, you’ve got to get angry, and you’ve got to channel it towards the next game.”

Rick Carlisle about moving on from Friday’s loss

 

“We want to win, we need to win. That’s how we want to play, and the way we have to do it is improve our defense.”

- Ricky Rubio on team mindset

 

HOW TO WATCH:

The game can be seen on FSSW at 6:30 p.m. CT

INJURY REPORT:

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Chase Budinger (knee) Out
  • Ronny Turiaf (elbow) Out

________________________

Dallas Mavericks

  • Brandan Wright (shoulder) Out
  • Devin Harris (toe) Out
  • Jose Calderon (ankle) Day-to-Day
  • Monta Ellis (back/ankle) Day-to-Day

_________________________
Sources – Mark Remme twitter ( Rubio quote); Inside Report w/ Earl K. Sneed (Carlisle quote; Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Rubio photo); AP Photo/Jim Mone (Love photo)

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Wrap Up: Monta Ellis Leads Mavs To Victory In Return To Milwaukee

by Greg Higgins on November 10, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUp

Finishing up a four games in five night stretch, the Mavericks were hoping the Bradley Center in Milwaukee would provide them with their first road win of the young season. A win would also secure a split in the four game stretch as they defeated the Lakers but then lost to the Thunder and T’wolves on the road. Luckily for Dallas they were able to escape with a 91-83 victory.

How it went down: Monta Ellis and Samuel Dalembert were returning to Milwaukee for the first time since they played there together. Ellis made sure that the Mavs had every chance to win the game in the first quarter. He utilized his ability to slash to the lane, which created space for wide-open jump shots from other players. Dallas jumped out to a 34-19 lead after the first quarter.

MontaEllisDallas would enjoy the same advantage at half time before the Bucks made their run. The once 19-point lead would be trimmed to two by Milwaukee. However, the Mavericks defense would hold their ground and not allow the Bucks to get any closer or take the lead.

Dallas finished with four players in double-figures. Ellis led the way with 18, Dirk Nowitzki finished with 16, Shawn Marion had 14 and Vince Carter finished with 13. Jose Calderon continued his hot hand from three-point land as he knocked down three of them for Dallas. Dalembert finished the night with six rebounds to go with six points. Marion also added 10 rebounds for Dallas.

Dallas’ defense was strong in the game as well. This was the second game of the season in which they held their opponent under 100 points for the game. The Bucks only shot 38.3% from the field and Dallas forced 20 turnovers. Dallas had a slight edge in points in the paint at 36-34 and Dallas won the rebounding battle again, which is critical for this team’s success.

Impact Play of the Game:  The Bucks trimmed the Dallas lead down to three early in the fourth quarter when Jae Crowder stepped in front of a Bucks pass. The steal ignited a fast break basket by rookie point guard Gal Mekel. DeJuan Blair stole a pass on the next possession that led to another fast break dunk. Dallas never looked back.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Monta Ellis

Fighting a course of boos from the crowd, Ellis stepped up and led Dallas to a victory. Finishing with 18 points,  five assists and three steals, he created opportunities for Dallas to win the game.

 Quotes:

“Monta is an attacker. He’s going to get in the lane, he’s going to cause problems. We need to get him the ball in the right situations and let him play his game. He made a couple really smart plays down the stretch — he got to the free throw line, he hit a big shot and made one really good pass to Dirk, who was able to hit a big shot.” – Rick Carlisle

 

“We were losing momentum really fast and those guys were starting to feel confident. I just read a play and jumped in the passing lane, and then we got one right after that with DeJuan Blair. That spark really gave us the momentum to put the game away.” – Jae Crowder

 

On Deck:

The Mavs will return home to host the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night at 7:30. The game will air locally on FSSW

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Wrap Up: Love, Martin Steal Show as Minnesota Trumps Dallas

by Greg Higgins on November 9, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Dallas entered Minneapolis on Friday looking for their first road win of the young season. So far they had lost in Houston and Oklahoma City and were hoping the T’Wolves would be the opponent they could capitalize on and get a win. The Timberwolves had a different idea  - defeating the Mavs 116-108.

How it went down: The Mavs had a hard time containing the leagues leading rebounder in this game. Kevin Love flirted with a triple-double in the win against Dallas. Offensively it took a while for Dallas to get going. Dirk was hit with an early technical foul and Minnesota jumped out to an early 10 point advantage. Dallas would claw their way back and even take a lead at halftime.

Jose Calderon tried keeping Dallas in the game as he drained six three-pointers on the night, but Love was too much for Dallas. He dominated inside but also added three long balls on the night. Love finished with 32 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. In the end it was too much for Dallas as the Wolves were able to pull away and win the game.

What’s aggravating from the Mavs standpoint is statistically they should have won the game. The Mavs were only rebounded by four and they only had three more turnovers than Minnesota. Dallas had 52 points in the paint as opposed to 40 for Minnesota. Dallas shot 48.9% while only allowing 46.1%. It’s baffling.

Kevin Martin also scored 32 for Minnesota and ex-Maverick Corey Brewer scored 17. Dallas was led by Monta Ellis’ 23 points. Calderon had 21 and Dirk finished with 14. Dirk once again had a subpar performance, in his standards, as he only shot 5-for-11 from the field.

In his last three games Dirk is averaging only 13.7 points on 10.7 attempts from the field.

The Mavs were missing a key player as Vince Carter was serving a one-game suspension for his flagrant two foul (elbow to head) against Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams on Wednesday night.

Impact Play of the Game: With a little over two minutes left in the game and Minnesota up 105-102, Kevin Love scored five straight points to put the Wolves up 110-102 with 1:13 left to go in the game.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Jose Calderon

Calderon finished with his best shooting night for Dallas as he poured in 21 points. He finished with six three-pointers on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. He also added seven assists and four rebounds.

Quotes:

“It was there for us today,” Calderon said. “I think we’ve got to be on everybody today. We should win this game. It was right there for us. We made good runs, we came back, we had good momentum, and we just made easy mistakes.”

 

“We just had too many breakdowns and they had some guys that played really well,” Carlisle concluded. “We had some bright spots, but our consistency so far on the road hasn’t been there. And we’ve got to get it together by tomorrow night.”

On Deck: Dallas will now travel to Milwaukee to take on O.J. Mayo and the Bucks Saturday night. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. CT and can be seen locally on FSSW.

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Mavs Game Night: Dallas vs Minnesota

by Kaomi Machelle' on November 8, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks (3-2) fell short to the Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1) 107-93 Wednesday night. In a game where the Mavericks seemed to be two steps behind, a turnover too many and OKC took full advantage. Monta Ellis’ 20-point game just wasn’t enough in the loss.

Looking to bounce back on the first night of yet another tough back-to-back, the Mavericks take on the Minnesota Timberwolves (3-2). The last time these two met, the Mavericks blew the Wolves out 100-77, led by Vince Carter’s 22 points and former Maverick Elton Brand’s 10 points and 12 rebounds.  The NBA just recently notified Vince Carter that he will be suspended for the Flagrant 2 that he received in Wednesdays game in Oklahoma City.

The T’Wolves have won four of the last seven meetings, after previously losing 18 of their last 19 match ups.

Three Keys For A Win:

1)      Once again, turnovers: Turnovers will always keep you out of a game and Wednesday night was no different. The Mavericks committed 21 turnovers in a difficult loss to a very good Thunder squad. Tonight, the Mavs will have to be more careful with the rock.

2)      Better production from Samuel Dalembert: The Mavs had their hands tied playing against one of the NBA’s top power teams. Dalembert has been relatively quiet, but his game tonight could up being the deciding factor in whether the Mavericks get a win or not.

3)      Great ball movement: In every win this season, the Mavericks have done a fantastic job of sharing the ball. Getting every player touches and great looks will help spread the offense and make it difficult for the Wolves to matchup on defense.

Matchup of the Night: Dirk Nowitzki vs Kevin Love

 

Dirk Nowitzki Kevin LoveBoth the starts of their respected squads. Both are needed to produce effectively in order for their teams to win.

Kevin Love, coming off a game in which he accounted for 25 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists, is looking more and more like a superstar each game. Averaging 26.2 points and 11 rebounds in the first five games, Love can not only score, but clean up the glass as well.

Nowitzki, coming off a 16 point, 6 rebound performance, is looking more and more like his old self. He is averaging 19.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in the first five games, and is proving that he still remains one of the best shooters in the game. Nowitzki represents a history of proven success while Love stands for the future of the power forward position.

 

 

 

Quotes:

“23 points off turnovers on the road is going to be really hard to overcome, and then we got beat on the boards and we just didn’t play well enough. It’s a disappointing night, but we’ve got to get ready for the next one. - Rick Carlisle following Wednesday’s loss to Oklahoma City

 

“I mean, they’re playing well. I didn’t see them play yet, but obviously they’ve been winning some big games,” – Dirk Nowitzki on upcoming game vs Minnesota

Game action tips off at 7:00 P.M. CT and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest. 

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Mavs Pre-Season 5 Days Away – A Look Back At Josh Howard

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

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You can now count the days left with one hand – five days remain until preseason action for the Dallas Mavericks and we continue the countdown with Josh Howard. We know Jason Kidd also wore the #5 in his first Mavs stint, but there’s a sense Kidd will eventually show up as the countdown winds down.

The 1996 NBA draft is likely one of the best in NBA history, but the class of 2003 isn’t far behind. A group that includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade will do that and the depth is evident in the fact the Dallas Mavericks selected Josh Howard 29th overall with the final pick in the first round.

Howard was the ACC Player of the Year his senior season at Wake Forest and has his #5 jersey retired by the school.

Josh played his rookie season with tons of energy and used his 23.7 minutes per game to its fullest averaging 8.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and a steal each night. He was rewarded by earning All-Rookie Second Team honors.

Howard’s production and points would improve each of his first five seasons with the Mavs. Just one of eight players from the 2003 draft to make an All-Star game, Howard would get his only selection during the 2006-2007 season in which he averaged 18.9 points and 6.8 rebounds for the 67-win Mavericks.

J-Ho would go on to average 19.9 points and 7 boards the following year in 2007-2008, but this would also be the year in which Howard made some questionable choices off the court.

 

Reports of Howard racing back in his hometown surfaced added to his well-documented radio appearance in which he admitted to smoking weed during the NBA’s offseason in the midst of the playoff series with the New Orleans Hornets. There was the tiff with then head coach Avery Johnson about partying after a playoff loss and of course the video of Howard disrespecting the National Anthem at an Allen Iverson charity event.

After one last productive season in 2008-2009 that saw Howard post 18 points and 5.1 rebounds in 52 games, Howard would start only nine more games for the Mavs before the team sent him to the Washington Wizards with James Singleton, Quinton Ross and Drew Gooden for Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson.

Since the trade in 2009, Howard has played in just 76 games for the Wizards, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves due to suffering a torn ACL twice in that span.

Howard’s best years were wearing the Mavs #5 and it will more than likely remain that way. I’ll always remember Josh being one of my favorite Mavericks in that span and cheering him on to score 30 points or more because it seemed he’d start fast and never eclipse 29.

He finally did score more than 30 points – it was Seats for Soldiers night (December 8, 2007) and he dropped 47 points on the Utah Jazz.

 

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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

JJBarea

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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