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Mavs Need Win To Avoid Nightmare Matchup With Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsTeam

The term “fighting for your playoff lives” takes on a new perspective tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. The Dallas Mavericks will face the Memphis Grizzlies in what seems like a must-win game. The teams each sit at 49-32 and have secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference thanks to both teams defeating the Phoenix Suns in each of their last games.

With both teams already in the playoffs, who would have thought game 82 would have such an impact, though? The winner of this game will have the seventh seed in the playoffs while the loser will have the eighth seed.

“What’s the difference?” you might be asking yourself.

There’s a big difference. The no. 8 seed has the daunting task of having to deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. The seventh seed will have to face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

San Antonio Spurs v Dallas MavericksThe Spurs have locked down the top seed but the No. 2 seed is yet to be determined. If the Clippers win and the Thunder lose on Wednesday night, LA will have that second seed. Otherwise OKC will have the advantage.

What does this mean for the Mavs? Dallas has lost nine straight to the Spurs. This year, the Mavs took the season series with the Thunder 2-1 and lost the series with the Clippers 3-1. However, the games against the Clippers were some of the most exciting games this season. The total points’ separating the teams in the four games was 21 total points. In the three games Dallas lost to LA, the Mavs held a double-digit lead at some point during the game.

I don’t know if they can beat the Clippers or Thunder in a seven-game series, but I like that matchup way better than I do the Spurs. So I repeat, “The Mavs are fighting for their playoff lives in Memphis tonight.”

 

Photo Credit: CBS-DFW

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NBA Silences Mavs PA Announcer

by Ryan Wilson on April 11, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsSuspension

It was announced yesterday that the NBA would be suspending Sean Heath, Dallas Mavericks public-address announcer, following his tweets at the conclusion of the Mavericks and Golden State Warriors game.

We’ve all seen the replay of Jermaine O’Neal’s “block” at the conclusion of the game, which ultimately lead to Stephen Curry delivering the knockout punch at the other end of the court.

Heath wanted to voice his opinion and the NBA overreacted, as they typically do. Here is what Heath had to say on Twitter:

 

 

MavsAnnouncerIt was most likely the last tweet that earned Heath the suspension, but what is so wrong with someone voicing their opinion? The NBA is a league in which referees have already been under the magnifying glass in terms of behavior detrimental to the league.

Heath just brought to light one of the issues with the NBA and their review system. They can challenge out of bounds calls, but not this one?

While Heath probably bit off a little more than he could chew, the NBA didn’t really have to suspend him either. In a league where warnings are often handed out prior to fines and suspensions, Heath got neither of those. He let his passion for the Mavericks get in the way of his judgment and started to rattle off tweet after tweet, but I guarantee he never thought he was going to be punished for it, and definitely not to this extent.

 

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Wrap Up: Mavs Top Off Perfect Road Trip In Utah

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

WrapUp

The magic number is now at two for the Dallas Mavericks (48-31). After Dallas’ 95-83 win over the Utah Jazz (24-54), the Mavs have put themselves in a good position with three games remaining in the season.

How it went down:

With the exception of a brief stretch in the first quarter in which Dallas trailed by seven points, the Mavs took care of the Jazz pretty easily. Dallas capitalized on a record-breaking performance in the first quarter to take care of Utah. The Mavs shot an unbelievable 94% from the floor in the first quarter as they put up 39 points. Dallas shot 17 times and only missed one of them.

The Mavs took a 14-point lead to the second quarter and pretty much rode that to victory. Dallas eventually took the lead up to 20 points at 77-57. The only thing left in the game was to see when Dirk Nowitzki would pass Oscar Robertson on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list.

That feat happened in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Dirk knocked down a 20 foot jump shot and put himself in the top ten in scoring. More importantly, though, the Mavs have put themselves in the drivers seat for a playoff spot. The formula is simple for Dallas: Win two of the final three games and you’re in the playoffs. They don’t need to worry about anyone else. They just need to take care of business themselves.

Inside the Numbers:

Dallas shot 94% in the first quarter while Utah shot 47%

Dallas won the game despite being out rebounded 47-36. They also gave up 23 offensive rebounds to the Jazz

Impact Play of the Game:

Less than a minute into the game, Dirk proved once again his greatness to the rest of the NBA. The power forward has put himself in the top 10 in scoring as he passed the great Oscar Robertson.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki

From the very beginning, Dirk was ready to play. He hit nine of 11 shots including two three-pointers. Dirk had a game high 21 points in the win.

Quotes:

 

On Deck:

Dallas will return home to face the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game can be seen on TNT and will begin at 7:00 p.m. CT.

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Photo: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer; Quote Via Earl K. Sneed/Mavs.Com

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MGN: Mavs Look For Yet Another Important Victory Before Returning Home

by Marc Cashion on April 8, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightLauren

The Dallas Mavericks (47-31) take on the last place in the West Utah Jazz (24-53).  The Mavs have won the last three while the Jazz are coming off a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors in which they gave up 130 points.  With only four games left the Mavs must take care of business and come out with a victory.  A victory against Utah will hopefully give them some confidence leading up to their three biggest games of the season.

The Game at Hand:

Coming off a California sweep beating the Clippers, Lakers, and Kings the Mavs play against another team with nothing to gain from a victory.  Although the Jazz have no real star players they do have players that, when firing from all cylinders, can hurt you.  Although it seems to be the story every night for the Mavs with Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward on the opposing team our guards will again have to step up and defend.

With the Spurs, Suns, and Grizzlies up next on the schedule it will be important for the Mavs to not overlook this game and do what they have on this current road trip, take care of business. The Jazz’s only real motivation is to play spoiler so it will be up to Dirk Nowitzki and company to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Certainly worth noting, a potential historic game could go down tonight.  Nowitzki is 18 points shy of passing Oscar Robertson to crack the top 10 in career points scored.  As most around the league will tell you, there is no one more deserving than the tall baller from the G.

Keys to the Game:

1. Defending the Jazz’s Point Guards: Stand out rookie Trey Burke will be a key tonight for the Mavs defense and our guards Calderon, Harris and Ellis. When he is able to penetrate the lane and distribute the basketball to an open Derrick Favors the Jazz are a completely different team.  Even  when he is on the bench 22 year old Alec Burks does much the same when he is given the space. Averaging 14 points per game this year, Burks is no slouch.  Getting these point guards out of the paint and not a huge factor in the offense will almost certainly lead to a Mavericks easy victory.

2. Team Defense/Rebounding: Like a stated earlier, this team really doesn’t have just one star that can beat you by himself.  It’s a combined effort(although it hasn’t worked this year). Marvin Williams has played big against(waiting to hear if he is playing or not) the Mavs and Gordon Hayward is always liable to have a great offensive game.  Even down low Enes Kanter has shown flairs of offensive production and great rebounding.  Overall, as long as the Mavs play a solid team game and don’t let any one person catapult this Jazz offense to a new level, the Mavs should be fine.

Derrick FavorsMatchup of the Night:

My matchup of the night belongs to Derrick Favors and the Mavs big men.  Favors is averaging 13 points and 9 rebounds.  If Dalembert and Wright can keep Favors off of the offensive glass and not give away extra possessions, I do not believe the Jazz have enough talent to handle the Mavs offensive fire power.

Quotes:

“I just think everyone’s locked in to what we’re trying to do,” Carter explained. “We’re trying to make that playoff spot and it means something. And a lot of these guys weren’t here last year for the disappointment of breaking the streak, but it feels like they were because it all means something. And everybody is coming together and ready to go.” Earl K. Sneed Mavs.com

When and Where:

The Utah Jazz host the Dallas Mavericks in Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Game time 8 PM CST on TXA 21.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

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

6. Golden State (48-29) | Next 3 –  DEN, @LAL & @POR

7. Dallas Mavericks (47-31) | Next 3 – @UTA, SAS & PHO

8. Phoenix Suns (46-31) | Next 3 –@NO, @SAS & @DAL

9. Memphis Grizzlies (45-32) | Next 3 – MIA, PHI, @LAL

Photo Source: George Frey/Getty Images North America)

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About…Chris Arnold

by Greg Higgins on April 7, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

10 Things

Being a MFFL is something to be proud of. It’s a community of hardcore Mavericks fans dedicated to one thing and one thing only: Supporting the Dallas Mavericks. This tight knit group has long been recognized as one of the better fan bases in the NBA, and any time you have a group that is recognized, you are going to come across some key individuals who help drive that fan base.

Chris ArnoldWith that being said, we wanted to start a new segment here at Mavs Fanatic where we get to learn some things about some of your favorite Mavs personalities. We just recently asked 10 questions to Mavericks game night emcee, Chris Arnold. He was the first emcee ever in the NBA and has been entertaining thousands of MFFL’s for 18 years now.

 

Here is what he had to say:

 

 

1. Favorite Movie:
I love too many genre’s to pick one. One day I’ll give you a list of my top 10 favorites. (People really do love lists)
 
2. Favorite Song:
Love You Better by LL Cool J (Written by Pharrell Williams)
 
3. Favorite thing to eat:
Barbeque! (It’s a sport)
 
4. How did you become the emcee at the AAC?

I was the courtside reporter for the Mavs television broadcasts for eight years then Mark Cuban asked me to be the first emcee in NBA history. He wanted me to add some excitement to the arena during time outs. I’m a people person so it’s a perfect fit.

5. What do you love most about the job?
The excitement of 20,000 people, the challenge of making it interesting and the pressure of going “live”.
 
6. Favorite Mavericks Moment:
Winning the championship in 2011 and the parade that followed. The most perfect sports parade ever!
 
7. What’s the most memorable Mavericks game you’ve been a part of?
I loved the game vs Houston when Dirk and Tracy McGrady had a shoot out. It was a regular season game that required Overtime. T-Mac had 48 points, while Dirk had his career high of 53 points…epic
 
8. Favorite Sports Team not named the Mavericks:
Oklahoma Sooners football. I graduated from Oklahoma University. 
 
9. Most embarrassing thing that happened on the job?

Nothing really so far. They threw the mic to me one time and it didn’t work. I played it off and made it a cool “inside” moment for the crowd. 

 
10. A hobby that you have/do that people may not be aware of:
Scuba diving. I’m certified and have swam with sharks. 

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MGN: Mavs Aim to Continue California Success in Sacramento

by Marc Cashion on April 6, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightb288

The Dallas Mavericks (46-31) take on the out of playoff contention Sacramento Kings (27-49). Much like the game against the Lakers, this is one that the Mavs must take care of and handle their business. The Mavs again face a team with injury issues as point guard Isaiah Thomas (quad) doesn’t appear to be available for the game. Sacramento enters tonight on the heels of 102-69 loss the Golden State Warriors – a game where they got flat out embarrassed playing uninspired basketball.

The Game At Hand:

With every game essentially being a playoff game, the Mavs have not disappointed on this California road trip. Dallas logged wins against the Clippers and Lakers in STAPLES Center and has the Mavs’ confidence elevating at the right time. Thomas’ probable absence is huge for the Mavs as the emerging point guard is capable for explosive offensive nights any day of the week.

Although the Kings have talent they have underperformed immensely this year.  With the likes of Rudy Gay, Demarcus Cousins and Derrick Williams there is no denying their roster has potential. The mixture of bad chemistry, uninspired play and being in the West has prevented a skilled team from a good campaign. The Mavs should really have no problem taking care of business seeing as they have a playoff spot to fight for.

At A Glance:

- This marks the last of four meetings this season; Mavericks lead 2-1. Dallas won both games at home by a total of seven points. Kings defeated the Mavs 112-97 in Sacramento.

- The Mavericks sit alone in the 7th spot in the West.

- Memphis (at San Antonio) and Phoenix (vs Oklahoma City) each have big games tonight. Golden State hosts Utah.

Keys To The Game:

1. Guarding Rudy Gay

The defensive pressure is on Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder to contain Rudy Gay.  Gay has torched the Mavs in their last two meetings scoring 35 and 30 points. He’s done it by being aggressive and attacking the basket either getting to the free throw line or finishing around the rim.  If we can stop Gay from having a good game the Kings’ chance at a victory decrease. However, as shown in the past, that is easier said than done.

2. Winning The Battle Down Low

Besides attempting to contain Gay, the Mavs need to contain Demarcus Cousins and Reggie Evans down low. I expect to see Dalembert play a huge role in tonight’s game; keep the beast that Cousins is from totally controlling the game.  With Cousin’s size and strength Brandan Wright will have a tough time making the same impact that he did against the Lakers, meaning Dalembert will have to step up and be the good Dalembert that we have seen of late.

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Rudy Gay

The Kings have played the Mavericks tough this year and that is mainly the product of Rudy Gay’s great play. In late January, Dirk had 34 points while Rudy Gay had 35 in the second meeting. Sacramento will throw Evans and any big at their disposal on Dirk, but the 11th all-time NBA scorer should have no problem finding his shot.  If he gets into  a groove early, I could see Dirk having the huge game we need from him tonight.

 

Quote:

 “We’re playing a lot better on the road and we’re playing really, really good basketball. We’ve got a really, really tough one on Sunday. You know, [the Kings] beat us pretty bad over there last time and then last week was a close game, so we’ve got to get ready.”

- Brandan Wright

 

When and Where:

Tip-Off begins 5:00 PM CST at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. The game will be televised 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 – UTA, DEN & @LAL

7. Dallas Mavericks (46-31) | Next 3 – @SAC, @UTA & SAS

8. Memphis Grizzlies (45-31) | Next 3 – @SAS, MIA & PHI

9. Phoenix Suns (45-31) | Next 3 – @POR, OKC & @NO

 

 

 

__________________________

Quote via Earl K. Sneed (Mavs.com); Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez 

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Wrap Up: Dirk, Wright Lead Mavs Past Lakers

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

WrapUpGm37

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.
___________________

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

 

__________________________

Quotes via Lakers.com and Mavs.com

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Wrap Up: Mavericks Capture Win Against Clippers

by Greg Higgins on April 4, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpReportRick

After a somewhat disappointing eight-game home stand in which the Dallas Mavericks (45-31) finished 4-4, Dirk Nowitzki ventured off to the west coast for a four-game road trip. The trip started in Los Angeles as the Mavs tried to avenge three losses this season the LA Clippers (54-23). In the previous three games, the Mavs had leads late in the game and lost all three to the Clippers. Thursday, however, would be a different story as the Mavericks would hold on for a 113-107 victory.

How it went down:

These two teams have played some great games this year including the game a week ago Thursday night. Dallas and LA battled back and forth most of the night. Dallas did jump out to an 11-point lead in the second quarter but the Clippers were able to close the gap by halftime to only two points.

Once again, though, Dallas was able to come up with some clutch shooting when they needed it. Dallas had four three-pointers each from Dirk and Vince Carter, while Jose Calderon poured in three more by himself. Most of these seem to come at crucial junctions in the game. Either Dallas was holding off a Clippers’ run or they were building up their own advantage in the process.

Dallas had a hard time stopping Clippers’ big men Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Griffin finished the game with a triple-double (25-10-11) and Jordan added 21 points and 15 rebounds. In the end, it didn’t matter as the Mavs were able to finally win the game. It wasn’t easy, but they found a way to close.

Los Angeles closed a 10-point Mavs lead down to two in a matter of two minutes. However, they could never get over the hump. With the win, the Mavs move a half game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns for seventh in the Western Conference.

Inside The Numbers:

For the second straight game, Dirk finished with a double-double as he had 26 points and 11 rebounds

Dallas shot 50.0% from the field, including 48.3% from three-point range.

Impact Moment of the Game:

With the game tied at 89, Dallas went on a 15-4 run to break the game open. They’d eventually have to hold on to win the game but the run half way through the fourth quarter sparked the win.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk was simply Dirk tonight. He hit huge three pointers, big fade-away jumpers and grabbed some big time rebounds in the win.

 

 

 

Quotes:

___________________


 

On Deck:

Dallas has a back to back but fortunately for them it will be played in the same building – The Staples Center. Dallas will face the LA Lakers on Friday night at 9:30 pm.
___________________

Photo courtesy Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images

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MGN: Mavs Look For Huge Win To Open LA Back-To-Back

by Ryan Wilson on April 3, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightMavsDancers

The off days are doing wonders for the Dallas Mavericks (44-31), who woke up Wednesday morning on the outside looking in for the playoff race. They ended up the night back in 7th place, as the Suns and Grizzlies both dropped their games. The Mavericks finished their franchise long home stand at just 4-4 on that stretch, and will now head on the road for five of their last seven games. That stretch starts tonight in Game 1 at the Staples Centeras the Mavs will take on the Los Angeles Clippers (54-22).

The Game At Hand:

What else is there to know? It’s playoff basketball every game for the Mavs for the rest of the season. They are taking on a Clippers team that they could still end up facing in the 1st round of the playoffs, and a team that they very well should have beaten all three times they have squared off.

At A Glance:

- This marks the fourth and final meeting this season; Clippers lead 3-0 (They shouldn’t)
- Possible playoff matching – Will you play San Antonio, Oklahoma City or Los Angeles.

DirkFrustrated

It’s a season where you just have to ask yourself, “What if?” What if the Mavericks didn’t blow such big leads or leads late in games? You could take those 3 blown leads against the Clippers, and all of a sudden, the Mavs are sitting at 47-28, which would have them in 6th and just a couple games out of the 5th spot.

The Mavericks were once again in a position to take another huge game Tuesday night, but the lack of defense in situations has been the achilles heal all season long. That must begin to change, and there is no better time than right now. They are on the road, but facing a Clippers squad fresh off of 17 point come from behind victory in Phoenix last night.

 

Keys To The Game:

1. Be Physical, But Smart

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels as if the Mavericks and Clippers are starting to create a nice little rivalry. The Clippers play physical, and while that hasn’t always been one of the Mavericks strong skill sets, they seem to be ready to fight back. There is a right and wrong way to go about that. They need to make sure they come ready to fight but do it in a smart way and not let their emotions get the best of them.

2. Reserves Must Come Through

While we already know how talented the Clippers starting five is, they are missing Jamal Crawford. J.J. Redick is said to have a 75% chance of returning to the lineup however. The Mavericks need to take advantage of the tired legs that the Clippers should be dealing with tonight, and that is where the bench comes in. To be able to offer Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion time to rest, but still feel good about building on a lead is something that could prove to be extremely valuable tonight.

Chris Paul

Matchup of the Night:

Mavs Guards vs Chris Paul 

The best point guard in the game is a hand full for any team. The Mavericks guards have to find a way to slow Chris Paul down. He hit some huge shots in last nights come from behind victory over Phoenix, and is one of the true gamers the NBA has to offer. He can hurt you in all areas of the game, whether it be shooting, passing, or defending. Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, and Devin Harris must protect the ball and do their very best to limit the highlight plays that Chris Paul and the rest of Lob City can put on display.

Quotes:

 

“It’s almost like a rivalry now to a certain degree, and it’s kind of fun and it’s exciting. It’s a talented team and they’re really deep at every spot. You know, it’s going to be good. They’re playing very good ball, and of course the head of the snake is Chris Paul. - Shawn Marion 

 

“We just find ways to win. We believe we can win in every game.” - Clippers Head Coach, Doc Rivers

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at American Airlines Center tonight is at 9:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised nationally on TNT.

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 (44-31) | Next 3 – @LAC, @LAL & @SAC

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

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

 

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Photos courtesy of Sharon Ellman & Zachary Steiber

Quotes via Clippers.com and Mavs.com

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