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Mavs’ Final Four – A Year’s Difference

by Damian Jackson on April 8, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Last year on April 10th, a Los Angeles Lakers‘ 113-106 victory in Portland eliminated the Dallas Mavericks from playoff contention for the first time in 12 seasons.

The Mavericks ended the 2012-2013 season 41-41.

It’s actually quite remarkable they even did that well. Dirk Nowitzki missed 29 games for a team built around an overload of one-year contracts.

And remember those long, scruffy beards that some players pulled off much better than others? Of course you do! O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter looked rather normal, Chris Kaman just increased his caveman appearance and Dirk looked like he’d gone crazed with all the chaos surrounding him.

The worst part about the fiasco was the fact they were ‘Get to .500′ beards, not ‘Make the playoffs’ beards. A team recently celebrating its first NBA championship, was reduced to reaching for mediocrity.

We’ve almost come full circle to that April 10th night, but this time around the Mavericks find themselves in a full-fledged battle with three teams for two playoff spots.

It only happens that Dallas is likely to end up 6th through 8th in the extremely talented Western Conference while they along with the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns would all be a 3rd seed in the East.

Making the playoffs is what counts. Dirk and his much-improved cast have four games left to stake their claim for a postseason return.

With four games left last year, the Mavericks were solely playing to finish .500. This time they’re final four mean everything. They win, they’re in. It’s a great feeling.

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Photos courtesy of Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins and TheSportsFan Journal

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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

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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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Mavs Game Night: Dallas at Milwaukee

by Damian Jackson on November 9, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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As the Dallas Mavericks (3-3) wrap up their fourth game in five nights, they will also be trying to win away from the American Airlines Center for the first time. Tonight they face some old familiar faces in Caron Butler and O.J. Mayo when they play the Milwaukee Bucks (2-2).

The Game At Hand:

Milwaukee has been dealing with the injury bug early this season as they’ve already had to start rookie point guard Nate Wolters twice in the absence of Brandon Knight and reserve Luke Ridnour. Wolters has played very well in his opportunities averaging 9.8 points and 6.5 assists.

The Mavericks and Bucks essentially swapped starting shooting guards this summer in O.J. Mayo and Monta Ellis. No trade took place, but both ended up in each others spots and it seems both are satisfied thus far. Ellis turned down a three-year $36 million extension offer and joined Dallas once his free agency market cooled.

Ellis now leads the Mavs in scoring with 23.8 points as Mayo leads his Bucks with 16.3 points.

The two teams split their season series last season 1-1 with each winning on the oppositions home court.

Three Keys for a Win:

1) Unforced Turnovers – It’s understandable that when a team places at a high pace turnovers can be expected due to an aggressive attack mode. It’s the giveaways that aren’t a product of game speed or aggressiveness, but rather poor execution and simply poor blunders. Dallas has fallen victim to these the last two games against teams in OKC and Minnesota that can make you pay quickly for those unforced errors. Need to be more fine-tuned tonight.

2) Dirk’s Aggression – The Big German started the season with three consecutive games of 22+ points, but over his past three is only posting 13.7 points on just 10.7 shot attempts. Dirk’s never been one to be selfish and launch 25+ shots a night, but we do need him to be more aggressive and take more than 10 or 11 shots each night – he’s simply too important and talented NOT to.

3) Set Tone & Pace – Last night in Minnesota the Mavs started the game in a funk and got behind the Wolves early and played catch up much of the evening. Dallas needs to come out early against a depleted Bucks team and put their imprint on the game.

Matchup of the Night: Monta Ellis vs O.J. Mayo

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It’s funny how opinions change in the matter of one year. In the summer of 2012, the Mavericks somehow landed O.J. Mayo as a free agent and Dallas fans were pretty excited about the acquisition. By the end of the season, it was a different story. Some friction with Coach Carlisle and heading into the off season not many Mavs fans were rooting to keep Juice Mayo around.

One summer later, the Mavericks sign former Bucks and Warriors guard Monta Ellis. Initially people didn’t seem too thrilled about the addition, arguing we overpaid for a player known for his inefficiency.

Ellis has been outplaying his three-year $25 million contract through six games this season, averaging 23.8 points and 4.3 assists. Mayo is coming off his best performance as a member of the Bucks with 28 points on six 3-pointers.

It will be fun to see how these two guards go at each other tonight.

Quote: 

“Both guys are gonna be geeked up come tomorrow night. I know shots are probably gonna be flying all over the place…it should be exciting.” – Bucks head coach Larry Drew on Monta and O.J.

 

GAME ACTION STARTS AT 7:30 P.M. CT and airs locally on both Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Wisconsin

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Grading the Mavericks Offseason with Greg Higgins

by MavsFanatic on July 27, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Coming into the offseason, Dallas Mavericks fans have had lots of questions. Fans have been disappointed since the summer after Dallas brought home the title in 2011. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson felt it was best to allow Tyson Chandler (Knicks) and J.J. Barea (Timberwolves) walk away in free agency. Cuban and Nelson kept talking about financial flexibility and leaving room for the summer of 2012 when Deron Williams and Dwight Howard would be available.

The summer of 2012 came and went and Howard wound up with the Los Angeles Lakers while Williams chose the Brooklyn Nets over his hometown Mavericks. After a disappointing season in which the Mavericks missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, there was much optimism about the Mavericks offseason plans this summer. Chris Paul and Howard were the premier ‘Big Fish’ free agents out there and Dallas was hoping to land one of them.

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Once the Los Angeles Clippers landed head coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics, Paul did as most assumed and decided to re-sign with the Clippers while the Howard sweepstakes concluded when he signed with the Houston Rockets. Despite Houston being the popular front-runner, Howard’s decision was anyone’s guess. He had narrowed it down to a handful of teams with the Mavericks being one but in the end he chose Houston over Dallas. Obviously there were other players available in free agency but these were the two that everyone was targeting.

Many people, myself included, wondered what Dallas would try and do next.

Andre Iguodala who reportedly was an hour away from becoming a Dallas Maverick, signed with the Golden State Warriors and Josh Smith went to the Detroit Pistons. These were two other players on the Mavericks watch list.

Two positions Dallas needed to address this offseason were point guard and center. Last year Dallas was terrible on the boards and a big man would help solidify that position. One of the big men on their radar was Andrew Bynum. Although Bynum has had some injury problems in the past, he was someone Dallas felt they could utilize down low with Dirk Nowtizki. Following careful medical consultation, the Mavs brass passed on Bynum, who then decided to sign a partially guaranteed two-year $24 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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With all the talk of who the Mavericks didn’t get and what they missed out on, one could be led to believe the Mavericks are in worse shape than before. However, let’s not jump to conclusions too quickly. When analyzing the offseason you must understand where the Mavericks were last season.

Dallas ranked 16th in the league in team rebounds last year but they were 29th in opponents rebounding. The Mavs were fifth best in assists (23.2/gm) while being middle-of-the-pack in steals (16th). These were areas they needed to improve and in order to do so they needed to upgrade at the aforementioned center and point guard positions.

 

Let’s grade the Mavericks offseason so far:

Draft – A

Dallas walked away from the draft with a really good point guard in Shane Larkin, a player ranked 9th on the Mavs’ draft board.

“Our pick-and-roll game this past year was not at the level we’re used to, so we wanted to get better in that area,” Carlisle said. “Shane’s one of the best in college basketball at doing that.

During the championship run in 2011, Jason Terry and Nowitzki mastered the two man game and were virtually unstoppable. The Larkin (ankle) addition will eventually benefit Dirk and hopefully free him up for some more open shots.

The Mavericks also drafted shooting guard Ricky Ledo out of Providence. Ledo (6-7; 195) never played a minute in college, but had he his talent was worthy of a late lottery to mid-first round selection. Coming off the bench, he can be a nice complimentary player to go along with some of the other shooting guards the Mavericks have. Expect both Larkin and Ledo to spend time with the Mavs’ D-League affiliate Texas Legends.

Free Agency – B

At first I was really disappointed with the Mavericks free agency approach. Once again it seemed as if they had all their eggs in one basket and when that didn’t pan out, they seemed lost again. That wasn’t the case at all. Instead Dallas had a back up plan. While many of us were trying to figure out what that plan was, Cuban and Nelson seemed to have it figured out.

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Dallas scooped up the best pure point guard left on the market by signing Jose Calderon (4 years $29 million). Calderon has been on the Mavericks radar for a while and has been the topic of many trade discussions with Toronto over the past several seasons. Nearly acquiring the Spanish vet weeks before the trade deadline, Dallas simply waited to sign him outright. Last year for the Raptors and Detroit Pistons he averaged 11.3 points and 7.1 assists. Calderon along with possibly Devin Harris (toe) plus rookies Gal Mekel and Larkin, the Mavs should have a nice rotation at the point guard position.

 

 

 

Dallas also signed 27-year-old Monta Ellis (3 years $25 million), formerly with the Milwaukee Bucks. Last season, the shooting guard averaged 19.2 points and 6 assists per game. Ellis will take the place of the departed O.J. Mayo and gives Dallas another viable scoring option along with Nowitzki.

Along with Ellis, the Mavericks brought his former teammate Samuel Dalembert (2 years $7.5 million) to help plug up the middle of the lane. Dalembert has career averages of 8.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. The defensive presence will be welcome sight for the Mavs who lacked a defensive anchor last season.

To help out with the center position, Dallas re-signed both Brandan Wright (2 years $10 million) and Bernard James. The fan favorite averaged just over eight points a game and four rebounds.

Dallas also addressed additional shooting by signing former North Carolina Tarheel Wayne Ellington to a two-year deal worth a little over $5 million.

Considering what all Dallas missed out on during free agency, they seem to be sitting pretty right now. Of course nobody knows what will happen during the season with injuries and/or trade possibilities but as a Mavericks fan, I like the position they have put themselves in for the upcoming season. Coach Carlisle has a group of guys that if they come together could be the surprise of the NBA season this year.

Greg Higgins is a contributor with Mavs Fanatic. Video courtesy of @itsKlayAllen





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MF Free Agency Tracker: Ellis to Mavs; Harris Out

by MavsFanatic on July 12, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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Monta Ellis appears to be the newest member of the revamped Dallas Mavericks backcourt. Ellis joins Jose Calderon, Devin Harris, Wayne Ellington, Gal Mekel, Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo in a more than crowded fresh crop of guards.

UPDATE: Mavs and Devin Harris mutually shelve the 3-yr $9 million contract. The news on Harris reportedly quickly led to Dallas’ agreement with Monta Ellis. Ellis’ other options were Sacramento, Atlanta and Charlotte.

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Former Mavs guards Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo feel like a distant memory. Collison is officially a Los Angeles Clipper now and Mayo remains on course to land with the Milwaukee Bucks on a three-year deal worth $24 million.

The deal for Ellis, a 27-year-old scoring guard, appears to land in the three-year $25-$30 million range. Originally reports said the Mavs and Bucks could orchestrate a sign-and-trade deal to send Ellis AND Samuel Dalembert to Dallas, but with the Harris deal off the table Ellis’ signing will be straight up. The extra space will likely be used on a big man.

Ellis’ free agent market cooled after he turned down an extension with the Bucks worth $36 million over three seasons. He went on to fire his longtime agent Jeff Fried and switch to Dan Fegan.

Last season with Milwaukee, Ellis averaged 19 points and 6 assists. The negatives come in the form of Ellis’ inconsistent and ill-advised shooting. Ellis shot 42% from the field and a discouraging 29% from three.

With the new signing of Monta Ellis a few questions have been raised – Why another guard? How good will Ellis be? How will he benefit the Mavs?

Well as you know as a championship team, Mavs ran with three guards, so going small will not be a foreign concept. Now with the addition of Ellis, Mavs are looking just at that with the possible three guard line-up of Calderon, Harris and Ellis.

Now the question of how well will Monta perform, well he now has the help of Dirk Nowitzki who will open the floor and give Ellis plenty of space on the court. Something Ellis hasn’t really had. Also with the help of a true pass-first point guard in Jose Calderon, Ellis will be getting more quality shot opportunities.

In addition Monta’s career point average against the Mavs is 21.6 ppg, which is his highest average against any other Western Conference team. While playing at the American Airlines Center Ellis averaged 21.6 ppg, leading one to believe he really enjoys playing in Dallas.

It is in my honest opinion that adding Monta Ellis is a huge improvement to the already guard-heavy roster. Giving Mavs some depth, and most importantly adding back light to the end of the tunnel.

Expect Ellis’ player efficiency to improve in the Mavericks culture as he teams up with superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki and soaks in the coaching impact of Rick Carlisle.

Check out this video breakdown of Monta Ellis against the Mavs by Rob Mahoney in 2009:

Ellis’ 4th quarter takeover against the Magic:

More on the Monta Ellis acquisition to come, along with details of additional players changing places. Stay tuned!

Follow our newest team member and writer Kaomi Machelle’ on Twitter @TheMavsMistress.

Damian Jackson is a partner at Mavs Fanatic. Follow Damian on Twitter @thedfactor and like our site’s page on Facebook.

 

 

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MF Free Agency Tracker: Mavs Have New Backcourt Once Again

by Damian Jackson on July 6, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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The Dallas Mavericks transitioned from a champion backcourt of Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to Darren Collison (Agreed to 2-year deal w/ Clippers) and O.J. Mayo (Agreed to 3-year deal w/ Bucks) over the past two seasons. This year it appears Dallas will once again have a new-look pair of backcourt mates.

Once Mark Cuban received word his Mavs were out of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, he made it known on twitter he was ready to move on.

“Time to get back to work. The Mavs are back open for business.”

It didn’t take long for the Mavs as they agreed to terms (4 years/$29M fully guaranteed) with long desired Spanish point guard Jose Calderon. Calderon had his choice between the Sacramento Kings and Dallas, ultimately choosing the Mavs.

Calderon has been a Mavs target for a couple years and he provides the team with a pure, steady veteran PG they sorely lacked since Kidd bolted for New York last summer. Calderon is a cerebral point with experience, strong leadership qualities and is one of the best shooters at his position in the NBA.

Weaknesses for Calderon include his lack of defensive ability and he’ll be 32 years old when the season begins. However, Calderon was brought in because he’s a steady presence to orchestrate a team. His pass-first instinct and prime decision making will be more than welcomed after the Mavs experienced a season plagued with turnovers last year. Calderon’s shooting is an attractive aspect to his game – shot 46.1% from deep last year; 52% w/ Detroit.

In a surprise of sorts despite his evident, well-documented desire for a Dallas return, the Mavericks and Devin Harris agreed to terms on a 3-year deal worth an estimated $9 million.

Harris was at Dirk Nowitzki‘s Heroes baseball charity game days before free agency and expressed interest into a Dallas return, a place he called his home.

Since his first tenure with the Mavs, Harris has transitioned more into a combo guard who can play both guard positions when needed. He’ll provide Dallas with an experienced player in the backcourt. He may even get the opportunity to start of SG for the Mavs as the roster sits, but much can change before the season.

Harris has never been a great shooter and isn’t a natural scorer either. Therefore, the Mavericks must still be in the market for another player who can put the ball in the basket with some consistency.

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Harris has always been one of the fan favorites and many were highly disappointed when he was traded in 2008 for an aging Kidd. With the 2011 championship in the books, the Mavs proved the decision right and now will have the prodigal son return – at a solid value too.

Here’s one of my favorite Devin Harris highlight plays in a Mavericks uniform, and if you dislike Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen you’ll enjoy it that much more!

It’s comforting to have two solid NBA veterans in our Mavericks backcourt. Even though they aren’t elite names and superstars, it’s about consistent production you can count on to increase your teams chances of winning night in and night out. Calderon and Harris provide a unique combination or savvy and speed, offense and defense (Harris), experience and leadership.

With four point guards on the roster (Calderon, Harris, Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel), the Dallas focus will need to shift towards centers and scoring. Now that the Dwightmare saga is over, the Mavs are making moves to compete at a higher level this season.

Go Mavs!

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MF Free Agency Tracker: O.J. Mayo Agrees to 3-Year Deal with Milwaukee

by Damian Jackson on July 3, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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UPDATED July 5, 2013 11:09 PM ET: 

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The Bucks and O.J. Mayo will carry contract talks into Thursday, but they will NOT involve the Mavericks in any type of sign-and-trade. This from ESPN’s Marc Stein:

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O.J. Mayo news has shifted steadily since the discussions of a sign-and-trade. The Eric Bledsoe option never materialized and ceased when the Los Angeles Clippers shipped Bledsoe and Caron Butler to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team trade Tuesday.

The Clippers will receive SG J.J. Redick from Milwaukee and G/F Jared Dudley from the Suns. Milwaukee acquires two 2nd round picks.

Today news broke that Mavericks free agent Mayo and the Bucks were finalizing a long-term contract believed to be over four years.

No reports have stated the possibility of this signing to involve the Mavericks working a double sign-and-trade for either RFA point guard Brandon Jennings or G Monta Ellis. Local media outlets in the Dallas area have expressed the ability to complete such a transaction, but with the Bucks ample cap space it’s not required on their part.

The Mavs have interest in both Bucks guards, but the understanding is Milwaukee will likely  match any offers to Jennings. Ellis’ camp has had contact with the Mavs among other teams, but it’s believed they are waiting to see what transpires with the Dwight Howard situation.

While with the Orlando Magic, Howard was asked about guys he would like to play with one day. Two on his list included Ellis and current Mavs free agent SG Anthony Morrow. Both are good friends of Dwight and it’s hard to not connect the dots. Adding Ellis to the Mavs’ pitch to Dwight could entice the coveted center.

As for Mayo and his likely departure from the Western Conference, it seems the money will talk here more than anything. The Bucks current state is rather dire and with other teams in the Eastern Conference improving, the playoffs look like a long shot for Milwaukee.

The market dried up quickly for the 25-year-old when the Clippers (whom he had two meetings with) landed Redick and Dudley and the Minnesota Timberwolves reached an agreement with Oklahoma City free agent SG Kevin Martin.

Damian Jackson is a partner at Mavs Fanatic. Follow Damian on Twitter @thedfactor and like our site’s page on Facebook.

 

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Mavs Draft Watch: Jamaal Franklin

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

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In the third segment of Mavs Draft Watch, attention turns to San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin.

Although point guard or a center seem to be the most pressing needs, the truth is the Dallas Mavericks could use help at all positions. Head coach Rick Carlisle agrees.

“We have six guys under contract. Three of them are rookies. One of them was basically in the rotation all year. One guy started nine games, in and out other than that. And the other guy didn’t play much at all. Then we have our three main veteran guys. So we have spots open at virtually every position.”

Franklin opted to pass on his senior season and enter the draft following an impressive junior campaign. The shooting guard, standing at 6’5″ and weighing 205 pounds, averaged 17 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists this past season.

The Mavericks and Franklin have a workout scheduled in Dallas for Monday June 3rd.

Strengths: Jamaal Franklin first and foremost defines a competitor. He exemplifies heart and fearlessness on the basketball court.

He beholds legitimate NBA two guard size which assists him on both ends of the floor. Franklin loves to attack the basket, plays above the rim with immense athleticism and earns plenty of trips to the foul line (8.2 FTAs per 40 according to DraftExpress).

Rebounding stands out in Franklin’s game because he’s relentless on the glass for his position. His average of 9.5 rebounds per game led the Aztecs and ranked best among all NCAA Division I shooting guards.

Franklin’s ability to create for teammates exists and shows his offensive awareness and above average court vision. His all-around defensive repertoire is portrayed in his lane instincts, man-on-man ball pressure and overall intensity to work on that end of the floor.

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Weaknesses: Despite leading the SDSU Aztecs in points, rebounds, assists and steals there are areas in which Franklin can improve.

Franklin’s efficiency would increase with better judgment in his shot selection. On several occasions he’s guilty of launching ill-advised jumpers early in the shot clock. For the blessed athlete his is, Franklin’s set shot doesn’t own much lift and usually lacks consistency, but certainly an area he can adjust.

While leading his team in nightly helpers, Franklin in turn also led his comrades with 3.4 turnovers per game. That’s an alarmingly high number and Franklin must significantly trim those to earn consistent minutes in an NBA rotation.

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How Jamaal Franklin fits in Dallas: Right away I like the idea of a player with Franklin’s persona meshing with what Coach Carlisle demands from his guys. Similar to Jae Crowder in the toughness category and desire to work defensively would earn Franklin time in the Mavs rotation immediately.

With the possibility and perhaps likelihood that O.J. Mayo doesn’t return next season, the Mavericks could seek another shooting guard to fill the vacancy. Franklin’s game isn’t similar to Mayo so the two are not an ideal comparison.

Franklin would bring aspects to Dallas that would be warmly welcomed. He’s a rebounder. He’s a slasher. He gets to the free throw line. He’s aggressive in nature. He’s well respected and admired by his coaches. He’s a character guy.

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It would be hard if even possible to find mock drafts that currently have Franklin to Dallas at 13. Most still place Michael Carter-Williams or Dennis Schröder to the Mavs at 13, both of whom we’ve already hit on.

Franklin could possibly move his way up draft boards following his workouts with teams start taking place.

This could also be a Mavs target were they to trade down on draft night. One thing we know – Franklin will be auditioning for Dallas on Monday and we’ll know more after their time together.

Video courtesy of Impact Basketball

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Go! Caution! Stop! Mavericks Traffic – Who should be Back Next Season?

by MavsFanatic on April 20, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

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What to do with the final 15 Mavs players of the 2012-2013 season?

With a bevy of changes on the horizon in Mavsland, let’s take a glance at the 15 players on the 2012-2013. We’ll take time to discuss who we think who will definitely be back, who should return and those on a thin line.

It’s never simple to determine exactly who will fall into the needs while a whirlwind of changes occur, but we’re going to base this on the season’s production and abilities to best contribute in Dallas going forward.

Below the Mavs are listed by minutes played per game with the exception of listing Dirk Nowitzki ahead of O.J. Mayo.

Green Light – GO Yellow Light – CAUTION Red Light – STOP

The 15 Mavs players to end the season in Dallas:

Dirk Nowitzki – 31.3 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

Ryan Wilson: GO Ladies and Gentlemen, the Pride of the Dallas Mavericks. The Tall Baller From The G. One can only hope that Nowitzki gets some solid talent to surround him for the final stage of his career. After missing 27 games to start the season, and having to get his conditioning in order, he began to show signs of his old self the final few weeks of the season.

Damian Jackson: GO for the greatest Dallas Maverick ever. Dirk said he belongs to the city of Dallas and wants to never put on another NBA jersey. Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson and all Mavs fans share the same feelings. The soon-to-be father is the easiest decision.

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O.J. Mayo – 35.5 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: CAUTION the man that everyone has a different opinion on going into next season. Mayo started off his 2012-2013 campaign on a very high note, but fizzled as the season continued. His inconsistent shooting combined with his poor ball-handling skills make him tough to go forward with. However, you forget that Mayo is only 25 years old, and even though that excuse is getting old, he can still be molded into a fine sixth man. A starter he is not, and it’s important the Mavericks know that when negotiating with him.

DJ: CAUTION with the 25-year old shooting guard. His choice to become a free agent made financial sense because he simply wants a longterm deal for security. The Mavs and Mayo appear to want one another going forward, but at what price? I think Mayo at $5M-$6M annually over three of four years is reasonable. Even better would be using Mayo as the sixth man, a role Jason Terry also shifted to and had great success.

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Shawn Marion – 30.0 MPG (ETO for 2013-2014)

RW: GO Marion will most likely opt in for his $9.3 million and stay with the Mavs for the 2013-2014 season. The “Matrix” had a very solid year, and his numbers increased across the board from last year. He still remains a solid defender and can still be very effective around the rim.

DJ: GO with the only other mainstay from the champion team besides Dirk. Matrix fully expects to stick with Dallas on his $9.3M. He’s aging, but you wouldn’t notice since he always plays hard and still remains among the league’s best defenders. Only way Marion isn’t a Mav next season is if the MBT utilizes him as part of a high profile blockbuster deal/signing that clearly improves the roster.

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Darren Collison – 29.3 MPG (Qualifying offer for 2013-2014)

RW: STOP Collison was brought in to be the Mavs point guard, and one who could possibly be the point guard of the future. After 47 games off inconsistent play, he was summoned to a bench role, where he flourished often. He is a restricted free agent, and after saying he wants to be a starter, it should prove to be the end of a short road in Dallas for DC.

DJ: CAUTION for the speedy Collison depending on the situation. The Mavs front office knows they cannot go into next season with DC as the starting point. Despite his view, Collison excels as a change of pace PG off the bench. If the Mavs can add a quality starter and don’t select a PG in the draft, I think they will try and convince DC to return as a reserve. That may be easier said than done.

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Vince Carter – 25.8 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

RW: GO Vinsanity proved to be a major punch off of the bench, and had the Mavericks competed enough to make it to the post-season, could’ve proven to be a candidate for “Sixth Man of The Year”. He shot a higher percentage from the field, and from behind the arc. He is set to make a little over $3 million next season, and should be a solid bet to produce off the bench again next season.

DJ: GO for the former half MAN/half AMAZING. He was outstanding in other ways this year besides his signature high-flying jams. He became a major locker room/veteran presence and shot the 3-ball with his most success since his third NBA season in 2000-2001. VC is set to earn $3.81M next season and he’s one of the league’s top value players based on a production-to-cost ratio (Excluding players on rookie-scale contracts).

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Elton Brand – 21.2 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: STOP Brand was brought in on a very small one year deal, and after enduring an injury plagued season, contributed very little. He averaged career lows in points, rebounds, and assists. While that has a large part to do with playing significantly low minutes, he is more likely to join a team where he can finally get a chance at his first championship.

DJ: CAUTION As most guys say, Brand wants back in Dallas. He did add that he prefers strictly backup PF minutes, not center. EB plays with force and would be a great keep if he earned similar or less money than this year ($2.1M). He shouldn’t be a top priority and therefore patience will be important. Once the dust settles, Mavs can see what they have left to offer the former Dukie.

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Chris Kaman – 20.7 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: STOP Kaman was brought on to a Mavs franchise who struggled ever having a consistent big scoring option. Kaman was also plagued with a few injuries during the season, but could never really mesh with this ball club. As a result, he lashed out at coaching and upper management a few times, resulting in his worst year in terms of scoring and rebounding.

DJ: STOP for a center I was initially quite happy about signing last summer. Kaman can score, but he doesn’t bring much else on the court. Despite their friendship, their partnership on the floor didn’t flow as well. Dirk needs a rim protector at center for the utmost success of the team. Not sure Kaman wants to take less money to be a reserve center. Therefore I believe he will receive better offers elsewhere and move on. The Mavs won’t stop him.

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Mike James – 19.2 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: CAUTION The Mavericks brought in James once Derek Fisher pulled the ol’ Lookly Lue on the Mavericks, leaving them for family issues only to eventually join the rival Oklahoma City Thunder. While James shot pretty well from beyond the arc, he failed to do so overall, shooting only 37% from the field. He has played for 11 teams in his career and most signs point to a 12th here in the near future. I could, however, see the Mavericks keeping him as a player off the bench.

DJ: GO even though this seems crazy. At one point I had been calling Mike James ‘Tenday’ but he’s an ultra competitor, plays with heart and has embraced the Mavs fan base. If James wants to stick around to be the second/third string PG at the vet minimum, I have no issue with it.

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Brandan Wright – 18.0 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: GO Brandan Wright had a good year, once Carlisle decided to let the kid play. We might not be able to see much more of him in a Mavericks jersey, as other teams would likely be able to outbid the Mavericks for his services, as the Mavericks try to free up as much cap space as possible. The Mavericks front office has made it very clear they want him to stay, which is an approach I would have to agree with.

DJ: GO without almost any doubt. BWright finally received consistent minutes and his confidence flourished along with his game. He still has some flaws with defensive rotations and covering bigger centers, but he’s more than made up for it offensively and improved rebounding. Wright will command more than the minimum he’s had the past two seasons and the Mavs should pay him fair to watch his prime years develop in Mavs Blue.

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Jae Crowder – 17.3 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

RW: GO I like Jae Crowder. I don’t care what everyone says. He’s young, and makes a lot of mistakes, but he’s young. He’s a very physical player and if he can work on his shooting and presence in the open court, Jae could prove to be a very nice piece off the bench.

DJ: GO for the tough Marquette product. Crowder proved to be a solid rotation player most of the season drafted in the second round. He’s guaranteed money next season at a very reasonable price and fits in the Maverick future plans. However, it is possible Jae becomes a sweetener in an offseason trade, but if he avoids that fate he’ll return to the play where he wants to call home – Big D.

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Roddy Beaubois – 12.2 MPG (Qualifying offer for 2013-2014)

RW: STOP Poor Roddy. Another up and down year led to him finally putting together some solid games, only to break his hand immediately after. It’s always been an up and down career for Roddy as Maverick, and this seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

DJ: STOP in what should mark the end of Roddy Buckets with the Dallas Mavericks. A guy who showed incredible promise his rookie season never panned out due to several injuries that hindered his progress. The MBT has waited long enough and will likely not bring Roddy B back for a fifth season. For sure…

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Bernard James – 9.9 MPG (Non-Guaranteed for 2013-2014)

RW: STOP Bernard actually cracked the starting lineup a few times this year, but seriously, who didn’t? His numbers weren’t anything to take note on, but he did seem to be a presence on the defensive end. He has a non-guaranteed contract for next season, so could be on his way out.

DJ: CAUTION here simply because Sarge and Brandan Wright are redundant. Wright is younger and has an advanced offensive arsenal. Both protect the rim in similar manor. The price isn’t the issue so it’ll come down to fit. James wouldn’t be a bad third string center if the Mavs can acquire a full-time starter for the position. My guess at this point is Sarge returns, there’s no risk.

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Anthony Morrow – 4.8 MPG

RW: STOP Morrow was brought in to hopefully give the Mavericks some shooting options off the bench, but never really was given the opportunity. He will now be a free agent, and seeing as there are better options out there in terms of shooting guards, it figures to be a short stay for him.

DJ: GO and light it up A-Mo! Morrow came to Dallas midway in the season, but didn’t crack the rotation behind Mayo, Carter and Crowder. Morrow’s chances of returning may depend on what happens with Mayo. Fans love Morrow and he owns one of the purest jumpers in the league. Will he get an opportunity with the Mavs? He has my vote.

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Jared Cunningham – 3.3 MPG (Under contract in 2013-2014)

RW: CAUTION Not really sure what the deal is with J1Flight. His athleticism is off the chart, but he is a work in progress. He still has another year under contract, so hopefully the Mavs can do some work and get him ready to contribute.

DJ: STOP even though he’s on a first round guaranteed deal. I think it’s very likely Cunnington ends up dealt over the summer in some kind of trade. He never really made an impact for the Mavs, spending much time with the D-League affiliate Texas Legends. He’s got the athletic aspect on his side, but development needs to happen, but finding court time with Dallas may not happen.

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Josh Akognon – 3.0 MPG (Unrestricted Free Agent)

RW: CAUTION Akognon was on the Mavs for 8 games, and played a total of 9 minutes in 3 games of action. While there could be potential there, he is not under contract. He could come back for a small contract and see what he could become as a Maverick.

DJ: STOP although he’s a cool ass story. Akognon straight killed the Chinese league with a 29.0 point per game average. He did play in three games for the Mavs at the end of the year and scored his first NBA points. That said, Akognon will more than likely find work elsewhere in the association or back overseas.

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Now it’s your turn; tell us who you think should be Mavericks next year. Also who you feel it’s time to move on. It’s going to be one of the craziest and most active offseasons for the Dallas Mavericks. Gear up MavsNation!

- Mavs Fanatic Founder & Partner Ryan Wilson, Damian Jackson

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Mavs Game Night: Pray. Win. Shave.

by Damian Jackson on April 14, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

dalatnoh

Despite postseason contention out the window, the Dallas Mavericks willed their way to a home 108-105 overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets Friday night. The win brought the Mavs within one game of .500 once again.

When Dallas visits the New Orleans Hornets they will try to fulfill and cease the beard pact made what feels FOREVER ago. And boy is it time, Dirk needs a shave badly.

This time around the Mavs better be prepared and ready for the fight. They last had the opportunity against the West-worst Phoenix Suns, but were outplayed and took the loss.

“Whether it’s a preseason game or regular season game, I do my regular routine, I stretch and get in my nap,” said Nowitzki. “Once I go out there, it’s fun, I try to win and go out there and compete. We got three games left and we have to go for them.”

Nowitzki, Vince Carter and O.J. Mayo each scored 20 points or more in the win against the Nuggets. The well balanced attack coupled with the fight to comeback exemplified heart.

“We fought to the end. It was a needed win … I just want to end the season on a positive note and go hard. Play it to the end and see what happens.” – Vince Carter

Dirk is 10 points short of reaching 25,000 points in his career. He admitted he’d prefer to reach the milestone in front of the home fans, but will be satisfied either way. Basically he’s saying he’s scoring 10+ tonight against the Hornets.

New Orleans has shut down Anthony Davis (knee) for the season, but have plenty of guys who have given the Mavs trouble in the season series. Eric Gordon has averaged 23.3 points over his last three games and Ryan Anderson is second in the NBA with 208 made 3-pointers.

“We are all feeling frustrated because we know we can win,” coach Monty Williams said.

The Hornets have always given the Mavs trouble in New Orleans and will attempt to play spoiler and keep the Mavs itchy.

After tonight’s game, Dallas concludes its season with two home games against Memphis and these Hornets. The Mavs are 16-24 on the road and look to win their last game away from the American Airlines Center.

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Mavericks at Hornets tip at 5:00 p.m. CT and airs on FSSW/FSNO/NBATV.

Let’s Go Mavs!

Source: TheTwoManGame, ESPN

 

 

 

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