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Mavs Schedule Release: 5 Must See Match-Ups

by Greg Higgins on August 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a bitter-sweet season. It was a season in which they finally made it back to the postseason after sitting out the year before. However, they got beat in the first round in seven games against the San Antonio Spurs. They did manage to take the eventual NBA champions further than anyone else did in the playoffs – which was encouraging.

The offseason has brought about significant changes to the Mavericks and fans are extremely optimistic. Bringing back Tyson Chandler and adding Chandler Parsons, Richard Jefferson and Jameer Nelson make for a very interesting basketball team.

One of the more interesting days in the offseason, is when the NBA releases their schedule for the upcoming season. Today happened to be the lucky day. It’s always fun to look ahead and see the weird oddities of the schedule. For instance, four of the first six games are on the road. This includes an opening night stint with the defending champions in San Antonio as the Mavs will have to watch Tim Duncan and crew raise another championsip banner.

Dallas has a home-and-home series with the Denver Nuggets in January and another one with the Spurs in March. Dallas will face every team at least once at home as part of their 41 home games. Here are five home games that are a must see if you’re a Mavs fan.

 

Sunday, November 9 – Miami at Dallas

Even though the rosters are different, there is something about this game that gets fans going every year. I guess playing each other in the finals twice in six seasons will do that to a fan base. These are two teams that don’t need any introduction. Even though LeBron James is gone, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are still holding down the fort in South Beach. No matter how both teams are playing, each one seems to bring their “A” game for this matchup.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 21 – LA Lakers at Dallas

After sitting out most of last season with an injury, Kobe Bryant makes his return to the AAC for the first time in a long time. The new-look Lakers will be interesting to watch, and could this be Kobe’s last year in the league?

 

 

Saturday, December 20 – San Antonio at Dallas

This game needs no introduction, or at least it shouldn’t. These two teams battled for seven games in one of the more dramatic playoff series we’ve ever seen. Even though the Spurs won the seris, nobody will ever forget where they were on Saturday afternoon when Vince Carter hit the game winning three-pointer to put Dallas up 2–1 in the series. Both teams have mutual respect for each other but hate one another at the same time. Two of the best power forwards of all time will be battling it out again. The crowd at the AAC will be rocking for this game. Make sure you’re there.

 

 

Sunday, December 28 – Oklahoma City at Dallas

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will make their way into the AAC for the first time this season right after Christmas. They will probably be wanting a little payback as Dallas took two of the three games from them last year, including a thrilling overtime game in March. Durant, one of the most exciting players to watch in the game is worth the price of a ticket himself most nights.

 

 

Monday, February 9 – LA Clippers at Dallas

This isn’t a huge rival game but last year these two teams played the most entertaining baseketball of the season. It was the Clippers who came storming back from a 17 point deficit in the final five minutes of the game to defeat Dallas. The fact is, all four games between the Mavs and Clippers were high-drama. The chances of them giving us an encore this season is slim but still worth trying in my opinion.

 

 

(Bonus) Tuesday, March 10 – Cleveland at Dallas

It’s hard to imagine how crazy good the Cavs might be with Kevin Love and LeBron on the same team. Pairing the best player in the game with the best rebounder in the game is a scary combination but should be a lot of fun to watch. This will be the Cavs only trip to Dallas this year, barring a matchup in the Finals. I’m pretty sure that’s an NBA Final’s matchup that every Mavs’ fan would sign up for in a heartbeat.

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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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A Waiting Game For the Mavericks

by Damian Jackson on April 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WaitingGame

The Dallas Mavericks were the only NBA team to have played 81 games when Saturday night concluded.

A playoff berth was clinched, but the seeding remains undetermined.

What we do know is that after the loss by Golden State in Portland and a Memphis win in Los Angeles, the Mavericks can land anywhere from 6th to 8th.

6th Seed – To steal the 6-spot, Dallas would need the Warriors to loss their last two games and win its last in Memphis. Likely opponent in first round – Los Angeles Clippers.

7th Seed – Either Memphis loss in its last two (@PHX & vs DAL) or Dallas win at Memphis. Likely opponent – Oklahoma City Thunder.

8th Seed – In order to land here the Mavericks would have to lose to Memphis and the Grizzlies win its final two. First round – San Antonio Spurs.

Since the Mavs don’t play until the last day of the regular season, it becomes a wait and see approach.

DALMEMPHX

The Phoenix Suns host the Grizzlies tonight. A Memphis victory would eliminate the Suns from playoff contention. If the Suns win, it would come down to the last night with Memphis holding the tiebreaker. Dallas would be guaranteed 7th with a Phoenix win.

Golden State returns home and welcome in the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday evening. Stephen Curry scored his season-high 47 points in the overtime loss last night. A Warriors win against the Wolves would end Dallas’ chances for 6th.

Dallas controls its own destiny. They may get help before Wednesday night, but for now Monday and Tuesday will be a waiting game.

 

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MFFL: Why I Love This Game

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

LoveThisGame

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

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

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Allsport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kevin Durant photo courtesy of AP Photo/LM Otero

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Wrap Up: Mavs Triumph Over Thunder in OT

by Terence Huie on March 26, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpTrixDirkJose

The Dallas Mavericks (43-29) end the night with a much needed win, defeating the West’s second best Oklahoma City Thunder (52-19) 128-119 in overtime. The victory puts the Mavs just a half game above the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot.

How it went down:

The moment the game tipped, both teams started in a sloppy fashion. Despite the Mavs and Thunder committing 11 total turnovers in the first period, Dallas took advantage of the Thunder’s lack of production on offense. The Mavs converted 7-of-8 at the charity stripe by entering the bonus just three minutes into first quarter. By the second quarter, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would spark some fire for Oklahoma City. Durant’s 20 points in the first half (including 7-of-8 from the free throw line) put his team up 60-59 at the midway point.

The second half was a fairly different story as the teams battled throughout the game trading baskets in the third quarter. Two back-to-back 3-pointers from Vince Carter and deep 3-point shot by Jose Calderon gave the Mavs a two-point lead under two mintues in the period. But Kevin Durant would answer back with a 24-foot jumper from behind the line, putting OKC up by four points to start the last quarter.

Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis would not go down without a fight in the fourth quarter. Ellis and Dirk each scored eight in the last quarter alone, providing the Mavs a three point lead with 55 seconds left in the game. After two clutch 3-point jumpers from Derek Fisher and Durant, Calderon (6-of-9 3PTM) responded with a critical triple from the top of the key to send the game into overtime.

Dallas entered the current homestand’s third overtime game with the determination for victory. Dirk refused defeat, scoring a pair on a tough one-legged fadeaway over Durant then a dagger 3-point basket which put the game away.

Inside the Numbers:

Seven Mavericks scored in double figures, including Calderon’s 22 points.

Dallas is now 3-11 when allowing opponents to score 60 or more points in the first half; the Thunder led 60-59 at the intermission.

Kevin Durant scored 43 points, his 36th consecutive game totaling at least 25 points. He needs five more to pass Michael Jordan’s record of 40 such games. Durant is averaging 38.2 points over his past five games.

Impact Play of the Game:

Russell Westbrook stole the ball from Dirk with 55 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. After a Thunder timeout, Durant would shoot and make a triple over Marion who appeared to play the drive with 39.9 remaining.

The impact play came when Dirk who launch a potential game-tying three, but miss and reserve center Brandan Wright grabbed the game’s most important offensive rebound. Wright tracked the ball down near the far corner, scanned the floor before quickly kicking it out to an open Calderon. BANG! Jose would connect on his fifth long ball of the game and force the extra session.
MavsGM72

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki redeemed himself in this game versus the Thunder, following a painful performance against the Nets from Sunday night. Dirk really showed he can still get the job done at age 35. Nowitzki finished the game with 32 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals while shooting 47% from the field.

 

 

What They Said:


 

On Deck:

The Mavs play game five of the home stand on Thursday night when Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers come to town. The game can be seen on FSSW at 7:30 p.m. CT.

 

(Photos by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

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Mavs Game Night: Dallas Plays Host to Oklahoma City

by Terence Huie on March 25, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightPaula

The Dallas Mavericks (42-29) have four games left in their 8-game home stand, looking forward to the intra-conference matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder (52-18).

The Game At Hand:

Dallas has performed somewhat sluggish as of late, winning only five of nine games since the All-Star Break. Sunday night is a prime example of the Mavs’ late season struggles with a heartbreaking overtime defeat versus the Brooklyn Nets. It is important for the Mavericks to win tonight to maintain the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

As for the Thunder, this young, yet experienced team is currently holding a 2-1 record in the season series against the Mavericks. Oklahoma City has shown no signs of slowing down this season by winning six of their last seven games. With Thunder guard Russell Westbrook returning tonight (knee), the Mavs have a tough task of defending both Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

Keys To The Game:

1. Stop KD

The Mavs gameplan should be displayed short and sweet into a hashtag: “#STOPKD”. Capitalizing all the letters in this hashtag emphasizes how important it is for the Mavs to defend Kevin Durant. Durant is essentially the foundation of OKC’s offensive production. The All-Star forward has averaged 35 points per game in the last ten, shooting slightly above 50% from the field. Shawn Marion and Vince Carter have to contain and defend Durant as much possible. If Durant catches fire, this game could end on a sour note for the Mavs.

2. “Run Killers”

The Oklahoma City Thunder as a team are what I like to call “Run Killers”. Run Killers are teams that when the opponent starts a scoring run, the team rallies to stop that run. OKC is probably one the best teams at stopping their opponent’s runs, which is why they’ve been one of the most dominant teams in the league. After an opponent’s run, a 3-pointer from Durant, a steal and breakaway dunk by Westbrook or block by Ibaka can crush a team’s morale throughout the game. Every offensive possession is critical for the Mavs when going on scoring runs.

The X-Factor:

Dirk Nowitzki

There are times where MFFLs see amazing performances from Dirk. Then there are the times (not often) where Dirk has “it’s just one of those games” type performances. Sunday night’s game against the Nets was a game that Nowtizki can forget about going forward. Dirk shot an excruciating 16% (2-12 FG), finishing the game with 10 points. Expect Dirk to have better production on the offensive end of the ball tonight.

When and Where:

Tip-off at American Airlines Center tonight is at 7:00 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on nationally on TNT.

GO MAVS and #STOPKD!

 

Playoff Watch:

6. Golden State (44-27) | Next 3 – vs MEM, vs NYK & @DAL

7. Memphis Grizzlies (42-28) | Next 3 – @UTA, @GSW, & @POR

8. Phoenix Suns (42-29) | Next 3 – @WAS, vs NYK, & @LAL

9. Dallas Mavericks (42-29) | Next 3 – vs OKC, vs LAC & vs SAC

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MGN: Crucial Home Stretch Begins As Mavs Take On Celtics

by Ryan Wilson on March 17, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MGN Paige

The Dallas Mavericks (40-27) were handed a gift heading into last night’s matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder (48-18), and took full advantage of it. Missing Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins, and Thabo Sefolosha, the Thunder were no match for the well balanced Mavericks attack. Today, they will begin their long 8-game home stand as they take on the Boston Celtics(22-45).

The Game At Hand:

The Mavs landed a huge victory last night in what many likely had circled as a loss. They now head in to a make or break stretch for their season, and need to not overlook the Celtics to get it started. There have been let downs all season long, so it is a valid concern, but the Celtics will most likely be resting Rajon Rondo on the second night of a back to back.

Expect Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis to get back into the swing of things tonight, as they struggled last night a bit. Nights like last night aren’t all that bad when you show off a squad that is as well rounded offensively as the Mavericks are. On a night where the Mavs two studs didn’t bring their best stuff, other guys like Shawn Marion, Jose Calderon, and Vince Carter stepped right up.

Last time the Mavericks faced off against the Celtics, they prevailed 102-91. They lead by as much as 24 points, and had six guys in double figures.

The Celtics are 0-14 against the West this season on the road this season.

Keys To The Game:

1. Put Them Away Early

The Mavericks need to come out of the gates fast and early tonight against a Rondo-less Celtics squad. It’s never a good idea to let teams that have nothing to play for hang around. A good quality win will go a long ways in providing some great momentum heading into the rest of the home stand.

2. Run ‘N’ Gun 

While the Celtics might not be a powerhouse on offense, defensively is a whole different story. They allow 95.5 ppg, which is good for 4th best in the NBA, but they do turn the ball over quite a bit, at 15.4 per game. The Mavericks will need to take advantage of that and turn that into easy baskets.

Matchup of the Night:

Mavericks vs Mavericks 

On any given night, you don’t know which Mavericks team will show up. Riding a huge wave of momentum from last nights victory, the Mavericks can’t do what many people think can happen, which is have a let down against a Boston Celtics squad that doesn’t belong in the same gym with the Mavs. The Mavericks are a dangerous team when focused on both ends of the floor, and some teams have started to notice that. It’s the games where the focus and energy is lacking when they can easily be exposed. Which team will show up is anyone’s guess, but for the Mavericks to right the playoff ship and climb the standings, they will need to make sure they bring that energy each and every night.

Quotes:

 

“I’ve never seen an eight-game homestand in this league in 30 years. It’s very unusual. There’s opportunity here, but it’s going to be very challenging, too. We’re going to have to work to keep our edge every day and every night, and we’ll find out a lot about our character. The ability to keep that edge is one of the signs of real competitive character, and we’re going to have to have it.” - Rick Carlisle on 8-game home stand

 

“We can’t jump ahead of ourselves. Every team that we’re playing is capable of beating us and we know that. We’ve got to understand that, go out there and take it one game at a time and see what we can do.” - Shawn Marion 

 

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 (42-26) | Next 3 – ORL, MIL, &  San Antonio

7. Dallas Mavericks (40-27) | Next 3 – BOS, MIN, & DEN

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

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

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Wrap Up: Mavs Hammer Thunder Behind Balanced Attack

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

WrapUpGm37

The Dallas Mavericks (40-27) finished off their three-game road trip in Oklahoma City to face the Thunder (48-18) on Sunday night. The Thunder, who were without Russell Westbrook for the night, were trying to increase their winning streak over Dallas to 12. The Mavs weren’t having any of it though as they went on to win 109-86.

How it went down:

At 16-11, the Oklahoma City Thunder had their largest lead of the night. When Vince Carter hit a three-pointer to put the Mavs up 24-21, it was for good. Dallas never trailed nor was the game tied after that point.

Despite their best efforts, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka couldn’t keep the Thunder in the game. Durant finished with 30 and Ibaka had 19 for OKC but the rest of the team was held at bay by the Mavs defense.

Dallas was led by a balanced attack in which no player had more than 19 points but five players finished in double figures. Dallas built a lead as big as 26 in the game and they held one of the more prolific offenses to only 36.7% shooting on the night. Dallas shot 53.3% from the field and they made 13 three-pointers, including four each from Vince Carter and Jose Calderon.

Inside the Numbers:

Dallas outrebounded OKC 42-33

Dallas had 40 points in the paint to only 22 for OKC

Impact Play of the Game

With the game tied at 19, Rick Carlisle inserted his reserve players. Brandan Wright, Devin Harris and Vince sparked a Mavs run that put them up by 10 early in the 2nd quarter. The Mavs never looked back.

201403162034740836286Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Shawn Marion

Marion led the team in scoring with 19 points and he also grabbed six rebounds. However, he was extremely active on both sides of the floor. Whether it was getting loose balls, grabbing rebounds or whatever, he was active and caused all kinds of problems for the Thunder defense.

Quotes:

“We played well. And look, they’re down a great player, so we caught a break there. But you’ve still got to go out and play. They’ve had a great record with and without Westbrook, so it’s a game we needed. I mean, we need every one with the battle that we’re in, and we did some good things.” – Rick Carlisle

 

“We came out there and took them out of everything they wanted to do pretty much. We made it hard for them and we were moving the ball. And everybody was helping each other.” – Shawn Marion

On Deck:

The Mavs return home for a franchise-long eight-game home stand starting Monday Night against the Boston Celtics. The game can be seen on FSSW at 7:30 p.m. CT.

 

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Mavs Game Night: Dallas Faces Tough Task in OKC

by Damian Jackson on March 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightMavsDancers

The Dallas Mavericks (39-27) continue to truck along in their wild playoff race along with Golden State, Memphis and Phoenix. After a solid road win behind the magnificent Dirk Nowitzki performance in Utah, Dallas now faces the Oklahoma City Thunder (48-17) – a team they’ve lost to 11 straight times.

The Game At Hand:

The Mavs took care of business against the Jazz, but winning tonight in Oklahoma City will be all kinds of difficult. As mentioned the Thunder have only lost to the Mavericks once since the two teams met in the 2011 Western Conference Finals. In the 11 consecutive defeats, including the 2012 first round sweep, Dallas lost by six or less in seven of those games.

At the end of the day, close does not cut it. It gives you a chance, but losing still feels the same awful way.

Dallas comes into tonight’s game on three days rest. They are 8-4 when playing after a two or three day break. Meanwhile the Thunder are a mere 5-5 in such games. What this tells you is the Mavericks should come out guns blazin’ against a team with much younger legs and put them on their heels.

Keys To The Game:

1. Play Smart

The Mavericks right now have it in their minds the Thunder have not been easy to beat. They know this. You don’t lose 11 straight to a team and not have them in your head. The time of having that advantage over the diaper babies Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is over. It’s now about playing smart and making less mistakes than they do. OKC thrives off turnovers and piling up points on the break. Limit those chances for them by valuing the ball.

2. Effort and Hustle

It’s not always going to guarantee the win, but effort and hustle go a long way in ensuring you left everything on the court without the feeling of regret. That said, we’ve seen the games where our Mavericks have etched into our minds hustle plays that proved the urgency to win (The Vince Carter multiple tap rebound and eventual Jose Calderon 3-point basket vs. Indiana). It’ll be important Dallas shows that level of effort tonight and outwork the Thunder in the trenches.

Matchup of the Night:

Thunder Bench vs Mavericks Bench

To think anyone is going to stop or slow down the league’s best scorer in Durant isn’t realistic, these days it’s like false hope. What you can do is make him work hard for his scoring attempts. The point is Durant and the seemingly always snarled-faced Westbrook will get theirs more often than not. Same can be said for Dirk.

This leads me to an area of strength for the Mavericks and where the Thunder are well-equipped themselves. Each team has a bench mixed with veterans and some youth. Dallas boasts a group of Devin Harris, F/C duo Brandan Wright and DeJuan Blair led by the age-defying Vince Carter. They’ve played extremely well of late which really helps a starting unit that can go cold outside of Dirk and Monta Ellis.

OKC has used both Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III off the bench with veterans Nick Collison and Derek Fisher. A short time ago they added former Mavs champion Caron Butler to add even more experience.

Looking forward to watch which reserve group brings more to the table tonight. This clearly needs to roll in Dallas’ favor as they don’t possess the same firepower to match the Durant/Westbrook combo.

Quotes:

 

“Dirk is one of the best shot makers in the game’s history. [Monta] Ellis does a good job of finding his offense with his aggressiveness, his quickness, he gets to the paint. We’re really going to have to play good defense for 24 seconds because they pass until they find a good shot.”

 – Thunder head coach Scott Brooks on Dallas’ attack

 

“They [OKC] put a lot of pressure on both ends. You have to get good shots and the only way to do that is to move the ball, quickly. If you turn it over, those guys are doing chin-ups, if they’re dunks, and they get going in that building.”

- Rick Carlisle on the Thunder

When and Where:

Tip-off at Chesapeake Energy Arena tonight is at 6:00 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Oklahoma.

Playoff Watch:

6. Golden State (41-26) | Next 3 – @POR, vs ORL, vs MIL

7. Dallas Mavericks (39-27) | Next 3 – @OKC, vs BOS, vs MIN

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

9. Phoenix Suns (36-27) | Next 3 – @BKN, vs ORL, vs DET

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Trade Deadline Series: Mavs’ Player Market Value (Part 2)

by Albert Luna on February 11, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

TradeDeadline288

Welcome to day two of our series, in which we are looking at teach Mavericks player and their value on the trade market with other teams. Be sure to check back every day as we count down towards the trade deadline.

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Players: Wayne Ellington and Gal Mekel

A sharpshooting 3 point specialist and a rookie from Israel, what is the value of the fringe rotation players for the Mavs?

Salaries:

Ellington- $ 2, 500, 00; Mekel- $ 490,180

Age:

Ellington- 26 years 3 months, Mekel- 25 years, 11 months

Season Stats:

Ellington: 3.1 PPG-1.0 RPG-0.4 APG. Mekel: 2.4 PPG-2.1 APG-0.9 RPG

Potential: 

Ellington - Spark plug reserve shooter off the bench for a contender, role player/ fringe starter for a bad (20 – 25 win) team.

Mekel - Solid pass first backup point guard for a playoff team in about 2 years.

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Trade Value:

ellington

Signed to a two-year, $5,423,340 contract. Ellington will be paid $2,652,000 in 2013-14. He was signed with the “room” exception. The former UNC stand out was thought to be a perfect candidate for a “3-and-D” role; a position the Mavs haven’t really had since Deshawn Stevenson in the 2011 championship season. Those aspirations however have simply not evolved. Ellington has essentially lost his spot in the rotation to the much improved Jae Crowder. Now with that said, the $ 5.4 million contract seems a little over priced for a player that’s only receiving spots minutes (mostly when games have already been decided). Ellington is currently the 8th highest player on the team, earning more than the likes of Devin Harris, DeJuan Blair, and Jae Crowder. But in today’s NBA, every team could always use a good shooter and with Ellington hitting on nearly 40% of his 3’s this season (up from a career average of 38%) it is well within reason to shop Ellington for a cheaper, possibly younger prospect. Ellington could also be traded to a contender in need of a shooter (such as the Blazers, Heat, or Thunder) for possibly a future draft pick. The Mavs are likely shopping this contract more than any other players as he is such a good asset that simply has better talent in front of him. If a team is willing to give a good offer, the Mavs will be sure to listen.

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Aaron Brooks, Gal Mekel

Signed to a three-year minimum contract that is fully guaranteed. Mekel will make $490,180 in 2013-14.  Mekel (a product of Israel in which he was the MVP of the “Super” League) was a highly touted prospect who had also been on the radar of Milwaukee, Atlanta, Indiana, and Memphis this past summer. Mekel wanted to land with a team that would give him a multi-year deal to provide security as he adjusted to the NBA. The Mavs were the team that ultimately stepped up and offered that to him. Mekel initially started the season as the primary backup point guard with Shane Larkin and Devin Harris being sidelined with injuries. Mekel handled the pressure well for the Mavs as he averaged 5 points and 4 assists through his first 10 games. The 11th game of the season however marked Shane Larkin’s debut which cut Mekel’s time considerably. Now Mekel has a torn meniscus that will keep him out at least a few more weeks. The PG’s trade value is very low (mostly due to the injury) but he could realistically be put into a deal that involves bigger names as most teams are set on back up point guards. Mekel is seen more as a long term asset that will hopefully be a bargain on this very cheap contract by the time year 3 rolls around.

Days until trade deadline: 9 days

Stay tuned!

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