Become a Fanatic! Register Here or Already a fanatic? Sign in Here


Wrap Up: Ellis Leads Balanced Mavs Effort over Magic

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

Wrap Up

The Dallas Mavericks (23-16) did exactly what they needed to do on Monday night as they took care of business against the Orlando Magic (10-28). After a stretch in which the Mavs lost four of three of four games, Dallas has now won three in a row after defeating the New Orleans Pelicans twice and the Magic by a score of 107-88.

How It Went Down:

Orlando tried to keep the game close early but the Mavs, behind a balance scoring attack, jumped out to a 22 point lead late in the first half. Dallas had six players in double-figure scoring. Samuel Dalembert is the only started that didn’t finish in double-digit scoring. Monta Ellis led all scorers with 21 points.

There was a point in the third quarter where Orlando cut the lead down to six but Dallas quickly got it back to double digits. Perhaps another overlooked aspect to the game is the fact that Rick Carlisle was able to keep the minutes down on most of his players. Only Monta and Jose Calderon played more than 30 minutes in the game.

This is critical considering Dallas just finished four games in five nights and have a tough stretch of games coming up in which they will play Phoenix Suns, LA Clippers and Portland Trailblazers. Shawn Marion did miss the game due to a shoulder contusion he suffered against the LA Lakers last week. It was Marion’s fourth game to miss and it’s unsure if he’ll be available on the two-game road trip.

Inside the Numbers: 

Dallas made 13 three-pointers against Orlando. It’s the second time in three games Dallas has made more than 10 threes.

Except for a brief stint in the first quarter in which Orlando led by one point, Dallas pretty much led wire to wire in the game.

Impact Play of the Game:

Five minutes into the second half, the Magic cut an 18 point deficit down to six points. Dalembert got an offensive rebound off a Dirk Nowitzki missed shot and put it back for two points. That was a start of a 21-9 run to end the third quarter. The lead was pushed back to 18 and Dallas never looked back.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Ellington came off the bench for Dallas and played 20 solid minutes. He finished with 12 points, including two made threes. He also grabbed six boards for the Mavs.

Quotes:

“They’re not just going to give you the game, so you’ve got to play. They made a couple of runs at us. We did a good job of getting the lead back up in the game. It’s good. … We’ve got a lot of big games coming up”

– Rick Carlisle

 

“I mean, that’s what it’s about. When a guy goes down, everybody is picking each other up collectively as a group, and we did a really good job tonight. I feel like we really moved the ball, everybody got some good looks, and the result was we got a good win.” 

– Wayne Ellington

 

“In the first half, I thought we set the tone and we got a lead right away, which is usually nice for us. Sometimes we start a little slow, but if they call the first timeout and we’re up then I usually like our chances. That was good the way we set the tone. That’s what we want.”

– Dirk Nowitzki

On Deck: Dallas will now travel out for a two-game road trip which starts in Los Angeles. The Mavs will be playing the Clippers on Wednesday night at 9:30. This is the second meeting between the two teams. The first meeting is the game in which Chris Paul was injured. The game can be seen on FSSW locally.

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mavs Game Night: Dallas vs Orlando

by Greg Higgins on November 16, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightb288

The Dallas Mavericks (5-4) play the second night of a back-to-back as they travel to Orlando for a date with the Orlando Magic (4-5).

The Game at Hand:

Dallas road woes continued against the Miami Heat on Friday night as they lost 110-104. Dallas is undefeated at home with a record of 4-0. However, the road has been a different story as they are currently 1-4, with their only victory coming against the Milwaukee Bucks 91-83.

The Magic could possibly help the Mavericks figure some things out tonight. Dallas has won the last seven meetings against Orlando in Orlando and the Mavericks are 4-0 this year against teams with losing records. In those games, Dallas has won by an average of 12.3 points per game. Currently the Mavericks are 1-3 in the first game of a back-to-back and 2-1 in the second game. They have yet to be swept in back-to-back games this season.

Orlando is coming off a game, though, in which they had to rally from 19 points down to win. Arron Afflalo had a career-high 36 points in the win against the Bucks. Orlando is averaging 99.9 points per game as opposed to 106.4 for Dallas.

Three Keys of the Night

1.     Limit the Turnovers: Dallas had a season high 24 turnovers in the loss to Miami on Friday. Dallas is averaging 17.2 turnovers a game and 19.2 on the road. The Magic are only forcing 14.4 turnovers a game. Do not give them extra chances by turning the ball over.

2.     Rebound: On Friday night the Mavericks only grabbed 34 rebounds, which was nine rebounds less than their average. Tonight they face a team that is averaging 46.2 rebounds, which is four more than the Mavs. DeJuan Blair and Sam Dalembert will have to secure the paint and make sure they win the rebounding battle.

3.     Start fast: Including Friday night, Dallas has scored 30 points in the opening quarter in seven of their first nine games. They are averaging 30.7 points in the first quarter this season as opposed to 25.7 during the 2012-2013 season. Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki both played heavy minutes against the Heat so it would be nice to get a big lead and maintain it so those players can be rested tonight. It’s early in the season but Coach Carlisle doesn’t want to run the minutes up of anyone on his team.

hi-res-6723908_display_image

  • Matchup of the Night: Monta Ellis vs Arron Affalo

 

As previously stated, Affalo had a career-high in points during his last outing. The Magic shooting guard is averaging 21.3 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1 steal a game. Ellis is leading the Mavs in scoring with 22.2 points. He’s also chipping in 4.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game. This matchup should be fun to watch on both ends of the floor.

Quotes:

“Our effort was good. The turnovers doomed us.” – Rick Carlisle about the Miami game.

 

“If we go out and compete every night at this high level and turn our turnovers down, we can beat anybody in this league,” – Monta Ellis

 

Tonight’s game can be seen at 6:00 pm on FSSW.

 

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mavericks Game Night: Orlando at Dallas

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

MavsGameNightb

The Dallas Mavericks will welcome the Orlando Magic to town in their third preseason game. The Mavs wrapped up a solid road 95-90 win in Memphis on Wednesday night.

A week removed from opening exhibition play in the American Airlines Center, Dallas looks to build on its progression from Game 1 to Game 2. One major improvement was trimming the turnovers from 28 down to 16.

Dirk Nowitzki looked in prime condition scoring 20 points on 70% shooting while adding six boards, three assists and a pair of blocks in 24 minutes against the Grizzlies.

Samuel Dalembert looks to continue his success from Wednesday’s game in which he tallied 11 points with seven rebounds and two blocks. Dalembert’s play becomes even more important as backup center Brandan Wright (shoulder) remains out indefinitely.

With the Wright injury it provides an open door opportunity for DeJuan Blair to step up and play more at both backup big man positions. Blair doesn’t provide the same shot-blocking that Wright does, but Blair can alter a game in his own ways.

The Magic arrive in Dallas having dropped two home contests to kick off their preseason action. A guy to keep an eye on will be rookie and second overall draft selection Victor Oladipo.

Orlando had Oladipo run the point during summer league action, but for now he’s coming off the bench behind veterans Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo. With two games in the books, Oladipo is averaging 14 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 27 minutes.

This will be another quality test for the Mavericks who will want to continue their gelling process with so many new faces. Orlando has a talented young roster which shouldn’t be overlooked. Should be a fun one in the AAC!

Game time is 7:30 p.m. CT and will air on TXA 21.


Photo courtesy of AP Photo/John Raoux

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mavs Pre-Season 10 Days Away – A Look Back At Darrell Armstrong

by Kaomi Machelle' on September 27, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

DA

Leading into the last double digit day on the countdown, with today being 10 days left until the Mavs tip-off the season, who better than Mr. D.A better known as Darrell Armstrong.

Darrell Armstrong began his NBA career in 1991, however going un-drafted. After bouncing from team to team in the USBL, today known as D-League, D.A finally signed with the Orlando Magic in the 1994-1995 season. He would join the team for its final 3 games of the season.

D.A grew over time while playing for the Orlando Magic and hard work paid off. Winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in the 97-98 season and followed that up by winning the leagues Most Improved Player award the following year. He became the first player in NBA history to win both back to back.

After nine years with the Magic, D.A left and signed with the New Orleans Hornets as a free agent. Shortly after signing him, NOLA traded him to your Dallas Mavericks for Dan Dickau and a second round pick.

D.A’s career as a Maverick player was short lived. After joining the team and their road to the 2006 Finals, Dallas traded him to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Anthony Johnson. Soon after becoming a Pacer he was waived and picked up by the New Jersey Nets, and finished his player career there.

In 2009, D.A found his home when the Dallas Mavericks hired him as an assistant coach for players development. In 2011 he became an NBA Champion and gave the statement ”Once A Maverick, always a Maverick” a true honor.

Back to Top

Back to Top

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

FAtrackerMayoMIL

UPDATED July 5, 2013 11:09 PM ET: 

ojbucks

 

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:

mstweet

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.

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Mock Draft: Mavs Fanatic First Round 1.0

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

MFMock1

The NBA Draft is three weeks away and player workouts have prospects shifting positions on a daily basis. It’s time that we break out our first edition of the Mock Draft and share our thoughts on who we think will go where based on team need, workout impressions and daily reports.

 

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Nerlens Noel, C Kentucky | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 206

Noel has long been slotted as the top pick in this year’s draft and that hasn’t changed. Expect the Cavs to select the slender defensive center who’s aiming for a December return to the court.

 

 

2. Orlando Magic – Ben McLemore, SG Kansas | Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 188

McLemore has a pure jump shot and great size at SG for the NBA. Along with his shooting, Ben is an incredible athlete and many say he’s likely to be an All-Star level player for years. The Magic need that scoring infusion and McLemore can be that guy.

 

 

3. Washington Wizards – Otto Porter, SF Georgetown | Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 198

Otto Porter wins the Naismith College Player of the Year award if not for Trey Burke’s very impressive run in the tournament. Porter has an all-around game with intangibles that make him as NBA-ready an anyone in this class. Wizards keep Otto in DC.

 

 

4. Charlotte Bobcats – Alex Len, C Maryland | Ht: 7’1″ Wt: 255

Alex Len provides the Bobcats a center they need. With Byron Mullens likely gone it leaves Brendan Haywood. Bismack Biyombo could move to PF while Len offers Charlotte a solid defensive anchor in the middle who isn’t offensively challenged.

 

 

5. Phoenix Suns – Victor Oladipo, SG Indiana | Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 213

The Suns need stability. Victor Oladipo helps in that regard, he’s a relentless worker and plays hard on both ends of the floor. Oladipo would infuse energy into the U.S. Airways crowd, a step in the right direction with a new GM and head coach.

 

 

6. New Orleans Pelicans – Shabazz Muhammad, SF UCLA | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 222

ShaMu this high?! The popular pick is Trey Burke, but they do have the 6-foot-6 Greivis Vasquez running point who averaged 9.0 assists in 78 games last season. The Pelicans have a more pressing need at SF and Shabazz could be the right guy.

 

 

7. Sacramento Kings – Anthony Bennett, PF UNLV | Ht: 6’8″ Wt: 240

Kings need a PG more, but it’d be tough to pass on Bennett if he were to drop here. SI.com says Bennett may have the most star potential in the draft, but is he a tweener? Sneaky skilled for a PF-type, AB would compliment Boogie Cousins well.

 

 

8. Detroit Pistons – Trey Burke, PG Michigan | Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 187

It’s no secret the Pistons want a PG. Michael Carter-Williams could be the choice, but with   Wolverine and College Player of the Year Burke available they may go that route. Burke’s heart and competitiveness would be welcomed in Detroit.

 

 

9. Minnesota Timberwolves – C.J. McCollum, PG/SG Lehigh | Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 197

McCollum makes perfect sense for the Wolves. A combo guard with advanced scoring ability and versatility. The foot injury no longer an issue, McCollum would step in next to Ricky Rubio and relieve some of Kevin Love’s scoring responsibilities.

 

 

10. Portland Trail Blazers – Steven Adams, C Pittsburgh | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 235

Portland hit a homerun (Damian Lillard) and a ground out (Meyers Leonard) in last year’s lottery. Steven Adams represents a true NBA center with his physical tools, rebounding and defense. Tons of upside and an solid fit next to LaMarcus Aldridge.

 

 

11. Philadelphia 76ers – Cody Zeller, PF/C Indiana | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 230

Some have the Blazers snagging Zeller, but he’ll be more of a PF in the NBA. Either way the Sixers will be satisfied to see Zeller fall to them. Cody showed impressive athleticism at the combine and he’d be able to play the 4/5 in Philly.

 

 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Mason Plumlee, C Duke | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 238

OKC could go in several directions with this pick, but smart money says they address the center position. Kendrick Perkins has been disappointing. Plumlee gives the Thunder an explosive big who rebounds very well and finishes with authority above the rim.

 

 

13. Dallas Mavericks – Michael Carter-Williams, PG Syracuse | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 185

The Mavs have their eye set on Carter-Williams. If he makes it to 13, they draft him. His size is special for the position and he owns the best court vision and PG instincts in this class. MCW would be nice addition if Dallas whiffs on Chris Paul.

 

 

14. Utah Jazz – Dennis Schröder, PG Germany | Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 165

Utah has strong interest in Schröder to replace free agent Mo Williams. The 19-year-old PG has a lot of Rajon Rondo in his repertoire. Reports say he received a promise from the Boston Celtics, but he may not make it that far.

 

 

15. Milwaukee Bucks – Jamaal Franklin, SG San Diego State | Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 191

The Bucks face a lot of uncertainties in their backcourt. If Brandon Jennings stays, Milwaukee could use help on the wing. Franklin fits the bill as an above average rebounder, elite athlete and plays aggressive on offense and defense.

 

 

16. Boston Celtics – Gorgui Dieng, C Louisville | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 230

With Schröder likely gone, the Celtics could switch gears and find a center. Dieng owns NBA center size and is skilled defensively. There are other options, but many scouts are high on Dieng ability to contribute immediately.

 

 

17. Atlanta Hawks – Dario Saric, SF Croatia | Ht: 6’10″ Wt: 223

Saric is believed to be the draft’s top international prospect and could go as high as No. 6 to the Pelicans. Naturally this would be quite to steal for the Hawks who will be carefully utilizing their cap space this summer. Saric to withdraw from the draft?

 

 

18. Atlanta Hawks - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Georgia | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 204

The Hawks’ only guards with guaranteed deals are Lou Williams (ACL) and John Jenkins. There’s buzz about Caldwell-Pope and this seems like a good fit for both parties. Hometown kid stays around and Hawks get a legit all-around player.

 

 

19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Sergey Karasev, SG/SF Russia | Ht: 6’7″ Wt: 197

According to reports, sounds like Karasev’s already received a promise and word out there says this is the floor for Karasev. The Cavs really like him. He provides Cleveland a player with immense shooting ability and the size to play either wing position.

 

 

20. Chicago Bulls – Kelly Olynyk, PF/C Gonzaga | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 238

A slide of sorts for Olynyk, but he could still crack the lottery. If the Bulls consider amnesty with Carlos Boozer, the Gonzaga product provides Chicago an ample replacement (along w/ Taj Gibson) whose skill set fit an NBA four.

 

 

21. Utah Jazz – Rudy Gobert, C France | Ht: 7’2″ Wt: 238

The Jazz could double dip in international waters by going Gobert after Schroder. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are set to leave, so Utah could be enticed to take Gobert as a development behind ripe big men Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.

 

 

22. Brooklyn Nets – Tony Mitchell, PF North Texas | Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 237

Mitchell is scheduled to work out for city rival NY Knicks tomorrow, but the Nets have interest as well. Brooklyn could use a PG unless they trust TyShawn Taylor as Deron Williams’ backup. Mitchell’s stock is on the rise nonetheless.

 

 

23. Indiana Pacers – Shane Larkin, PG Miami | Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 171

This would be too sweet for the Pacers. Point guard is an area of need and Larkin falling in their lap is a miracle. Chances of it happening are slim though as he could go as high as 14th or 15th to the Jazz or Bucks.

 

 

24. New York Knicks - Jeff Withey, C Kansas | Ht: 7’0″ Wt: 222

Roy Hibbert’s size was too much for Tyson Chandler and the Knicks. Marcus Camby doesn’t play anymore, Kenyon Martin was too small. Withey plugs in as the immediate backup with great basketball knowledge, physical tools and shot-blocking.

 

 

25. Los Angeles Clippers – Allen Crabbe, SG California | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 198

Crabbe is a talented player with a terrific stroke. The Clippers believe Chris Paul isn’t going anywhere and it’s always wise to surround a PG with shooters. Crabbe works well off screens and in transition, perfect wing type for a Paul-run offense.

 

 

26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Ricky Ledo, SG Providence | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 197

Ledo appears to be the mystery and possible best sleeper of the draft. Someone mentioned he had a Kevin Durant-like shot and it’s not far off. He looks like a top-notch scorer and special wing this late in the first round. Minny can use ‘em!

 

 

27. Denver Nuggets – Glen Rice Jr., SF Rio Grande Valley (NBDL) | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 211

Glen Rice Jr. looks to go from the D-League to the NBA by way of draft. The Nuggets who recently severed ties with George Karl will probably lose SG Andre Iguodala to free agency and seek his replacement. Denver will like that Rice Jr. is ready NOW.

 

 

28. San Antonio Spurs – Lucas Nogueira, C Brazil | Ht: 6’11″ Wt: 215

With already one Brazlian center on the roster in Tiago Splitter, the Spurs may entertain the idea of selecting Nogueira and stash him away for a year or two. This gives Lucas time to advance his skills and the Spurs to prep a role for him down the road.

 

 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Tim Hardaway Jr., SG Michigan | Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 200

The Thunder addressed a vital need in the lottery, but could seek a cheaper SG option here rather than retain free agent Kevin Martin. OKC still has Jeremy Lamb as well and could have two younger, more affordable guard competition in camp.

 

 

30. Phoenix Suns - Giannis Adetokunbo, SF/PF Greece | Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 196

Adetokunbo this late would be amazing for the Suns, who want to ignite new enthusiasm to it’s fan base. He brings different elements to the game than any Suns forward. Channing Frye remains a health concern and there’s zero faith in Michael Beasley.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Back to Top

Back to Top

Dwight Howard Says He Prefers ONE

by Ryan Wilson on July 2, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard told Yahoo! Sports he will not re-sign with a team outside his preferred list that trades for him, and emphatically denied that he ever used the term “blackmail” to describe how Magic officials convinced him to waive his early termination option.

Dwight Howard says he’s told the Magic several times he still wants a trade. (Getty Images)As the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and other teams prepare possible trade offers for him, Howard told Yahoo! by phone that, “There’s only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out and explore my free agency after that.”

Howard wouldn’t specify the team, but multiple league sources believe that it is the Brooklyn Nets.

Howard also denied an ESPN report that he had told people Orlando Magic officials had “blackmailed” him into forgoing the early termination option on his contract that ultimately cost him his free agency this summer.

“I never used the word blackmail in reference to any of my dealings with the Magic,” Howard said. “I never said that. It’s defamatory and it’s inaccurate. I know what blackmail means and any report that I used the term incorrectly is inaccurate.”

[Related: Magic entertaining trade offers for Dwight Howard]

Howard met with new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan on Friday in Los Angeles, and said he told Hennigan of his desire to be traded. However, Howard insisted he was merely repeating a position he had made clear to Magic officials since waiving his ETO in March.

“This was not the first time [that I asked for trade],” Howard said. “I communicated this to [Magic president] Alex [Martins] and [former general manager] Otis [Smith] way before Friday that I wanted to be traded – months before this meeting with Rob Hennigan. That was all way before Stan [Van Gundy] got fired.”

Howard is rehabilitating from back surgery, and wouldn’t speculate on whether he could be prepared to return for the start of the regular season. Howard had a herniated disk repaired, and sizable fragments of bone removed on April 20. Before the diagnosis that Howard would require season-ending surgery late in the Magic’s regular season, Howard had heard the suggestions inside and outside the organization that perhaps he wasn’t truly injured, that maybe he had bailed on his team.

Dwight Howard denies he faked his back injury, saying “I’m a man. I bleed. And I have bones, too.” (Reuters)”I’ve never faked anything,” Howard told Yahoo! Sports. “I’d never fake a back injury to not play for my team. I played a lot of games in a lot of pain, and there were times that I was crying in the locker room afterward because I was so seriously hurt. But I kept fighting. I’ve played with a cracked sternum in the past, and played with a lot of different [injuries].

“This time, I couldn’t play. Regardless of what people say, ‘Hey, you’re Superman,’ I’m a man. I bleed. And I have bones, too. And something happened that I couldn’t control.

“It really upset me that anyone would say that I was doing something out of spite for my team or my city. I have the utmost respect for the Magic organization, for the people of Orlando. Everything I did was from my heart, and I would never do anything to betray my city.”

[Related: Nets discussing possible trade with Hawks for Joe Johnson]

Howard discussed something else that had become synonymous with his season, and that was the bizarre April 5 shootaround in Orlando when his former coach, Stan Van Gundy, told reporters that Orlando management had informed him that Howard had requested his firing. The video of Howard walking into a scrum of reporters, unaware of what Van Gundy had said, went viral. Ultimately, it became a flashpoint of criticism toward Howard.

When asked if he felt set up, Howard told Yahoo! Sports: “I did. I had no clue about what had happened, about what he had said. I wanted to clear it up that this was not what was happening behind closed doors, and I stepped into something that I didn’t know how to handle. It hurts me to this day, thinking about how people were saying these things about me, calling me, “a coach killer,” and all this crazy stuff. It upset me, it hurt a lot.”

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
• Marc J. Spears: Deron Williams headlines top 20 NBA free agents
• Dan Wetzel: Joe Paterno’s role in Jerry Sandusky cover-up grows as evidence is leaked
• Tim Brown: Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey continues to amaze

Adrian Wojnarowski

Author

Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. His book “The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty”; was a New York Times best-seller. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he considers Butler Gymnasium’s rims to be the most giving in the game.

Back to Top

Back to Top

Pacers Survive In Overtime

by Ryan Wilson on May 6, 2012 in Mavs 09 comments

The Indiana Pacers have looked like a team with enough talent to win in the playoffs.

After wasting a big lead in Game 4 against the Magic, the Pacers showed they have the late-game toughness to win as well.

George Hill hit a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left in overtime to help Indiana survive squandering a 19-point fourth quarter lead and beat the Orlando Magic 101-99 on Saturday to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

David West scored 26 points, including 12 in the third quarter and four in overtime for Indiana. Danny Granger added 21 points.

The Pacers won their third straight game and will try to close out the Eastern Conference series Tuesday in Indianapolis and get out of the opening round for the first time since 2005.

“They did a great job of coming back,” said Granger, who returned to the game in the fourth quarter after spraining his right knee in the third. “That was a momentum win. They had a lot of momentum going. We’re lucky to get out of here.”

Indiana coach Frank Vogel echoed that fortunate feeling, but said he also likes being in the spot his team is in now.

“Yeah, it’s a good place to be,” he said. “We feel like we can get a win on our home court. It’s tough to get a road win anywhere against anyone in the playoffs. To come in here in a tough environment and get two, it just speaks volumes of our guys’ resiliency.”

Orlando had a final chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Glen Davis‘ fade away jumper bounced off the side of the rim.

Jason Richardson led the Magic with 25 points and Davis added 24 points and 11 rebounds.

The Magic now head to Indiana staring at the possibility of their second consecutive first-round postseason exit as they continue their tumble since Dwight Howard‘s season-ending back surgery late in the regular-season. Including the regular-season, Orlando is 5-11 without the All-Star center.

Only eight teams have been able to wipe out 3-1 deficits in NBA history, the last being Phoenix against theLos Angeles Lakers in 2006.

“You wish just one of those shots could’ve dropped because I thought our guys worked really, really hard,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We had some really, really bad stretches in that game, but we kept coming. … We’re down 3-1 and it’s a matter of mindset and whether you think you’re still in the series or not.”

The Pacers started the extra period with six straight points, including four by West.

Richardson responded with a 3 to make it 95-92 and Jameer Nelson fouled out Roy Hibbert with his three-point play following a Pacers’ miss to tie it.

Hill hit two free throws on the other end to put Indiana back on top, but Davis tied it again with a twisting layup.

After an Indiana timeout, Hill hit a floater from the wing, but Davis again matched it on the Magic’s next possession.

The Pacers quickly pushed the ball up the floor and Nelson fouled Hill in the lane to set up his decisive free throws.

Hibbert finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hill started slow, but was huge down the stretch and ended up with 12.

“I was just determined to try and win,” Hill said. “My teammates believed in me, and I got to knock down a couple of big shots. I get to ride my teammates coattails and fill in a little bit.”

All five Magic starters reached double figures, with Nelson adding 12 points and Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu chipping in 11.

“I got a great shot off. Just short,” Davis said of his final attempt. “It was on line. It was right there, but it was short. Two inches or one inch up and we’d probably be playing more overtime right now or celebrating. … It’s a fight now. Fight to see another day. Another game. Can’t worry about it. Can’t let it affect us.”

Van Gundy said before the game that he thought he left his starting unit on the floor too long to begin Game 3. He went to the bench for the first time with just over five minutes to go on Saturday.

But Orlando’s second unit struggled to provide the same boost it had in the previous three games.

Still, with Anderson starting out with one of his better offensive games of the series, some rejuvenated play by Turkoglu and strong free throw shooting, the Magic were able to keep nipping at the Pacers in the second half and down the stretch

Things got a little testy early in the fourth quarter, when Orlando’s J.J. Redick picked up a technical foul after a post-play skirmish with Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough.

There were also a handful of foul calls that the Magic players took issue with and seemed to play into their frustrations as the Pacers built an 82-63 lead.

Orlando wasn’t done, though, and used a 14-0 run to cut it to 82-77 with 4:40 to play, prompting the second Pacers’ timeout in a two-minute stretch.

Richardson nailed a 25-footer to trim it back to five and it was 89-86 after two Davis free throws.

That was still the score when Redick got free on an out of bounds play and hit a 3 from the wing to tie it with 38.7 left.

A desperation 3-pointer by Hill with the shot clock winding down resulted in a shot clock violation and gave Orlando the ball with 14.7 showing in the clock, but Nelson’s fade away jumper in the lane fell short at the buzzer.

West said after sweating out Saturday’s win, they are going back home focused, but mindful that the Magic aren’t about the lay down.

“It is hard to win games period,” he said. “We will take the win. I thought it was good from the perspective that we made a lot of mistakes. … We were still able to respond and come out of here with a win.”

Game notes
There was a moment of silence before the game in honor of Visit Orlando CEO Gary Sain, who died Friday at age 61. Sain, a fixture in tourism marketing, was instrumental in helping Orlando host the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. … Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, was in attendance.

 

 

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

Back to Top

Back to Top

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube