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Wrap Up: Mavs Bounce Back in a Big Way

by Greg Higgins on April 23, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpMarion

Several streaks have ended after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs in game 2 of their first round playoff matchup. After blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter in game 1, the Mavs made sure they took care of business in a 113-92 victory. With the win, Dallas snaps a 10-game losing streak to the Spurs and they also snapped a five-game playoff losing streak.

How It Went Down:

After falling behind 13-6, Dallas took advantage of a barrage of Spurs turnovers. San Antonio had 15 first half turnovers which resulted in 19 Maverick points. After weathering the storm in the beginning of the quarter, the Mavericks’ aggressiveness was able to take over the game.

Monta Ellis led the league this year in driving to the basket and in game 2 he showed why. The Mavericks sliced the Spurs defense to the tune of 44 points in the paint. Dallas also dominated the game on the offensive glass as they out rebounded the Spurs 14-9 on that end.

All-in-all it was a great game for the Mavs as they built a lead up to 24 points. It was a great bounce back win for the Mavs against a team that has dominated them recently. With the win, Dallas has stolen home court against the Spurs as they come back to the AAC for games 3 and 4.

Inside the Numbers:

Dallas finished the game with five players in double-digits, led by Monta Ellis and his 21. The Spurs only had three players in double-digits, led by Manu Ginobli and his 27.

The Spurs finished with 24 turnovers that led to 33 Mavericks’ points.

The win in Game 2 was the first win for the Mavs in the playoffs since winning the championship in game 6 in 2011 against the Miami Heat.

Impact Play of the Game:

With the Mavs holding onto a five point lead early in the third quarter, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion hit back-to-back shots to put the lead back up by 10. The Mavericks kept it at or above that mark pretty much the rest of the game.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Shawn Marion

Marion had a great night in Game 2. Marion started the night 7-7 and 18 points before he finally missed a shot in the third quarter.

 

Quotes:

 

On Deck:

The Mavs and Spurs will play Game 3 of their best-of-seven series Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. CT. Every first round game can be seen locally on TXA 21 and nationally televised on TNT.
Game 1: Final – Mavs 85, Spurs 90

Game 2: Final – Mavs 113, Spurs 92

Game 3: Saturday April 26 @ 3:30 in Dallas

Game 4: Monday April 28 @ 8:30 in Dallas

Game 5: Wednesday April 30 in San Antonio

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay

 

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MGN: Mavs Have Bounce Back Opportunity in Game 2

by Terence Huie on April 23, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MGN Paige

Coming off Game 1′s devastating 90-85 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks look to shake off the frustration and even the series with a win tonight in Game 2.

The Game at Hand:

The Spurs are feeling good after winning Game 1, despite shooting a embarrasing 17% from the 3-point line. Father Time hasn’t approached star forward Tim Duncan yet, who fininshed Game 1 with 27 points on 60% shooting (12 for 20) from the field. The Spurs always had help from 6th man Manu Ginobili. Starting guard Danny Green scored zero points in 23 minutes. Ginobili carried the load at the guard position scoring 17 points off the bench.

Dallas battled hard in Game 1 against powerhouse San Antonio. The Mavs shot 41% from the field and outscored the Spurs 46 to 23 in bench contribution. It wasn’t enough to get the victory. The inability to contain Tony Parker in the first half coupled with a severe scoring drought to end the game led to the Mavs’ downfall.

Wacky Stat: From 2001 to 2011, the Mavs had a 2-16 playoff record when Danny Crawford officiated the game.

Keys to the Game:

1. Forget Game 1; Focus on Game 2: 

It’s very hard for a team to come back down 0-2 in a playoff series. Since 2002, the Mavs have lost 5 playoffs series when the series is 0-2. The Mavericks have to not worry about what happened in Game 1, focus on just winning Game 2.

2. Start Strong; Finish Strong:

The game of basketball is all about runs and momentum. From the tipoff of Game 1, the Mavs started the game with an unacceptable first quarter. That all changed with a much better second quarter, outscoing the Spurs 32-22. After halftime, the Spurs outplayed the Mavs when it mattered. Dallas has to start off on a good note in Game 2, penetrating to the basket and not settling for jump shots. Also, the Mavs have to come out in the second half looking to finish and close out with the win.

3. Play Defense: 

Asking the Mavericks to play defense is easier said than done. But credit goes to the team for holding the Spurs under 20% shooting from behind the 3-point line. The Mavs have to carry that effort of perimeter defense in Game 2 tonight.

X-Factor:

Devin Harris

Devin Harris can really be the backbone of the Mavs’ bench. He had 19 points and 5 assists in Game 1, putting pressure on the Spurs’ defense. Harris came in the game and gave the Mavericks some life at the point guard position when Jose Calderon had a cold shooting first quarter performance. Expect Rick Carlisle to give Devin some big minutes tonight to match up with Spurs’ veteran guard Tony Parker.

Quotes:

 

When and Where:

Tip-off is in San Antonio, Texas at AT&T Center and will start at 7:00 PM CST. It will be nationally televised on NBATV, locally on TXA 21.

Photo courtesy of EFE/EPA/ASHLEY LANDIS CORBIS OUT

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Wrap Up: Mavs Fumble Away Game 1

by Greg Higgins on April 21, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpReportRick

I’m not sure if the Dallas Mavericks want to forget about Game 1 of their first round playoff match-up with the San Antonio Spurs or try to build on it. Dallas showed some of the worst basketball during the game but also showed some of their best basketball. However, after it’s all said and done Dallas is down 0-1 in their series as they fell to the Spurs 90-85.

How It Went Down:

The first quarter of the game is one of those moments the Mavericks would like to forget. Dallas only managed to score 12 points on 5-20 shooting from the field. The last five points came in the final 1:47 after Monta Ellis and Devin Harris knocked down a two-pointer and a three-pointer respectively. It was a terrible first quarter and one the Mavs will hope to soon forget.

The second quarter was quite different, though, as the Mavericks outscored San Antonio 32-22. The main spark came from Devin Harris, who scored 10 points in eight minutes of action. Devin finished the quarter 4-6, including 2-3 from the three-point line.

The second half was pretty much a back-and-forth game as the Mavericks maintained the lead for most of it. The Mavericks started taking control in the fourth quarter and took a double-digit lead when Brandan Wright knocked down a free throw at the 7:45 mark.

With the score 81-71 Dallas, and all the momentum in their favor, the Spurs did what they do best. San Antonio clamped down and played fundamental basketball the rest of the game. San Antonio finished the game on a 19-4 run to take game 1 at home.

Inside the Numbers:

With the victory, the Spurs have now won 10 straight games over the Mavericks.

San Antonio had 56 points in the paint. Dallas had 32.

Dirk and Monta both finished 4-14 for 11 points.

The Spurs didn’t have a single player average 20 or more points in a game this season. Game 1 saw Tony Parker finished with 21 and Tim Duncan had 27.

Impact Play of the Game:

After taking a 81-71 lead, the Mavericks missed their next 12 shots from the floor. The only points the Mavericks scored came on two Wright free throws and a Devin Harris layup with 0.9 seconds left in the game.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Devin Harris

Jose Calderon started the game 0-4 from the floor. Devin Harris came in off the bench and provided a spark for Dallas. Harris played just under 32 minutes and scored 19 points to lead all Mavs. He finshed 8-for-16, including 3-of-7 from three-point range. Harris also grabbed three rebounds and had five assists.

 

Quotes:

 “They got a couple of transition buckets, they hit some tough shots, they got to the free-throw line and it was a little bit of everything. But, at that point, they just executed better than we did.”

– Devin Harris,

 

On Deck:

The Mavs and Spurs will play game 2 of their best-of-seven series Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. CT. Every first round game can be seen locally on TXA 21 and nationally televised on NBATV.
Game 1: Final – Mavs 85, Spurs 90

Game 2: Wednesday April 23 @ 7:00 in San Antonio

Game 3: Saturday April 26 @ 3:30 in Dallas

Game 4: Monday April 28 @ 8:30 in Dallas

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

 

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Mavs vs. Spurs Playoff Preview – Staff Predictions

by Greg Higgins on April 19, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

PreviewPt2

By now, more than likely, you’ve had a chance to read the articles breaking down the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs first round playoff series (including ours). We’ve given you the breakdown, now let’s tell you what our writers think will happen during the series. Here’s our predictions:

Ryan:

What a difference one loss makes huh? The Mavericks were so close to locking up the 7th seed and having a better matchup with Oklahoma City. Now, all odds will be against them. I would love to say the Mavericks could pull off the impossible, but then I really wouldn’t be living in reality.

Yes, the Mavericks have the Hall of Fame Legend in Dirk Nowitzki and a great sidekick in Monta Ellis, but the Spurs can hurt you from a plethora of different angles. They had the best record in the NBA this season, and did it without a scorer averaging more than 20 points per game. What that says is that they can lean on many different players on any given night.

Guys like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marco Bellinelli have provided sparks all season for this club, and they still have the usual savvy veterans in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.

The Mavericks will have to lean heavily on Nowitzki and Ellis in order to even have a shot, but that is not where the problem lies. The Mavericks have lacked a true legit center all season long, and the problem is beginning to cause some real concern. If the Mavericks were to have a shot at taking down the Spurs, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair, and Brandan Wright would have to show up on a consistent nightly basis. Since that really hasn’t been the case all season, it’s hard for me to give the Mavericks any possibility of the huge upset.

While it would be fun to think of the Mavericks reversing the 1-seed vs 8-seed curse that haunted them back in the 2006-2007 season, I would be coming off as a true homer, which is something even I can’t do.

Prediction: Spurs in 5




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Damian:

The Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies fighting NOT to play the San Antonio Spurs said plenty on Wednesday night.

Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan go head-to-head in their teams’ sixth meeting in the postseason. The difference remains that Duncan has had the same coach and a familiar core around him for most of the Texas playoff tussles.

Rick Carlisle is among the best coaches in the NBA, but he gets trumped by the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich. Carlisle possesses the most recent Larry O’Brien trophy by a Texas squad, but Pop still has four to his name.

It’s no secret the Mavericks have struggled against the Spurs lately, losers of nine consecutive matchups. San Antonio has been dominant over the stretch with an average margin of victory in double figures.

Hard to envision the Spurs dropping four games to their Texas rival this series, but Dallas will fight. The Mavericks veteran team still has plenty of pride and experience. Unfortunately, it comes against a team with the same strengths but in a more bolstered version.

Prediction: Spurs win in 5


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Huie:

Thanks to a heartbreaking 1-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavs prepare themselves for a dogfight 1st round series against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. I’m sure the sports world thinks the Spurs would win in an easy sweep, but as a fan I disagree.

This year’s Mavericks team has been on a roller coaster ride for the season. But if it’s one thing I’ve learned about this squad it is that the Mavs play their best basketball when their backs are against the wall. Take for account the Monta Ellis game-winner in Portland, or Dirk’s game-winner in the historic Madison Square Garden. Remember when the Mavs coming back from a 15+ point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets at home?

The Mavs have one thing: HEART. These guys can make some noise in the playoffs if they give 100% every single game, every single minute.

I think the Mavs can win this series. If not, I know for sure that they can give the Spurs a run for their money.

Prediction: Mavs win in 6 games. GO MAVS.


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Marc:

I really do hate writing this but the way I write is totally unbiased. Although I love the Mavericks with everything I have I must type the facts. The facts are the Mavs cannot guard three point shooters. They are slow to rotate and ball movement is one of their greatest weaknesses.

The Spurs do not beat you with one superstar, they play methodical, almost surgeon like and together as a team will beat you down. I’ve seen it all year, Tony Parker penetrates the lane, kicks it out to one of their many guards who then swings it to a wide open Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Manu Ginobli or Patty Mills. All of which are absolutely deadly from three.

If I could pick a team designed to destroy the Mavericks it is the Spurs. Notice I haven’t even mentioned the annoying Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter down low.

With all of this death and destruction I will give you one sliver of hope. We have Dirk, and we have Monta Ellis. The two-man game will have to be perfect to give us a chance. We have to play the best defense this squad has ever played and get some easy fast break buckets.

Prediction: With all of this said I’ve got the Spurs in 5.  Man I hate to say that.


__________________________________

Greg:

I’ve been saying it for a month now, “We have to avoid the Spurs in the first round at all cost.” Unfortunately for the Mavs, they did not do this. This is a nightmare matchup for the Mavs because of the inability to defend the paint and the rotation defense on three-point shooting has been terrible all season.

The Spurs have defeated the Mavericks nine straight times. Because of this, I do not think this will be a sweep for San Antonio. I mean, you can’t beat the Mavs 13 straight games, can you? I hope not.

One thing I like is the way Monta Ellis plays in the fourth quarter of games. Against Memphis on Wednesday, he had four points through the first three quarters. He scored 14 in the fourth quarter and overtime of that game. With him and Dirk Nowitzki, I like the Mavs to at least win a game or two. I do think, however, the Spurs will be too much in the end.

Prediction: Spurs in 6

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Photos courtesy of Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins; Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports; AP Photo/Eric Gay; Derick Hingle USA TODAY Sports

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Mavs vs. Spurs Playoff Preview – Who Holds the Edge?

by Greg Higgins on April 18, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

PlayoffPreview

After a grueling 82 game season, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves back in the postseason after taking last year off. Dallas finished out the regular season with a one-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The loss put the Mavs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Of course being the No. 8 seed does give the Mavs the unenviable position of having to play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Dallas fans are all aware of the upset factor involved with a No. 8 seed taking out a No. 1 seed. In 2007, the Mavs finished the regular season with an astounding 67-15 record only to be ousted in the first round by the Golden State Warriors in six games.

The Spurs are aware of this as well as they were knocked out of the playoffs in 2011 by the No. 8 seeded Memphis Grizzlies. Although it has happened twice in recent memory, it is a very unlikely scenario. Only five No. 8 seeds have ever knocked off a No. 1 seed.

The first time this happened was in 1994 when the Denver Nuggets knocked off the Seattle Supersonics. The famous image of Dikembe Mutombo lying on the floor in Seattle holding the ball up above his head is forever engrained in our minds.

Of course that was back when the first round series was the best of five. What about today? Do the Mavericks have a realistic shot at defeating the Spurs? Obviously, anything can happen in the series. Someone from either team could go down with an injury or perhaps a player has a terrible shooting night. All of these things could have a positive or negative effect on the series depending on which side you’re cheering for.

These two teams have played each other four times this season, and the Spurs have won all four matchups. San Antonio has defeated the Mavs nine straight times all together.  In the four games this year, the Spurs have averaged over 112 points per game while Dallas has been just under 101 points per game.

Who has the edge in the different areas? Let’s find out:

Team:

When it comes to playing like a team, does anyone in the four major sports do it better than the San Antonio Spurs? They’ve been a model of consistency since the late 90’s when they won their first title. This year has been no different, either. San Antonio finished with the best record in the NBA at 62-20.

The Mavs, on the other hand, have been trying to find their identity this year. Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion are the only players remaining from the championship team, so Rick Carlisle is having to teach new people his style and get them to buy into that system. They made the playoffs but it was a cat fight all the way down the stretch. This could potentially help the Mavs because they have been playing playoff basketball for a month now.

Advantage: San Antonio

Coaching:

This one is hard to breakdown. Gregg Popovich is one of, if not the best coach in all four major sports. He’s the ultimate chess master when it comes to playing the game and coaching. He’s been known to rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli in the same game to save them for the playoffs.

However, Rick Carlisle showed the entire world how great of a coach he is when he took Dirk and a bunch of dudes in 2011 to the championship. He was able to move people around so that they took down Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James on their way to their first title.

If Pop is 1, Carlisle is 1A in my opinion. However, the advantage still goes to Pop because he’s done it more times than Carlisle has.

Advantage: San Antonio (by the slightest of margins)

6109432Superstar:

There’s something to be said about the superstar player for each of these teams. Tim Duncan will probably go down as the best power forward of all time while Dirk will probably finish in the top six in NBA scoring when his career is done. Duncan averaged 15.1 points per game this season while Dirk put in 21.6 for the Mavs. Duncan’s fundamentals are precise while Dirk can hit his one-legged fade away over anyone. Right now, for this series though, give me the big German.

Advantage: Dallas

Defense:

They say defense wins championships and you don’t have to look any further than 2011 to know that’s true. Dallas had amazing records and could score at ease through the Don Nelson/Avery Johnson years. However, it wasn’t until they got someone like Tyson Chandler down low defensively that the Mavs went on to win a title.

The Spurs have won and continue to win based on this motto. Among the starting lineups that played at least 200 minutes together, the Spurs’ starters were the best defensively.

The Mavs are the worst defensive team among those that made the playoffs. The Mavs rely on help defenders and they haven’t gotten a lot of that this season. If they hope to beat the Spurs, they have to get better in this area and they have to do it quick.

Advantage: San Antonio

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron – USA Today Sports; AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

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Wrap Up: Monta, Dirk Lead Mavs Back to the Playoffs

by Damian Jackson on April 13, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up

The Dallas Mavericks (49-32) showed a sure-fire determination to return to the postseason. With their backs against the wall at halftime, the Mavericks fought back to defeat the Phoenix Suns (47-33) in an all-so crucial battle for playoff hopes. Dallas’ victory punched a playoff berth after missing out last season for the first time in 12 years.

How it went down:

It wasn’t the ideal start as the Mavericks watched Phoenix F/C Channing Frye connect on four 3-pointers and push the Suns out to the early lead. Monta Ellis put his stamp onthe game from start to finish. Ellis’ aggressiveness kept Dallas within striking distance despite weak team defensive play.

“He’s (Monta) missed the playoffs a whole lot, and I know he wanted it and you could tell he wanted it,” Devin Harris said. “You could tell he was engaged from the start. I’m just happy for him.”

Dallas allowed 57 points in the opening half and trailed by 11.

 

Dirk Nowitzki had yet to make his presence felt until after the intermission. Only 1-for-6 in the first 24 minutes, Nowitzki came alive in the third quarter with 14 points.

The Mavericks would carve into the Suns’ lead and head into the decisive 4th quarter down three.

Dallas would outscore Phoenix by six in the final frame to seal the deal behind the play of Monta, Dirk and Brandan Wright.

Inside the Numbers:

Monta matched his season-high with 37 points on 15-for-23 shooting.

Nowitzki and Ellis tallied 44 of the Mavericks 55 second half points.

Impact Play of the Game:

There was no shortage of important plays for Dallas, including the Dirk back-to-back triples in the third during the Mavs comeback. Monta also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during that crucial stretch plus some amazing finishes at the basket.

That said, the impact play goes to high-flying big man Brandan Wright who’s block of the night prevented an Eric Bledsoe layup to tie the game with 12 seconds left. Wright finished the evening with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in 32 minutes.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

If not for Monta’s heroics tonight, Dallas would in some trouble right now. You could say that for the entire season, but specifically this game. You learn to live with the mistakes he’ll make at times, but his good easily outweighs the bad these days. Monta was sensational in the biggest game of the Mavericks season.

 

Monta told Inside Stuff, the main reason he chose Dallas was the opportunity to play alongside Dirk. It’s worked out better than most expected and the two form one dynamic duo as they showed tonight.

 

Quotes:

 “The reason we won is because we had one of the best players on the planet in Dirk and because Monta Ellis, at the time we needed him most, stepped up and had his biggest game of the year.”

— Rick Carlisle

 

On Deck:

The Mavs conclude the regular season on Wednesday night in Memphis. The Grizzlies play two games before then, so it remains to be seen what will be a stake. A Memphis lost to either the Lakers or Suns before Wednesday would lock up the 7th seed for Dallas.

__________________________

Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports & AP Photo/LM Otero; Quotes Via Jeff Caplan of NBA.com and Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas.

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MGN: Mavs Host Suns in Battle for Playoffs

by Marc Cashion on April 12, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightb288

In the biggest game of the year to date the Dallas Mavericks (48-32) take on the Phoenix Suns (47-32) trying to keep their grip on the 7th seed in the West. The Suns are on the second night of a two-game set where last night they blew a 21-point lead to the San Antonio Spurs without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

The Mavs are 9-4 this year versus teams in second games of a back to back. With each game holding playoff implications they’d love to make it 10-4.

The Game at Hand:

The Mavs get the Suns tonight and the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday to close out the season. Dallas leads these two teams by ½ a game and currently have the 7th seed.  This clearly means that these two next games are absolute must wins. While winning only one game clinches a playoff birth, it could result in the 8-seed and playing the dreaded Spurs. San Antonio beat Dallas for the ninth consecutive time on Thursday, playing them would not be ideal.

The Suns guards are quick and explosive and will be a challenge for the Mavs. It feels like I’m a broken record but again it will be up to our defense to not let the Suns score at will.  A win tonight would be a huge lift, since we do have a break until Wednesday’s date with Memphis.

Keys to the Game:

1. Three Point Defense: 

The Mavs defense against the three point shot was just not good enough on Thursday.  The Spurs were 16-34 from three and the Suns are not short of three point shooters.  Bledsoe, Dragic occasionally, Channing Frye, and Gerald Green all have a good shot and if we let them shoot wide open threes that doesn’t bode well for our chances. Closing out on good shooters and rotating properly will be key.

2. Contain Eric Bledsoe: 

It’s no secret, Jose Calderon isn’t known for his defense. Speedy point guards like Bledsoe pose Calderon quite the challenge. Similar to players such as Ty Lawson or Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe is explosive and can take it to the basket and shoot an effective three point shot. With Goran Dragic also on the court these Mavs guards are in trouble tonight. Not letting these guards penetrate and get into the lane every possession must be accomplished.

Notice these keys that I do are almost never about offense. I’ve never been concerned about the Mavs offense; it is the defense that will get us that seventh seed.

Matchup of the Night:

My main matchup of the night is Bledsoe and Dragic vs. the Dallas guards. Bledsoe recorded 30 points 11 rebounds and 9 assists in the Spurs loss Saturday night so at least containing him will be huge. If Dragic cannot play, enter Gerald Green. Green has been impressive all season and can post a huge game any given night.

Quotes:

“If you don’t like this, you’ve got to get into another line of work. You work all year for opportunities to play in games like this.”

- Rick Carlisle

 

When and Where:

Tip-Off starts at 7:30 CST and will take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Game time 8 PM CST on TXA 21.

DALMEMPHX

Playoff Watch:

7. Dallas Mavericks (48-32) | Next Up – PHO, @MEM

8. Memphis Grizzlies (47-32) | Next Up – @LAL, @PHX, DAL

9. Phoenix Suns (47-32) | Next Up – @DAL, MEM, @SAC

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Wrap Up: Mavs Fall to NBA-Best Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 11, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpDirk

In a game in which the Dallas Mavericks (48-32) really needed to win to help their playoff chances, the San Antonio Spurs (61-18) showed why they are the top seed in the Western Conference. For the second straight year, the Spurs have swept the season series with the Mavs after a 109-100 victory Thursday night.

How it went down:

Dallas didn’t get off to a great start in the first quarter and it didn’t help that Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard finished that quarter 4-7 from the three-point line. Trailing by eight after one period, the Mavs would get a much-needed lift from their superstar. Dirk Nowtizki, who was scoreless in the first period, poured in 12 during the second quarter as he help give the Mavs a two-point lead at the break.

The second half was a different story, though. Dallas could not keep the Spurs off the glass and they couldn’t defend the three-point line. Dallas was out-rebounded 27-19 in the second half, including 10-4 on the offensive glass. San Antonio also hit nine of the 19 three-pointers they made in the second half.

Patty Mills, who started in place for the injured Tony Parker, finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-25 shooting, including 6-11 from three-point range. Leonard finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds.

The loss doesn’t move the Mavs out of the playoffs, however, they are now in the eighth spot with two games remaining. The Suns, who currently own the seventh seed, will play the Spurs Friday night before visiting the Mavs for a crucial game Saturday night. Dallas needs to avoid playing the Spurs in the playoffs at all cost. In order for this to happen, Dallas needs to finish in the seventh seed or higher. The loss to the Spurs made this a little more difficult.

Inside the Numbers:

San Antonio has now defeated the Mavs nine straight times.

The Spurs became the 13th team in NBA history to win at least 30 road games in a season.

Impact Play of the Game:

With 1:17 left in the game, Jose Calderon hit a three pointer to bring the Mavs within six points. Just a minute and a half earlier it was a 14-point lead for the Spurs. After the 8-0 run, though, Leonard calmly sinks a three pointer to put the Spurs back up by nine and the game out of reach.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

Once again, Monta Ellis tried to do what he could to get the win for the Mavs. Monta finished with 24 points, with 12 of them coming in the final quarter. Monta also had four rebounds and four assists.

Quotes:

 

 

On Deck:

The Mavs will play their final home game of the regular season Saturday night as they face the Phoenix Suns. The Mavs and Suns are playing for their playoff lives and both will want to win this game. Tip is at 7:30 on NBATV/TXA 21. If you’re coming to the game, be prepared for a playoff-style atmosphere.

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Photo: AP Photo/LM Otero & AFP Photo/Ronald Martinez; Quote Via Earl K. Sneed/Mavs.Com

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MGN: Will Dallas Bring Its Road Cooking Home?

by Terence Huie on April 10, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightChantel

The Dallas Mavericks (48-31) look to keep their 7th seed berth chances alive with the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies breathing down their neck. But Dallas faces another bump in the road to the playoffs as they defend home court against the division rival San Antonio Spurs (60-18).

The Game at Hand:

The Spurs currently hold the top seed in the Western Conference, clinching fourth straight Southwest division title and 17th consecutive playoff appearance. A win against Dallas would help keep their first seed with the Oklahoma City Thunder trailing just three games back in the standings.

Tonight is a must-win game for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs couldn’t get help from the Miami Heat or New Orleans Pelicans last night, as those teams failed to win against the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns respectively. Coming into Thursday night, the Mavericks have on momentum on their side thanks to winning four straight games on their 4-game road trip. Tonight will be a true test for Dirk Nowitzki and the 7th seeded Mavericks.

Keys to the Game:

1. Force Turnovers: 

San Antonio is a team full of countless veterans and a great coach in Gregg Popovich. This team has been successful for so many years because of their limit of mistakes on the offensive side of the ball. The Spurs are ranked first in offensive efficiency this season. Dallas has to come out and play their best defense of the season and force turnovers. There is no room for error when facing a team like the Spurs.

2. Offensive Contribution: 

Looking at the previous Mavs-Spurs matchup, Dallas came up short 106-112 against San Antonio. In that game, only three Mavs players finished with double figures in points; compared to six Spurs players finished in double figures. Every player in a Mavs’ jersey has to contribute the moment that guy steps on the floor tonight.

X-Factor of the Night:

Sixth Man of the Year Candidate Vince Carter has made a huge impact for the Mavs this season. The 15-year veteran may have lost his touch in the dunking department, but has put in a great deal of effort on the bench.

Carter averages 12 points a game, shooting 39% from behind the three-point line. Vince needs just 13 points to place himself 25th on the NBA All-Time Scoring List. Expect the 37-year old to put up monster numbers tonight to get that 25th spot and help the Mavs win tonight.

Quotes:

“I don’t know if it’s an advantage against a team like San Antonio. … It doesn’t matter who they’re missing.”

- Jose Calderon on Parker’s injury

 

“He’s such a great player. Nobody stops him, at least giving him a different look makes me feel better like I’m trying, like I’m doing something.”

- Gregg Popovich on game planning for Dirk

 

When and Where:

The big game starts tonight 7 p.m. CST in the American Airlines Center and will air on TNT.

GO MAVS!.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (51-28) | Next 3 – @UTA, GSW & LAC

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

7. Dallas Mavericks (48-31) | Next 3 – SAS, PHO & @MEM

8. Phoenix Suns (47-31) | Next 3 – @SAS, @DAL & MEM

9. Memphis Grizzlies (46-32) | Next 3 – PHI, @LAL & @PHX

 

 

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Photo Source: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports; Quotes from Earl K. Sneed & ESPN.com

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MGN: Mavs Aim to Continue California Success in Sacramento

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

MavsGameNightb288

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

The Game At Hand:

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

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

At A Glance:

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

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

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

Keys To The Game:

1. Guarding Rudy Gay

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

2. Winning The Battle Down Low

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

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Rudy Gay

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

 

Quote:

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

- Brandan Wright

 

When and Where:

Tip-Off begins 5:00 PM CST at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

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

6. Golden State (46-29) | Next 3 – UTA, DEN & @LAL

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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