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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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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Center Focus: Dalembert’s Minutes

by Damian Jackson on April 3, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

sammy_Fotor

The Dallas Mavericks play yet another “BIG” game tonight. It’ll be on the road in Los Angeles after concluding the franchise’s record 8-game home stand with a meager 4-4 record.

Before we delve into the fourth and final meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers, let’s focus on Dallas’ starting center Samuel Dalembert.

Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban had this to say to 103.3 FM ESPN about Dalembert in December:

“Actually, I think Sam is the key to our game more than anybody else. One of the things about Tyson [Chandler] when he was here is that he only averaged 28 minutes a game because of foul trouble. Sometimes he’d get into early foul trouble and we had [Brendan] Haywood to back him up.” 

“Our backup center isn’t as strong this year as it was last year. [Brandan] Wright is more of a forward playing center than a true center, and so Sam staying on the court and staying healthy and being aggressive and not being afraid of fouls but not getting fouls will be one of the main indicators of how we go.”

Sammy D labeled as your team’s most important player? At times this season, any fan could be worried at that notion, but over time it’s evident Dalembert’s impact is as great as any Mavericks player.

Dalembert logged just seven minutes in Tuesday night’s gut-wrenching, yet controversial 122-120 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Prior to the Warriors game, the 13-year veteran center averaged 8.5 points, 10 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 23.3 minutes in the previous seven home games.

The Mavericks own a 14-15 record when Dalembert plays less than 20 minutes; their record when he eclipses the 20-minuete plateau – 29-15.

Rick Carlisle expected the Warriors to possibly go small Tuesday with Andrew Bogut and David Lee inactive. Golden State’s backup center, 37-year-old Jermaine O’Neal put in 33 minutes and finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.

Check out this Inside the NBA clip where Shaquille O’Neal talks Dallas’ playoff chances and who he feels will be the key:

The Mavericks leap-frogged the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns last night and rest in the Western Conference 7th seed once again.

Perhaps when it’s said and done, Dalembert is the Mavericks key to success this season. His minutes simply need to stay north of the 20 to make it happen.

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Video courtesy NBA.com/Turner Sports; Photo via Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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Wrap Up: Dallas Dealt Painful Loss

by Greg Higgins on April 1, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpDirk

The Dallas Mavericks’ (44-31) game with the Golden State Warriors (46-28) took more twists and turns than the Western Conference standings take on any single day.

Dallas desperately needed a win to even the season series with the Warriors. They also needed a win to put the pressure on the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns, who the Mavs are fighting for a playoff spot.

Unfortunately, this game like three other games on the homestand wound up in overtime. This game like three other games on this homestand, also wound up in a Mavs loss as Golden State defeated Dallas 122-120.

How it went down:

Dallas had a hard time starting quarters all night. The first quarter started with a disaster as the Mavs fell down 8-0 quickly and would eventually fall behind by as much as 11 in the first. The second quarter saw Dirk Nowitzki take over the game. Dirk caught fire in the quarter and almost single-handedly brought the Mavs back. Not only did he bring them back, but he helped the Mavs take an 11-point lead of their own in the quarter. Dirk finished the quarter with 16 points, including 4-4 from the three-point line.

The second half started like the first half did as the Warriors made a run and cut the Mavs lead down to two. From that point on, the Mavs and Warriors would trade baskets back and forth. The Warriors would extend the lead to four or five and the Mavs would quickly erase it.

During the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis did what he normally does and that’s make baskets. Monta was hitting shots from all over the court as he scored nine points in the quarter. The game would end up tied at 108 and headed to overtime. The game remained fairly close throughout the overtime period.

Tied at 120, Monta drove for a layup along the baseline. The ball was put in the air and Jermaine O’Neal jumped up and snagged it in mid-air for what appeared to be an obvious goaltending call. The call was not made and Curry took the ball the other direction.  Curry dribbled around the wing until the last possible second and then he let one fly. That was all she wrote. With .01 seconds left, Curry had given the Warriors a 122-120 lead and broke the Mavericks’ hearts.

Inside The Numbers:

Dallas allowed 62 points in the paint against the Warriors.

Dirk made six three-pointers, which is a new season high (previous was five).

Impact Play of the Game:

Monta had what seemed to be a chance to put the Mavs up by two with around 10 seconds left in overtime but O’Neal jumped up and took the ball out of the air. Everyone expected a goaltending call but it didn’t happen.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis

Dirk stepped it up in the second quarter to get the Mavs back into the game while the Monta did his fourth-quarter thing to keep Dallas in the game.

 

 

 

Quotes:

On Deck:

The Mavs disappointing homestand is now over. They finished 4-4 when most people were thinking they needed to win at least five and perhaps six. Dallas will now take to the road for four games beginning Thursday night against the LA Clippers. Tip-off is set for 9:30 CT.
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Photo courtesy Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports; AP Photo/Matt Strasen

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MGN: Mavs Conclude Home Stand With Warriors

by Damian Jackson on April 1, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightLauren

The Dallas Mavericks (44-30) wrap up their franchise-long 8-game home stretch against the Golden State Warriors (45-28). The Warriors enter tonight’s contest following a home loss to the New York Knicks Sunday night. Dallas looks to build on the 103-100 win over the Sacramento Kings and finish 5-3 on the AAC stand.

The Game At Hand:

It’s April.

College basketball wraps up this time next week. The NBA intensity kicks into full gear with playoffs on the horizon.

Dallas and Golden State stand only a game and a half apart in the Western Conference. What’s at stake in this meeting for the 6th and 7th seeds?

At A Glance:

- This marks the fourth and final meeting this season; Warriors lead 2-1
- Conference record important if teams finish year with same record. At the moment Golden State (25-18) and Dallas (24-20)
- Possible playoff matching – Will you play San Antonio, Oklahoma City or Los Angeles.

The Mavericks’ lack of consistency remains a question mark. Even Dirk Nowitzki himself vanished from a few games, unable to produce in crucial fourth quarters and late game situations.

Vince Carter, Samuel Dalembert and Jae Crowder represent positive sparks for a Dallas team in need of all the contributions it can gather. Carter averages 14.8 points and three made 3-pointers over the last five games. In the same span, Dalembert’s 9.4 point, 9.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks equally impress.

In come the talented, perhaps underachieving Warriors squad who will likely be without both Andrew Bogut (Pelvic Bruise)and David Lee (Hamstring) tonight. Jermaine O’Neal expects to collect his third consecutive start at center; O’Neal, in his last two, posted nine points and eight boards in 31.5 minutes of action.

No question necessary for who leads Golden State. Stephen Curry controls the Warriors’ destiny. Curry’s play lately is simply ridiculous:

HIGH FIVE: 27.8 points (3 games of 31+) with 6.2 assists on 55.4% FG 51.4% 3PT 90.6% FT

Playoff basketball remains up for grabs and tonight represents one step closer or a step back for Dallas and Golden State. It’s on!

Keys To The Game:

1. Never Be Content

Dallas knows the Warriors will be without Bogut tonight and most likely Lee as well. It’s a major disadvantage for Golden State, but the Mavericks need to capitalize. The Warriors have players who can fill in the gaps and make up with energy. Dallas’ goal tonight needs to be PUNISH the Warriors. Challenge their depth by being aggressive.

2. Team Balance

The Mavericks possess one of the league’s best reserve units. We mentioned Carter and Crowder, but Devin Harris and Brandan Wright have both played very well off the bench for Dallas this season. It’s going to be a matter of balance between the Mavs’ starters and bench production. Can you win with one completely outweighing the other? Yes, but usually when both make their presence felt the victory odds increase.

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Stephen Curry

One All-Star against another. Very different positions, quite the size discrepancy. Both guys can shoot the lights out. Dirk and Stephen represent their teams as the face of the franchise, the GERMANATOR a bit longer than Mr. Curry.

In huge games with the stakes high, rely on your most valuable player to come through.

 

 

Quotes:

 

“Well, it helps, but we’ve got to handle our business and we’ve got to take care of what we can take care of, which is our games[...].”

- Rick Carlisle on West playoff race

 

He’s absolutely a big time player. He’s a star basketball player, a guy that’s the best at his position, at playing offense and defense…and I don’t think it’s close.”

- Warriors coach Mark Jackson on SG Klay Thompson

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at American Airlines Center tonight is at 7:30 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on TXA21.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (48-27) | Next 3 – @LAL, PHO & NOP

6. Golden State (45-28) | Next 3 – @DAL,  @SAS & SAC

7. Dallas Mavericks (44-30) | Next 3 – GSW, @LAC & @LAL

8. Memphis Grizzlies (44-30) | Next 3 – @MIN, DEN & @SAS

9. Phoenix Suns (44-30) | Next 3 – LAC, @POR & OKC

 

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Photo courtesy Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Quotes via Warriors.com and Mavs.com

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Wrap Up: Mavs Grind Out Win Against Kings

by Greg Higgins on March 30, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpFI

It wasn’t pretty but it was gritty. It wasn’t how Rick Carlisle would draw it up but a win is a win, right? That’s the message in the locker room after the Dallas Mavericks (44-30) secured a 103-100 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings (25-48) on Saturday night. With Dallas trailing in the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors in the playoff chase, it was a much needed win.

How it went down:

It was a game that was electric from the beginning. The MFFL faithful showed up in full force to help cheer the Mavs on to victory. Dallas seemed energized by the crowd as well as they jumped out to an 11-point first quarter lead. Monta Ellis was hot as he started 4-4 with several driving layups.

Dallas would jump out to a 17-point lead with just a few minutes to play before halftime. However, in typical Dallas fashion, they allowed the Kings to come back. Dallas shot a blistering 55.3% during the first half on 21-38 shooting.

Just as quickly, though, the lead nearly evaporated. Roles reversed in the third quarter as Dallas only shot 38.9% while the Kings knocked down 73.3% of their shots in the frame. The Kings outscored Dallas by 10 and the lead was now down to two going into the final quarter.

The Kings would complete the comeback as they took their first lead of the game with 7:26 to play at 81-80. After the Kings build a five-point lead, the Mavs finally woke up and put things together. Shawn Marion had a sequence of plays that helped lift the team to the victory. With the game tied at 89, Marion had a huge steal on the defensive end, that led to an Ellis 3-point shot on the other end which he missed. Marion secured the offensive board, but was fouled. He made his two free throws. After a turnover by the Kings, Marion calmly sank a three-pointer from the corner to put Dallas up by five with 2:13 to play. Dallas would never trail again.

Inside The Numbers:

Dallas finished with six players in double figures, led by Dirk Nowtizki’s 19.
Dallas went to the free throw line 35 times, making 28 of them.
Dallas lost the rebound battle 47-35.

Impact Play of the Game:

Trailing by five and the game possibly getting away, Jose Calderon calmly hit a three-pointer to give the Mavs new life. Dallas went on a 14-2 run from that point and never looked back.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Sam Dalembert

The big man stepped up in a huge way against the Kings. Dalembert had 15 points, six rebounds, two steals and three blocked shots. He also had a thunderous one-handed ally-hoop dunk that brought the fans out of their seats.

 

 

 

Quotes:

“He’s playing really well. It was really important tonight with Cousins out there to get a big guy out there with length who can get rebounds and block a few shots. He was getting the ball in the basket tonight, too.”

- Rick Carlisle on Dalembert’s play

 

“You should have seen that smile on my face. Have you ever seen that Kool-Aid smile? That was me.”

- Dalembert on first play designed for him

 

On Deck:

Dallas will enjoy a couple days off before they wrap up their franchise record eight-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors. The game can be seen on TXA 21 locally at 7:30 pm. CT.

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Photo courtesy Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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MGN: Mavs Look To Take Down Kings And Inch Closer

by Ryan Wilson on March 29, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightMavsDancers

The Dallas Mavericks (43-30) suffered yet another brutal loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers (51-22) and have fallen even further behind in the Western Conference Playoff race. They welcome the Sacramento Kings (25-47) to the AAC tonight in what SHOULD be a victory for the Mavericks.

The Game At Hand:

This is a tale of two different teams. The Kings are having another dreadful season, whereas each game is so important for the Mavericks, who are chasing the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Mavericks and Kings have split their season series so far, with the Mavericks taking the last one by only a 107-103 margin. 

The Mavericks have a tendency to let teams like the Kings hang around, ultimately biting them in the end.

Sacramento has lost 7 of their last 10, including their recent defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

“The toughest position to lose is your point guard, just because he runs your team, and there were times tonight where obviously, we didn’t look like an organized basketball team,” coach Michael Malone said.

Keys To The Game:

1. Put Away Early

The Kings are on a second game of a back to back, so it’s crucial that the Mavericks come out the aggressor early on, and try and put this team away. The Kings typically play the Mavericks tough, so there should be no reason to let them hang around.

2. Don’t Overlook Young Prince’s, I mean Kings

This is a young team that features the likes of DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. They have played the last two games without young guard Isaiah Thomas, so they are a team with nothing to lose, which are teams you typically don’t want to play when every game counts, which is where the Mavericks current status is.

Dirk Nowitzki, DeMarcus CousinsMatchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs DeMarcus Cousins

On any given night, you don’t know what attitude you will get from Cousins, but the one thing you can expect is one talented young star in this league. He is physical, can rebound, and can hit the short jumpers.

Dirk Nowitzki on the other hand is looking to rebound from a rough 4th quarter the other night, where he struggled down the stretch and wasn’t able to propel his Mavericks squad to victory.

Quotes:

 

“They’ve got a talented team. You know, you just can’t overlook look them at all. They’re always going to give themselves a chance to a certain degree, so we know you have to put pressure on them early and take them out of the game early. You don’t need to be playing a close game with them.” - Shawn Marion on Kings Squad

 

 

We didn’t have him the last time we played these guys, and I think that’s one of the reasons that Gay got going the way that he did. With Shawn guarding him tonight, hopefully we can prevent that.”

- Rick Carlisle on having Marion tonight

 

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:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (47-27) | Next 3 – MEM, @ LAL, & PHO

6. Golden State (45-27) | Next 3 – NYK, @DAL, & @ SA

7. Phoenix Suns (44-29) | Next 3 – @LAL, LAC, & @POR

8. Memphis Grizzlies (43-29) | Next 3 – @POR, @DEN, & @ MIN

9. Dallas Mavericks (43-30) | Next 3 – SAC, GSW, & @ LAC

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Photo courtesy - (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Quotes via Kings.com and Mavs.com

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