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Wrap Up: Mavs Slip By Kings, Gain Game On Grizz

by Greg Higgins on April 7, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap UP

The Dallas Mavericks (47-31), playing game three of a four-game west coast trip, needed a win against the Sacramento Kings (27-50) to keep the pressure on in the playoff push. It wasn’t pretty or textbook-like but it was a win, none-the-less for Dallas as they beat the Kings 93-91.

How it went down:

Dallas had no answer for Rudy Gay or DeMarcus Cousins, who have tormented the Mavericks all season long. Gay finished with 32 points on 12-18 shooting and also had eight assists. Cousins dropped in 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Luckily for the Mavs nobody else on the team could really do anything.

Dirk Nowitzki had a terrible game for the Mavericks. He scored 15 points but was 5-17 and only grabbed one rebound. Monta Ellis utilized his quickness to beat the Kings defenders on his way to 23 points. Jose Calderon continued his hot-hand from three-point range as he drained four of them on the night.

Vince Carter, making his case for the sixth-man of the year award, also had four threes on the game including two huge threes in the fourth quarter down the stretch. All in all, it was a huge win for the Mavericks. It was a game in which they should have won and they found a way to do just that despite their hall-of-famer not having a great night.

Inside the Numbers:

The fourth quarter continues to belong to Monta and Vince as they had eight and nine points respectively in the quarter.

Dallas’ starting backcourt outscored the Kings’ starting backcourt 37-13.

Samuel Dalembert was the only Mavs player in double-digit rebounding with 11. He continues his dominant performance down low.

Impact Play of the Game

Shawn Marion and Dirk missed 3-4 free throws with less than 15 seconds left. Thankfully, Cousins missed a 16’ jump shot that would have tied the game at the buzzer.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Vince Carter

Carter continues to shine in his role off the bench. He seems to hit big shot after big shot for this team when they need and Sunday was no different as he hit two three-pointers in the fourth quarter.

DirkQuotes:

 “We just have to keep fighting. It’s going to be tough these last few games, but we just have to stay together, ride the course and get as many wins as we can.” – Monta Ellis

 

 “DeMarcus and Rudy were phenomenal all night. From the beginning on, they looked aggressive. They looked in a groove.” – Dirk Nowitzki

 

“It’s men, not machines. A guy’s not going to make every shot, all the time.” – Rick Carlisle on Nowitzki’s poor shooting night

 

On Deck:

The Mavericks will conclude their road trip on Tuesday at the Utah Jazz. Dallas will have a chance to sweep the road trip and move their magic number to 2. The game can be seen on TXA 21 at 8 p.m. CT.

 

Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP

Quotes Via Mavs.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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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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Mavs Game Night: Dallas At Sacramento

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

MavsGameNightb288

The Mavericks will seek their fourth consecutive win on the heels of the team’s first buzzer-beating game winner in four seasons. It was less than 48 hours ago Dirk Nowitzki took over yet another game in now his 16th NBA season and Monta Ellis sealed the deal one picture perfect 20-foot jumper.

THE GAME AT HAND:

Unlike the Eastern Conference, the teams out West offer far less expected wins – if any. No NBA team should be taken lightly, but Dallas does get a favorable road matchup against the 5-13 Sacramento Kings in Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings will be short-handed tonight after they agreed to a seven-player trade with the Toronto Raptors Sunday evening. In the deal the Raptors send F Rudy Gay, F Quincy Acy and C Aaron Gray to Sacramento in exchange for G Greivis Vasquez, G John Salmons, F Patrick Patterson and F Chuck Hayes.

Sacramento was riding a six game losing streak before they defeated the Utah Jazz 112-102 Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Ultra-talented big DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings in points (22.0) rebounds (9.9) steals (1.6) and blocks (1.3). Isaiah Thomas has been a spark plug and model of efficiency off the Sacramento bench, but will move into the starting unit with the departure of Vasquez. Rookie Ben McLemore has averaged 15.8 points and 33.5 minutes in four of his last five games.

 

 

Nowitzki and Ellis average for 42.8 points together on the season – the total nearly split evenly down the middle. Both shoot north of 47-percent and grab over one steal with Ellis averaging close to six assists per while Dirk hovers at six nightly rebounds.

Dallas own a  9-1 record against the Kings in the past 10 regular season meetings.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

The vocal point of the Sacramento Kings team starts and ends with Mr. Cousins. The dynamic center can completely dominate a game if given the opportunity. Dallas’ objective must be to get physical with the former Kentucky Wildcat and make him work on both ends of the floor. Cousins can be foul prone and if the Mavs can be aggressive early it can set the tone from the beginning.

Avoid a close game down the stretch. Contrary to its name, Sleep Train Arena gets loud as any (They actually own the world record for sound level in an sports arena) and have extremely passionate fans. The Mavs know they can win in any environment, but it doesn’t always end the way it did in Portland on Saturday.

MATCHUP OF THE NIGHT: Mavs Big Men vs. DeMarcus Cousins

It’ll be fun to watch Cousins play because he’s so very skilled for his age and size. Trying to contain him isn’t the easiest task, but that’s what I want to see in this one from our platoon of DeJuan Blair, Samuel Dalembert and Bernard James.

Blair has been starting lately and his impact needs to be physicality on the block and make Cousins work defensively, while Dalembert and James can utilize length and shot-blocking ability to challenge Boogie on the offensive end.

QUOTED:

“Every win is huge, every win you can get is huge.” We hadn’t been playing great on the road this year. Our hope is that we can build some chemistry, build some togetherness out here, which isn’t easy. [Portland] is a hard place to play. Sacramento is hard to play, Golden State is hard to play. So, we have to be really together and this is a positive step in the right direction in a win.”

- Rick Carlisle

WHEN AND WHERE: Game action starts 9 p.m. CT and airs on both Fox Sports Southwest and Comcast Sports California.

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Source – ESPN Dallas (Carlisle quote); SacBee (photo)

 

 

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Mavs Memories With TC: 2003 Western Conference Finals

by Tony Clayton on October 22, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

Mavs Memories

We all know how magical the Mavs’ 2011 run was.  It’s been written about and documented on and I’m sure we’ve all watched the 4th quarter of game 2 multiple times.  It was one of the greatest stories of vindication ever told.  Never before have we seen a single championship seem like it was a dynasty run.  I can’t be the only one who feels like that title felt more like 2 maybe 3 rings. I always catch hell for saying that to fans of other teams, but Mavs fans know what I’m talking about.  Right?

There’s been some other Mavs moments in franchise history that I’d like to relive on paper if I may.  Some moments are engrained in my memory like it happened last night.  These are the moments that were compressed for a little over a decade, only to finally burst out in the form of confetti in June 2011.  These are also moments that will all live in infamy as the “Days of Dirk”.

I’d like to start a series that I have cleverly named, “Mavs Memories”, with Tony Clayton:

**Disclaimer: Tony was in college when the following story took place.  By no way does Tony encourage this behavior in any way.  Nor do the thoughts and actions of Tony reflect current day Tony who is married with two children.

2003 Western Conference Finals, Mavericks vs. Spurs: 

NashSpursThis is when the Mavericks became a passion for me on an unhealthy level.  I’ll never forget the previous series when the Mavs took down the Kings in 7 games.  The real test would come in the next round where the Spurs would become my most HATED team in professional sports (Oakland A’s have come awfully close).

I was in college at the time in San Marcos, TX. For those that don’t know, San Marcos is just 45 minutes north of San Antonio, so I was surrounded by Spurs fans on a daily basis. The first few games of the series were watched at a friend’s house that had a big screen T.V.  A few Spurs fans were there and the debates would get heated but I still felt like the only one in the room that was losing my mind each and every play.  The venue had to change.

So we watched games 3-6 at a local bar called Nephews. I remember Game 4 specifically. We were watching the game in an upstairs area of the bar where there were a few couches. I would get there before anyone else to arrange the couches to get the best angle on the TV and save seats for me and fellow Mavs fans.

I remember I became so heated after a Spurs run that I swung my hand in disgust and a ring that I was wearing flew off and hit a Spurs fan in the side of the head. This guy was pretty big. Usually the “liquid courage” I was consuming would have resulted in an altercation, but not this time. I told him it was an accident and he returned the ring. Mavs lost that game and went down in the series 1-3.

Two nights later we headed back to the bar for Game 5. The Mavs were trying to avoid elimination IN San Antonio. Mavs were on the brink but made a comeback to get the win, 103-91. This was also without Dirk who had hurt his knee in Game 3. At the bar I made a deal with a buddy that if the Mavs came back and won this game (which they did), I would run around our apartment complex naked and jump in the pool.  Well, I did not follow through with that bet completely.  For some reason there was a massive roll of bubble wrap in front of the apartment next door.  So I wrapped that around my naked body and bolted through a courtyard where a party was going on.  I think I yelled something in the form of “Woohoo Mavericks! Spurs Suck!” or something real clever like that. I finally made it to the pool and leaped in. My roommate was not far behind with a pair of shorts so I could walk back to the apartment with some dignity.

Kerr

The good feelings were short lived as the Spurs and Steve Stupid Kerr put the dagger in our hearts after we lead Game 6 by 15 points in the second half. Kerr and Stephen Jackson went unconscious and made every 3 pointer in sight, ending our season. Spurs then went on to beat the New Jersey Nets in the Finals.

I’m still convinced to this day that the Spurs were lucky to avoid dealing with Dirk in games 5 and 6.  Had Dirk been healthy, we could have faced the Nets that year in the Finals.

The Dirk/Nash/Finley era was over soon after that.  Who knows what could’ve been had Cuban met Nash financially and he had stuck around Dallas.  But then again, we wouldn’t have had no Jason Terry and ultimately, no Jason Kidd.

More stories coming soon.  Be sure to tune in for the “smashed Motorola in game 4 of the 2006 Western Conference Finals” story.  And also the story of the time I was on all fours praying for a Mavs miracle and it was answered.

MFFL          

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AP Photo/Donna McWilliam

AP Photo/ESPN.com

 

 

 

 

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Mavs Pre-Season 13 Days Away – A Look Back At Steve Nash

by Ryan Wilson on September 24, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

Nash Wide

Leading up to the start of pre-season, we will be looking at past and current players to wear the jersey number that corresponds with how many days remain until tip-off. We are now 13 days away Mavs fans, and who else can really represent that number other than the one and only Steve Nash.

Steve Nash came over to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998.  He was traded from the Suns to the Mavericks in exchange for Bubba Wells, Martin Muursepp, the rights to Pat Garrity, and a first-round draft pick. Boy, did that turn out well for the Dallas Mavericks. It was a franchise desperately trying to climb their way out of the basement and turn themselves into perennial contenders. His 1st season was riddled by an ankle injury that sidelined him for some games, but he still showed a glimpse of what exactly he could do on the court, which was score and make his teammates better.

What really turned this partnership between Steve Nash and the Dallas Mavericks into a success story was the surroundings in which Nash would eventually thrive. His partner in crime Dirk Nowitzki was beginning to find his game on the main land, while Michael Finley continued to play at a very high level. These three guys would eventually become the “Big Three” in Dallas, and combined with new billionaire owner Mark Cuban,  it would prove to be the right anecdote to turn this bottom feeder into an elite franchise.

In 2001, the Mavericks showed just how far they had come. Nash averaged 15 points and 7 assists per game and helped Nowitzki, Finley, and the newly acquired Juwan Howard reach the post-season for the first time since they lost in 3 games to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1990. The Mavericks would eventually come up short against the San Antonio Spurs, but even the Spurs would admit that this was a franchise that would have to be dealt with for many years down the road.

The “Big Three” continue to entertain Mavs fans night in and night out. Nash’s ability to be a scoring threat on any night opened up opportunities for Nowitzki and Finley as well. Not only was Nash a huge threat shooting the rock, but he was uncanny when distributing it to his teammates. They were put on national television all the time, because they were entertaining. Nash could do things with the ball that would amaze, all while putting his team in a position to win.

Following his 2001 season, Nash would post career highs in points and assists, en route to his first ever All-Star appearance. The Mavericks would post 57 wins that season, but eventually fall short to the Sacramento Kings. One thing Mark Cuban and the upper management knew was they had great base, and just needed to find the right pieces. The 2002-2003 season would bring on even greater success, as Nash and the Mavericks would eventually reach the Western Conference Finals, where they took on their in state rival, the San Antonio Spurs. It would be a tough battle, and one that would end short for the Mavericks.

Nash entered his 6th and final season with the Mavericks in 2003. He averaged a lower points per game total(14.5) than in any previous season with the Mavericks. The Mavs would once again fall short to the Sacramento Kings in the playoffs. Once the season ended, management had to assess the situation and direction of the franchise, and decide whether they would pay Nash his well deserved free agent money. NashCuban24While Cuban felt like he was offering enough money, Nash signed a 6-year, $65 million contract with the Phoenix Suns.

Nash would go on to win 2 Most Valuable Player awards  with the Phoenix Suns and appear in 7 more All-Star games. He is still well liked throughout Dallas and was an integral part in the Mavericks franchise turnaround.

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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.

 

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Mavs Game Night: Possible Last Trip to Sacramento

by Damian Jackson on April 5, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

dalatsac

With time running out on their season, the Dallas Mavericks can’t afford to let any more potential victories slip away if they want to reach the playoffs for a 13th consecutive season.

The visiting Mavericks look to avoid a third straight loss while trying to sweep the season series from the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

Dallas (36-39) carried a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter Thursday night at Denver before it was outscored 25-17 in the final period to fall 95-94. The Mavericks, who lost by 20 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, dropped the first two of a four-game trip that followed a 4-2 homestand.

“We just have to keep going; we have to turn this around (Friday) night and that’s where it’s at,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, whose club was outrebounded 18-9 on the offensive glass at Denver. “It is very disappointing; we fought hard. We did a lot of good things but when teams turn up the heat, we have to be able to get a big rebound in a crowd. We have to be able to execute and get a good shot and we didn’t do it in the last minute.”

The Mavericks have not missed the postseason since 1999-2000, but are 10th in the Western Conference and three games behind the Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot with seven remaining.

Brandan Wright had a team-high 16 points off the bench as Dallas held the Nuggets to 39.3 percent shooting but allowed them to rally in the fourth and ultimately win on Andre Iguodala‘s layup with 2.8 seconds.

It did not help that veteran forward Elton Brand missed the contest with a sore calf that has bothered him all week.

“We gave this one away,” forward Shawn Marion said. “We had a chance to win this game, and close out, but it didn’t happen.”

If the Mavericks are to make one final playoff push, a visit to Sacramento might be a good place to start.

Dallas has won four in a row and 14 of 15 against the Kings (27-48). The Mavericks won both home meetings this season by a combined 46 points but needed overtime to win 117-112 at Sacramento on Jan. 10.

Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who went scoreless in the fourth quarter Thursday after scoring one in the final period Tuesday, has been held to 24 total points in the first two games of the trip after averaging 29.7 in the previous three contests. He’s averaged 13.3 points and shot 33.3 percent in the last three at Sacramento.

However, 36-year-old teammate Vince Carter has combined for 49 points in the last two against the Kings.

With the distraction of where the franchise will play next season still lingering, the Kings dropped their second straight overall and third in a row at home, 112-102 to Houston on Wednesday. Tyreke Evans had 22 points, Marcus Thornton scored 21 and DeMarcus Cousins added 20, but Sacramento shot 39.1 percent and looked out of sorts while playing for the first time in four days.

“Those (three) days we had off (were) kind of hard for us to come back and to be in real game rhythm,” guard Isaiah Thomas said. “We started off slow and it kind of haunted us all night.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evans has totaled 43 points in two games after being held to 47 in the previous four. He combined for 43 on 16-of-23 (69.6 percent) shooting in the last two against the Mavericks.

____________________

Playoff Picture Update:

MAVERICKS – 10th seed in West; 3.0 GB of the Los Angeles Lakers (8th) and 2.5 GB of Utah Jazz (9th) for final playoff spot.

 

 

 

 

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Mavs at Kings tip at 9:00 p.m. CT and airs on FSSW/CSCA.

Let’s Go Mavs!

[NOTE] Article by ESPN/STATS LLC. Did not have time to write my own.

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Mavs Game Night: Looking For 4 Whole Quarters

by Ryan Wilson on January 10, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

“We all in this together and we just got to have a positive mindset and go into Sacramento and try to get a win.”

Dallas Mavericks point guard Darren Collison tries to keep his head up despite the worst season of Mavs ball under the Mark Cuban reign.

The Mavs plays the Sacramento Kings tonight, the second game of the back-to-back following last night’s defeat against the Los Angeles Clippers. Dallas is 2-7 in game two of back-to-backs.

California’s capitol may not even have an NBA team next season. Reports have stated the current Kings’ owners, George Jr. and Gavin Maloof, will sell the team to a Chris Hansen led Seattle group.

“First and goal at the one.” That’s how Yahoo! Sports NBA expert Adrian Wojnarowski described the progress.

“Not close,” said George Maloof on the current state of the deal.

Obviously it has become a cloudy ordeal. The Maloofs prefer to keep a significant voice in organizational matters as part of their majority sale. The result may the deal hitting a snag until the two sides fully agree of the finer details.

While the Kings have gotten comfortable in the bottom part of the Western standings, they have new company in the Mavericks. Actually the Mavs will enter the game tonight a half game behind the Kings.

“They have guys who can really score the basketball, so we’re going to have to play good defense, get out in transition and try to make shots,” guard Jimmer Fredette told the Kings’ official website. “I think it starts on the defensive end.”

It’s going to be about defense for both teams tonight. As for transition basketball, the Kings haven’t played since Monday and should have the fresher legs. Collison has paced the Mavs’ transition game, but oddly the Mavs are 0-4 in the games in which DC scores 20 points or more.

The issue the Mavs struggle with is figuring out how to finish a game. They’ve competed with top teams (not the Spurs) but haven’t been able to execute and close out for a win.

“It’s disheartening losing these games,” forward Elton Brand said. “I haven’t been through a stretch like this in a long, long time.”

Neither have the Mavs or the fans, Elton. It’s something we’re all trying to deal with in our own way.

The action starts at 9:00 p.m. CT and airs on FSSW/CSAC.

End the funk, get the win Dallas!

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