Category Archives: Dallas Mavericks, Sports, News

Dallas Mavericks, Sports, News

Rapid Reaction: Grizzlies 90, Mavs 84

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Meltdowns don’t get much more miserable than this.

It took less than 10 minutes of game action for the Dallas Mavericks’ 25-point lead to disappear. Dallas turnovers fueled a 36-4 run by the Memphis Grizzlies, a stretch that included a team-record 24 consecutive points.

After lighting up the league’s second stingiest scoring defense for 38 points in the first quarter, the Mavs managed to score a total of 46 the rest of the game.

The third quarter was especially — and almost historically — brutal. The Mavs scored only five points in the frame, matching the league low for points in a quarter this season. Dallas didn’t score in the quarter until O.J. Mayo hit a free throw with 3:51 remaining. The Mavs’ first field goal of the second half came at the 3:03 mark, when Mike James made a layup.

The NBA record for fewest points in a quarter is two, set by the Mavs in the third quarter of an April 5, 1997, loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Dallas was 2-of-17 from the floor with seven turnovers in the third quarter, during which the Grizzlies outscored the Mavs by a 24-5 margin.

With both teams struggling offensively in the fourth quarter, the Mavs pulled to within two points. The Grizzlies pushed it back to a two-possession game by making all three free throws when Elton Brand was called for a foul on Marc Gasol and received a technical for protesting the call with 2:28 remaining.

After two consecutive dominant games in losing efforts, Dirk Nowitzki was a nonfactor, scoring only 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. He did not score in the second half until hitting a pair of free throws with 24.7 seconds remaining.

The Grizzlies, who got 22 points from Zach Randolph and 21 from Marc Gasol, won despite a gruesome shooting game (37.7 percent).

What it means: The Mavs have lost three consecutive games to fall to 25-32. The odds of the Mavs shaving their beards — which they’ve vowed not to do until they get back to .500 — appear awfully slim. Their odds of extending the franchise’s playoff streak to 13 seasons seem puny. The 11th-place Mavs remain five games back from the final playoff seed after the Houston Rockets also lost Wednesday night.

Play of the game: The Mavs botched an inbounds play with 6.4 remaining in the first half, resulting in Darrell Arthur stealing O.J. Mayo’s pass and dashing down the court for a breakaway layup. The Mavs still led by 13 at halftime, but that play gave the Grizzlies a boost of momentum.

Stat of the night: The Mavs have blown a lead bigger than 25 points in a loss only three times in franchise history. The largest lead the Mavs have ever surrendered was 30 points in a Dec. 6, 2002, loss to the Lakers.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694685/rapid-reaction-grizzlies-90-mavs-84

Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 98, Nets 90

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How it happened: Dallas did the dominating during the third quarter this time.

A couple of nights after a miserable third quarter in Memphis, the Mavericks seized control of the game coming out of halftime in Brooklyn.

The Mavs outscored the Nets by a 29-14 margin in the third quarter, breaking open a game that featured 15 lead changes. Dirk Nowitzki (20 points, 8-14 FG) and Vince Carter (20 points, 7-12 FG) had seven points apiece in the third. Dallas took the lead for good with a 7-0 run and finished the frame with an 11-2 spurt before opening the fourth quarter with another eight consecutive points.

PODCAST Rick Carlisle joins Galloway Company to discuss his conversation with Deron Williams during the offseason, the Mavericks’ recent losses and much more.

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Dallas needed that cushion to withstand a Nets push in the fourth. Brooklyn went on a 24-8 run to slash Dallas’ lead to four points with a 37.4 seconds remaining.

Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams, the Mavs’ primary free-agent target last summer, led the Nets with 24 points but committed seven turnovers.

What it means: The Mavs (26-32) snapped a three-game losing streak with a rare road win over a team with a winning record. Their only other road victory over a plus-.500 foe came Dec. 8 at Houston. With this win, the Mavs remained five games behind the eighth-place Rockets, who beat the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Play of the game: Carter rebounded an air ball by Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic and fired a three-quarters-court outlet pass to Shawn Marion for a breakaway slam with seconds remaining in the third quarter. That put an exclamation point on a dominant third quarter, stretching the Mavs’ lead to 14.

Stat of the night: Nowitzki has scored at least 20 points in four of the past five games. He had a total of only four 20-point performances before the All-Star break.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694734/rapid-reaction-mavericks-98-nets-90

Better off without Deron Williams? Time will tell

After his half-hearted, long-distance recruiting pitch failed to woo Deron Williams, Mark Cuban claimed the Mavericks were “in better position” without the three-time All-Star point guard anyway.

PODCAST Rick Carlisle joins Galloway Company to discuss his conversation with Deron Williams during the offseason, the Mavericks’ recent losses and much more.

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“I don’t want to pick on Deron Williams because he’s a great, great, great, great player, so it’s not necessarily him per se,” Cuban said this summer. “Obviously the decision was to go for him. But the conversation was, ‘OK, once you take $17.1 million in salary to what we have with Dirk and (Shawn Marion), then what do you do?’ That’s your squad. And it’s not just your squad for this year, it’s your squad for next year, other than the $3.3 million mini mid-level (exception).

“So, that was a challenge that we had because we want to win. Everybody talks about Dirk’s window, but not only would it have been difficult to add players, it also would have been difficult to trade players. In reality, that was the same problem that Deron had. Because he looked and saw the same thing and said, ‘Now what are you going to do?’”

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Mark CubanMichael Ansell/ABC via Getty ImagesMark Cuban infamously was on the set of “Shark Tank” when the Mavs’ brass was meeting with Deron Williams.Without Williams, the Mavs are going to miss the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years. They’re seven games under .500 entering their meeting with Williams’ Nets in Brooklyn.

Better off without Williams? This season couldn’t get much worse for a franchise that considers winning 50 games to be a minimum standard. (All the Mavs have to do to get to 50 wins is finish the regular season with a 25-game winning streak.)

You certainly can’t convince Dirk Nowitzki that the Mavs are better off without Williams. Nowitzki has often bemoaned the Mavs’ lack of basketball IQ after close losses this season. That wouldn’t have been a problem with Williams and Jason Kidd – who definitely would have returned to Dallas if his golf buddy signed with the Mavs – on the floor during crunch time.

If you want to see Nowitzki sneer, just mention “Shark Tank,” the reality show Cuban filmed instead of meeting face to face with Williams.

But would the Mavs have been a playoff team with Williams? That’s far from a sure thing.

First of all, as Cuban mentioned, the Mavs would have been handcuffed while trying to fill out their roster. Would O.J. Mayo have signed for the mini mid-level ($700,000 less than he ended up getting)? Who would have played center with Brendan Haywood being amnestied and no Chris Kaman or Elton Brand?

And it isn’t like Williams has been worth the max money this season. He’s struggled while dealing with injuries, most notably ankle problems, putting up numbers (17.3 ppg, 7.7 apg, .417 FG%) that are far below his standards and failing to be selected to the All-Star Game for first time since 2009.

Combine the declining numbers with the 28-year-old Williams’ moodiness – how would he have dealt with Dirk’s 27-game absence? – and it’s fair to wonder whether he’s a player who can be the foundation of a contender.

Of course, it’s also fair to wonder whether the Mavs can land that caliber of player. If they fail to do so this summer, Cuban can’t claim that they’re better off without Williams.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694718/better-off-without-deron-williams-time-will-tell

3-pointer: Dirk Nowitzki disappears in second half

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MEMPHIS – What happened to the dominant Dirk Nowitzki from the last two games? He disappeared Wednesday night.

Nowitzki failed to make a field goal in the second half of the Mavs’ loss to the Grizzlies. His only points after halftime came on a pair of too-little, too-late free throws with 24.7 seconds remaining.

PODCAST ESPNDallas.com’s Jean-Jacques Taylor joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss Tony Romo’s contract situation, the pressure for Dirk Nowitzki to be perfect and family time being less important for Derek Fisher when he’s on a contender.

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After flashing his Hall of Fame form over the previous few days, the big German was just a guy against the Grizzlies, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting and only four rebounds. That’s a far cry from the 30 points and 13 rebounds he had against the Lakers and the 21 points and 20 rebounds he put up against the Bucks.

Nowitzki’s numbers from the second half: two points on 0-of-5 shooting from the floor, two rebounds and one turnover.

“It’s just one of those nights,” Nowitzki said. “If you don’t have a rhythm, you can have an ugly game. And they did a good job taking us out of our game. Everything was contested the second half. It was nothing easy.”

After getting whatever they wanted during a 38-point first quarter, when Nowitzki has six points on 3-of-4 shooting, the Mavs’ offense got stagnant and sloppy. The Dallas guards couldn’t get into the guts of the Grizzlies’ defense to make plays, and Nowitzki wasn’t able to create on his own.

“The shots that he did get weren’t high-quality shots,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And there were one or two where I thought he could have gotten the whistle.”

Nowitzki didn’t get the whistle until the Grizzlies had put the game away. He didn’t get anything to go his way after halftime.

A few more notes from the Mavs’ meltdown:

1. Mayo’s unhappy homecoming: Fans at the FedExForum have given O.J. Mayo mostly warm welcomes, but that’s about all that’s gone well for him during his returns to Memphis.

Mayo, who played his first four seasons for the Grizzlies before signing with the Mavs this summer, has averaged 10.5 points on 33.3 percent shooting and five turnovers during two losses as a Memphis visitor.

“That’s the way it goes, man,” said Mayo, who bought 18 tickets for friends and family this trip, including his Memphis resident mother. “You want to play good. You want to play ‘em all good. You play bad, you’ve got to take a quick look at it and move on to the next game.”

2. Long shot to shave: Nowitzki’s beard keeps getting longer. So doe his odds of shaving this season.

Nowitzki was one of several Mavs to agree not to shave until they get back to .500. They’re seven games under after three consecutive losses, just as far away from .500 as they were when they originally made the pact.

Nowitzki admits that his long, scraggly beard is really beginning to bother him.

“And it obviously ain’t going anywhere for a while now,” he said.

3. Kaman’s start: Chris Kaman came out strong in his first start since Jan. 20, putting up six points, three rebounds and a block in seven first-quarter minutes, fresh off a DNP-CD.

Suffice to say Kaman didn’t quite make that kind of impact the rest of the game. He finished with six points, four rebounds and one block in 22 minutes.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694703/3-pointer-dirk-nowitzki-disappeared-in-second-half

Deron Williams to Mark Cuban, Mavs: Don’t go there

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Deron Williams wanted no part of rehashing the offseason, when he chose to stay in Brooklyn over heading back home to Dallas.

“There’s no reason to even go down that lane. That’s behind me. I’m part of the Brooklyn Nets,” Williams said Thursday. “There’s no reason to even revisit that.”

Williams will face the Mavericks for the first time this season when the Nets host Dallas on Friday night at Barclays Center.

“It’s just another game,” Williams said.

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Dirk Nowitzki and Deron WilliamsGlenn James/NBAE/Getty ImagesDirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams as teammates? It would’ve been intriguing, but it didn’t happen.Williams, 28, met with both teams during free agency. Given that he is from Dallas, it was a difficult decision. Ultimately, he decided to re-sign with the Nets for five years and $98 million.

Williams said the team’s acquisition of Joe Johnson swayed him to pick Brooklyn. When Williams met with the Mavericks, owner Mark Cuban wasn’t at the meeting because he was filming an episode of the reality television show “Shark Tank.”

“A lot of the questions that me and my agent had for them really didn’t get answered that day — you know, pertaining to the future,” Williams said in October. “And I think if (Cuban) was there, he would have been able to answer those questions a little bit better. Maybe would have helped me.”

Cuban then fired back: “I’m a big D-Will fan, but I’m kind of surprised that he would throw his front office under the bus like that by saying that I would make a difference. I would have expected him to say — like I’d expect one of our guys to say — ‘Hey I’m so thrilled with the front office and the moves we made and our team that it wouldn’t have mattered what he did.’

“He’s a superstar point guard, but my goal is to build a team. … I’m flattered that he thought my presence would have made more of a difference than what the Nets’ management did.”

Williams said he hasn’t spoken with Cuban since.

“It wasn’t really a back-and-forth thing, anyway,” Williams said Thursday.

Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, who joined the Nets in December 2011 as an assistant coach, said he was worried about the possibility that the franchise point guard might leave.

“Until he re-signed, I was concerned,” Carlesimo said. “Clearly, being from Dallas and Dallas having a pretty good roster — they just won a championship a couple years ago — I thought it was a viable option. My opinion was he was always going to stay just because he seemed very, very comfortable here. And his relationship with Avery Johnson and Billy King was such that I was confident he was going to stay here. But was I worried? Yes, I was worried.”

As has been well-documented, this season hasn’t been easy for Williams, who has battled injuries, fatigue, confidence problems and becoming acclimated with an offensive system that isn’t best-suited for his game. In 55 games, he’s averaging 17.3 points, 7.7 assists and 2.9 turnovers and shooting 41.7 percent from the field.

An All-Star from 2010 to ’12, Williams wasn’t selected to participate this season.

“I know I belong out there regardless of watching (the All-Star Game on TV) or not,” Williams said. “It’s just the fact that this year I wasn’t having an All-Star year, so I wasn’t in the game. I’ll look to get back there next year, play better, hopefully be healthy.”

Since the All-Star break, Williams — who has already had three sets of cortisone shots in both ankles — is averaging 22.8 points, 8.4 assists and 3.6 turnovers while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 51.5 percent from 3-point range. He says he’d like to cut down on his turnovers, but otherwise feels good about his game.

The Mavericks currently find themselves five games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Nets, meanwhile, are on track to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

Looks like D-Will made the right choice — if this season is any indication, anyway.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694711/deron-williams-to-mark-cuban-mavs-dont-go-there

Add Memphis meltdown to Mavs’ lows

MEMPHIS — If you’ve got the stomach for it, go ahead and pick the ghastly stat that best sums up the Dallas Mavericks’ Memphis meltdown.

Here are a few options after the Mavs turned a massive lead into a 90-84 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies:

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Darren Collison, Marc GasolJoe Murphy/NBAE/Getty ImagesAre Darren Collison and the Mavs seeing their season and the team’s streak of 12 years of postseason play slip away. It certainly seemed that way Wednesday in Memphis.• The 25-point blown lead was the fourth largest in franchise history.

• The Grizzlies went on a 36-4 run that bridged the second and third quarters, with the Mavs committing nine turnovers in a span of a little more than 12 minutes. Memphis scored 24 consecutive points during that stretch.

• The Mavs had more turnovers (seven) than points (five) in the third quarter. The five points were the fewest ever scored in a quarter by a Memphis opponent and matched the fewest scored in a quarter by an NBA team this season.

Man, it doesn’t get much worse than this, huh?

Well, that’s debatable in this debacle of a season for Dallas.

“Oh, god, there are so many low points,” Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki said, fidgeting with a bushy beard that he won’t shave any time soon. “I don’t even know if this is the lowest.”

Oh, you could argue the case for any of the many times the Mavs were on the wrong end of a blowout. Or maybe you’d pick out one of the several times the Mavs managed to find a way to give away a game in the final moments.

But let’s focus on the mess that’s fresh after the Mavs fell apart Wednesday night at FedExForum.

Desperate for a win after a couple of soul-crushing close home losses over the previous few days, the Mavs couldn’t have played much better than they did in the first half. Dallas simply dominated the West’s best defensive team, lighting up the Grizzlies for 38 points while making 15-of-20 shots from the floor, building a 19-point lead.

That lead swelled to 25 midway through the second quarter, as the Mavs seemed to be cruising to a stunning road rout over a playoff-bound Memphis squad that had won its previous seven games. Then, suddenly, the Grizzlies cranked up the defense and the Mavs’ morphed into a D-League offense.

“I think they wanted it a little more than us,” said Mavs sixth man Vince Carter, offering an inexcusable explanation considering the West standings. “We got comfortable in the last five minutes of the first half.”

Disaster struck after Memphis big man Marc Gasol’s and-1 layup with 2:13 remaining in the first half. The Mavs committed turnovers on five of the next six possessions, allowing the Grizzlies to cut the deficit to a manageable 13 points at the break.

Then the horror show started:

The Mavs didn’t score in the third quarter until O.J. Mayo made a free throw at the 3:51 mark. They didn’t get a bucket until Mike James made a transition layup with 3:07 remaining.

By that point, the Grizzlies had ripped away the lead for good.

Warning: The following stats from the third quarter are rated PG. The Mavs were 2-of-17 from the floor, 0-of-4 from 3-point range and 1-of-4 from the free throw line. They had seven turnovers. They were outrebounded by a 19-8 margin.

They were humiliated.

“They turned it up a notch and we didn’t,” forward Shawn Marion said. “They came out aggressive and punked our asses.”

Added coach Rick Carlisle: “It’s another tough lesson in a season full of tough lessons.”

The Mavs gutted up and fought back in the fourth quarter, trimming the lead to two at one point, but they never got back over the hump. Teams that give up 36-4 runs don’t win very often.

When the buzzer sounded, the Mavs had lost their third straight game. They fell to 25-32, light years from the playoffs and seven games under the .500 mark they need to reach before they’ll allow themselves to shave again.

“Yeah,” Nowitzki said after being held to 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting, “it feels like more than that, to be honest with you.”

As bad as blowing a 25-point lead was, it felt worse. And it might not even be the low point in this miserable season for the Mavs.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694695/aadd-memphis-meltdown-to-mavs-lows