Category Archives: Dallas Mavericks, Sports, News

Dallas Mavericks, Sports, News

Chris Kaman does contact work, could play Sunday

DALLAS – Mavericks center Chris Kaman participated in contact drills Thursday for the first time since suffering a concussion Jan. 28.

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Coach Rick Carlisle said Kaman would not play Friday night against the New Orleans Hornets but could be available Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“We’ve got to get at least one more practice in before he can play,” Carlisle said. “If things continue to go well, he’ll be a possibility for Sunday.”

The 7-foot Kaman, who has missed the last nine games, was not available for comment.

It isn’t clear what Kaman’s role will be when he returns. He was demoted to the bench the two games before he was injured, playing season lows of 12 and 11 minutes in those games. Carlisle declined to discuss how Kaman might fit into the center rotation. Bernard James has started the last six games with Elton Brand playing the bulk of the minutes and Brandan Wright being used as a change of pace.

“I’m not going to get into that,” Carlisle said, “because we’ve got to get him back on the floor officially before that even becomes a conversation.”

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Dahntay Jones says bye to Dallas, keeps beard


NBA, Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, Dahntay Jones, Rick Carlisle, Anthony Morrow

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O.J. Mayo’s maximum effort saves Mavs

DALLAS – As soon as the Dallas Mavericks made it to the locker room after their 111-96 win over the Orlando Magic, coach Rick Carlisle cued up the tape to the turning point in the game.

Carlisle wanted the Mavs to see the critical sequence that happened with a little less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter. He wanted to show them an example of the kind of effort they’ll need on a consistent basis if they’re going to have any hope of making a playoff push.

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Exhibit A: O.J. Mayo’s chase-down block of J.J. Redick’s layup to spoil a 2-on-2 fast break and spark a transition possession that Vince Carter finished by throwing down a long lob pass from Mayo.

“It’s as good a hustle sequence as we’ve had all year,” Carlisle said. “I thought the timing of it couldn’t have been more key in the game.”

Or more key in the season, really.

Orlando had dropped 25 of its last 28 entering the game – including a 13-point loss the previous night to the Charlotte Bobcats, the lone team in the league with a worse record. This would have been an absolutely disastrous loss for Dallas.

And a loss looked like a very distinct possibility with 1:56 to play in the third quarter, when the Mavs’ 16-point lead from the first half was a distant memory, having turned into a six-point deficit. Then Jameer Nelson beat Mayo to a loose ball in the Dallas backcourt and fed Redick for what looked like an easy layup — until Mayo came flying in from behind to pin the ball on the glass.

Mayo ripped down the rebound, leaving Redick and Nelson in his dust as he pushed the ball up the right side of the floor and launched a lob pass to Carter from several feet behind the 3-point line. The 36-year-old Carter went vintage Vinsanity, soaring to snatch the pass with two hands and throw it down.

The supposedly sellout crowd at the American Airlines Center went from silent to insane in a matter of seconds, waking up with Mayo’s block and getting worked into a frenzy with Carter’s finish.

“The crowd wasn’t really into it much because we gave them nothing to cheer for,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “That play really turned everything around.”

That play sparked a 10-3 run – featuring a couple of Carter 3-pointers – to close the third quarter and give the Mavs the lead for good.

“We had to pretty much get juiced up, man,” said Mayo, who had 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. “They were making shots and we were pretty much playing their pace. We wanted to get our crowd into it. … We wanted to get some juice in the building and start playing with a little more energy.”

Nowitzki mentioned that the whole sequence wouldn’t have happened if Mayo had gone to the floor to fight for the loose ball in the first place. However, Mayo more than made up for that with the spectacular, extra-effort, defense-offense sequence.

Mayo’s hustle once Nelson got the ball made for a perfect example of what Carlisle wants from the Mavs. The play wasn’t quite perfect, however.

Let’s just say there have been better lob passes thrown in NBA history. This one was a bit too high and a bit too hard, but the 2000 slam dunk champion cranked up the time machine to make it work.

“I’m dumb sometimes,” Carter said with a smile after his 14-point, eight-assist performance. “I’ll try to get it anyway. I believe if somebody throws me a lob, that’s the respect factor. I’m going to go get it — well, try to. It just stuck in my hand long enough to bring it to the rim.

“If you call for it and they throw it, you’ve got to go get it. That’s your responsibility.”

It’s the responsibility of all of the Mavs to play as hard as possible for every second of the rest of the season. That’s what made Mayo’s game-changing sequence so beautiful to Carlisle.

It also made for a heck of a highlight, although Mayo scoffed at the suggestion that it might have been the best block of his career.

“It was just J.J. Redick, man,” Mayo said.

It was just the Magic, man, but the Mavs need every win they can get. And they need that kind of maximum effort all the time.

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Cuban on trade front: ‘Surprisingly quiet’

DALLAS – It took Mark Cuban five words to sum up the Mavericks’ activity in the trade market.

“Nothing going on,” Cuban said. “Surprisingly quiet.”

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It’s not just that the Mavs have yet to engage in discussions they deemed interesting. They haven’t engaged in many discussions at all.

Donnie Nelson’s phone is typically ringing on a regular basis at this time of year. That hasn’t been the case leading up to this trade deadline, according to Cuban.

With 19 hours to go before the deadline, Cuban figured that might change, but he certainly didn’t sound like a man who expects to make a deal.

“We’ll listen to everything,” Cuban said. “We won’t just do something to do something.”

Cuban talked to the media before news broke about the Rockets reportedly making two deals, acquiring fifth overall pick Thomas Robinson in a multi-player deal with the Kings and sending former first-rounder Marcus Morris to Phoenix for a second-round pick. Those deals were the first real action during the week before the deadline.

“I thought there’d be more activity, at least discussions,” Cuban said. “You never know. Maybe the last second, things will happen. But everybody wants a super sweetheart deal and nobody wants to give it.”

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Vince Carter honored by Terrence Ross’ tribute

DALLAS – Vince Carter‘s curiosity was piqued when he noticed that Terrence Ross‘ jersey didn’t match his shorts when the Raptors rookie walked onto the floor for the finals of the slam dunk contest.

[+] Enlarge
Terrence RossUSA TODAY SportsTerrence Ross donned a No. 15 Vince Carter jersey while claiming the slam dunk contest.Then Carter saw the familiar No. 15 and recognized that Ross was wearing Vinsanity’s old Toronto jersey as a tribute.

“It was weird, but I was honored,” Carter said Monday. “It was great to see that jersey on the floor in that atmosphere of the dunk contest.”

Ross did the jersey proud, catching a pass off the side of the backboard and perfectly executing a windmill dunk while wearing No. 15. Ross dethroned defending dunk champ Jeremy Evans, bringing the title back to Toronto 13 years after Carter won it with a legendary performance.

Ross, who was 9 when Carter won the dunk contest, has told reporters that Carter was one of his boyhood idols. Carter reached out to Ross over the weekend to express his appreciation for the tribute.

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“I wanted to personally congratulate him and told him I was honored,” Carter said. “I think this is a great opportunity for him because I know what winning the dunk contest did for me. I said the same thing to him. I said, ‘Everywhere you go, when your name is mentioned, it’s mentioned among the dunk champions.’ That’s an honor in itself. That’s something they can’t take away from you.

“That’s how my wonderful ride began. Everybody is excited about the dunk contest and it just gave me confidence.”

Carter won the dunk contest the day before he made the first of his eight consecutive All-Star appearances. Ross, an eighth overall pick averaging 6.4 points per game as a rookie, has a long way to go to approach those heights.

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Is Rick Carlisle ready to settle on starting lineup?

DALLAS – It’d be fine with Rick Carlisle if the Mavericks don’t pad their lead for the most starting lineups used this season.

PODCAST With the Lakers’ ongoing drama, Galloway Company discuss the possibility that Dwight Howard could be headed to the Mavericks.

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They’ve already used 18 – five more than last season – and just might have found one that Carlisle is comfortable rolling with on a consistent basis. The Mavs are 4-3 when rookie center Bernard James joins Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison, a lineup they’ve used the last five games.

“The hope is that we can develop some consistency,” Carlisle said. “Having said that, I’ve got to be open to adjusting on the fly when it’s helpful. We’ve had a little more consistency with our rotation in recent weeks, and I would love for that to continue. The nature of this game and our league and our team is that we’ve got to have everybody ready.

“It’s a simple fact. It’s not like two years ago when you could basically pencil in when guys are going to be subbing in and out, and who’s this and who’s that.”

It’s not like the Mavs planned to use this lineup. In fact, those five had never played a single second together before Carlisle benched the defensively challenged Chris Kaman and inserted James into the starting lineup for the Jan. 27 win over the Phoenix Suns.

James has started all but two games since then, but he’s still a part-time player, getting almost all of his minutes at the beginning of each half with Elton Brand coming off the bench to play the majority of the big-man minutes.

The starting lineup that features James has been outscored by 10 points in 68 minutes – or, if you prefer, they’re even other than that awful start against the Atlanta Hawks. However, Carlisle is mostly encouraged by the way James has performed in his role as an energy guy.

“It’s a lot to throw in his lap, to basically say ‘Hey, you’re a second-round pick. Go start in the NBA on a team that’s trying to get to the playoffs,’” Carlisle said. “But his job is simple. It is play hard, be aggressive, be a traffic cop defensively, contest everything and run your ass off. Those things he’s done and he’s getting a little better at.”

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