Tag Archives: Dallas Mavericks

Mavs’ Harris on leave after brother’s death

7:17 AM ET

DALLAS — Guard Devin Harris will take an indefinite leave from the Dallas Mavericks after the tragic death of his brother, Bruce.

“I was with him yesterday and just encouraged him that when he’s ready, to come on back,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I don’t know when that will be. He can take as long as he needs.”

A Dallas police statement said 38-year-old Bruce Harris died Thursday afternoon from injuries suffered in a crash. Police say Harris and another man were in a disabled vehicle when a car driven by a 23-year-old man slammed into it from behind. The car with Bruce Harris inside caught fire.

Devin Harris didn’t practice on Thursday and wasn’t with the team for the Mavericks’ 93-88 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Mavericks teammate J.J. Barea visited with Harris’ family on Thursday. Barea and Harris have been teammates since 2006.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21094631/dallas-mavericks-guard-devin-harris-takes-leave-absence-following-death-brother

Mavs rookie Smith (knee) out through Saturday

1:37 AM ET

DALLAS — Dennis Smith Jr. will miss at least two games due to swelling in the left knee that the Dallas Mavericks’ prized rookie point guard had surgically repaired two years ago.

Smith was a late scratch before Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings and will not travel with the Mavericks for Saturday’s road game against the Houston Rockets.

Smith tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in August 2015, the summer before his senior year of high school. He experienced swelling in the knee after a shootaround Friday — Carlisle said that has been an issue in recent weeks — and the decision was made to not start him less than an hour before the game.

“He’s had a little bit of minor swelling throughout training camp,” Carlisle said. “It’s just one of the symptoms of having an ACL [surgery in the past]. Doc checked him out, and we think he’s going to be fine.”

Smith, 19, the No. 9 pick in the draft who has inspired optimism in Dallas that he can be the franchise’s next cornerstone player, had 16 points and 10 assists in the season opener to become the youngest player in NBA history to record a points-assists double-double in his debut.

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21094702/dennis-smith-jr-dallas-mavericks-late-scratch-knee-effusion

Mavs rookie Smith late scratch with knee issue

11:11 PM ET

DALLAS — Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was a late scratch for Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings due to left knee effusion, a buildup of fluid in the knee.

Smith also will not play in Saturday’s road game against the Houston Rockets. Coach Rick Carlisle says the Mavs hope Smith can play Monday against the Golden State Warriors.

Smith tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in August 2015, the summer before his senior year of high school. He experienced swelling in the knee after shootaround Friday, and the decision was made to not start him less than an hour before the game.

Carlisle made no mention of Smith’s injury during his pregame news conference when he was asked about the matchup of Smith against Kings rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox.

Smith, 19, the No. 9 pick in the draft who has inspired optimism in Dallas that he can be the franchise’s next cornerstone player, had 16 points and 10 assists in the season opener to become the youngest player in NBA history to record a points-assists double-double in his debut.

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21094702/dennis-smith-jr-dallas-mavericks-late-scratch-knee-effusion

Mavs’ Cuban not sold on lottery reform plan

12:50 PM ET

DALLAS — Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t convinced the NBA’s new draft lottery system will discourage teams from tanking, which is why he abstained from the vote during last month’s board of governors meeting.

The lottery reform passed by a 28-1-1 vote, with the Oklahoma City Thunder the lone team voting against it. The NBA needed 23 of 30 teams to pass the legislation. Cuban told ESPN that he proposed two alternative scenarios — one to the board of governors, another privately to commissioner Adam Silver — that would have more strongly discouraged tanking than the proposal that passed.

However, neither of Cuban’s proposals got any traction. Cuban pitched other members of the league’s board of governors on a system in which the draft is abolished, with teams getting a pool of money to sign rookies based on their records.

“The team with the worst record gets the most money and the team with the best record gets the least money,” Cuban said. “It’s like a free agency. It makes it a lot harder to tank because you don’t know if you get the best players if you’re horrible all the time. “Nobody liked that at all, not a single person.”

Cuban’s other idea was to lock the team with the worst record into a draft slot — either third or fourth — to force teams to compete to avoid being at the bottom. That idea never got discussed in the board of directors meeting.

“Now all of the sudden, if it’s close at the end, you’re going to see teams play as hard as they can because if they end up with the worst record, they don’t get the best pick,” Cuban said, explaining the logic of his idea.”You basically eliminate them from getting the best player. Everybody else would just be the way it is now.

“Adam didn’t like that. That never got to the board of directors, but that one was my favorite. I brought up [the other proposal], but after that one got shot down, I didn’t bring up the other one. When I got no response on the one, I just dropped the other because it was obvious that what they had proposed was going to pass.”

In the new lottery odds, the three teams with the worst records will share a 14 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick, a change from the descending percentages of 25, 19.9, and 15.6 in the current system.

Four teams — increased from three — will become part of the lottery draw, which means the No. 1 lottery seed could drop no further than fifth, No. 2 could drop no further than sixth, No. 3 no further than seventh, and No. 4 no further than eighth.

“It’s OK, but you still have the best chance of getting the best pick if you have the worst record,” Cuban said. “The hope is if you’re one of the bottom three, you’re going to try. Now, if you’re one of the bottom three, the odds are all the same. It doesn’t get any better if you get any worse, and that’s OK, but you’re still going to try to tank to get a chance at the best pick.

“If you can’t get better than third or fourth (pick with the worst record), if you try to tank, you’re never going to get the best pick. It’s hard to say, ‘Now we’re going to start winning games because we’re at risk.’ But it is what it is. Hopefully, it’s not even a consideration for (the Mavericks) this year or next year.”

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21077674/dallas-mavericks-owner-mark-cuban-abstained-vote-draft-lottery-reform-offered-own-suggestions

Brother of Mavs guard Harris killed in crash

DALLAS — The brother of Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris was fatally injured in an early morning crash on a Dallas expressway.

A Dallas police statement says 38-year-old Bruce Harris died Thursday afternoon of injuries from the 1:40 a.m. Thursday crash on U.S. 75 just north of Loop 12 in North Dallas. Officer Tamika Dameron, a police spokeswoman, said Harris and another man were in a disabled vehicle when it was slammed from behind and set on fire by a car with two 23-year-old men.

All four occupants were taken to Presbyterian Hospital about a block from the crash site. Harris died hours later. The Dallas Morning News reported Harris was a brother of the Mavericks guard, who was excused from practice Thursday. Team officials wouldn’t comment.

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21084390/brother-dallas-mavericks-guard-devin-harris-killed-crash

Dennis Smith Jr. delivers highlights and hope in Mavs debut

2:19 AM ET

DALLAS — It took all of 32 seconds Wednesday night for Dennis Smith Jr. to record what should be the first of many highlights in his career.

Coach Rick Carlisle called a play on the Dallas Mavericks’ first possession designed for the prized rookie — a teenager hyped as 20-year veteran Dirk Nowitzki‘s successor as the face of the franchise — to display his athleticism. From just left of the top of the 3-point arc, Smith passed the ball to Wesley Matthews Jr., got a back pick from Nowitzki and soared to catch a lob pass before finishing with a ferocious, two-handed dunk.

“It’s time to go get it,” Smith thought when told the Mavs would open the season with that play. “I just told him to throw it up and I’m gonna get it wherever you throw it. That’s what I did.”

Welcome to the NBA, kid.

The Mavs weren’t exactly in a celebratory mood after their 117-111 home loss to the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks, but there has been a buzz throughout the organization about Smith from the moment he slipped to the Mavs with the ninth pick in the draft.

This is a franchise that has been searching for a long-term point guard since Jason Kidd’s departure and desperately needs a cornerstone to build around in the coming post-Nowitzki era. The hope is that Smith solves both problems.

There certainly isn’t any reason to ease up on the optimism after Smith’s 16-point, 10-assist debut that put him in statistical company with the two NBA legends who played point guard for the Mavs. Smith became the youngest player in league history (19 years, 327 days) to debut with a points/assists double-double, a distinction that previously belonged to Isiah Thomas (20 years, 183 days). It was the first time since Steve Nash in 2002 that a Dallas player had at least 15 points and 10 assists in a season debut.

“He’s a special athlete,” Nowitzki said. “We’re gonna have a lot of fun watching him hopefully for a long, long time.”

How special of an athlete? Mavs owner Mark Cuban claims that Smith is “the fastest guy in the NBA. Not even close.” Faster than Russell Westbrook or John Wall? “I would bet,” Cuban said.

Westbrook, the reigning MVP, and Wall, a perennial All-Star, are probably the only active point guards who compare athletically to Smith. Mavs executive Michael Finley said on draft night that Smith reminded him of prime “Derrick Rose with a jump shot.”

There haven’t been many point guards with the gift of a 48-inch vertical leap. They definitely haven’t played in Dallas. Smith dunked twice in his debut — two more dunks than Mavs point guards had all of last season.

Yet Smith isn’t just a raw athlete. He has remarkable poise and vision for a player his age. His assist total against the Hawks could have been a lot higher if not for Nowitzki (4-of-14) and Harrison Barnes (3-of-13) missing several open looks Smith created for them.

Aside from wearing a “The Princess and the Frog” backpack postgame — veteran guard Devin Harris allowed Smith his pick of Disney princesses — the teen really didn’t look much like a rookie.

“That’s just having a feel for the game,” Smith said. “I’ve been playing point guard since I was like 6 years old. I just go in and do what I do. I’ll find guys, I’ll be aggressive. It’s just about going in and having a feel for it.”

Cuban, perhaps conveniently forgetting about Rajon Rondo’s brief, bad tenure with the Mavs, calls Smith “as good a passer as we’ve had since J. Kidd.”

Veteran backup point guard J.J. Barea, who has lasted a dozen years in the league in large part due to his fiery personality, raves just as much about Smith’s competitiveness. Barea might advise Smith not to seek out midair collisions, such as when he got hammered while trying to dunk over two Hawks in the third quarter, but he loves the kid’s fearlessness.

“He’s not going to back up from nobody,” Barea said. “That’s a good thing.”

Smith might not be able to lead the Mavs to many victories this season. Not many rookie point guards immediately take lottery teams to the playoffs.

But the Mavs, whose draft results over the past decade have been dreadful, finally have a rookie who provides hope for the future and highlights right away.

Article source: http://www.espn.com/blog/dallas-mavericks/post/_/id/4706757/dennis-smith-jr-delivers-highlights-and-hope-in-mavs-debut