Tag Archives: Dallas Mavericks

3-pointer: Dallas D hits rock bottom in Rockets’ rout

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HOUSTON – How did things go so humiliatingly haywire for the Mavericks in the third quarter of what could be considered a high-stakes game?

“I don’t have an explanation for it,” coach Rick Carlisle said after the Mavs’ 136-103 loss Sunday to the Rockets, “other than they picked up their game and we didn’t match it.”

The Mavs have been a bad defensive team all season, giving up the fourth most points in the NBA, but allowing the Rockets to rip off 44 points in a dozen minutes was rock bottom.

It isn’t like Houston suddenly got hot, either. The Rockets had a 64-61 halftime lead after small forward Chandler Parsons put up 18 points, 3.2 more than he averages per game.

But the Rockets’ efficiency in the third quarter, which they opened with a 15-0 run, was just ridiculous. Houston was 14-of-20 from the floor, 6-of-10 from 3-point range, 10-of-13 from the line and didn’t commit a single turnover.

Parson, who finished with a career high 32 points on 12-of-13 shooting, had 11 points in the frame and wasn’t even Houston’s leading scorer for the quarter. James Harden, who actually had a rough first half, had 14 of his 21 points and four of his seven assists in the third.

“It was just a damn layup drill and wide-open 3s,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “That was embarrassing.”

A few more notes from this miserable night for the Mavs:

1. Dirk’s dud: A dominant Dirk couldn’t have overshadowed this dreadful defensive performance, but Nowitzki’s off night didn’t help matters.
Nowitzki, who had scored at least 20 points in four of the previous five games, was held to only eight points on 2-of-8 shooting.

“I never got any good looks,” Nowitzki said. “They played me with a smaller guy. Every time I took him to the post, they were digging deep, the same thing really Memphis was doing.

“They’re not going to leave me much in pick-and-rolls any more. They’re going to make other guys make plays. Everything I get, I basically have to work for. I still should have made a couple of those shots I took in the second half.”

This was the second time in three games that Nowitzki didn’t have a field goal in the second half. He was also 0-for after halftime in the Mavs’ loss in Memphis.

“Maybe when the game goes like this, I’ve got to be aggressive earlier and not just take one shot in the first quarter to kind of get us going more,” Nowitzki said. “But I felt like we were scoring there at a decent clip in the first half, so I kind of let the other boys do it.

“Once we needed my scoring in the third quarter, I didn’t really have much going. Maybe I’ve got to establish myself earlier and we’ll see how that works.”

2. Adding injury to insult: O.J. Mayo left the Toyota Center with a hard plastic splint protecting his right thumb.

Mayo said he sprained the thumb in the first half, but he didn’t expect to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

“I’ll be all right,” said Mayo, who had 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

3. Another German import: Tim Ohlbrecht, Dirk Nowitzki’s teammate on the German Olympic team, made his NBA debut against the Mavs.

Ohlbrecht, a center signed recently by the Rockets after a stint in the D-League, scored three points in 5:37 of garbage time. He was greeted warmly by Nowitzki before the game and waited outside the Mavs’ locker room afterwards to meet with the German legend.

“Of course I’m going to look up to him,” Ohlbrecht said. “I’m just proud to make it in the same league as him.”

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694764/3-pointer-dallas-d-hits-rock-bottom-in-rockets-rout

Rapid Reaction: Rockets 136, Mavericks 103

You didn’t think a third quarter could be worse than the Dallas Mavericks’ meltdown in Memphis on Wednesday?

Well, how about the third quarter Sunday night in Houston?

This was every bit as much of a defensive disaster as the third quarter in Memphis was an offensive mess. In fact, the net sum of the damage was significantly worse. The Houston Rockets routed the Mavs by a 44-17 margin in the third, compared to the Grizzlies’ 24-5 edge the other night.

After halftime, the Rockets reeled off 15 points before the Mavs finally scored on a Brandan Wright drive at the 7:08 mark. Houston made sure the entire fourth quarter consisted of garbage time by lighting up the Mavs with 70 percent shooting, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, in the third. The 44 points were the most allowed by the Mavs or scored by the Rockets in any quarter this season.

Houston small forward Chandler Parsons actually missed a shot in the third quarter, but that was his only errant attempt during his career-high 32-point performance. Parsons, who had 11 points in the third quarter alone, was 12-of-13 from the floor and 6-of-7 from 3-point range.

The Rockets’ starting backcourt of Jeremy Lin and James Harden finished with 21 points apiece despite not playing a second after the third quarter, which ended with the Rockets up 30. Lin had nine assists, while Harden dished out seven dimes.

O.J. Mayo led the Mavs with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, but that wasn’t nearly enough to keep it competitive during such a defensive debacle. Dirk Nowitzki had an off night, scoring only eight points on 2-of-8 shooting.

What it means: It’s time to stop mentioning the Mavs’ playoff hopes, right? They head home for Wednesday’s rematch with the Rockets trading eighth-place Houston by six games in the West standings. At 26-33, the Mavs have better chances of beating Harden in a beard-length contest than they do of extending their postseason streak to 13 years. Not that there has been any doubt for several weeks, but this loss guarantees that the Mavs will fail to win 50 games in a full season for the first time since 1999-2000.

Play of the game: Pick a Parsons bucket. The one that might have hurt the Mavs the most came seconds after Wright’s bucket to snap the Mavs’ almost-five-minute scoreless funk at the start of the second half. Seconds later, Parsons swished a 3 from the left wing off a feed from Harden, stretching the Rockets’ lead to 19. That was Parsons’ 10th straight made field goal in the game.

Stat of the night: The Rockets’ 44 points in the third matched the third-highest scoring quarter in the NBA this season. The only two higher-scoring quarters were the Los Angeles Clippers putting up 46 in the first against the Rockets on Feb. 13 and the New York Knicks torching the Chicago Bulls for 45 in the fourth on Dec. 21.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694755/rapid-reaction-rockets-136-mavericks-103

Rick Carlisle: ‘We all have to be perfect’

MEMPHIS – Coach Rick Carlisle’s reaction to Dirk Nowitzki‘s declaration that he has to be “perfect” down the stretch for the Mavericks to win: The face of the franchise is right.

Carlisle, however, doesn’t think Nowitzki is alone.

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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“I feel the same. I feel we all have to be perfect,” Carlisle said before the Mavs’ road game against the Memphis Grizzlies, when Dallas will try to snap a two-game losing streak. “That’s just where we are. The margins for error are extremely thin with our team and they’ve gotten thinner throughout the league. Rosters are more even, talent is more even, so your level of concentration, focus and then being able to make the plays is extremely important.”

Nowitzki made a comment about needing to be perfect after the last two games, close losses at home to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks when he had spectacular stat lines.

He nitpicked his 33-point, 13-rebound performance against the Lakers by pointing out that he missed a critical free throw in the final minute and was disappointed after his 21-point, 20-rebound outing against the Bucks because he missed two shots and committed two turnovers while the Mavs blew a five-point lead in the final few minutes.

“I like the fact that a guy like Dirk steps up and says, you know, look, I got to be better,” Carlisle said. “We all got to be better. That’s the nature of the beast we’re dealing with. And we’re going to work toward that end.”

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694673/rick-carlisle-we-all-have-to-be-perfect

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