Tag Archives: Sports News

Plan CP3: Dirk Nowitzki or a decade-younger Blake Griffin?

ESPNDallas.com will compare the Mavericks and Clippers in five facets — other than money — that could play a role in Chris Paul’s free agency decision in a one-per-day series: owners/front office, coaches, co-stars, supporting casts and franchise tradition. We’ll focus on Dwight Howard next week.

The power forward’s production has dipped significantly after his award-winning 2010-11 season.

That statement applies to both Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin.

Nowitzki:

2010-11 – 23.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
2011-12 – 21.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg
2012-13 – 17.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Griffin:

2010-11 – 22.5 ppg, 12.1 rpg
2011-12 – 20.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg
2012-13 – 18.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg

Dirk’s declining numbers are easily explained. He’s about to turn 35, dealt with knee issues the last two seasons and had serious point guard problems this year. With good health and a great point guard, Nowitzki returning to All-Star form certainly doesn’t seem to be a stretch.

What’s up with the 24-year-old Griffin’s regression since his Rookie of the Year campaign? You’d think such an elite athlete would be better after being paired with a premier point guard, but the evidence so far doesn’t support that theory.

“Lob City” has produced a lot of highlights, but the Chris Paul/Griffin pick-and-roll hasn’t been quite as lethal as anticipated. There have also been L.A. media rumblings about friction forming between the two Clippers cornerstones, with Paul supposedly growing weary of Griffin’s immaturity.

The CP3/Dirk pick-and-pop wouldn’t be nearly as flashy, but it’d be an efficient piece of art. Paul loved playing with a midrange-shooting machine of a power forward in New Orleans, dubbing David West as “The 18-foot Assassin.” There has never been a sweeter-shooting power forward than Nowitzki, whose calm competitiveness would also complement Paul’s fiery personality. (And there’d be no clash of egos with Dirk, who wants nothing more than to suddenly become the Mavs’ second best player.)

Nowitzki has established himself as an elite closer and has consistently stepped up his game in the postseason. Griffin can make neither of those claims.

For all of Griffin’s athleticism, if Paul had to pick one of the power forwards for a playoff run, there’s little doubt it’d be Dirk at this point.

But CP3 has to be thinking about the long term this summer, and when comparing co-stars, that almost certainly tips the scales to the dude that’s more than a decade younger than his fellow power forward.

The finances could be a factor here, too. Dirk has declared that he’ll take a massive pay cut when he re-signs with Dallas next summer, meaning the Mavs are guaranteed to have the cap space to pursue another star, while Griffin’s max contract extension is about to kick in. But we’ll wait until Thursday’s installment to weigh the impact of the dollars difference.

EDGE: Clippers

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696132/plan-cp3-dirk-nowitzki-or-a-decade-younger-blake-griffin

Sources: Mavs likely to trade No. 13 overall pick

The Dallas Mavericks might not actually use the first lottery pick they’ve owned in a dozen years.

Multiple sources told ESPN.com’s Chad Ford that the Mavs are likely to trade the pick to help create the cap space necessary to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency. The 13th overall pick has a cap hold of $1,655,300.

One of the Mavs’ future first-round picks is already in the possession of the Oklahoma City Thunder. That pick, which is top-20 protected through 2017, was originally given up in the deal that brought Lamar Odom to Dallas. The Los Angeles Lakers traded it to Houston along with Derek Fisher for Jordan Hill, and it then became part of the package the Rockets gave up for James Harden.

If the Mavs hold on to this year’s pick, Ford projects them to select Croation teenage small forward Dario Saric.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696123/sources-mavs-trying-to-trade-no-13-overall-pick

Mavs face long odds in Tuesday’s lottery

The Mavericks will need a lot of luck to avoid owning the 13th pick of the NBA draft.

There is about a two percent chance that a Mavs ping pong ball will pop up in the top three picks during Tuesday night’s lottery. Dallas has a 0.6 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick.

President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, who will represent the Mavs at the drawing along with assistant general manager Keith Grant, plans to do everything in his power to improve those odds. He plans to try to tempt the basketball gods by wearing his outfit from Game 6 of the 2011 Finals.

This is the first time the Mavs have had to attend the lottery drawing since 2000, months after Mark Cuban bought a team. They did have one lottery pick during the last dozen years, when Washington drafted Devin Harris fifth overall on the Mavs’ behalf as part of the trade that sent Antwan Jamison to the Wizards.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696112/mavs-face-long-odds-in-tuesdays-lottery

First look at Mavericks redesign entries

Tags:

Dallas Mavericks, uniforms

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696106/first-look-at-mavericks-redesign-entries

Plan CP3: Mark Cuban is Mavs’ biggest advantage

ESPNDallas.com will compare the Mavericks and Clippers in five facets — other than money — that could play a role in Chris Paul’s free agency decision in a one-per-day series: owners/front office, coaches, co-stars, supporting casts and franchise tradition. We’ll focus on Dwight Howard next week.

There’s one reason why Chris Paul might consider leaving millions of dollars on the table to say farewell to a 56-win team with a lot of young talent. His name is Donald Sterling.

Sterling spending money for two good seasons, made possible by the deal to acquire Paul from the Hornets, doesn’t erase three decades of being a penny-pinching NBA disgrace.

Put it this way: The Clippers have made half as many playoff appearances during Sterling’s 32-year ownership tenure as the Mavs have in 13 full seasons under Mark Cuban. Sterling’s squads have won a grand total of two playoff series, 11 fewer than Cuban’s teams.

Oh, and Sterling also happens to have been accused of racism, sexism, etc. in multiple lawsuits. In basketball and his other business, he’s simply an awful boss. Cuban, on the other hand, is widely beloved by those who have played for the Mavs for his willingness to do whatever is in his power to give his team the best chance to win. (He also happens to be friendly with Paul, as evidenced by Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki palling around with Paul at Tiger Woods’ charity poker tournament in Las Vegas over the weekend.)

That’s why Cuban vs. Sterling is a point the Mavs must hammer in their talks with Paul.

Clippers president Andy Roeser and general manager Gary Sacks, who was promoted to his position last summer after Neil Olshey made a lateral move to Portland, deserve credit for putting together one of the league’s deepest benches. However, they’ve also been part of the problem franchise for two decades.

The mountains of Sterling’s dirt might be enough to plant seeds of doubt in Paul’s mind about staying in L.A. The Mavs’ brass would still have to sell him on their ability to build and sustain a legitimate contender with him as a centerpiece.

Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson can point to their dozen-year playoff run with Dirk Nowitzki as proof of their credibility. Their challenge will be forming a plan for the future that could make CP3 believe that he’d win a championship in Dallas.

EDGE: Mavs by a mile.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696099/plan-cp3-mark-cuban-is-mavs-biggest-advantage

Title Mavs tracker: Miserable series ends for Kidd, Chandler

The Mavericks aren’t in the playoffs for the first time since 2000, so we have to find something to fill the time this spring. Might as well keep up with the players from the Mavs’ title team who are scattered throughout the postseason. We planned to have updates as long as Mavs championship alums were alive in the playoffs, but frankly, Ian Mahinmi alone doesn’t merit it.

Ian Mahinmi is the last member of the Mavericks’ championship team left standing in these playoffs.

With Mahinmi watching all but four minutes from the bench, his Pacers eliminated the Knicks in Game 6, ending a miserable series for two integral pieces of the 2011 title team.

Indiana’s Roy Hibbert dominated Tyson Chandler before the Knicks big man fouled out with 3:12 remaining. Jason Kidd was benched for the second half for the second straight game and went scoreless for the 10th consecutive game, dating to Game 2 of the first round.

Hibbert had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the series finale. Chandler had two points and six rebounds, limited to only 23 minutes because of foul trouble.

For the series, Hibbert averaged 13.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks, compared to 6.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for Chandler. The Knicks were outscored by 23 points with Chandler on the floor in the series, including 17 in Game 6.

The 40-year-old Kidd had a historically horrible offensive performance during these playoffs. He averaged 0.9 points and shot 12 percent from the floor, the lowest postseason field goal percentage for a player with at least 25 attempts since 1947.

This might not quiet the outcry about Mark Cuban opting to break up the Mavs’ championship team – that’d probably require signing a superstar this summer – but it definitely deadens the angry mob’s factual ammunition.

Here is what Cuban feared: The Mavs would look a lot like the Boston Celtics or New York Knicks, veteran teams who weren’t good enough to be true contenders and have extremely limited avenues to improve because of their bloated payrolls and the restrictive rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Imagine if the Mavs paid the price to keep all of their championship pieces. Chandler, Kidd, Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler will cost a total of $35.1 million next season, which would put the Mavs in luxury-tax territory, handcuffing them this summer. Only Butler’s $8 million salary would come off the books in 2014-15.

With a Dirk Nowitzki as the lone star surrounded by an supporting cast of players who are primarily also on the decline, do you really believe the Mavs would have been a threat to come out of the West?

You can make a strong case that it’d have been better for the Mavs to have kept the title core together and at least be a playoff team than the mediocre mess the franchise put on the floor this season. But this really isn’t a Chandler vs. Chris Kaman conversation. It’s a risk/reward discussion.

In Cuban’s opinion, the potential reward didn’t justify the risk of sacrificing roster flexibility if they kept the championship team intact. Finances were only a factor in the post-lockout decisions as they related to limiting the Mavs’ upgrade options.

Cuban decided to dream big, putting immense pressure on him to pull off a superstar acquisition this summer. That ultimately needs to happen to justify stripping down the title team as a good decision.

But if you think the Mavs broke up a dynasty, you clearly didn’t watch much of the first two rounds of these playoffs.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696096/title-mavs-tracker-miserable-series-ends-for-kidd-chandler