Tag Archives: Sports News

Title Mavs tracker: Another scoreless night for Kidd

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’ll have daily updates as long as Mavs championship alums are still alive in the playoffs.

Jason Kidd: The drought continues.

Kidd went scoreless for the eighth straight game. He’s 0-of-16 from the floor and 0-of-10 from 3-point range over 177 minutes during that span. The Knicks have been outscored by 25 points with the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer on the floor in those eight games.

Kidd’s numbers in the Knicks’ Game 4 loss to the Pacers: three assists, one rebound, one steal, two missed shots and a minus-9 plus-minus in 16 minutes.

Tyson Chandler: The Knicks gave him a lot more help, but Chandler more than held his own in the big man matchup after being dominated by Roy Hibbert in Game 3.

Chandler put up his first double-double of the postseason, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also matched high during these playoffs with three blocks.

Hibbert’s line: six points on 2-of-8 shooting, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two assists.

Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi gave the Pacers 10 energetic minutes off the bench, grabbing six rebounds, blocking two shots and scoring two points.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696064/title-mavs-tracker-another-scoreless-night-for-kidd

Myth: Mavs not attractive to free agents

One of the silliest things you’ll hear this summer is that free agents don’t want to come to Dallas.

That’s become a meme that’s often repeated in discussions about Mark Cuban’s bold plan to create ample salary cap space by stripping down the 2011 title team. Never mind the facts.

The fact of the matter is it’s difficult to sign free agents if you don’t have salary cap space. That’s not exactly unique to Dallas.

The Mavs whiffed on Deron Williams last summer, although Cuban’s effort in that recruiting pitch resembled some of Josh Hamilton’s final at-bats in a Rangers uniform. Being 0-for-1 doesn’t constitute a trend.

The point isn’t to predict that the Mavs will land Chris Paul or Dwight Howard this summer. The odds are against Dallas simply due to the rules that allow for their current teams to offer an extra year and larger annual raises.

However, from weather to a winning culture, Dallas’ attractiveness as an NBA destination is an advantage to the Mavs. Being a top-five market without a state income tax is a bonus. The days of Kiki Vandeweghe refusing to play for the Mavs are ancient history.

The Mavs have earned a reputation as a first-class franchise during Cuban’s 13-year ownership tenure. That’s why Jason Kidd’s agent helped orchestrate a trade to bring the point guard back to Dallas in 2008. That’s why Shawn Marion’s agent played a key role in making a complicated sign-and-trade deal go down the next year. That’s why Tyson Chandler was crushed when Cuban declined to offer him a long-term deal. That’s why Howard had the Mavs on his very short list of acceptable trade partners when he was forcing his way out of Orlando.

That’s why there will be plenty of free agents who will want to talk to the Mavs in July, a list that perhaps includes the two biggest prizes on the market.

“Who wouldn’t want to play in an environment like this every night?” restricted free agent Brandon Jennings said during the Bucks’ trip to Dallas in February. “You’ve got an owner who’s so into his team and everything like that. Every time you see the Mavs, you see him cheering or going crazy. They won a championship. They’re about winning.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Mavs will win this summer. But if they don’t, it’d be foolish to blame a mythical aversion NBA players have for joining the Mavs.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696057/myth-mavs-not-attractive-to-free-agents

Dwight Howard sign-and-trade makes no sense for Lakers

For the Mavericks to make the Chris Paul/Dwight Howard combo pipedream a reality, they’d have to hire a hypnotist.

How else would they be able to convince Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak to agree to a sign-and-trade deal that would ship Howard to Dallas for a couple of veterans with expiring contracts and spare parts?

For the sake of argument, let’s say that Howard forces the Lakers’ hand by saying that he’s leaving Los Angeles, no matter what. If the Lakers don’t agree to the sign-and-trade that would allow Howard to join Paul in Dallas – for the sake of argument, we’re making the huge assumption that Mark Cuban and Co. have successfully recruited CP3 – the big man will just sign with Houston or Atlanta.

Better for the Lakers to get something for Howard instead of letting him leave for nothing, right? Not really.

Let’s be real. If Howard leaves while Kobe Bryant is in the early stages of his comeback from a torn Achilles tendon, the Lakers have no chance to win a championship next season.

That wouldn’t change if they accepted a sign-and-trade deal that sent every player on the Mavs’ roster not named Nowitzki to Los Angeles. All that would do is prevent the Lakers from avoiding a massive luxury tax bill.

If the Lakers added Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Mavs filler to a roster that features rehabbing Kobe, ancient Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, they’d be fighting just for a shot to sneak into the playoffs again while paying a luxury-tax bill in the neighborhood of $28 million, assuming they’d use the amnesty clause on Metta World Peace.

What about that would possibly appeal to L.A.?

If Howard leaves, the Lakers might as well unofficially tank the season. They could avoid the luxury tax altogether by using the amnesty clause on Gasol. Kobe could take his sweet time with his comeback.

In this scenario, the Lakers could be looking at a high lottery pick in a loaded 2014 draft, when they’ll also have a ton of cap space. Why would they want to end up with a middle-of-the-road pick after putting together a mediocre team with a nine-figure price tag?

Perhaps you could argue that the biggest obstacle blocking the Mavs from acquiring a CP3/D12 duo is the Lakers agreeing on a sign-and-trade deal.

You could also argue that the only hurdle between the Mavs from acquiring LeBron James is the Miami Heat agreeing on a trade. That doesn’t make it a legitimate possibility.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696052/dwight-howard-sign-and-trade-makes-no-sense-for-lakers

Title Mavs tracker: NY needs more from Tyson 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’ll have daily updates as long as Mavs championship alums are still alive in the playoffs. (This one is a day late due to Mother’s Day.)

Tyson Chandler: The Knicks are in trouble Chandler keeps losing the big man matchup in such lopsided fashion. He had nine points and five rebounds in New York’s Game 3 loss, compared to 24 and 12 from Indiana center Roy Hibbert.

A sample of ESPNNewYork.com’s take on the Chandler-Hibbert matchup:

Mike Woodson hardly ever criticizes his players in public.

But the New York Knicks coach broke protocol following Game 1 of the Indiana Pacersseries.

After he watched Indiana’s Roy Hibbert outplay Tyson Chandler in the series opener, Woodson said, “I’ve got to get Tyson [Chandler] playing better than Hibbert.”

So far, Woodson’s fallen far short of that goal.

Hibbert’s been one of the best players in this young series. And some of his success has come at Chandler’s expense.

In the Pacers’ Game 3 win, Hibbert poured in 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds (eight offensive); the Pacers outscored the Knicks by 20 with their big man on the floor.

“He kind of had his way,” Woodson said after Game 3, “and that’s got to change.”

The Knicks say that they failed to execute their defensive schemes against Hibbert in Game 3. They intended to trap Hibbert and the other Pacers bigs, just as they had in Game 2.

Instead, they left members of their front line vulnerable in one-on-one matchups and left the rim exposed thanks to poor rotations.

The Knicks’ lax approach helped Indiana dominate the boards (53-40) and beat New York on second-chance points (20-10).

“We’re not trapping (the Pacers’ bigs), then we’re in a tough spot,” Chandler said.

That’s a big problem that the Knicks need to handle heading into Game 4.

But they also need a better effort from Chandler if he gets matched up against Hibbert.

Hibbert scored on at least three post moves in which Chandler was matched up with him, one-on-one, in Game 3.

It was hard not to notice Hibbert scoring directly over Chandler, the 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Jason Kidd: The scoreless streak is up to seven games and 31 quarters after Kidd missed his lone shot in Game 3.

Kidd had six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 20 minutes, but it’s hard to make a case that the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer helped the Knicks despite another doughnut in the points column. Kidd matched Carmelo Anthony for the worst plus-minus (minus-16) in the loss to the Pacers.

Ian Mahinmi: With Hibbert dominating, the Pacers didn’t need much from their backup big man. Mahinmi only played six minutes, scoring two points and grabbing four rebounds.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696050/title-mavs-tracker-ny-needs-more-from-tyson-chandler

Nowitzki 12th in Simmons’ trade value ranks

One of my favorite NBA lists …

Dolph Schayes
Hal Greer
John Havlicek
Kobe Bryant
Tim Duncan
Paul Pierce
Dirk Nowitzki

That’s the 15-Year Club — the only seven NBA players who spent their entire careers with the same franchise, played at least 15 seasons AND won at least one title. You don’t just stumble onto that list — all seven are Hall of Famers, with 21 rings among them. Think about what the list means: excellence, durability, longevity, loyalty, championships … it’s your best-case scenario for a basketball career, basically.

And you need a little luck along the way. I don’t know how Schayes and Greer played that long with all the bad sneakers, bad food, bad medical care, scary travel, second-hand smoke and everything else that should have stopped them back then. Havlicek had a Secretariat-size heart and superhuman stamina. Duncan nearly signed with Orlando. Kobe’s Lakers career nearly fell apart twice. Pierce was nearly traded 935 times. Dirk lucked out with a wealthy owner who always spent enough money to compete (so he never had to pull a KG), as well as one sizable break: During the summer of ’04, Dallas was the consensus favorite in the Shaq Sweepstakes when Kobe forced the Lakers to trade Shaq the Lakers decided to trade Shaq, only Mark Cuban (astutely, as it turned out) made Dirk untouchable.

At the time, that decision was a much bigger deal than anyone remembers now. A rejuvenated, pissed-off Shaq guaranteed you one title, maybe even two. We all knew it. (As it turned out, Miami won in 2006, and probably would have won the previous year had Dwyane Wade not gotten injured.) When the Lakers could only get Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant‘s contract for him, I ended up creating the Vengeance Scale to figure out exactly where Angry Shaq ranked among the most vengeful people ever, ultimately assigning him an 8.7 (just behind Charles Bronson in every Death Wish movie). And yeah, I ridiculed the Mavericks for keeping Dirk over dealing him for Shaq, too, even calling Dirk “the German Bob McAdoo” (not a compliment). I never thought you could build a championship team around Dirk’s offense. A lot of people felt that way. Looking back, resisting that enticing Shaq trade was probably Cuban’s third-greatest NBA moment, trailing the time he stared down David Stern after Game 5 of the 2006 Finals, and, of course, this picture.

What happens with Dirk going forward? Kobe, Pierce and Dirk have one thing in common: They don’t have to chase a title like Karl Malone did. Dirk controls his own destiny; if he wants to retire in Dallas, Cuban would be delighted. Kobe probably controls his own destiny, even if there’s increasing buzz (no, really) that the Lakers would amnesty him if it guaranteed them Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Sadly, Paul Pierce doesn’t control his destiny — he’s probably getting traded this summer by a team that wants to rebuild. That’s the difference between being a star and being a superstar. But if you think Dallas isn’t going balls-out after CP3 this summer to give their loyal superstar one last run, you’re crazy. We might even see Mark Cuban skip a Shark Tank taping this time around! Don’t count out Dirk Nowitzki just yet.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696044/dirk-nowitzki-no-12-on-bill-simmons-trade-value-rankings

Could Mavs benefit from Minnesota’s O.J. Mayo interest?

The buzz coming out of Minnesota is that O.J. Mayo could be a prime summer target for new Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders.

PODCAST Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.

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The Mavs would like to keep Mayo, but all indications are that they won’t be dragged into any bidding wars for him.

Mark Cuban is likely to have a set price in mind for Mayo – the midlevel exception ($5.35 million salary next season) is an educated guess – and wish him well if the shooting-starved Timberwolves or another team offers more.

The Mavs’ priorities this summer are to make upgrades at point guard and center, whether it’s pie-in-the-sky free agents Chris Paul and Dwight Howard or other more likely options. It’s difficult to envision the Mavs committing huge money to a shooting guard who had some great moments during his season in Dallas but was inconsistent and sputtered to the premature finish line.

Minnesota’s interest in Mayo, however, could benefit the Mavs. One of the major decisions Saunders must make this summer is whether the Timberwolves are willing to pay what it takes to keep restricted free agent center Nikola Pekovic, a 6-foot-11, 290-pound 27-year-old who averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds last season.

The Timberwolves have the right to match any offer for Pekovic and some wiggle room under the salary cap created in part by shedding Brandon Roy’s $5.3 million nonguaranteed salary, but Saunders can’t just be thinking about next season. Can the Timberwolves afford to continue paying Kevin Love’s max deal, re-sign Ricky Rubio to a huge contract in a couple of years, add Mayo and keep Pekovic?

If Mayo is a higher priority than Pekovic in Minnesota, the Mavs might be able to benefit by signing the big man.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696040/could-mavs-benefit-from-minnesotas-o-j-mayo-interest