Mavericks Frustrate Israeli National Team

Posted by Kirk Henderson on July 30, 2013 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

Denied

An interesting story out of Jerusalem today (h/t to Eric Freeman of Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie) Read more of this article »

Mavericks interested in DeJuan Blair?

Posted by Kirk Henderson on under xOther | Be the First to Comment

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According to ESPN’s Marc Stein

Lingua Franca

Posted by Shay Christian Vance on November 2, 2012 under xOther | 3 Comments to Read

treviSomewhere in New York this week, someone may have said that it’s raining cats and dogs. To most Americans, this strange phrase would make perfect sense. But it is purely an English creation, utterly meaningless in most non-English speaking countries, and useless outside of making the locals think you’re lost and confused. In his book Mouse or Rat: Translation as Negotiation, polyglot, professor, and master wordsmith Umberto Eco dissects the realities and difficulties of translating a work of art from language to language, or even from art form to art form. Eco ponders whether a modern day Italian reading the Divine Comedy in its original form, outdated connotations of words and phrases included, has any advantage in understanding the text over an American student reading a translation that has converted those same words and phrases to their modern English equivalents. Trying to navigate a clear path to the translation is not easy. It’s a negotiation, a compromise; a translator can stay true to the actual words or try and replicate the ideas, trying to find the ground that validates the author’s intentions.

In Eco’s case, his abilities as a linguist allow him to translate his books into languages outside his native Italian. For those languages in which he feels his vocabulary is insufficient, he hand-picks a translator and work with them to recreate his ideas as accurately as possible. Much effort is spent on the idea of translation in the NBA as well, especially in establishing how a rookie’s skills will translate to the NBA from its collegiate equivalent, or how a player’s skills might translate from one squad or system to another. But unlike the author and professor, basketball players are not always making their own choices in regards to where they end up. They’re not always translating their own work. If a player’s previously shown ability in college or another team is the original text, then the coach and the GM are the translators that manipulate those words into the language of their team.

The Mavericks game against the Lakers on opening night was a perfect case study on this subject, with a focus on the performance of two point guards. Both teams went into this game with marked changes to their respective rosters. For the Mavericks, those changes were largely believed to be to the detriment of the team (or at the very least, not to Dallas’ advantage). For the Lakers, the additions came by way of adding a two-time MVP and the best center in the league to their starting five. The future did not look bright for Dallas as Dwight Howard has as many Defensive Player of the Year awards as Dallas had starters who had never played a regular season game as a Maverick. And yet the team that, on paper, improved the most, seemed at times lost.

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Art for Art’s Sake

Posted by Rob Mahoney on October 23, 2012 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

The world of displayable basketball memorabilia used to be quite small, and quite simple. Kids tacked up posters of their favorite players or pennants of their favorite teams. An autographed jersey or ball was locked away in a case. Magazine spreads or basketball cards were stuck to bulletin boards. There wasn’t much to be found that was particularly artistic or restrained, and even less that translates well to the modern day without a sense of irony.

But thanks to the likes of Jacob Weinstein and Joel Kimmel, the NBA has become a fascinating subject for online-order consumer art. Elegant basketball-themed wall decoration is but a Paypal account away, and now a company called RareInk — via an official NBA license — is looking to stake a claim in that growing market.

And boy, have they.

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ESPN TrueHoop Network Mock Draft: Mavericks Select Quincy Miller

Posted by Connor Huchton on June 26, 2012 under xOther | 3 Comments to Read

Connor Huchton is a contributor to Hardwood Paroxysm, an editor of Rufus On Fire, and a part of The Two Man Game family. You can follow Connor on Twitter: @ConnorHuchton.

In the 2012 ESPN TrueHoop Network Mock Draft, I had the chance to select on behalf of the Mavericks. Here are the picks that preceded my choice:

1. New Orleans: Anthony Davis (Joe Gerrity, Hornets247)
2. Charlotte: Thomas Robinson (Spencer Percy, Queen City Hoops)
3. Washington: Bradley Beal (Kyle Weidie, Truth About It)
4. Cleveland: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Colin McGowan, Cavs: The Blog)
5. Sacramento: Harrison Barnes (James Ham, Cowbell Kingdom)
6. Portland: Andre Drummond (Sean Highkin, Portland Roundball Society)
7. Golden State: Dion Waiters (Rasheed Malek, WarriorsWorld.net)
8. Toronto: Jeremy Lamb (Sam Holako, Raptors Republic)
9. Detroit: John Henson (Dan Feldman, PistonPowered)
10. New Orleans: Damian Lillard (Joe Gerrity, Hornets247)
11. Portland: Kendall Marshall (Sean Highkin, Portland Roundball Society)
12. Milwaukee: Perry Jones III (Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksketball)
13. Phoenix: Terrence Ross (Ryan Weisert, Valley of the Suns)
14. Houston: Tyler Zeller (Jared Dubin, Hardwood Paroxysm)
15. Philadelphia: Terrence Jones (Carey Smith, Philadunkia)
16. Houston: Austin Rivers (Robert Silverman, KnickerBlogger)

And with the 17th pick, I chose Quincy Miller.

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Dinner, Tournament, and Developing Big Man

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 4, 2012 under xOther | 4 Comments to Read

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Photo via Ian Mahinmi.

Regular posting resumes tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy Medieval Times vicariously through Ian Mahinmi.

Nothing Would Be What It Is, Everything Would Be What It Isn’t

Posted by Joon Kim on April 30, 2012 under xOther | Read the First Comment

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Joon Kim is the author of NBA Breakdown, and its subsidiaries, Spurs Motion Offense and The Triangle Offense — a tree of sites dedicated to analyzing the NBA’s structural elements. He’ll be contributing periodically to The Two Man Game with video-based breakdowns, illustrating particular aspects of the Mavericks’ performance. You can follow Joon on Twitter: @JoonKim00.

For the most part, every NBA team runs the same basic actions: screens, pick and rolls, and isolations. And why shouldn’t they?   Basketball is ultimately a simple sport – one team puts the basketball in the hoop more than the other and that team wins. While this is true of most teams, the Dallas Mavericks lie beyond the rabbit hole — where basketball conventions are twisted and your expectations must be set aside.

Last May, the Mavericks found themselves going up against the irrepressible potential of a youthful Thunder squad. The Thunder found themselves facing a team that wasn’t measured by its potential, but the pain of past experience. Now the Mavs find themselves facing a surging championship contender filled with bitter experiences of their own. While the teams may be the same, it’s difficult to say where this Mavs team lies. Their resolve has been softened with a championship, and those championship pieces are playing (or or currently “auditioning”) for other teams.

Yet in a season full of inconsistency, the Mavericks have found the best of themselves when facing the Oklahoma City Thunder. Perhaps this isn’t such a surprise. The orthodox attack of the Thunder may be more susceptible than most when facing the unique methods the Mavs regularly employ. Though time passes and the pieces have changed, the Mavericks embracing of unconventional methods could be the key to holding the Thunder down for one more year.

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The Difference: Portland Trail Blazers 99, Dallas Mavericks 97

Posted by Connor Huchton on April 7, 2012 under Recaps, xOther | 4 Comments to Read

Mountains

Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot Chart — Game Flow

You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • One game removed from one of their best team performances of the season, the Mavericks turned in one of their worst. As disappointing as the final minutes of this game were, the far more significant failing came in the third quarter. The Mavericks played their worst 12 minutes of the season, and turned a 12-point lead into an eight-point deficit. In every basketball sense, the seemingly unending third quarter was a complete and total disaster. Ball movement was nonexistent, the effectiveness of the Mavericks’ pick-and-roll was completely neutralized, and the Mavericks’ interior defense was porous, if present at all. It was the best possible representation of this team’s seasonal inconsistency from game-to-game and quarter-to-quarter — two strong opening quarters fully erased by 12 minutes of uninspired, directionless play. The Mavericks played three fairly strong quarters on Thursday night, but it didn’t matter. Of course, Raymond Felton’s sudden offensive explosion (30 points, 12-18 FG, seven rebounds, six assists) didn’t help the Mavericks’ chances, but a good portion of his success stemmed from gifted wide-open jumpers and easy layups. The Mavericks fought back impressively from the unlikely Felton-led third quarter charge once the fourth quarter began, as they are wont to do, and forced overtime. After minutes of neutral overtime play, the game remained tied in the final seconds.
  • And so we arrive at the final two possessions of the game. The first possession, however, was hardly a possession at all. It was tragically brief. It began with a Dirk Nowitzki (23 points, 9-16 FG, 14 rebounds) rebound, and ended almost instantly with a pass sailing out of bounds. Dirk’s attempted pass to a streaking Shawn Marion (6-11 FG, 12 points, 11 rebounds) can’t be faulted on a decision-making level. It was the right play, and one that would have given the Mavericks a two-point lead if executed correctly. Unfortunately, the pass missed its mark by a good margin, and the Blazers were given a final possession in a tie game. On that climactic possession, the Mavericks played beautiful defense, until only 3.7 seconds remained. Jason Terry (7-14 FG, 18 points) began the possession fronting LaMarcus Aldridge (11-24 FG, 25 points, 12 rebounds) in conjunction with Brendan Haywood (1-5 FG, two points, six rebounds), but Aldridge was able to break free when Terry turned to chase a sprinting Nicolas Batum (3-9 FG, six points, nine rebounds, five assists). This left Haywood solely covering Aldridge, meaning a star post player was now in impeccable, isolated post position as the final few seconds ticked down to zero. I don’t tend to like the idea of Haywood covering Aldridge, as Haywood’s simply not quick enough to cover the sudden, instant movements of a power forward like Aldridge. Aldridge used that speed disparity to his advantage, along with a sneakily placed forearm push, and created enough space for an open jumper. The final shot fell as the buzzer sounded, and the Mavericks were dealt their 25th loss to a thoroughly scattered, average Blazers’ team.

Connor Huchton is a contributor to Hardwood Paroxysm, an editor of Rufus On Fire, and a part of The Two Man Game family. You can follow Connor on Twitter: @ConnorHuchton.

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 95, Memphis Grizzlies 85

Posted by Connor Huchton on April 4, 2012 under Recaps, xOther | 11 Comments to Read

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Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot Chart — Game Flow

You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • It’s difficult to predict which Mavericks’ team will show up on any given night this season. The vacillation between an encouraging 2011-2012 Mavericks’ win and poorly played loss is both significant and frequent. Tonight’s game fell in the former category, as the Mavericks played arguably one of their most complete games of the season. No Maverick player’s performance stood out as particularly fantastic, but almost every player provided what was needed, and assumed their role to the fullest. Dirk Nowitzki (10-18 FG, 23 points, 10 rebounds) was in fine form from the onset, Shawn Marion (7-11 FG, 16 points, seven rebounds) scored and defended Rudy Gay (4-12 FG, eight points) with typical ease, and Jason Terry (6-14 FG, 15 points) gave the Mavericks a much needed scoring spark during times of stagnant offensive movement. The Mavericks’ defense gave the team the boost it has all season, frustrating both Marc Gasol (3-13 FG, 10 points) and Zach Randolph (2-6 FG, four points) to no end, but the difference in this game came when the Mavericks finally found an offensive rhythm late in the second and fourth quarters.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois (3-7 FG, 8 points, five assists) had a nice little bounce-back game, if an unspectacular one. Rick Carlisle called on Beaubois to finish out the fourth quarter after a strong stretch of play, and Beaubois met the challenge. Carlisle’s decision to keep Beaubois in the game late is further evidence of Carlisle’s trust in Beaubois and situational rotations, as Delonte West (6-7 FG, 14 points, two assists) had scored efficiently during his time on the court. Beaubois was hustling terrifically, passing well, and giving Mike Conley quite a bit trouble defensively, and the result was a sustained Mavericks’ run in the closing minutes.
  • Marc Gasol (seven assists) had quite the no-look pass at the top of the key to a cutting teammate. I don’t remember who scored the basket, but I do remember thinking, “Cool pass, Marc Gasol. Cool pass.”
  • Ian Mahinmi’s ten rebounds in 24 minutes were absolutely essential to the win. When Mahinmi checked into the game, the Grizzlies second-chance opportunities almost immediately lessened.
  • The Grizzlies scored only 34 points in the second half, a poor offensive showing that the efforts of Mahinmi, Beaubois, and Marion were largely responsible for producing.
  • Tony Allen was a defensive stalwart in the first half, as he frequently is, and made perimeter ball movement difficult for the Mavericks. Late in the game, Lionel Hollins was faced with making a difficult choice between O.J. Mayo (6-10 FG, 17 points), who was having an excellent offensive night, and Allen, whose defense was paramount to the Grizzlies’ early success. Mayo earned the majority of late minutes, and while he can hardly be blamed for the loss, it’s interesting to ponder how the game would have gone if Allen had remained on the court. (Update: As pointed out in the comments, Tony Allen left the game with a lip injury in the fourth quarter.)
  • The Mavericks’ center rotation continues to vary from game to game, as Brendan Haywood (2-4 FG, five points, five rebounds) and Ian Mahinmi earned almost the entirety of minutes. (Brandan Wright did check into the game for two minutes.) It appears fit and matchup will determine who is more likely to get minutes between Wright and Mahinmi going forward. Considering both players are quality backup centers, it’s a nice luxury for the Mavericks to have.
  • Beaubois had one of the best saves I’ve seen this season, as he vaulted towards the scoring table late in the fourth quarter and threw the ball back to a waiting Jason Terry. The highlight only vaunted in quality after the play finished with a Shawn Marion dunk.
  • The Mavericks shot 50% from the field for the game, but only 26.7% from three. Given how rare it is that the Mavericks will shoot at such a high percentage without a barrage of threes falling, the numerous looks for the Mavericks’ at-the-rim and in the paint (especially in the fourth quarter) only add to the encouraging signs that can be taken from this game.
  • Shawn Marion dribbling the ball up the court is always an adventure, isn’t it?

Connor Huchton is a contributor to Hardwood Paroxysm, an editor of Rufus On Fire, and a part of The Two Man Game family. You can follow Connor on Twitter: @ConnorHuchton.

The Difference: Los Angeles Clippers 94, Dallas Mavericks 75

Posted by Rob Mahoney on April 3, 2012 under xOther | 5 Comments to Read

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Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGame Flow

You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • Jason Kidd missed Monday’s game — and is sidelined for the next three, as I understand it — with a groin strain. That’s a bummer, but it’s a valuable opportunity for Delonte West to quickly work himself back into game shape. It’s a trial by fire (or by burn?), sure, but getting a fully effective West back into the regular rotation is a top priority at this point. Dallas needs his shot creation, shooting, and defense badly, and although West was brilliant on Friday against Orlando, Monday was perhaps a more accurate reflection of his game.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois struggled even more mightily. Rick Carlisle seems fully prepared to take the bad with the good when it comes to Beaubois, but it’s these kinds of performances that will likely change his mind. Beaubois’ overdribbling was a big problem, and on a night when Dallas was already struggling to establish consistent ball movement, having the ball lodged on one side of the floor as Beaubois looked to break his man down was pretty painful. Also: in the first quarter, Beaubois threw one of the worst swing passes I’ve ever seen, missing a wide open Jason Terry by a good five feet.
  • At no point did this particular game look good for the Mavs. Even their more adequate runs were laced with turnovers and defensive lapses, and their very occasional buckets weren’t really created as a result of any kind of offensive process. It’s good to know that Dallas can still put up 75 points with every bit of beneficial offensive structure burned to the ground, but I don’t suspect they’ll win many games with offensive execution so lackluster and defensive effort so wanting.

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