Setting the Table: Orlando Magic (Game 53)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 20, 2013 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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The sprint to the finish officially begins for the Mavericks. The Dallas Mavericks (23-29) host the Orlando Magic (15-38). The Magic will be coming into town on the second night of a back-to-back as they hosted the Charlotte Bobcats and suffered a 105-92 loss. With the loss, Orlando comes into Dallas with the worst record in NBA since Dec. 20 (3-25). The Mavericks will be looking to continue the better stretch of basketball they played going into the All-Star break, winning 10 of their last 16 and three of their last four games.

Dallas will still be without the services of Chris Kaman, but it does appear that he is closer to making to the court. With the trade deadline looming, this could be the last time fans get to see certain Mavericks in a home uniform. Just something to keep in mind.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Magic.

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Setting the Table: Sacramento Kings (Game 52)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 13, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (22-29) must get back on the horse and continue their climb up the mountain as they take on the Sacramento Kings (19-34). The game will be the final game for both teams before the All-Star break. It will be the fourth game of a five-game homestand for Dallas. Sacramento is coming in on the second night of a back-to-back as they suffered a 108-101 loss in Memphis to the Grizzlies.

It will be interesting to see how Dallas comes out to start this game. They suffered a crippling loss to the Atlanta Hawks in their previous game. Dirk Nowitzki called it as frustrating of a loss as you can possibly get in the league. The team knew that they needed to dominate this homestand in their quest to sneak into the playoffs. Another late-game struggle led to the loss and the team must find a way to bounce back and end the “first half” of the season on a good note. If they don’t, look out.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Kings.

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Setting the Table: Atlanta Hawks (Game 51)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 11, 2013 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (22-28) are six wins away from being able to shave their beards. A win against the Atlanta Hawks (27-22) will get them one game closer. The Mavericks have won three of their last four games. Dallas has also won its last three home games. They’re looking to continue building momentum towards the All-Star Break. It was mentioned on The Rundown, if Dallas is serious about making a push for the 8th seed, they need to play about .750 basketball from here on out.

Dallas now 4.5 back of Houston and the 8th seed with 32 games to go. The race is officially on and it hits the next gear with the game against the Hawks.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Hawks.

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Setting the Table: Golden State Warriors (Game 50)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 9, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (21-28) might be looking in the mirror as they see a desperate team in the form of the Golden State Warriors (30-20). Desperation can come in many different forms. They will see a team that is desperate as Golden State is on a three-game losing streak. They will be completing a back-to-back, and the game against the Mavericks marks the fourth game in five nights for the Warriors.

The Mavericks have had a few days off so this will be the first time people have really seen them since the discussion of .500 bears has really been acknowledged. For those who haven’t heard, most of the Mavericks have said that they will not shave (maybe just the neck) until they get back to .500. The earliest that can happen is Feb. 26. The stretch to the 26th isn’t tumultuous. Starting against the game against Golden State, they just have to do what they need to do and handle their business.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Warriors.

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Setting the Table: Portland Trail Blazers (Game 49)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 6, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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For the second time within nine days, the Dallas Mavericks (20-28) will square off with the Portland Trail Blazers (25-23). Dallas will now start a five-game homestand, with four of them taking them into the All-Star break. With a lengthy homestand and the team’s playoff chances on life support (some formulas suggest Dallas has only a five percent chance of making the playoffs), this could be considered a last stand for the Mavs.

If that is the case, it certainly helps that it appears that they will have the services of Vince Carter. According to reports, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle says he believes Carter (sickness) will play against Portland. The news isn’t all good as they will still be without Chris Kaman as he’s still dealing with a concussion.

The game also presents another chance for Rick Carlisle to record his 500th victory as a head coach.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Trail Blazers.

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Setting the Table: Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 48)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 4, 2013 under Previews | 2 Comments to Read

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The Dallas Mavericks (20-27) are looking for a split on their four-game road trip as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-12). The Thunder is set to kick-off a three game home stand tonight beginning with a match-up against Dallas. Luckily for everyone, it appears the stars will be ready to go for the I-35 showdown. After sitting out the previous two games due to a right adductor strain, Dirk Nowitzki will give it a go in the game against the Thunder. Kevin Durant (right rib contusion) is also expected to play against the Mavericks.

It could be a special game for Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle if they are able to come away with a victory. Carlisle holds an all-time record of 499-352 (.586) and needs one win for 500 in his career. He will become the 28th coach in NBA history with at least 500 career victories. Carlisle is in his fifth season with the Mavericks and holds an all-time record of 218-141 (.607) with the club. He joined the Mavericks on May 9, 2008, after spending two seasons with Detroit (2001-03) and four seasons with Indiana (2004-07).

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Thunder.

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Setting the Table: Phoenix Suns (Game 47)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 1, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The road is a lonely place, and the Dallas Mavericks (19-27) head to desert to take on the Phoenix Suns (16-30). Phoenix is coming off an inspiring game as they rallied for a 92-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakes in former point guard Steve Nash’s return to Arizona. Dallas is looking to rebound after two tough losses to the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors. It is expected that Dallas with be without the services of Dirk Nowitzki as he is dealing with a strained right adductor. They are also without Chris Kaman as he is back in Dallas getting treatment for his concussion.

The game will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Mavericks. The Mavericks are 2-8 in the first half of a back-to-back and 3-7 in the second half of a back-to-back this season. The Mavericks have 16 back-to-backs in 2012-13, with only one stretch of four games in five nights. In total, 10 back-to-backs are on the road, three begin at home and conclude on the road and three are road-to-home. Dallas played 22 back-to-backs in 2011-12, going 7-15 in the first half and 13-9 in the second half of those back-to-backs.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Suns.

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Setting the Table: Golden State Warriors (Game 46)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on January 31, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (19-26) continue their four-game road trip with a trip to Oakland to take on the Golden State Warriors (28-17). It will be interesting to see how the Mavericks respond after a heartbreaking loss in their last game against the Portland Trail Blazers. This will be a gut-check game for the Mavericks as they face a tough Warriors squad. It was clearly a devastating loss at the Rose Garden against the Trail Blazers but the Mavericks have to overcome that disappointment and move forward as they continue to push for the 8th seed.

The Mavericks will once again be without the services of Chris Kaman as he’s dealing with a concussion. It is expected that Bernard James will make his third consecutive start for the team.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 104, Portland Trailblazers 106

Posted by Kirk Henderson on January 30, 2013 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot 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.

  • Luck matters a lot more than we’d like to admit in close games. After all, perhaps Dallas would not have been in this game late in the fourth without a desperation Darren Collison bank three, two missed free throws from Nic Batum, or a ridiculous high, arching pass from Shawn Marion which led to a Dirk Nowitzki three pointer. Of course, that the Mavericks let a 21 point lead evaporate in 13 minutes during the third and fourth quarters is baffling. As is the fact that they gave up 15 offensive rebounds. Then, there’s also the small-ball late game line up Carlisle has opted with in close games (Collison, O.J. Mayo, Vince Carter, Dirk, and Shawn Marion) that just does not work. This was the line up with 1:15 left in the fourth with the Mavs up 101-96. Turnovers (four in the final two minutes, three alone from Mayo) due to terrible recognition and an inability to stop Portland’s offense saw Portland score nine points in 71 seconds to tie the game with four seconds remaining. The ensuing offensive foul call on Mayo was just bad luck; a high speed play that was simply called incorrectly due to human error. But a team this far gone from the playoff hunt needs luck, and the Mavericks have lost far too many close games this season. We can’t write them off just yet, but that time may be drawing near.
  • Chris Kaman is out indefinitely with a concussion. While we here at the Two Man Game wish him a speedy recovery, we’ve found out over the last few years that concussions can often be challenging to both diagnose and recover from. Over the last three weeks our parent blog, ESPN’s Truehoop, has published a series of articles about head injuries under the title “Working Bodies”. The first entry is an overview of head injuries and basketball, the second is Brian Scalabrine’s concussion tale, which prompted other players to share their concussion stories for the third entry. All are worth checking out.

Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on Twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog

 

Setting the Table: Portland Trail Blazers (Game 45)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on January 29, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (19-25) start a four-game road trip off against the Portland Trail Blazers (22-22). Like Dallas, Portland is currently on the outside of the playoff picture, so Dallas needs to find a way to grit out a tough win on the road so they can continue to make up some ground as they make a push for the 8th spot in the Western Conference. It would certainly help if the Mavericks take advantage of their bench. Dallas owns the third-highest scoring bench in the NBA this year at 40.4 points per game, while Portland owns the lowest scoring bench at 16.5 points per game.

The Mavericks might be short-handed as Chris Kaman is dealing with a minor injury. According to reports out of Portland, Kaman missed shootaround after bumping his head in practice yest. He’s being reevaluated and is considered a game-time decision for the game against Portland.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Trail Blazers.

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