The Best of Both Worlds

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 3, 2013 under Commentary | 6 Comments to Read

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Do you need superstars to succeed? That is the question.

Outside Dallas’ magical one-superstar title run in 2011, many of the champions of the past decade have been littered with teams with more than one superstar or one with a platoon of super role players.

There is a team that emerged this season that had me wondering if they had a blueprint that the Mavs might want to look in to. That team was the Denver Nuggets. They were the most unrecognized team to have a 13-game winning streak in the history of the NBA. Unfortunately, they were streaking as the Miami Heat went on what turned out to be a 27-game winning streak. Miami had the second longest winning streak in NBA history, only surpassed by the Lakers’ 33-game winning streak in the 1971–72 season.

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Quoteboard: Dallas Mavericks 108, Denver Nuggets 105 (Overtime)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 13, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks played for pride and found a way to squeak out a 108-105 overtime victory over the playoff-bound Denver Nuggets. Dallas used a 19-2 run (from the 8:22 mark of the third quarter through the 3:53 mark of the period) to turn an 11-point deficit (61-50) into a six-point advantage (69-63) en route to their victory. Dirk Nowitzki recorded his sixth double-double of the season (375th career) with a game-high-tying 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes against Denver. He scored 20-plus points for the second straight game (18th time this season).

Another veteran helped lead the charge for the Mavericks as Vince Carter posted his first double-double of the season (89th career) with a game-high-tying 22 points  to go along with a season-high 12 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in 34 minutes against Denver (previous high: nine rebounds on three occasions).

O.J. Mayo went 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and scored 20 points to go along with three rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block in 42 minutes. Shawn Marion totaled 15 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 30 minutes against the Nuggets. Marion is averaging 20.5 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last four games.

Some notes before the quotes:

- Dirk Nowitzki now has 24,990 career points and needs 10 points for 25,000. He will become the 17th player in NBA history with at least 25,000 points.

- Vince Carter had his first double-double since Apr. 16, 2012 at Utah (18 points and 12 rebounds). It also marked just the second time in his career that he totaled at least 22 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in the same game (46 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 blocks in 47 minutes vs. Washington Apr. 7, 2007. With the win, the Mavericks improved to 9-2 this season when Carter scores 20-plus points, and 12-3 when he scores 20-plus points over the last two seasons. He also tied his career high with eight offensive rebounds. He pulled down eight offensive boards as a member of the New Jersey Nets against the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 5, 2005.

- With the win, the Mavericks improved to 6-1 this season when O.J. Mayo makes at least five triples in a game. He recorded his 22nd 20-point game of the season (15-7 record), but his first since Mar. 8 at Detroit (22 points).

- With the victory, the Mavericks snapped the Nuggets’ five-game winning streak.

- The Mavericks played their 11th overtime game of the season against the Nuggets on Friday. Prior to the 2012-13 campaign, the franchise record for the most overtime games in a season was eight (in 1995-96, 1997-98 and 2009-10).

Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ prideful win over Denver.

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Setting the Table: Denver Nuggets (Game 79)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 12, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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It has come to this as the Dallas Mavericks (38-40) are now playing the string out as they host the Denver Nuggets (54-24). Coupling the loss to Phoenix and Los Angeles’ win in Portland, Dallas is officially out of the running for the playoffs.The streak of 12 consecutive trips to the postseason was the longest in franchise history and the second-longest in the NBA (San Antonio will be making its 16th straight postseason appearance in 2013). The Nuggets, who will be making their 10th consecutive postseason appearance in 2013 (2004-2013), now own the second-longest active playoff streak. During their 12-year streak, the Mavericks made three Western Conference Finals appearances (2003, 2006, 2011) and advanced to the NBA Finals twice (2006 and 2011). They captured their first NBA championship in 2011.

It will be interesting to see how the players react in playing a game that really has no major significance. There’s a mix of veterans who have a lot of pride with young players who might not be sure how to react to this situation.

Despite the Mavericks being out of the playoff mix, there are still things to play for and those will be covered at the end.

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

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The Rundown, Volume XIX

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 8, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Be the First to Comment

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The Rundown is back. Every Monday (unless there’s a better feature to run with), The Rundown will chronicle the week that was for the Mavs, as well as let you know what is coming up for the boys in blue, with a unique spin. Simply put, it is your Monday catch-up on all things with the Dallas Mavericks.

As the season is starting to wind down, the odds look incredibly bleak for the Mavs and extending their playoff streak to 13 years. With five games left, they still trail the Utah Jazz by 2.5 games. Utah owns the tiebreaker over both Los Angeles and Dallas, so it’s essentially a three-game lead Utah owns over Dallas. The dark number for Utah is 2 and 3 for Los Angeles. That means Dallas needs to avoid any combination of actual losses and Utah wins equaling out to two to stay alive and three for Los Angeles. It’s going to take a miraculous run, and some luck, for Dallas to sneak into the playoffs. With a win against Portland, Dallas will have the chance to accomplish something they’ve set out to do since late January – shave their .500 beards.

Let’s take a look at the week for that was for Dallas.

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Setting the Table: Denver Nuggets (Game 75)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 4, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (36-38) are clinging to life as they take on the Denver Nuggets (51-24). The Mavericks are in need of a Mile-High miracle as they’re 2.5 games out of the 8th spot with eight games left. With the tiebreakers going against the Mavericks, they’re essentially three games back of making the playoffs. It won’t be easy for Dallas as they face the Denver in Denver (33-3 at home this season). Look at that again. The Nuggets have 33 wins at home this season. The Mavericks have 36 wins total for the year.

Denver got an impressive victory last night against the Utah Jazz despite being without Ty Lawson for the fourth time in five games as he’s sidelined indefinitely with a plantar fascia tear. Dallas will be hoping to hop on a potentially fatigued Denver squad. The Nuggets are 7-8 on the second night of a back-to-back this season. The game will feature two of the better teams since the All-Star break. Dallas has the third best winning percentage improvement Pre vs Post All-Star (+.149). Denver is first (+.249), Los Angeles Lakers are second (+.204).

It’s now or never for the Mavericks.

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

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Quoteboard: Denver Nuggets 106, Dallas Mavericks 85

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on December 29, 2012 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks’ losing streak extended to five games after suffering a 106-85 loss to the Denver Nuggets. The loss was the eighth for Dallas in their last nine games. The Nuggets asserted themselves early used a 15-2 run from the 8:17 mark of the first quarter through the 5:27 mark of the period to go up, 21-8. Dallas used an 11-3 run from the 8:20 mark of the third quarter through the 5:37 mark of the period to trim a 13-point deficit (64-51) down to five (67-62). Denver closed the third quarter on a 20-8 run and led, 87-70, after three.

Danilo Gallinari scored a career-high 39 points against Dallas on Friday. His previous high was 37 at New York on Jan. 21, 2012. He added eight rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.

In his home debut, Dirk Nowitzki couldn’t quite get it going against the Nuggets. He scored just five points, all in the first quarter, on 2-for-10 shooting. With the game getting out of hand, he played only 17 minutes. Though the shots weren’t going in, a lot of them rattled in and out.

Here is the quoteboard for the loss to the Nuggets.

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Setting the Table: Denver Nuggets (Game 30)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on December 28, 2012 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (12-17) are looking to avoid a rare five-game losing streak as they host the Denver Nuggets (16-14). Dallas is looking to avoid a five-game losing streak for the first time since they lost six in a row during the 10-11 season (Jan. 6, 2011 through Jan. 17, 2011). In addition, the Mavericks are five games below .500 for the first time since April 2000, Dirk Nowitzki’s second season in the league.

The game against the Nuggets will mark the home debut for Dirk Nowitzki. There have yet to be any setbacks for him as he’s returned from knee surgery, which is good. It remains to be seen if Dirk will move into the starting lineup or will continue to come off the bench.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Thunder. Read more of this article »