Answered Questions

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 24, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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There have been a lot of positive remarks about the questions and answers series that has started during the offseason. I think people are just thirsty for Mavs information or debate, but we’ll continue running with the series. If you ever have questions you want tossed into future a batch, you can always send them through Twitter or through the comments section.

This batch provides a good mixture of looking back, looking ahead and evaluating who the true gambles are this offseason with free agency. If Dirk and Carlisle were your kids and you had to pick one as your favorite, who would you pick? Wait, parents don’t have to pick a favorite child? Oh, that’s good to know for the future. Anyways, a variation of that topic is brought up.

For now, here are 10 more questions and answers about the Mavs.

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Audio Delight

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 25, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Episode 74 of the Mavericks Outsider Report is here.

For those who don’t know, MOR a podcast entirely devoted to your Dallas Mavericks.

The end of the regular season passes without a Mavericks playoff game for the first time since 2000. It’s already time to move on from this season and look ahead to what the Mavericks can do to make sure this year is just a minor bump in the road.

But first, we want to cover Rick Carlisle’s entertaining post-game O.J. Mayo commentary, and the thoughts shared by Mark Cuban following the team’s mathematical elimination from the playoff picture. Then, we look forward by pulling out the oldest segment we have – Buy, Sell, Hold – to run through Mavericks’ free agents and possible free agent acquisitions. The end result shows that there are more holes to fill than money to spend. We take a quick run through the playoffs in NBA Nuggets, and we close with some talk about Lamar Odom and VIP floor tickets.

Intro – Banter / Rick on OJ
22:45 – Cuban’s Concession Speech
42:10 – Buy, Sell, Hold (Current Mavs)
1:03:25 – Buy, Sell, Hold (Potential Free Agent Signings)
1:28:35 – NBA Nuggets, Playoff Edition
1:24:08 – Yelling at Lamar Odom from Baller Seats / Closing Thoughts

Catch us again shortly after the draft in June as we have our “Judgement Day” episode. We’ll have the Mavs Jedi Council in the house to really dig in and figure out if Dallas made the right move(s) during the draft, and is prepared for the pivotal summer that is staring them directly in the face.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University. Bryan channels his inner-Clark Kent on a day-to-day basis. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.

Thermodynamics: The 2012-2013 Season

Posted by Travis Wimberly on April 21, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Be the First to Comment

Black hole

Thermodynamics (n.) – the science concerned with the relations between heat and mechanical energy

And with that, the 2012-2013 Dallas Mavericks will ride off into the sunset.

Sixteen NBA teams will play on, but the Mavs’ season is over. It wasn’t exactly a ceremonious ending, but it could have been worse. The Mavs closed out the year exactly at .500 (41-41), tallying their final win ever against the New Orleans Hornets Pelicans.  In the process, they became the first Western Conference team in over three decades to finish at .500 or better after being 10-plus games below that mark at any point during the season. That says something (although I’m not sure exactly what).

In honor of the season’s end and the final 2012-2013 installment of Thermodynamics, this week’s column will be a little different. Instead of the usual “weekly recap” approach, this one will address the three hottest and coldest performances for the entire season. For each item on the list, I’ll include one of the first things I wrote about that player from early in the year, and we can see how those initial impressions line up with the player’s season-long outlook.

Off we go…

FIRE

1) Brandan Wright

“Last season [2011-2012], Brandan Wright was a very serviceable rotation-caliber big man. This year, he will move well above that status, if the first two games are any indication.” – Thermodynamics: Week 1 (Nov. 1, 2012)

Those first two games were an indication, indeed.

Like countless Mavs observers, I spent the early part of this season perplexed by Rick Carlisle’s handling of Wright. Even accounting for Wright’s weaknesses, there was never any real justification for him to ride the pine for long stretches in favor of 2012 Troy Murphy. Yet as the year went on, Carlisle grew more and more comfortable with Wright. The 25-year-old big man began to rebound and defend better (although he still has significant room for improvement), all while the Mavs’ mounting playoff desperation necessitated Carlisle’s compromise.

As many of us suspected, Wright turned to be one of the Mavs’ most efficient and productive players, effectively showcasing his potential as a long-term piece for the Mavs. He also drove up his free-agent asking price in the process, but Dallas has cap room aplenty, which if nothing else will give Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson room to mull over a competitive offer. I consider him a top priority for this offseason. It would be foolish to let him walk unless another team wants to drastically overpay him (which isn’t completely outside the realm of possibility). Wright is already a highly efficient offensive player, and he has plenty of upside to boot. It’s hard to ask for more.

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Closing Remarks, Part Seven

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 19, 2013 under Interviews | Read the First Comment

dirk

There’s not a great way to classify Dirk’s 2012-13 campaign. It started with the incredible personal highlight of being able to play in Germany in an exhibition game. Concern then started to circulate as he had issues with his knee, which ultimately led to surgery. He missed more than a quarter of the season due to the surgery. When he came back, he had doubts about whether or not he could actually return to the form everyone is used to seeing from him. The doubts eventually went away as he swagger returned. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough time for Dirk to help get the Mavs into the playoffs.

A pivotal summer is on the horizon for the Mavs. Dirk will be ready to do whatever he can to help the franchise get back to the playoffs and make this year more of an aberration than the new expected norm.

Here is the final exit interview of the season. Here is Dirk Nowitzki’s exit interview.

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Closing Remarks, Part Six

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

carlisle

Though the team’s record was 41-41, many would say that this year was one of Rick Carlisle’s best coaching performances of his career. He had to endure over a quarter of the season without his best player and found a way to make sure his team never quit. Carlisle had to balance the juggling act of a roster that was in flux and it was a roster that easily could have turned on him with new contracts on the horizon. That said, they didn’t turn because the coach never gave in.

It was a year of work for Rick Carlisle. The results didn’t bear any fruit, but it’s not due to his negligence. The summer begins early for him, with potentially a new set of issues he’ll have to prepare for. Dirk Nowitzki might be the best on-the-floor asset the Mavs have, but Rick Carlisle is truly an asset that should not be taken for granted.

Here is the exit interview with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle.

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Closing Remarks, Part One

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 18, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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With the season dead and gone for the Mavs, exit interviews are the next item of the docket. Mark Cuban is not one who usually participates in the exit interview process, though he was in the building saying goodbye to the team.

As always, he’s one who isn’t shy to speak to the media. Prior to the team’s season finale against the then New Orleans Hornets, he spoke to the media about figurative dating, O.J. Mayo, the pain of the season and what will happen going forward.

Here is Mark Cuban’s “exit interview” quoteboard.

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Quoteboard: Dallas Mavericks 99, New Orleans Hornets 87

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 17, 2013 under Interviews | Read the First Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks were able to finish the season without a losing record as they secured a 99-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets in the season finale. Playing against the team that drafted him, Darren Collison went 10-for-15 from the field and tallied a game-high 25 points to go along with four assists, two steals and a block in 28 minutes off the bench against the Hornets. Collison left a positive last impression for the team as it was his second-highest scoring game of the season (32 at Oklahoma City Dec. 27). He scored 20-plus points for the seventh time this season and the first since Mar. 18 at Atlanta (24 points).

Dirk Nowitzki totaled 16 points, a team-high nine rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes against the Hornets. Nowitzki averaged 20.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his final five games of the 2012-13 season.

Some notes before the quotes:

- Vince Carter’s triple at the 9:29 mark of the second quarter was his 162nd 3-pointer of the season (he shot 162-399, .406, on the year). His 162 treys tied his career-high for most 3-pointers made in a season (he shot 162-397, .408, with Toronto in 2000-01). The 162 triples were also tied for the fifth-most treys made by a Maverick in any season (Jason Terry made 162 with Dallas in 2006-07). Carter made at least one 3-point basket in each of his final 25 games of the 2012-13 season. It marked his longest career streak (over a single season) with at least one trey (previous high: 16 straight games on two occasions).

- The Mavericks outshot the Hornets 51.2 percent (42-of-82) to 36.9 percent (31-of-84) on the night. They finished the 2012-13 season with a record of 21-3 when they shot at least 50 percent from the floor.

- Al-Farouq Aminu (16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds) and Robin Lopez (14 points and 13 boards) both recorded double-doubles for New Orleans. Aminu recorded a first-half double-double with 10 points and a career-high 17 rebounds (previous high: 16 rebounds on three occasions). Aminu grabbed 14 boards in the first quarter alone.

- Dallas has now sold out 472 consecutive regular-season games at American Airlines Center, which is an NBA-best sellout streak. The streak began on Dec. 15, 2001 and Dallas has sold out an additional 60 playoff games during that stretch.

Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ victory over New Orleans in the season finale.

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Quoteboard: Memphis Grizzlies 103, Dallas Mavericks 97

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 15, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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Just one night after getting to shave their beards, the Dallas Mavericks ensured they will not have a winning season by suffering a 103-97 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis used a 9-0 run from the 8:02 mark of the fourth quarter through the 6:41 mark of the period to turn a one-point deficit, 78-77, into an eight-point advantage, 86-78. The Grizzlies then led for the remainder of the contest.

Dirk Nowitzki tallied a game-high 26 points in 36 minutes against the Grizzlies. He scored 20-plus points for the third time in his last four games (19th time this season). Nowitzki is averaging 22.0 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting over his last four games.

Vince Carter totaled 22 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes against the Grizzlies. With a reverse layup at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter, Carter passed Clyde Drexler (22,195) for 27th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The basket gave him five points for the game and 22,197 points for his career. Carter finished with 22 points on the night and now has 22,214 points for his career. Elgin Baylor ranks 26th all-time in career scoring with 23,149 points.

O.J. Mayo once again struggled against his former team. Mayo went 1-of-6 from the floor for only two points. He had four turnovers in the game. After seeing enough, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle emphatically called a timeout and benched Mayo for the remainder of the game. Mayo did not want to speak to anyone after the loss. He dressed and left the locker room by the time the media was allowed to enter.

Some notes before the quotes:

- Vince Carter scored 20-plus points for the second time in his last three games (12th time this season). Carter is averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.7 blocks and 30.3 minutes over his last three games. He has shot 55 percent (22-of-40) from the field and 60 percent (9-of-15) from deep over his last three contests.

- With the loss, Dallas was unsuccessful at sweeping a back-to-back this season.

- Memphis’ 64 points off the bench is a new opponent-high. The previous high mark was 63 by Washington on Nov. 14.

- Against his former team, O.J. Mayo averaged 8.5 points on 35.1 percent shooting from the field, 30 percent from 3 and 3.8 turnovers this year.

Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ befuddling loss to Memphis.

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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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Thermodynamics: Week 24

Posted by Travis Wimberly on April 11, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Be the First to Comment

Thermodynamics (n.) – the science concerned with the relations between heat and mechanical energy

The Mavs have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, but they say they won’t quit on the season. In that case, neither will we. We’ve got about one more week before most of our regular columns here at The Two Man Game go into offseason hiatus, so let’s make it count.

Week 24 (@Nuggets, @Kings, @Blazers, Suns)

FIRE

1) The Matrix

The 2012-13 Mavs have a handful of younger players whose grit and tenacity are sometimes easy to question. Meanwhile, they have a few older players for whom those traits are indisputable and unwavering. Shawn Marion is one of those guys in the latter category, and this week was the quintessential example. With the Mavs’ playoff hopes dwindling further and further, the Matrix rose to the occasion. After a respectable 10-point night in Denver, he produced 25 points against Sacramento, 20 against Portland, and 22 against Phoenix. It was the first time since 2007 that Marion has scored 20-plus points in three consecutive games. Not only that, he scored very efficiently — 34-of-58 (59%) shooting on the week — and contributed 8.5 rebounds per game to boot. I’m not going to say the Mavs have quitters on their roster, because I don’t think that’s true. But I will say this: Shawn Marion is the polar opposite of a quitter.

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