Quoteboard: Dallas Mavericks 104, Boston Celtics 94

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 23, 2013 under Interviews | 3 Comments to Read

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The Dallas Mavericks were able to get a much-needed win over the Boston Celtics. A 104-94 victory over the Celtics ruined Jason Terry’s return to Dallas. The Mavericks never trailed against the Celtics on Friday (scored was tied four times). It marked the second time this season that Dallas recorded a victory without trailing at any point (also Jan. 14 vs. Minnesota). In the Mavericks’ 113-98 win over the Timberwolves, Dallas never trailed but the score was tied once (at 2-2).

Brandan Wright made his 13th start of the season (44th career) against the Celtics on Friday. In his 100th game with the Mavericks, Wright tallied a season and game-high 23 points to go along with a season-high-tying eight rebounds in 30 minutes. His previous high scoring game this season was a 16-point effort at Phoenix on 12/6. Shawn Marion returned to the starting lineup against the Celtics on Friday, after missing the previous eight games due to a left calf strain. Marion posted his 13th double-double of the season (417th career) with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in 31 minutes. Marion pulled down 10 of Dallas’ 26 rebounds in the opening half.

Dirk Nowitzki totaled 22 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes against the Celtics. He scored 20-plus points for the fourth in his last six games (13th time this season). Nowitzki is averaging 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds over his last seven games. He is shooting 54.3 percent (50-of-92) from the floor and 50 percent (11-of-22)  from deep in that span.

Some notes before the quotes:

- Wright’s 23 points marked the second-highest scoring game of his career (25 points vs. Philadelphia Mar. 20, 2009). It was also just the second 20-point game of his career and his highest scoring game as a Maverick (was 17 vs. Golden State Apr. 20, 2012). Wright pulled down eight rebounds for the fourth time in his last seven games (seventh time this season). He is averaging 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 24.3 minutes over his last 11 games. Wright is shooting 63.3 percent (62-of-98) from the field in that span.

- The game against Boston marked the first time since Mar. 12, 2008 vs. New York that Shawn recorded 10-plus boards in the first half of a game (10 rebounds). It was also the first time he totaled 10-plus boards in any half since Apr. 10, 2012 vs. Sacramento (10 boards).

- In his return to Dallas, Jason Terry scored eight points on 3-of-9 shooting with three turnovers over 21:57. He was minus-6 overall.

- The Mavericks announced after the game that they would not sign guard Chris Wright to another 10-day contract, ending his time with Dallas.

Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ win over Boston.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 104, Boston Celtics 94

Posted by Kirk Henderson on March 22, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

Clover

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.

  • This could easily be called “The Brandan Wright Game” (23 points on 11 for 16 shooting, eight rebounds). Though his best offensive game as a Maverick was exciting to watch, I remain impressed by his growth as a help defender and rebounder. Early in the season he would challenge anything within 15 feet of the bucket, often leaving his man for the offensive rebound. Wright’s much more selective in his challenges as of late, and it has helped improved the Maverick’s rebounding ability. His on ball defense has improved as well. In the fourth quarter, Wright made a brilliant strip/steal of Jeff Green on a fast break attempt that he passed to Darren Collison as he was falling out of bounds. Collison drove the length of the floor for a pull up jumper. That strip/steal is not a play Brandan Wright makes at the start of the season.
  • Considering how hard I’ve been on the shot selection of Mike James this year, I feel it’s important to note that this may have been his best game as a facilitator of the offense. Though he recorded only six assists (and one turnover) in his 25 minutes, he drove the lane looking to pass instead of shoot and many Mavericks, particularly Vince Carter, couldn’t seem to convert the nice set ups provided by James. Hopefully, the pass-first Mike James is here to stay for the remainder of the season.
  • Though Coach Rick Carlisle downplayed Dirk Nowitzki’s small number of shot attempts over the last three games, the Dallas announcers made it a point of discussion throughout the first half. Though it’s good that something as basic as shots doesn’t become an issue in the locker room, the Maverick players seemed to respond to the rumblings, looking to actually get their best player the ball. Dirk had 11 field goal attempts in the first half and finished with 22 points and seven rebounds.
  • The Vince Carter circus was in full effect against the Celtics, as he took and made a few shots that only a player of his talent can make. Arguably, his best play was a miss in the fourth quarter. Carter drove from the right side, faded towards the middle of the lane and in an attempt to draw contact he threw the ball up on the rim. It took a number of bounces and came off the left side of the rim. None of the Celtics bothered to box Brandan Wright out, who swooped in from the left side of the base line, caught the ball as it was coming down and emphatically dunked the ball as three Boston defenders looked on in frustration.
  • Though it feels silly to point this out every time it happens, some instances are so egregious they must be discussed. On the final Maverick possession of the third quarter, Darren Collison and Dirk ran a high screen and roll with Collison driving left. Collison stopped just past the elbow for a great shot fake, which got his man up in the air and pulled Dirk’s man in his direction. At this point, Dirk was at the top of the key with no one within five feet of him. Collison has to see him and pass him the ball. Instead, he missed a long jumper. That play is why Darren Collison will not be a starting point guard in the NBA. You have to know where your best player is and what his strengths are at all times.
  • In July of 2009 I remember being thrilled at the signing of Shawn Marion (the best free agent signing of the Dirk Nowitzki era). I also remember thinking that there was no way he’d be effective or worth his salary by 2013-2014. Now? Outside of Dirk’s he is the second most important Maverick. Against the Celtics, he put up 11 points and 13 rebounds, five of them offensive. Dallas went 5-3 in his absence, yet one can reasonably wonder how his presence would have changed the two close losses to the Spurs and Thunder. Is he worth $10 million next season? I’m glad I don’t have to assign a monetary value to his contributions because they’ve been nearly priceless the last four years.
  • Watching Avery Bradley play man to man defense is incredible. I’d like to think that every basketball player can be taught to play defense in this fashion but the truth is what Bradley does is a gift. Watching his feet and the angles he takes on ball handlers, it’s clear Bradley is operating on a different defensive plane.
  • Marion’s return meant at least one Maverick would be seeing less floor time. That ended up being Jae Crowder, who had played admirable basketball over the last eight games. That said, Crowder would be best served by being locked in a room all summer with game tape of Shawn Marion and early career Josh Howard. Crowder is an athletic specimen who is also pretty good at basketball. Unfortunately, he doesn’t use his athletic gifts near enough on the offensive end, often content to stand and shoot. Shawn Marion’s simple baseline cut and dunk off of a Mike James pass in the first quarter is a prime example of a basic basketball play that Crowder could make if he learned to better move without the basketball.
  • On Thursday, Andy Tobolowsky at Mavs Moneyball wroteAAC welcomes home one of its best, one of its brightest. The hero, the personality. The only guy who never knew, no matter the circumstances, that the game, the Mavericks, the dream of a ring were over years ago. Jason Terry, the only one of us who turned out to be right.” As the season has marched on, one thing that’s occasionally missing from the Mavericks seems to be confidence. Too often, Dallas tightens up when the game gets close late. Terry gave the Mavericks, and all of us, the belief that they could and would come through in any situation.
  • Elton Brand received his first “Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision” of the season against the Celtics. As TMG’s own Bryan Gutierrez notes, Carlisle is not above sending a message to his players, as he’s done time and again with literally the entire team. Brand’s had a rough go as of late, and this is hopefully just Carlisle’s way of letting Brand know he demands more. Expect Brand to respond well the next time he gets an opportunity.

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.

 

Quoteboard: Brooklyn 113, Dallas 96

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 21, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks started their six-game homestand with another disturbing loss, this time at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn closed the game on a 22-8 run en route to a 113-96 victory. The game was tied at 51 at halftime before Brook Lopez and Deron Williams took control of the game. The two combined to score 46 of the team’s 62 points in the second half. As a team, the Dallas Mavericks scored 45 points in the second half. Lopez finished with a season-high 38 points, matching the 38 he scored last season in the American Airlines Center. Williams tallied 31 points and a team-high six assists in 41 minutes. Reggie Evans pulled down a game-high 22 rebounds to go along with four rebounds in 32 minutes. It was his sixth game with 20-plus rebounds this season.

Dallas was “led” by Dirk Nowitzki with 16 points, but he once again had a game where he was unable to hoist up a shot in a quarter (third quarter) and only took 10 shots. In the team’s last two losses, Dirk has only had 10 shots. He’s averaged 10.3 field goal attempts over his last three games. After going 12-0 to start his career, Dallas has lost their last two games when Dirk shoots at least 80 percent from the field (minimum 10 field goal attempts). Mike James had the most field goal attempts for the Mavericks with 14.

Some notes before the quotes:

- Dirk Nowitzki recorded his 9,000th career rebound at the 11:26 mark of the fourth quarter against the Nets on Wednesday. He became the 46th player in NBA history with at least 9,000 boards. Nowitzki also became one of only 10 players in NBA history with at least 24,000 points and 9,000 rebounds (joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Garnett and Patrick Ewing).

- Mike James went 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and scored 12 points in 27 minutes against the Nets. He added a season-high-tying seven assists (also had 7 at Milwaukee Mar. 12). James is averaging 9.6 points and 4.3 assists over his last 11 games. He has shot 49 percent (25-of-51) from deep in that span.

- Dallas suffered only their third loss of the season when they shot at least 50 percent from the field (16-3 record).

- The Mavericks allowed 52 points in the paint to the Nets. They have now allowed 102 points in the paint in their last two games.

- Dallas is now 3-15 when an opponent scores at least 110 points against them.

- The team announced that guard Roddy Beaubois had surgery to repair his left second metacarpal fracture.  The surgery was performed by Dr. T.O. Souryal and Dr. Scott Oishi at Texas Sports Medicine.  No timetable has been set for his return.

Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ loss to Brooklyn.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 96, Brooklyn Nets 113

Posted by Kirk Henderson on March 20, 2013 under Recaps | 4 Comments to Read

CautionNet

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.

  • Dirk Nowitzki (16 points on 8 of 10 shooting) has 10.3 shot attempts over his last three games. He’s shooting 23 for 31 over that period. Dallas is 1-2 in those games. What else is there to say?
  • Dallas fans and Mark Cuban got a great view of the player they missed out on signing this off-season in Deron Williams (31 points, six assists). After a 2 for 7 first half, he responded shooting 11 of 18 in the second, lighting any Dallas guard on fire who came near him. He’s been slowed by a combination of ankle injuries, weight gain, and hubris, but since getting his mind and body right over the All-Star Break, he’s looked exactly like a player worth a $100 million dollar contract. Dallas missed out in a huge way by being unable to sign the former Colony High School player.
  • After outscoring the Nets by 10 in the first quarter, Brooklyn out-scored Dallas by 27 points over the next 36 minutes of basketball.
  • I lied. We need to talk about Dirk not getting the ball more. That his first shot didn’t come until the 6:35 mark in the first quarter is one thing, as the Mavericks actually played really solid offensive basketball. But when Dirk didn’t even touch the ball in the third quarter as Deron Williams and Brook Lopez shot 11 for 12 for 26 points in the quarter, alarms have to go off on the Dallas bench.
  • In the 16 games since the All Star break, Dirk Nowitzki is shooting 51% from the field, 49% from 3 point range, and 96% from the line.
  • On the one hand, it’s nice that Rick Carlisle has faith in his team to run his system over set plays. The offense is essentially a read and react system based out of pick and rolls. On the other hand, why Carlisle would allow Chris Kaman and Mike James to get into a pick and roll duel with Brook Lopez and Deron Williams at the start of both halves is beyond understanding. Neither player is efficient and neither player is going to be a Dallas Maverick next year.
  • Brook Lopez seems to relish playing the Dallas Mavericks. His offensive display was amazing, scoring 38 points on 22 shots and doing so in a variety of ways. He opened the game running a series of strong pick and rolls. He built on that by punishing Chris Kaman with some back down post moves. Lopez then went to a bit of a dribble drive game, taking full advantage of any Dallas defender, using both hands to get to the rim.
  • It’s frustrating that Elton Brand (four points, five rebounds) is playing his most ineffective basketball in months over the last six games, right as Dallas needs him to be his best. Brand has been a phenomenal addition to Dallas this year and I hope the front office finds a way to keep him beyond this one season.
  • Brook Lopez and Reggie Evans combined for 33 rebounds. The Dallas Maverick team pulled down 34.
  • This was the first game in some time where Dallas fans witnessed the limitations of Brandan Wright (nine points, on 4 of 5 shooting). Wright actually had a fairly nice stat line, given his limited playing time. But the Nets took full advantage of Wright’s slight frame, punishing him in one on one defense and on rebounding opportunities. Wright has improved dramatically over the last third of the season, particularly in help defense and rebounding, but occasionally teams with strong post players will take advantage of the fact that he weighs 210 pounds soaking wet.
  • With Jae Crowder hitting yet another corner three against the Nets, this shot is a potential weapon for the Mavericks moving forward. Though the sample size is a bit small, Crowder has hit 50 percent of his corner threes this season, as opposed to a mere 28% anywhere above the break. Crowder had a reputation of being a stretch four in college, but the distance of the NBA three has proven a bit too much for him this season. Interestingly, all of his corner threes this season have been assisted.
  • TMG’s own Bryan Gutierrez tweets that Carlisle doesn’t buy into the notion of Dirk not getting shots being an issue during these two recent losses. However, ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted during the game that tonight he saw a top 5 on court anger moment from Dirk as he came to the bench during the fourth quarter. Something has to give.
  • There was an odd appearance in the first quarter of the rare 5-4 pick and roll. Kaman caught the ball on the right elbow and Dirk decided to set a screen for him in the middle of the free throw line. Dirk slipped the pick and Kaman fed him for a lay up, which Dirk missed, only to grab his own rebound and score.
  • Some rare playing time for Anthony Morrow (six points on 3 of 6 shooting). Looking oddly like the ghost of Jason Terry, Morrow played well on offense, hitting two tough shots and stealing an inbound pass for a third quarter ending lay up. Defensively, he seemed lost, as Joe Johnson got warmed up in the second with Morrow attempting to stick with him.
  • The shooting of Mike James by the quarter: 2 of 5, 0 of 1, 1 of 4, and 1 of 5 for a total of 4 of 14 for the game. He hits one shot and it seems to give him the confidence to keep shooting. When these shots come within the flow of the offense, as his fourth quarter corner three did, it boosts the Dallas offense, almost serving as a bonus. But when he hunts for his own shot, as he did through out the game, it actively hurts the Dallas offense.
  • Matt Moore of CBS Sports writes an interesting look into the death of the post entry pass as a NBA player skill. Given the Dallas woes to consistently get the ball to Dirk, it feels very timely.
  • After a strong 23 point win against the Timberwolves on March 10th, the Mavericks have gone 3-3 over their next six. With only 14 games remaining, the Mavs are now 3.5 games back from the eighth seed. However, they’re also too far ahead in the total league standing to benefit any from losing games for draft lotto positioning. Dallas currently stands in no man’s land.

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.

The Rundown, Volume XVIII

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 18, 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.

The end might be near for the Mavs as another back-breaking loss finished their week. Dallas is now four games back of the Los Angeles Lakers for the 8th spot in the Western Conference with only 16 games left. It might take a miracle for the Mavs to make it 13 consecutive playoff appearances. Let’s take a look at the week for that was for Dallas.

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Quoteboard: Oklahoma City 107, Dallas 101

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

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In a game that was up for grabs, the Dallas Mavericks once again couldn’t find a way to close the game out as they suffered a 107-101 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Clearly, Dallas got the getting while the getting was good. The Mavericks are 1-11 against the Thunder since beating Oklahoma City in the 2011 Western Conference finals, including last season’s sweep in the first round of the playoffs. Dallas has lost their last 10 games against their northern I-35 rivals.

Oklahoma City’s stars shined brightly against Dallas. Russell Westbrook totaled a game-high 35 points to go along with six rebounds, a game-high six assists and two steals in 37 minutes. Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter. He added nine boards and two blocks in 39 minutes.

Dirk Nowitzki made his first eight shots of the game (including his first three 3-point field goal attempts) and recorded 23 points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes against the Thunder. He scored 20-plus points for the seventh time in his last 13 games (10th time this season). Nowitzki finished 8-of-10 (.800) from the field. With the loss, the Mavericks moved to 12-1 all-time when Nowitzki shoots at least 80 percent from the field (minimum 10 field goal attempts). The story of the game will be the fact that Dirk didn’t take a single shot from the field in the entire fourth quarter. His last field goal attempt came with 2:25 left in the third quarter. He wasn’t calling for the ball on every possession, the Thunder tried to blanket him and no one on the Mavericks really could deliver him the ball.

The injury bug once again landed on Roddy Beaubois. After a nice string of games leading up to the game against the Thunder, Beaubois exited the game after fracturing the second metacarpal in his left hand during the second quarter. He is out indefinitely. If the injury is a season-ending one, with free agency looming, this could be the last time Roddy wears a Dallas uniform.

Some notes before the quotes:

- Mike James recorded a season-high 14 points to go along with three rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes (previous high: 13 points vs. Milwaukee Mar. 12). He went 2-of-3 from 3-point range and has now made at least one trey in each of his last nine games. James has shot 18-of-39 (.462) from 3-point range over his last nine games.  He is averaging 9.4 points and 4.1 assists in that span.

- With a steal (his 955th career) at the 7:23 mark of the first quarter, Nowitzki passed Jason Kidd (954) for second place on the Mavericks’ all-time steals list. Nowitzki intercepted a pass thrown by Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and then finished with a dunk on the fast break (from O.J. Mayo). Derek Harper is Dallas’ all-time leader with 1,551 career thefts.

- Elton Brand made his 17th start of the season (847th career) against Oklahoma City on Sunday. It was his first start since Feb. 1 at Phoenix. The Mavericks’ starting lineup on Sunday featured Jae Crowder, Dirk Nowitzki, O.J. Mayo, Mike James and Brand. Dallas used its 21st starting lineup of the season against the Thunder.

Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ loss to Oklahoma City.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 101, Oklahoma City Thunder 107

Posted by Kirk Henderson on March 17, 2013 under Recaps | 7 Comments to Read

Strike

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.

  • Expect the lack of shot attempts for Dirk Nowitzki (23 points on 8 of 10 shooting) to become a narrative for the Mavericks in the coming days, though it’s something I’ve been concerned about since Dirk returned to form. Against the Thunder, he started off 8 for 8 from the floor off of a variety of different looks. His final make came at the 8:22 mark of the third quarter. He took two more shots in the quarter, then didn’t have a field goal attempt for the remainder of the game. Credit must go to the Thunder defense, but the responsibility falls to Dirk, the coaching staff and his teammates. His teammates are the biggest problem, as Mike James, Darren Collison, and O.J. Mayo seem bewildered as to how to get the big German the ball. Dirk posts up well, sets good screens and is the league’s most dangerous trailer. He’s had to resort to calling for the ball more and more often this season as his guards don’t seem to see him unless he’s yelling at them. He’s big, he’s blond, he even has an insane beard.  He’s also a former MVP and an NBA Champion. If this team still thinks it can make the playoffs it’s not going to do so on the backs of anyone other than Dirk Nowitzki. Get Dirk the ball.
  • Contrast Dirk’s stat line to that of once and future scoring champion Kevin Durant (31 points, nine rebounds). Prior to the fourth, Dallas had managed to keep Durant in check with 12 points while forcing a variety of turnovers. In the final period, Durant scored 19, taking full advantage of his size mismatch and demanding the ball from Russell Westbrook. In most cases Durant simply got the ball at the top of the key and went to work, very similar to the way Dallas used to use Dirk.
  • The development of Jae Crowder (11 points, four rebounds) has been a roller coaster. I greatly enjoy his man to man defense, but he has brief lapses in judgement that really hurt the Mavericks. Kevin Martin scored two layups on simple back door cuts when Crowder got caught watching the ball. Additionally, each of his turnover were very frustrating to watch; he somehow failed to see a Thunder player between him and his teammate. Each lead to easy fast break points in a tightly contested game.
  • The offensive rebounding from the Thunder, particularly from Serge Ibaka (18 points 16 rebounds including seven offensive) badly hurt the Mavericks. Due to the threat of Russell Westbrook (35 points, six assists), the Dallas big guarding Ibaka was forced to cheat over for additional help defense when Westbrook got a Maverick defender in an isolation situation. As a result, a smaller player usually had to rotate down to try to box out Ibaka which did not work.
  • In recent weeks, I’ve been a big fan of how O.J. Mayo has let the game come to him. He’s made smart choices and put himself and his team in a position to win. Though Mayo didn’t hurt Dallas against the Thunder, his nine points and three assists are not enough from a player many consider to be the second offensive option. Despite his growth as a player this season, he doesn’t give Dallas enough on a consistent basis.
  • We’ve most likely seen the last of Roddy Beaubois in a Dallas Maverick uniform. He broke a bone in hand in a rather strange play involving Kevin Durant. Though he’s out indefinitely at the moment, we here at the Two Man Game wish him a speedy recovery.

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.

Quoteboard: Dallas Mavericks 96, Cleveland Cavaliers 86

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 16, 2013 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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The Roddy Beaubois saga continues. Beaubois tallied a team-high 18 points (6-10 FGs, 3-5 3FGs, 3-4 FTs) to go along with three rebounds and a team-high-tying five assists in 22 minutes off the bench against Cleveland on Friday. He led Dallas in scoring for the second time this season (19 points vs. San Antonio on Jan. 25). It was his third double-figure scoring effort of the season. Beaubois, who recorded seven points and three assists in 15 minutes at Milwaukee on Mar. 12, is averaging 12.5 points and 4.0 assists over his last two games. Roddy showed aggression on both ends of the floor in easily his best game of the year.

Dirk Nowitzki notched his third straight double-double (fifth of the season, 374thcareer) with 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals in 33 minutes against Cleveland. It was his third straight game with 11 boards. Nowitzki is now tied with Jason Kidd (954) for second place on the Mavericks’ all-time steals list. Nowitzki is averaging 17.6 points and 9.2 rebounds since the All-Star break.

Once again starting for the injured Shawn Marion, Jae Crowder scored only two points, but he pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds in the victory.

Some notes before the quotes:

- With his second rebound of the game (8,975th career) at the 9:20 mark of the first quarter, Dirk Nowitzki passed Larry Bird (8,974) for 46th place on the NBA’s all-time rebounding list. Nowitzki finished with 11 rebounds on the night and now has 8,984 boards for his career. Johnny Green ranks 45th all-time with 9,083 rebounds. Nowitzki needs 17 rebounds to become the 46th player in NBA history with at least 9,000 boards.

- Vince Carter made his 8,000th career field goal with a 3-pointer at the 1:33 mark of the fourth quarter. He became the 33rd player in NBA history with at least 8,000 career field goals. Carter ranks sixth among active players in field goals made.

- In his first home game off a 10-day contract, Chris Wright made his NBA regular-season debut in the fourth quarter and scored two points in one minute.

Here is the quoteboard for the Dallas victory over Cleveland.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 91, San Antonio Spurs 92

Posted by Kirk Henderson on March 14, 2013 under Recaps | 3 Comments to Read

Storm Clouds

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.

  • I was hoping to get to rave about the brilliant play of Brandan Wright (10 points, eight rebounds, two blocks), who had an amazing all-around performance against a top notch front court. But with the sixth Dallas loss by three points or less this season, the missed opportunities against San Antonio are a harsh reminder of why this team is an extreme fringe playoff contender at best. The decision making from an offensive standpoint was baffling. Why is O.J. Mayo pulling up for a jumper on a three on one fast break? Why is Chris Kaman taking the ball up the court on a fast break after a steal? Why doesn’t Dallas get the ball to Dirk more often in the high post like they did during the 2011 Championship run? The Spurs managed to score on the final possession in each of the first three quarters while Dallas was unable to do so a single time. Defensively the Mavericks bickered with each other for much of the first half as seemingly every Dallas player was slow to rotate, particularly in instances of ‘helping the helper’ after a rotation had already occurred  The Mavericks also spent far too much time chasing players around screens as a San Antonio player caught a pass moving towards the rim, forcing Dallas to foul or rotate to help early in possessions. Kahwi Leonard snuck in a back door lay up from a high post feed by Jae Crowder because Crowder’s back was to the ball, a defensive cardinal sin. Tim Duncan (26 points, 19 rebounds) bullied Dallas from pillar to post. Finally, the final shot by Vince Carter left much to be desired. As TMG’s own Bryan Gutierrez pointed out on twitter, behind or tied within three points, Vince Carter has taken the final shot six times to Dirk Nowitzki’s one since Dirk’s return. The main reason for this, I suspect, is that Carlisle knows not a single Maverick guard can reliably get a pass to Dirk. There wasn’t enough time for a Carter-Dirk pick and roll in that situation, and even though Carter is the best in the NBA from that particular spot, the Mavericks have to get something going towards the rim when the margin is a single point. Tim Duncan told David Aldridge in the post game interview that a step back fade away is exactly the shot San Antonio was hoping to force. That Dallas was in this game at all with Dirk, Carter, Mayo and Elton Brand shooting a combined 36% from the field is impressive, but the small mistakes Dallas makes throughout the course of the game keep catching up to them.

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.

 

Thermodynamics: Week 20

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

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

An undefeated week. 3-0. Say it aloud, because we’ve had little occasion to celebrate such things this season.

Okay, so admittedly, it was a weak schedule (the Mavs’ three opponents this week have a combined record of 77-115), and two of the games went down to the wire. But let’s keep in mind that we’re talking about the 2012-2013 Mavs, not the Mavs of yesteryear. For this squad, it’s no small feat to win three straight road games against any three NBA teams. And given that this team’s playoff hopes are slim, I for one plan to enjoy the small victories here and there for the remainder of the season.

Week 20 (@Pistons, @Timberwolves, @Bucks)

FIRE

1) Vinsanity

When the Mavs refused to move Vince Carter at the trade deadline, several observers questioned that decision, and perhaps rightfully so. But since then, Carter has made the Mavs’ front office look very prescient. He’s firmly cemented himself as either the Mavs’ second or third-best all-around player (depending on where you would put him relative to Shawn Marion), and he’s done so with excellent efficiency and irreplaceable leadership. This week, Carter averaged exactly 15.0 points per game, shot 18-of-31 (58%) from the field cumulatively, and pulled down 6.3 rebounds per game. That’s terrific, but it hardly tells the full story. Carter’s tenacity and willingness to take (and make) big shots was on full display this week. If you were one of the lucky few who watched the Mavs-Bucks game on NBA League pass with Milwaukee’s broadcast crew, you had the pleasure (as I did) of listening to them bemoan Carter’s bevy of clutch shots late in the fourth quarter. In net points per 100 possessions, three of the Mavs’ four most productive lineups on the season include Carter.  Carter now carries a player-efficiency rating (PER) of 17.7, the third-highest on the Mavs. Guess which Mav ranks number one by that metric?

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