Category Archives: Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have introduced the franchise’s spoils from the free agency period in a press conference. OJ Mayo, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones were all presented to the media as a group for the first time. An always exuberant Mark Cuban expressed his delight in signing to the group.
“With Chris and OJ available, we took a calculated risk….these players want to win…Our plan is to have these guys in a Mavericks uniform for a long, long time.”
– Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks
With the introduction, the Mavericks have set their roster for the 2012 season. The additions come after a somewhat tumultuous off season, where they lost floor leader and point guard Jason Kidd to the New York Knicks. This was preceded by an early exit from the playoffs from the then defending NBA champions. However, Rick Carlise says that the team has rebuilt, added new pieces and will be back on the way up
“We’re excited about this group of guys…we’ve got a little bit of everything here”
-Rick Carlise, Mavericks coach
As Carlise said, the Dallas Mavericks are most certainly welcoming these new additions with open arms.
Dirk Nowitzki did all he could to halt it, but the steam roller that has OKC printed on the side continued as the Dallas Mavericks were swept by the Thunder. Dirk had 34 in his final playoff outing of the year, while Jason Terry, handed the start, had 11 points. Veteran point guard and now free agent Jason Kidd added 16, but none of them could stop the youthful opposing outfit.
Kevin Durant had 24 points in his usual easy and seemingle inevitable manner, but it was “reserve” guard James Harden who put on the show, with 15 of his 28 points coming in the final period to help close out the game for the Thunder and snuff out any chance of a Mavs comeback.
“We didn’t crumble. I think that’s the best part of our team. We’ve grown in that area. We never gave up.”
— Durant on the fourth-quarter rally.
An efficient 31 points from Dirk Nowitzki was not enough to prevent the Thunder from taking a 2-0 series lead as the Oklahoma City Thunder won their second game at home. Russell Westbrook had 29 points while Kevin Durant had 26 but struggled with his handle as he turned the ball over 7 times. But he made up for it as he pulled down 10 rebounds. Kendrick Perkins also had a nice offensive night, with 13 points and 6 rebounds. James Harden had 15 off the bench.
“This was a physical, intense, hard-fought basketball game. I’m proud of our guys for hanging in there. Dirk is the most amazing player I’ve ever seen but we stayed with it and we did a little better job on him in the second half. Both teams made runs in the first half and that second half was just a fight.”
— Thunder head coach Scott Brooks
Barring Nowitzki’s 31, there was not a great deal of offensive punch from any other Mavericks. Shawn Marion had 15 while Jason Terry had 13 off the bench but missed two shots to win the game.
Final score: 98-99 OKC win (OKC leads 1-0)
Despite a strong performance from Dirk Nowitzki down the stretch, Kevin Durant stole the headlines as he bounced home the difficult jumpshot to steal the game from the Mavericks. The Mavs looked set to win it after two free throws which put them up by one but Durant was able to make the winner despite the defence of Shawn Marion draped all over him. With no time outs remaining, Jason Kidd inbounded the ball to Marion, but he was unable to get a shot off before time expired.
Jason Terry kept the Mavericks in the game during the first half and finished with 20 points for the game. Jason Kidd also quitely have ae good game with 8 points, 7 steals, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. James Harden peformed well in his return to the lineup after the hit from Metta World Peace and recieved a warm welcome from the OKC crowd.
Despite a poor shooting performance, Durant still ended up being the difference in the end as he scored 25 points. Westbrook had 28 to lead all comers in a terrific performance.
San Antonio (1) vs. Utah (8)
Game 1 – Sun. April 29, Utah at San Antonio, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 – Wed. May 2, Utah at San Antonio, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Sat. May 5, San Antonio at Utah, 10 p.m., TNT
Game 4 – Mon. May 7, San Antonio at Utah, TBD
Game 5 * Wed. May 9, Utah at San Antonio, TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 11, San Antonio at Utah, TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 13, Utah at San Antonio, TBD
Things are much different this time around for the San Antonio Spurs. This time they’re not limping into the playoff but instead have all their superstars healthy and raring to go. Tony Parker is playing MVP basketball, Manu Ginobli has embraced his new role off the bench with vigor and Tim Duncan is doing the same he has for years, if only slower. The Jazz have the tall timber that could bother the Spurs in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap brusing their way through the lane. With no true defensive center left in San Antonion, this is where the Jazz can win the series. But the electric offense of the Spurs should be too much for the Jazz. Expect a reasobably easy series win here.
Oklahoma City (2) vs. Dallas (7)
Game 1 – Sat. April 28, Dallas at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 2 – Mon. April 30, Dallas at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Thu. May 3, Oklahoma City at Dallas, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 4 – Sat. May 5, Oklahoma City at Dallas, 7:30 p.m., TNT/R
Game 5 * Mon. May 7, Dallas at Oklahoma City, TBD
Game 6 * Thu. May 10, Oklahoma City at Dallas, TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 12, Dallas at Oklahoma City ,TBD, TNT
Surely the Thunder were hoping for an easier first round matchup than with the reigning champs. Championship experience runs deep in the roster and the Mavericks pose a real threat to the Thunders potential championship run. But the absence of defensive anchor Tyson Chandler, who now makes port in the Knicks key, will seriously effect the Mavs chances. Whether ageing center Brendan Haywood can stand in the way of the likes of Russel Westrook and Kevin Durant will hold one of the main keys to the series. Also, Serge Ibaka will have to stay with Dirk Nowitzki. Same thing with Shaun Marion on Kevin Durant. It’s there for the Mavs to win, but the Thunder will probably go on to the second round out of this one.
L.A. Lakers (3) vs. Denver (6)
Game 1 – Sun. April 29, Denver at L.A. Lakers, 3:30 p.m., ABC/R
Game 2 – Tue. May 1, Denver at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Fri May 4, L.A. Lakers at Denver, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun. May 6, L.A. Lakers at Denver, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Tue. May 8, Denver at L.A. Lakers, TBD
Game 6 * Thu. May 10, L.A. Lakers at Denver, TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 12, Denver at L.A. Lakers, TBD, TNT
Well the Lakers got here. And if it wasnt for Ron Artest’s flailing elbows, they would of arrived in one piece. Playoffs seem to turn this team into another creature. It’s said so often, but the Lakers are built for the playoffs. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol give them unmatched size and now with Ramon Sessions running the point, there’s even an element of speed in Lakerland. However, Sessions’ number one task will be to slow down rocket point guard Ty Lawson, who could very well claim to be one of the All Stars of the second half of the season. But Bynum’s improved low post play and rebounding will be the key here. There’s simply noone who can match up with him in the league, let alone on the Nugget’s roster. Look to him to have a big series and possibly an opinion changing playoffs as the Lakers get the win here.
Memphis (4) vs. L.A. Clippers (5)
Game 1 – Sun. April 29, L.A. Clippers at Memphis, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Wed. May 2, L.A. Clippers at Memphis, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Sat. May 5, Memphis at L.A. Clippers, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Mon. May 7, Memphis at L.A. Clippers, TBD
Game 5 * Wed. May 9, L.A. Clippers at Memphis, TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 11, Memphis at L.A. Clippers, TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 13, L.A. Clippers at Memphis, TBD
The Clippers gave up homecourt advantage in the dying stages of the regular season and that could very well make all the difference as the Grizzlies building is one of the more hostile environments around the league. It’s a difficult building to win in, as the Spurs showed last time around. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin form a dangerous duo and one that could very well win the series for the Clippers. However, if the bustling Zach Randolph can get Blake into foul trouble early, then the Clippers could be in a bit of trouble. Paul is one of the better clutch performers in the league and the matchup between him and Tony Allen during crunch time is something to look forward too. The Clippers don’t really have anyone to match up with Rudy Gay, the hard running and slashing guard likely to cause some headaches for the Clippers. This one is almost too close to call, but the edge goes to Lob City in this one.
Who would you rather coming off your bench? Jason Terry or James Harden? Probably a year or less ago, a certain Lamar Odom and possibly even Jamal Crawford, but trades to different teams and different teams have seemed to knock them off the list. These two great players are prime examples of how a player can’t play out of a certain system, that often that can be the reason for their success.
Jason Terry would probably have the edge here on a pure filling up the bucket. He can come off the bench and knock down 5 shots on end, and on a team that struggles for offensive diversity, this can be absolutely vital as shown by his phenomenal series against the Lakers. Hardens outside shot is certainly improving, but Terry gets the points here.
Both have great prowess in this area, especially on the pick and roll. Terry to Nowitzki on the pick and pop is something that has been heard more then a few times. But lets see Terry get Kendrick Perkins a basket (as much as I love Perk for his work at the C’s, he’s far from an offensive force) the way that Harden can. Harden has a distinct advantage here, and with two superstars in Westbrook and Durant, it’s a common site to see Harden making the plays towards the end of a game. Fear the Beard, Harden gets the points here.
Terry is an undersized defender but works hard to get into the passing lanes. But one on one, he cannot really match up with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. That said, he went through both of them to win a NBA championship, so maybe he’s a much better defender then I give him credit. James Harden is quite a competent defender and he gets the advantage here, if only because of his size.
This cliché of an ‘x-factor’ is something that is thrown around quite a bit, but truly is something needed when coming off the bench, especially as early as some of these guys do. There’s no chance to warm up, no chance to put up a couple of shots before it counts, and you’re usually thrust into the breach to try and stop a run, or build a lead. Far from an easy task. For this pure ability to come off the bench and change a game, Terry has to have the advantage.
It’s a difficult decision to make. Terry is probably a more explosive scorer, and yet Harden is more consistent and gives up less on the defensive end. It almost depends on what the team needs, and in this case they fill a role for both their teams. When the Mavs need scoring other then Dirk, they look to Terry. When the Thunder want someone at the point who is a bit more level headed than the likes of Russell Westbrook, Scott Brooks turns down his bench and points at Harden. However, on my team, I cant go past the scoring of Jason Terry, so he is my pick.