Dallas Mavericks: Al Harrington

Who the heck is Julyan Stone?

February, 8, 2012
DENVER -- Some guy named Julyan Stone is expected to start at small forward for the Denver Nuggets tonight.

Never heard of him? Don’t feel too bad. He’s an undrafted rookie out of UTEP who has spent a good chunk of this season playing for the D-League’s Idaho Stampede.

Stone made his NBA starting debut in Monday’s loss against the Houston Rockets, filling in for shooting guard Arron Afflalo with a two-point, 1-of-5 shooting, two-rebound, one-assist performance in 20 minutes. Stone is expected to slide over to small forward against the Mavs, replacing Denver scoring leader Danilo Gallinari (severe sprained ankle) and allow Nuggets coach George Karl to keep Al Harrington and Rudy Fernandez as part of a potent bench.

Rick Carlisle’s scouting report on the 6-foot-7, 200-pound Stone: “He’s an athletic, aggressive wing player who is a capable scorer and a guy we have to respect. He’s a little like the kid Forbes who played here last year, but not as tall.”

The comparison to Gary Forbes ought to get the Mavs’ attention. Now with the Raptors, Forbes was an unknown and scored 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting in 36 minutes over two games against the Mavs in early November last season.
DALLAS -- So much for looking more in sync. Wow, what a disaster the Dallas Mavericks have on their hands.

The Miami Heat led by 35 early in the third quarter and the Denver Nuggets could threaten that with a 27-point halftime lead. The Mavs trailed 47-41 at the 6:28 mark. That's when Denver went on a 20-0 run -- that's right 20-zip. The Mavs only broke that up thanks to an illegal defense and Dirk Nowitzki free throw.

Dallas went 13 trips without a point. Meanwhile, Denver scored on 19 of 25 second-quarter possessions, so there's that for the Mavs' defense. To end the final 6:28, it was Denver 22, Dallas 1.

The Nuggets backcourt of Ty Lawson (21 points, 8-of-9 FGs) and Andre Miller (14 points, 6-of-8 shooting) has killed the Dallas defense with drives to the bucket and splashing wide open 3-pointers. They're 5-of-6 combined from beyond the arc.

On the other side, the Mavs have 10 turnovers turned into 18 Denver points. Dallas is losing on the boards, 26-15, losing points in the paint 34-10, second-chance points 8-2 and fastbreak points 12-4.

Dirk Nowitzki has 10 points and Jason Terry and Jason Kidd each have six. Al Harrington has 14 for the Nuggets, who shot a Miami Heat-like 57.4 percent in the first half.

After 1: Nuggets 32, Mavs 23

December, 26, 2011
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks look a lot more in sync a day after the Miami massacre, which part of that certainly has to do with playing the Denver Nuggets and not the Miami Heat.

Still, that doesn't mean the Mavs look all that good, especially defensively, having given up a fourth 30-point quarter in five played this season.

Al Harrington buried a couple of 3-pointers in the final 32 seconds to build the nine-point lead.

The big news was the Mavs' starting lineup, which included Delonte West at shooting guard instead of Vince Carter. Coach Rick Carlisle did plenty of mixing-and-matching in the opening quarter, but Dallas shot just 40.9 percent from the floor, while the Nuggets shot 52.2 percent.

Denver guard Ty Lawson leads all scorers with 12 points. Brendan Haywood leads the Mavs with five.

Countdown: Ranking the Mavs -- No. 12

July, 20, 2011
The lockout continues and so does my ranking and analysis of the 16 players currently on the world champion Dallas Mavericks’ 15-man roster.

I’m ranking the guys, one a day, least to most critical to a title defense (with likelihood of being on the roster next season playing a significant role in the ranking).

So, here we go with today’s ranking: No. 12

Pos: PF
Ht/Wt: 6-8, 240
Experience: 11 years
Age: 34 (May 2, 1977)
Contract status: Free agent
2010-11 salary: $854,389

[+] EnlargeBrian Cardinal
Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty ImagesBrian Cardinal quickly established himself as a favorite among his Mavericks teammates.
His story: Last offseason, the Mavs made plays for free-agent power forwards Al Harrington and Udonis Haslem but ended up with The Custodian. Who knew it would be so right? Cardinal arrived at training camp on a make-good contract along with Steve Novak. The one-dimensional Novak wouldn’t make the mid-season cut, but the blue-collar, self-deprecating Cardinal quickly won over coach Rick Carlisle -- and Dirk Nowitzki -- by craving the dirty work and being equally efficient at knocking down a corner 3-pointer, setting an immovable pick or absorbing -- and in some cases inflicting -- a charge (hello, Dwyane Wade). Cardinal filled in nicely whenever called upon during the season, typically during injury situations such as when Nowitzki missed nine games with a sprained knee. But it wasn’t until Carlisle could no longer stick with Peja Stojakovic in the NBA Finals and turned to the more rugged, defensive-minded Cardinal -- who had played in just four playoff games for a total of seven minutes before the Finals -- did he transform into something of an everyman’s cult hero. Thought of highly by his teammates, Cardinal got in on the reading of David Letterman’s Top Ten list and he was one of seven Mavs plus Mark Cuban to attend the ESPYs in Los Angeles.

His outlook: His unexpected -- and necessary -- contributions in the NBA Finals just might have sealed a second season in Dallas for the balding, 34-year-old who jokes that he's 44. It doesn’t hurt that he became fast friends with Nowitzki and that Carlisle absolutely loves fundamental, team-oriented, cerebral players. The Mavs can probably bring back Cardinal, who added a third child to the lineup early last season and moved his family from Indiana to Dallas, for the minimum salary. Last season was the first time in his career that he went into camp without a job guaranteed, and it wasn’t a good feeling. Cardinal has been enjoying this offseason (just follow the guy on Twitter) and whenever the lockout is lifted, Cardinal likely won’t have to go job hunting.

The Countdown
No. 16 DeShawn Stevenson
No. 15 Peja Stojakovic
No. 14 Dominique Jones
No. 13 Ian Mahinmi
No. 12 Brian Cardinal
No. 11 Coming Thursday

Will Mavs search for backup PF again?

July, 5, 2011
A summer ago the Dallas Mavericks made hard pushes for free-agent power forwards Al Harrington (chose to sign with the Denver Nuggets) and Udonis Haslem (re-signed with the Miami Heat).

Obviously, a guy named Dirk Nowitzki has the position pretty well locked down, but could the Mavs again be in the market for more of a traditional power forward -- perhaps a Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes or short-time Mav Kris Humphries -- to back up Dirk? Remember, for much of the season small forward Shawn Marion shifted between the two forward positions.

Or did the little-used, yet ever-ready Brian Cardinal, also a free agent, secure his return to the team next season and potentially bigger minutes after filling such a vital role in the NBA Finals?

For starters, scratch high-priced free agents such as Kenyon Martin and David West off the wish list. The Mavs will not be dipping into the deep end of that pool, and there's obviously no reason for entrenched starters to join Dallas.

With that, here's a somewhat intriguing list of power forwards that will hit the open market whenever the lockout comes to an end:

Fourth-quarter dead zone short on solutions

November, 8, 2010
DALLAS -- Jason Terry stated the obvious. The Dallas Mavericks got predictable on offense in the fourth quarter. And so after another excruciatingly dull final 12 minutes netted five more points (13) than turnovers (eight) in Saturday's 103-92 home loss to the Denver Nuggets, Terry wasn't telling Dirk Nowitzki anything he didn't know.

"That’s nothing new. That’s nothing new," Nowitzki said Sunday of the Mavs' gnashing late-game halfcourt sets. "We've got to try to play with movement...Yeah, some of the stuff they [the Nuggets] were sitting on it and made it hard for us. They were physical and we really had nothing going there in really the whole second half."

Nowitzki and Terry combined for 48 of 79 points after three quarters. They'd finish with 49 as both went 0-for-4 from the floor in the fourth. Five of Nowitzki's seven turnovers came in the quarter as he unsuccessfully tried to force his way out of double-teams and Al Harrington's tight coverage.

"Sometimes I think I forced some issues [Saturday] because I didn’t see anything going; turned the ball over too much," Nowitzki said. "Instead of keep doing what we’re doing and getting easy shots, pushing it, getting good looks, sometimes we’re just forcing it. The game’s going to slow down and then we still got to force ourselves to play a movement game and get everybody involved. It’s probably on us more than anything."

In their other home loss to youthful Memphis, the fourth quarter unraveled amid 10 turnovers as the Mavs did everything possible to fret away the lead while scoring just 15 points.

Even in their three wins, the fourth quarter hasn't exactly been money time. The Mavs are averaging 20 points and haven't topped 21 in any of their first five games. If that trend continues tonight against the 6-1 Boston Celtics -- 92-83 winners Sunday at Oklahoma City -- it could spell big trouble as Dallas looks to end a two-game home skid.

"We’ve got to do a better job of finishing games in the fourth," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We worked hard to get the lead [Saturday] night in the third. We had it at six, [then] three or four empty possessions and they were able to get some momentum. That’s a big part of playing good teams is being able to, when you get momentum, is carry it forward. And when you have struggles being able to get it back."

The fourth-quarter dead zone is a worrisome carry-over from last season, most notably from the first-round playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Mavs averaged about 90 points a game in the series. They're currently averaging 96.8 points, 24th in a league in which 14 teams are averaging at least 100 points. They've yet to face a defense as formidable or as committed as the Celtics.

So what's the answer to fourth-quarter futility? Nowitzki suggested the Mavs' best hope remains in street clothes, his healing left foot still stuck in a boot: Roddy Beaubois.

"I think he’s the one kind of player that brings some unpredicatableness about his game – if that’s a word, unpredictableness," Nowitzki said. "He has that type of game where he can run and push and pull up and just make things happen really out of nothing."

Beaubois' return still appears weeks away. With or without him, it is perplexing why All-Stars and former All-Stars can't successfully run halfcourt sets late in games when they need a bucket. Nowitzki envisions Beaubois as a shot of B-12, a flash of electricty that can space defenses, beat his man one-on-one, create, drive and splash 3s. Aspects woefully in short supply on the active roster.

"We all know I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on Roddy because he’s been showing that he can be that guy," Nowitzki said. "But then again, we’ll just have to see. It’s only his second year. He’s going to make some mistakes, but him coming back, that means Jet is coming back to the bench and our bench will get automatically better by moving Jet back because they’ve been struggling producing points when the starters are out. So, just by getting Roddy back our bench should take a notch up."

Owner Mark Cuban said Beaubois won't play until he's fully healthy. Nowitzki clearly hopes Beaubois returns sooner rather than later. Until then, solutions in short supply early will have to come from within.

Nowitzki reiterated that the Mavs' offense functions more smoothly on the move, but he rightfully noted that it's tough to run when the defense is giving up open 3s to an opposing offense that's consistently knocking them down, as the Nuggets did.

"We’re best when we’re on the move, when we run, get stops," Nowitzki said. "But, obviously it’s tough to be on the move when you take the ball out and they shoot 3s every time down, and then you’ve got to come down and slow it down and try to make something happen. That’s sometimes tough. We’re best when we get stops and get the ball on the run. That’s when we’re tough to guard."

Shawn Marion eager for PF minutes

October, 4, 2010
Part of the Mavericks’ offseason mission was acquiring a capable backup power forward, which would allow them to trim Dirk Nowitzki’s minutes.

The Mavs swung and missed on a couple of free agents. Udonis Haslem took less money to stay in Miami as part of the SuperFriends’ supporting cast. Al Harrington opted to go for Denver for the same money and a bigger role. It appeared that the Mavs plugged the hole by re-signing Tim Thomas, but that didn’t work out due to his wife’s illness.

Brian Cardinal and Steve Novak, a couple of power forwards with NBA experience, are fighting for a roster spot. There’s talk of 7-footer Tyson Chandler seeing some spot duty at power forward against big teams.

But the reality of the situation is that the Mavs need Shawn Marion to get significant playing time at power forward. And that’s fine by the 6-foot-7 Marion, who had some of his best years as a power forward for the run-and-gun Suns.

“It’s cool actually,” Marion said. “Honestly, the 4 gets all the baskets and gets all the shots. So I’ll get in there real quick. Give me some shots, baby! Why not? I’ll take it.”

Coach Rick Carlisle said he loves the idea of using the 32-year-old Marion, who might be losing his starting job at small forward, as a power forward.

“He’s going to have a quickness advantage almost all of the time,” Carlisle said. “He’s a movement maker. He just makes things happen on the court. For years, people have been trying to label him as some particular type of player. He’s just a basketball player. It’s very difficult to say he’s this position or that position. His position is on the court.”

But Marion didn’t play much power forward in his first season with the Mavs. According to 82games.com, Marion played only 16 percent of available minutes at power forward, which is a little less than eight minutes per game. A lot of those minutes came in smallball lineups with Nowitzki at center.

The goal is to cut Nowitzki’s minutes to the 35-36 range each game. Marion believes he’s more than capable of providing a dozen quality minutes per night as a power forward.

Garland's Ike Diogu waiting for call

September, 21, 2010
As July rolled on, free-agent power forward Ike Diogu, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound proud product of Garland High School, was confident he'd be back next season with the New Orleans Hornets. But, he said, if things didn't work out there, he'd sure love to play for the hometown club, those Dallas Mavericks.

After all, the Mavs have been and still are looking for a spot big to back up Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas swung and missed at bigger fish Udonis Haslem and Al Harrington, then re-signed Tim Thomas, but that lasted about a week as Thomas decided it was best if he remained at home to care for his recovering wife (Thomas has kept the nature of her illness that took him from the team last season between them).

Now word comes that the Mavs are eager to sign 10-year veteran Brian Cardinal with the first practice of training camp approaching in exactly one week. The Dallas brass has always admired big men that can step out and pop.

And, Diogu waits.

"Yeah, I believe my agent has spoken to Dallas. I'm not sure what direction they are going to go in, but like I said before, I'm definitely all for playing with the home team," Diogu said via text message. "It would be a dream come true and I reiterated that to my agent."

Diogu's agent, Thad Foucher, wasn't available Monday night, but Diogu said that Denver, Utah and San Antonio are the last three teams that have expressed interest. New Orleans, Diogu said, is out of the picture.

The former Garland star left his home state to play at Arizona State and became the ninth player taken overall by Golden State in 2005. But, Diogu's hype hasn't panned out. He's bounced around the league, unable to find the right niche. Last year, he had high hopes signing with New Orleans, but a devastating injury early on to his left knee sidelined him for the entire season. He's coming off microfracture surgery.

Diogu is a burly, low-post player whose game is played under the rim, similar to the Spurs' DeJuan Blair or Boston's Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Diogu's challenge is to show teams he has the quickness and mobility to compete in the blocks.

He said his rehabbed knee is fully recovered and he feels he's capable to contribute. On the Mavs, he would be the 10th man at best, asked to play spot duty, grab some rebounds and play sturdy defense. He believes his serious lack of playing time through his first five seasons will be beneficial as his career shifts into its next stage.

He said if teams are concerned about his knee, recent MRI exams show no structural damage.

"The knee is fine, no problems at all with it. Basically it's a non-issue," Diago said. "I'm good to go."

Unfortunately for Diogu, it looks as though Diogu will have to leave his home state again. He should know soon where his next chapter starts. Perhaps then his NBA career can begin to flourish.

Help wanted?: Two roster spots now open

September, 14, 2010
With the news that Tim Thomas has decided to continue to care for his ill wife and not play for the Dallas Mavericks this season despite signing a one-year deal last month, the Mavs are prepared to open training camp on Sept. 28 with two roster spots open.

It's a good bet that the Mavs will keep the flexibility and leave those spots open. The reality is the 6-foot-10 Thomas was a nice insurance policy, maybe a spot player here and there that could drain a 3-pointer, but he was never going to crack the top nine currently on the roster.

It is true that with no Thomas, the Mavs are down to one true power forward in Dirk Nowitzki. They'll rely on 7-foot-1 center Tyson Chandler and 6-foot-7 small forward Shawn Marion to man the 4 when Dirk's out.

Marion played some 4 last season when the Mavs rolled with a small lineup and the Mavs feel Chandler is versatile enough to get the job done.

The Mavs tried to bolster the power-forward position in free agency, but Udonis Haslem chose to take less money to stay with the Miami Heat (and why not?) and Al Harrington took more years and more playing time with the Denver Nuggets.

PF: Dirk Nowitzki is the one and only

August, 5, 2010
Fourth in a five-part series breaking down the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks. (Previous installments.)

[+] EnlargeDirk Nowitzki
Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty ImagesAfter another summer away from the game, Dirk Nowitzki should be fresh to start the season.
Position: Power forward

Personnel: Dirk Nowitzki (7-0, 245), Shawn Marion (6-7, 228), Tyson Chandler (7-1, 235)

Outlook: Nowitzki is coming off another stellar regular season (25.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) in which he was again required to carry the team offensively. After opting out of the final year of his contract and then re-signing in early July for four more years at a discounted rate of $80 million, Nowitzki won't have the help of a superstar as he had hoped to share the burden. Instead, he remains optimistic that Roddy Beaubois can step up. Otherwise, Nowitzki, by re-signing, has agreed to be patient and wait for a trade opportunity to present itself. As for the position, Nowitzki is the lone true power forward on the roster. The Mavs lost out on free agents Udonis Haslem and Al Harrington, and when they traded Eduardo Najera to Charlotte in the deal that netted center Tyson Chandler, Dallas got rid of its one down-and-dirty, blue-collar worker on the front line. The Mavs will rely on small forward Shawn Marion and the 7-foot-1 Chandler to handle some backup duty as coach Rick Carlisle looks to reduce Nowitzki's minutes, which climbed to 37.5 per game last season. Dallas is reportedly interested in signing Tim Thomas, who played 18 games for the Mavs last season before leaving the team to care for his ill wife.

Most likely to step up: Nowitzki decided not to play for Germany in the FIBA World Championships later this month, a move that surely pleased owner Mark Cuban. Nowitzki said he felt much fresher at the start of last season after not playing for Germany a year ago, so he's primed for another fast start.

Most likely to step back: With no other true power forward on the roster at the moment, this category is not applicable.

Harrington hint really just a tease

July, 14, 2010
Unrestricted free agent Al Harrington sent out a tweet Tuesday night aimed at Dallas Mavericks fans: "Dallas what's popping. Building a nice team over there!"

A few hours later, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported that Harrington had agreed to a five-year, $34 million deal with the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets had to outbid the Mavs to acquire the power forward, who averaged more than 17 points last season for the New York Knicks.

And so as the dust settled on Tuesday's wheeling and dealing, the Mavs wound up with more 7-foot French centers (two) than true power forwards (one) -- Dirk Nowitzki.

Is Al Harrington sending out hints?

July, 13, 2010
Al Harrington took to his Twitter feed Tuesday night to give a shout out to Dallas: "Dallas what's popping. Building a nice team over there!" Harrington tweeted.

The Dallas Mavericks have offered the veteran power forward the full mid-level exception starting next season, but he is also being wooed by the Denver Nuggets, who can also offer the MLE, and the New Jersey Nets, the lone NBA team standing with remaining cap space, meaning they can offer Harrington the most of the three clubs.

Denver would seem to be the logical choice for the 6-foot-8 Harrington because of Kenyon Martin's injury history. In Dallas, Harrington would back up Dirk Nowitzki, who, even in an attempt to reduce his minutes, is likely to log 35 minutes a game.

Mavs vice president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson on Tuesday referred to Harrington as a "strong consideration."

Harrington is in Las Vegas where Nelson and Mavs owner Mark Cuban have been camped out for Summer League.

Marc Stein on The Coop & Nate Show

July, 13, 2010
Marc Stein of ESPN.com joins Coop and Nate to give us all the latest on the Mavs trading for Tyson Chandler, their interest in Al Harrington and more.

Play Download

Minutes might keep Harrington from Mavs

July, 13, 2010
Donnie Nelson has a saying: You can never have enough shooters.

That pretty much sums up why the Mavs are interested in Al Harrington, whom they have offered the full midlevel exception.

Harrington is an outstanding shooter for a power forward. The problem with the Mavs' pitch: They have an even better shooter at power forward who is guaranteed to get the bulk of the minutes.

It'd be a luxury to have Harrington back up Dirk Nowitzki. However, Harrington could probably find more minutes elsewhere.

The Nuggets are also trying to sign Harrington. Denver has a significant need for a power forward due to Kenyon Martin's injury issues.

It's a long shot that Harrington would opt for the Mavs over the Nuggets.

Which free agents left worthy of the MLE?

July, 12, 2010
Udonis Haslem would have been a terrific free-agent addition to the Dallas Mavericks. But, not suprisingly, Haslem will take less money to stay in Miami and play with the Superfriends.

Finding a capable power forward or center remains a top priority for the Mavs, who are determined to reduce Dirk Nowitzki's minutes (he averaged 37.5 mpg last season). Behind Nowitzki is only Eduardo Najera. At center, Brendan Haywood signed a six-year deal with the Mavs, Erick Dampier may or may not be back and Ian Mahinmi, who agreed to terms Monday, is a project.

But, who in free agency is left that is worthy of paying and producing at the full mid-level exemption of $5.8 million starting next season?

Scan the free-agent list and the pickings are slim. How does Brad Miller sound? Al Harrington would be strong, low-post addition, but he'd be taking more than a 40-percent pay cut if he signed for the MLE.

Of course, Shaquille O'Neal remains the largest name on the market.

The options are so thin in free agency, that the Mavs might look to split the MLE among two or more players. Suns unrestricted free agent center Louis Amundson played for the minimum last season. He's more marketable now and he has several teams interested. Former Spurs center Fabricio Oberto is out there. So is former TCU star Kurt Thomas, as is Garland's Ike Diogu.

There just isn't much to throw good money at, which is why the Mavs are taking a long, hard look at using the Dampier trade chip in a possible deal for Minnesota's Al Jefferson. Right now, he's the best it gets.



Monta Ellis
20.0 6.0 0.5 33.5
ReboundsT. Chandler 8.0
AssistsM. Ellis 6.0
StealsD. Harris 1.5
BlocksB. Wright 1.5