Dallas Mavericks: Anthony Morrow

If Dwight Howard chooses Dallas, then what? How do the Mavericks fill out the roster around him?

The grand plan is to add another major piece or two to the championship puzzle next summer, when Dirk Nowitzki clears cap space by taking a drastic pay cut on his next contract. But the immediate goal will be to construct a roster that gives the Mavs the best possible chance of contending this season.

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Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.

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Let’s take a look at the options, assuming for the sake of discussion that the Mavs dump Shawn Marion’s salary in a deal to create the cap space necessary to sign Howard to a max deal and then some. If the Mavs took no money back in a Marion trade, that’d leave between $5.6 million and $6.6 million in cap room after signing Howard, depending on whether they kept Brandan Wright’s Early Bird rights and the non-guaranteed contracts of Bernard James and Josh Akognon.

That could very well be enough money to sign point guard Jose Calderon, a prime Mavs target who turned down an offer from the Kings this week because he wanted to play for a winner.

If that’s the case, the Mavs would have a terrific basketball brain, distributor and spot-up shooter to help put Howard and Nowitzki in position to succeed offensively. Calderon’s defensive flaws – and that’s putting it politely – would be masked by having a three-time Defensive Player of the Year behind him.

Other point guard options include Mo Williams, Jarrett Jack and Monta Ellis. Acquiring a starting point guard is a must, and it’d be a bonus to get a savvy veteran willing to mentor rookie backups Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel.

The Mavs would like to re-sign Wright, a backup center/power forward who has received interest from the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons. The Early Bird rights would allow Dallas to make a competitive offer – up to the average player salary of more than $5 million per year, if they wanted – for the high-flying backup center/power forward.

The Mavs would still have holes at shooting guard and small forward. They’d prefer to keep Vince Carter as a sixth man, so his minutes can be limited while he provides scoring punch off the pine. Jae Crowder is a candidate to start at small forward, but it’d be ideal to have other options.

The Mavs would have the midlevel exception, bi-annual exception and minimum-salary deals to fill out the roster.

Matt Barnes might not win a popularity contest with Mavs fans, but he’d be a great fit as a gritty, versatile, 3-point threat who could play significant minutes at small forward and spot duty as a small-ball power forward. He was a major bargain as a minimum guy for the Clippers last season, drawing interest from a dozen teams early in free agency. Could the Mavs get him for the $2 million bi-annual exception? A chunk of the midlevel exception? (UPDATE: Barnes is off the board. He announced via Twitter that he will re-sign with the Clippers.)

Another potential bi-annual exception target: Chauncey Billups, whose career took off when he played for coach Rick Carlisle in Detroit. He could be a 16-minute per game starter at shooting guard and still play point guard if needed.

Anthony Morrow didn’t make any impact during his brief tenure in Dallas last season, but Howard’s good buddy would make sense as a low-cost shooter off the bench.

Elton Brand might get better offers elsewhere, but the Mavs are interested in bringing him back as a low-cost bench banger.

Let’s say Howard commits to the Mavs -- and that, of course, is a monstrous assumption -- and the balls keep falling their way in the following days. Here’s how their roster could look in that case:

PG – Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Gal Mekel
SG – Chauncey Billups, Vince Carter, Ricky Ledo, Josh Akognon
SF – Matt Barnes, Jae Crowder, Anthony Morrow
PF – Dirk Nowitzki, Brandan Wright
C – Dwight Howard, Elton Brand, Bernard James

Buy or Bye: Anthony Morrow

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
11:30
PM CT
ESPNDallas.com will estimate the market value for each of the Mavericks' eight free agents and examine their worth to the Mavs in a once-per-day series.

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Should the Mavericks buy into or say goodbye to Anthony Morrow?

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Discuss (Total votes: 2,348)

Anthony Morrow


Anthony Morrow’s remarkable shooting range never made a difference for the Mavericks.

Morrow, who was billed by Donnie Nelson as one of the best “stretch shooters” in NBA history after Dallas acquired him in a deadline deal, made a grand total of one 3-pointer during his brief tenure with the Mavs, attempting only five shots from long range.

Morrow played only 82 minutes for the Mavs, getting much of his time in mop-up situations. In fairness, it’d be tough for any role player to crack Rick Carlisle’s rotation after joining the Mavs in the middle of a desperate fight to make the playoffs.

While you’ll often hear around the American Airlines Center that you can never have enough shooters, re-signing Morrow certainly won’t be a summer priority. He’s a one-trick player (42.4 percent from 3-point range for his career) the Mavs might consider for one of their final roster spots after addressing other areas.

2012-13 stats: Averaged 4.0 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 9.3 minutes per game for the Atlanta Hawks and Mavs. Shot 44.1 percent from the floor and 37.2 percent from 3-point range.

Age: 27

Comps:

Roger Mason Jr. – Averaged 5.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.7 minutes per game. Shot 43.3 percent from the floor and 41.5 percent from 3-point range. Played for veteran’s minimum this season.

Jodie Meeks – Averaged 7.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 21.3 minutes per game. Shot 38.7 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from 3-point range. Signed a two-year, $3.05 million deal in 2012, with the second season a team option.

Dorell Wright – Averaged 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 22.6 minutes per game. Shot 39.6 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from 3-point range. Completed rookie contract this season.

Mike Miller – Averaged 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 15.3 minutes per game. Shot 43.3 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from 3-point range. Amnesty clause candidate signed five-year, $29 million deal in 2010.

Estimated contract: Morrow is likely to end up getting the veteran’s minimum.
DENVER – What happened to one of the great closers in NBA history during the fourth quarter of Thursday’s down-to-the-wire loss?

Dirk Nowitzki essentially disappeared on the offensive end in the final dozen minutes.

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Nowitzki didn’t score a single point in the final frame of the 95-94 loss to the Nuggets. He attempted only two shots in the quarter. His biggest impact play was a turnover with 19.9 seconds left.

What did the Nuggets do to shut down Dirk?

“Just front me in the post,” said Nowitzki, who finished the game with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting. “I did have one catch down there and shot a fadeaway. I should have made a stronger move than that. Other than that, just front me, backside help. That was really about it.”

Not coincidentally, the Mavs’ offense was miserable in the fourth quarter, scoring only 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting.

Nowitzki got one really good look … and somehow airballed a straightway 3 with 10:33 remaining. He didn’t get another shot until his failed fadeaway with 46.8 seconds to go.

Coach Rick Carlisle tried to give Dirk a chance to deliver the dagger, but that turned into disaster. With the Mavs clinging to a one-point lead, Dallas ran an isolation play for Nowitzki near the top of the key, but ex-Mav Corey Brewer swiped the ball when Nowitzki made a spin move.

“I thought actually I could quick dribble it and spin before Brewer gets the ball,” Nowitzki said. “I saw him right there, but as soon as I put it down, he’s so quick. That’s what he does. He dove in there and got his hands on it. At that point, probably the wrong move. It was so clogged, the only thing I had was just the spot-up shot. I probably should have just shot over him.”

It was clogged because the Mavs had poor spacing on the play. Instead of overloading one side to give Dirk room to work, the Mavs had two players on each side of the court.

“That’s on me,” Carlisle said. “It’s a case of, yeah, we always want to get him the ball when we can. When we can’t, he affects the game in a way that helps other guys get shots. That’s when we need other guys to step up.”

Nowitzki was not involved in the play when the Mavs had a chance to win the game on the final possession, standing on the opposite side of the court while Anthony Morrow’s desperation 3-pointer got blocked.

A few more notes from yet another frustrating Mavs loss:

1. Final failure: With 2.8 seconds remaining and the Mavs trailing by one, Carlisle didn’t want rarely used reserve Anthony Morrow shooting a contested 3-pointer off the dribble. That’s what happened, with Brewer blocking Morrow’s shot.

What did Carlisle want in that situation?

“Not what happened,” Carlisle said. “Again, I’m responsible for that. That’s as far as I’m going to go with it.”

Nowitzki, who had a nice view from the opposite side of the court, shed some light on what was supposed to happen.

“The play was for Vince (Carter) coming off and curling to the corner, but Andre Miller was right there and took that away,” Nowitzki said. “(Morrow) ran a circle and came back up, wasn’t really free but tried to make the best out of it and got a shot up and got it blocked.”

2. Brewer’s big game: Brewer, whom the Mavs traded to Denver along with Rudy Fernandez for a 2016 second-round pick in a salary-dump deal before last season, torched his former team.

Brewer scored 23 points in 35 minutes off the bench, stepping up after small forward Danilo Gallinari suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the second quarter.

Brewer also made three critical plays in the final 19.9 seconds: stealing the ball from Nowitzki, grabbing the offensive rebound to make Andre Iguodala’s game-winning drive possible and blocking Morrow’s shot.

“He’s a good player,” Nowitzki said. “You’ve got to give him credit. He played well.”

3. Foul night for Mayo: It’s never good to finish with more fouls than points. That was the case for O.J. Mayo, who matched a season low with four points and fouled out for only the fifth time in his career.

Mayo picked up his fourth foul 58 seconds after halftime and sat out the rest of the third quarter. He was whistled for his fifth foul 54 seconds into the fourth quarter and fouled out on an and-1 pull-up jumper by Andre Miller with 1:48 remaining.

“You’re going to have nights like that,” Mayo said. “You try to play hard even though you have some fouls, try to stay aggressive, but the whistles didn’t go my way tonight.”

Mavs find a way to lose again

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
12:15
AM CT
DENVER -- The miserable feeling the Dallas Mavericks had in the mile-high altitude is far too familiar.

Add this to the long list of games the Mavs figured out how to lose.

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In this instance, the Mavs put themselves into position to pull off a huge upset only to fail to finish the job. The Denver Nuggets led for a grand total of 2.8 seconds in the second half Thursday night and walked out of the Pepsi Center with their 19th consecutive home win.

After leading by as many as eight points early in the fourth quarter, the Mavs were clinging to a one-point lead in the final minute. At that point, the Mavs had a well-rounded meltdown.

Poor offensive execution? Check. Poor spacing helped cause a Dirk Nowitzki turnover with 19.9 seconds remaining, and rarely used reserve Anthony Morrow, of all people, ended up jacking up a wanna-be game-winning shot at the buzzer, only to have the 25-footer swatted by Corey Brewer.

Awful rebounding? Check. The Nuggets extended their last possession with two offensive rebounds, giving Denver 18 offensive boards for the game. Allowing Brewer to come from above the top of the key to grab a missed free throw was especially costly -- and inexcusable -- for the Mavs.

Terrible defense? Check. Andre Iguodala cruised to the rim after crossing over Vince Carter en route to the game-winning layup.

“We’ve got to win that game,” said Mavs center Brandan Wright, who had a team-high 16 points but went scoreless in the second half. “This is a bad situation. It’s been the story of our season. This is terrible, the worst loss we’ve had all year. We had it and we just fumbled it away.”

The worst loss all year? That’s debatable for the 36-39 Mavs.

The Mavs have been on the wrong end of too many blowouts, but it’s games such as this that will bother them while they’re watching the playoffs from the couch. As Carter said, he doesn’t have enough fingers to count how many times the Mavs have found ways to lose games they should have won.

“There’s gotta be 20 of those games we lost,” said Nowitzki, who was held to 13 points and went scoreless in the fourth quarter. “It stings just as much as all the rest of them. The amount of games we feel like we gave away is tough. This is another one we’ve got to have -- multiple chances to win, basically one rebound to seal it, one big basket. It’s tough.

“It’s tough, but we haven’t shown all season that on the road consistently we can win those games.”

Shawn Marion described the Mavs’ offense as “going from sugar to s---” in the fourth quarter, during which the Mavs scored only 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting. But it’s Denver’s last, long offensive possession that will make the flight to Sacramento so miserable.

After Brewer’s steal, the Nuggets botched a transition opportunity, resulting in Wilson Chandler missing a 4-footer in traffic. Denver forward Kenneth Faried fought for his 19th rebound of the night and got fouled. The Mavs still led by one after Faried missed both of his free throws, but Brewer outhustled everybody to the loose ball to give the Nuggets one last chance.

“We didn’t execute well offensively, and I’ll take responsibility for that,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But we’ve just got to get a rebound.”

After a timeout, Iguodala made the Mavs pay for failing to get that one rebound. Iguodala got the ball on the right wing, started to drive toward the baseline, left Carter flat-footed with a crossover, cruised through the middle of the defense and laid in the game winner with his left hand.

“We’ve got to make Iguodala earn that,” Carter said. “We can’t just let him go down the middle of our defense and get a layup. We’ve got to put him on the floor, foul him, something.”

Added Nowitzki, who noted that he could have hacked Iguodala: “To give up a game-winning layup is too easy.”

If the Mavs get that one rebound, nobody cares that the Dallas offense was dreadful down the stretch. The Mavs would have been celebrating their most surprising win of the season en route to Sacramento.

“One freakin’ stop,” Carter said, “and we’re having a different conversation.”

Instead, it was the same conversation the Mavs have had so many times during this disappointing season.

3-pointer: Mavs return home with hope

March, 19, 2013
3/19/13
9:06
AM CT


The Mavericks made their mini-road trip a success by beating the Atlanta Hawks.

It just got better after the Mavs boarded the team jet to return to Dallas. The Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, the two teams directly ahead of the 10th-place Mavs in the West standings, both lost late games.

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Here come the Mavs, three games out of the last playoff spot entering a six-game homestand. Per the Hollinger playoff odds, the Mavs have a 14.5 percent chance of extending their postseason streak to 13 years.

Not that Dirk Nowitzki wants to get bogged down with details, numbers and scenarios. At this point, the face of the Mavs’ franchise prefers to keep things very simple.

“We’re going to fight at the end,” Nowitzki told reporters. “We’ll see where that brings us at the end. I think we want to fight for every night and not look at the big picture. We want to win the next game, and that’s what we need to focus on and really leave it all out there.”

Since the season’s low point, when the Mavs dropped to 10 games under .500 for the first time since right after Mark Cuban bought the team in 2000, Dallas has performed like a playoff team. The Mavs are 19-12 in their last 31 games, a .613 winning percentage, a.k.a. a 50-win pace.

That still hasn’t been enough for the Mavs to dig out of the huge hole they dug themselves – or even shave – but they’ve given themselves hope with 15 games remaining.

“The second part of the season, we’re just a different team,” Vince Carter told reporters. “Guys are just learning. That’s just the way it is. I think we’ve stayed the course and been relentless.”

Added Darren Collison: "We still believe. We still believe we can make it. There's no quit in us. We believe that every game from here out we can get a win. We're talented enough. We've got the players to do it."

A few more notes from the Mavs’ highest-scoring game of the season:

1. Defense rests: Coach Rick Carlisle described the Mavs’ 127-113 win in Atlanta as a “defensive pillow fight.”

Needless to say, he wasn’t ecstatic with allowing the Hawks to shoot 56 percent from the floor, although Carlisle acknowledged that he’d take the win and run.

Carlisle’s point was that the Mavs would have to play better defense for this six-game homestand, which starts Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets and features nothing but plus-.500 foes, to be a happy one. Nowitzki hammered that point home in the locker room.

“I don’t think we’re happy with our defensive outing, but offensively that’s just about as good as we’ve played all year,” Nowitzki said. “We’ve got a big homestand coming up. We’ve got to be better defensively than that.”

2. Collison on point: Darren Collison lit up the Hawks for 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, his second-highest scoring game of the season. It was the first time Collison scored at least 20 points since Jan. 14.

Collison took over the game in the second quarter, scoring 15 points in the frame on an array of jumpers, drives to the basket and cuts for layups.

"I was able to get it going," Collison told reporters. "A lot of players in this league, once they get it going, that basket looks bigger and bigger, and that's what happened in the second quarter."

3. Making use of Morrow: Anthony Morrow made by far his biggest impact for the Mavericks in his return to Atlanta, the team that traded him to Dallas at the deadline.

Morrow played 13 minutes – more than twice his total playing time for the Mavs entering the night – and had eight points and three assists. That included some meaningful minutes in the first half. Morrow, known for his long-range marksmanship, has still yet to hit a 3-pointer for the Mavs. He didn’t attempt one against the Hawks, but he was 3-for-4 from the floor and moved the ball crisply and efficiently when the Hawks closed out on him in 3-point territory.

“We dusted off Anthony Morrow,” Nowitzki joked.
DALLAS – The Mavericks are seven games below .500 and have nine players who will be free agents this summer, assuming O.J. Mayo decides to test the market instead of exercising the player option in his contract.

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That could be a recipe for some selfish, dysfunctional basketball the rest of this disappointing season. But coach Rick Carlisle not so subtly reminds the players that they better play the game the right way if they want to have the option of returning to Dallas.

“If you wanna write us off and all that kind of stuff, go ahead,” Carlisle said. “But I’ll just tell you this: This is a great situation in Dallas. The guys in the locker room that are all free agents, every second they step on the court, they’re auditioning for Donnie (Nelson) and Mark (Cuban) as to whether they’re going to have a chance to be here after this year.

“I’ve been in a lot of other situations over the years. I haven’t ever been in a better one than this”

Cuban, Nelson and Carlisle have had three-quarters of the season to evaluate players such as Mayo, Darren Collison, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand. Mike James, the 37-year-old D-League call-up, has been with the Mavs a couple of months. Brandan Wright has been here for almost two seasons, Dominique Jones nearly three years and Rodrigue Beaubois is wrapping up his fourth season. (Anthony Morrow is the exception, having played only four minutes for the Mavs so far.)

Can those free agents-to-be really change the Dallas decision-makers’ opinions of them in the final six weeks of the season?

“If I don’t believe that, then I’m not being open-minded enough to be in this position,” Carlisle said.

Brand, a veteran who has readily accepted being a reserve for the first time in his career, points out that a selfish player shouldn’t have a chance to showcase his skills for the rest of the season. A me-first man ought to ride pine.

“We don’t have room to think about the business aspect of it – me, me, me; I need to get shots,” Brand said. “We just have to go out there and play with the minutes given. As you see, coach is not going to allow someone to be selfish out there. You get minutes by your effort, you get minutes by how you play out there and how you affect the game. If you’re looking selfish out there, you’re not going to play.”

Anthony Morrow (hip) out vs. Rockets

March, 3, 2013
3/03/13
4:58
PM CT
HOUSTON -- Anthony Morrow will have to keep waiting to score his first point for the Dallas Mavericks.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Morrow will be inactive due against the Houston Rockets due to a hip injury.

The sharpshooting Morrow has been scoreless in three appearances spanning a total of four minutes since the Mavs acquired him for Dahntay Jones in a deadline deal. Two of those appearances lasted one possession, with Morrow being used to space the floor. He's 0-of-2 from the floor since being traded to the Mavs.
DALLAS – Yes, Anthony Morrow and Dwight Howard are good buddies.

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No, trading for Morrow does not dramatically improve the Mavericks’ chances of winning the Dwight sweepstakes this summer.

Three’s a simple problem with that storyline: The Mavs will have to renounce Morrow’s Bird rights this summer to have the salary cap space to sign Howard in the first place.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for Morrow and Howard to team up in Dallas. Morrow could return to the Mavs for the midlevel exception or a veteran’s minimum deal. That was a possibility whether or not the Mavs traded for Morrow.

Maybe Morrow loves his two months with the Mavs and talks up the franchise to Howard. That can’t hurt, but Howard already holds Mark Cuban’s Mavs in high esteem, as evidenced by them being featured on his short list of teams he wanted to be traded to when he was plotting his Orlando exit.

But it’s preposterous to think that Howard and Morrow, a shooting specialist playing for his fourth team in five seasons, are some sort of a package deal. If that was the case, the Hawks sure as heck wouldn’t have traded Morrow, considering they plan to try to persuade Howard to return to his hometown this summer.

Mavs' hopes still based on financial flexibilty

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
9:14
AM CT
DALLAS – For all the talk about the Bank of Cuban being open, there were very few players the Mavericks would have considered acquiring if it meant sacrificing salary cap space this summer.

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They ended up trading for reserve gunner Anthony Morrow. His career 3-point percentage (42.5) explains why the Mavs were interested in Morrow. The fact that he’ll count $0 against the cap after the Mavs renounce his rights this summer explains why they were willing to trade for him.

It needs to be a big summer for the Bank of Cuban. The Mavs’ front office made sure they’d be positioned to be major players this offseason by not doing anything that would dampen their powder.

“Flexibility has always played well for us,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said, perhaps forgetting about whiffing on Deron Williams and scrambling to put together a temporary supporting cast last summer.

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“We’ve had the good fortune of making two trips to the Finals, and those were two completely different teams," he said. "They only shared two common players. Flexibility has been an important piece for us. I think as the ceiling comes down a little bit on the new CBA, we’re in a good position to be really active in the market place.”

In other words, the Mavs don’t want to look at this summer as Dwight Howard or doom, although the dramatic big man will definitely be their top target. If the Mavs don’t win the Dwight sweepstakes, they still need to make moves that provide a foundation for the franchise’s future.

That could mean taking advantage of luxury tax-fearing teams desperate to dump salary. That could mean signing quality complementary players at affordable prices, constructing a supporting cast for the star(s) they can chase the following summer when the contracts of Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter expire.

“First of all, you guys make up the plans,” Mark Cuban said. “I tell you we’re going to be opportunistic. I tell you, based off of what we interpret in the CBA, that you can’t just go ahead and sign older players. The guys you do sign, if you make a mistake, it’s expensive to move them. Or you’ve got to give up a lot and not get a lot back.

“From there, we say we’re opportunistic. And that’s what you’ve heard me say every day since we walked in the door. You can’t expect any one thing to happen, because it never does. We have cap room; we’ll see what happens. We’ll try to be opportunistic; we’ll see what happens.”

The Mavs must begin building some continuity again, but they have to balance that goal with leaving enough financial wiggle room to acquire a player capable of being a franchise centerpiece for a contender.

But this can just be another summer of signing guys to one-year deals and acquiring expiring contracts. That wouldn’t play well with the Mavs’ frustrated fan base or with Nowitzki, who has vented repeatedly about the problems that come with so many new, temporary teammates and has made it clear that he doesn’t want to finish his career chasing the final playoff seed in the West.

“We certainly feel for all of our fans and some of the frustrations that have taken place this year,” Nelson said. “Whether it’s them or Dirk or some of the guys in the locker room or ownership on down to management or coaches, we are committed to bringing a championship back to Dallas. Whether it’s the short term or the long term, we’ll make it happen.”

Dahntay Jones says goodbye, keeps beard

February, 21, 2013
2/21/13
4:21
PM CT
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Coop and Nate discuss the Mavericks acquiring Anthony Morrow from the Hawks in exchange for Dahntay Jones just before the NBA trade deadline.

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DALLAS -- Coach Rick Carlisle made a point to praise Dahntay Jones after the deal that sent the veteran swingman to Atlanta in exchange for 3-point specialist Anthony Morrow.

“He’s a pro,” Carlisle said of Jones, which the coach considers the ultimate compliment.

Owner Mark Cuban chimed in with a similar comment via Twitter.
Jones, Dallas’ player union representative, was a popular guy in the Mavs’ locker room. He was one of the originators of several Mavs’ pact not to shave until the team gets back to .500. And Jones vows to stick to his word even while playing for the Hawks.

 
DALLAS – The Mavericks acquired Anthony Morrow from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Dahntay Jones just before the trade deadline, a swap of reserve swingmen with expiring contracts.

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Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson joins Galloway & Company to discuss the team's recent trade for Anthony Morrow and push for the playoffs.

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Morrow, a five-year veteran with a $4 million salary, averaged 5.2 points for the Hawks while appearing in only 24 games this season. He has averaged 11.5 points and shot 42.5 percent from 3-point range in his career.

“He’s one of the best shooters in the game,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “You can never have too many shooters.

“We want to thank Dahntay for what he brought to us over a period of four or five months. He brought toughness. He helped us win some games. He’s a pro, so he’s going to be successful wherever he goes. Atlanta got a good player and we got a guy we feel can help us stretch the defense even more.”

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Coop and Nate discuss the Mavericks acquiring Anthony Morrow from the Hawks in exchange for Dahntay Jones just before the NBA trade deadline.

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Jones averaged 3.5 points in 50 games for the Mavs, including 15 starts. However, he’s become a fringe rotation player recently, playing just 1:42 in Wednesday night’s win over the Orlando Magic.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Morrow, who spent two seasons with the Golden State Warriors and two with the New Jersey Nets, is likely to back up O.J. Mayo at shooting guard.

"It’s pretty clear that we were in the market for a shooter and we feel that we made a major upgrade," Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said.

Carlisle said he wasn’t certain whether Morrow would join the team in time for Friday’s game in New Orleans.

"Looks like I'm officially a Mav!” Morrow tweeted. “Thank you for all the welcome tweets! Can't wait to feel that AA center energy soon!!!!"

After 3: Nets 79, Mavs 76

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
9:22
PM CT
DALLAS -- An ugly final 1:05 to the period ended an otherwise solid showing by the Mavs as they dug out of a 13-point hole to lead 74-71.

Then an and-1 by Brook Lopez (30 points), a couple turnovers and deep 3 by Anthony Morrow put the Nets back in front with 12 minutes to play.

Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood combined for 15 of the Mavs' 31 points in the quarter. Jason Terry hit a 3 for 10 points.

Defense is going to have to win it for Dallas. The Nets are shooting 49.2 percent with the Mavs at 39.2 percent despite the high-scoring quarter.

At the half: Nets 56, Mavs 45

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
8:42
PM CT
DALLAS -- The Mavericks might want to splash some water on the face at halftime. The New Jersey Nets are feeling good and this could be trouble.

Two huge issues plagued Dallas in the second quarter. First, with Deron Williams taking nearly the first six minutes of the period off, the Nets expanded their five-point first-quarter lead to six. Then, Brook Lopez went off for 13 consecutive points and 15 in the quarter to give him a season-high 21 in the game. He's 10-of-15 from the floor and absolutely killing Brendan Haywood.

That vaunted Dallas defense is being shredded by these 10-win Nets, who are shooting 50 percent from the floor despite just 5-of-16 shooting from beyond the arc. The Nets have 24 points in the paint. Williams has 10 points and eight assists. Anthony Morrow, who hit a buzzer-beating jumper to end the half has eight points as does Kris Humphries.

Dirk Nowitzki leads Dallas with 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting. He missed three consecutive free throws in the period, missing two, then getting an extra attempt on a lane violation, but he missed that one, too.

Haywood, while getting skewered defensively, has nine points and six rebounds. Jason Terry is 2-of-7 for five points.

Dallas' eight first-half turnovers have resulted in 13 Nets points and get this, the Nets have 21 fastbreak points to the Mavs' 5.

W2W4: New Jersey will come raining 3s

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
12:59
PM CT

DALLAS -- The New Jersey Nets are most dangerous when they bang home 3-pointers. Avery Johnson's club is second in the league in 3-pointers attempted (24.7 a game) and second in 3-pointers made (8.8).

Considering the Nets enter this game with a 10-25 record, the fact that they are 8-9 when having a better 3-point percentage than their opponent speaks to the need to cut off the 3.

And Dallas, as strong as it's been defensively this season, ranked 12th in opponents' 3-point percentage. Teams are shooting 33.9 percent against Dallas from beyond the arc.

Anthony Morrow leads the Nets' 3-point shooters at 40.2 percent. Deron Williams is at 37.1 percent and MarShon Brooks is shooting the long ball at 35.6 percent.

"We’ve got to keep New Jersey from making a lot of 3s," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "They’re among the teams that take the most 3s per game, they make among the most per game in the league and Williams, Morrow, Brooks, those 3 guys are lethal out there. So, we’ve got to take that away. It’s going to be a tough night."

Records: Nets (10-25); Mavs (21-13)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center

TV: FSSW

Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM; 1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: The Mavs know they're in a tough spot Wednesday night when they play a rested Grizzlies team coming out of the All-Star break. That means Dallas will want to take care 0f business against the struggling Nets early and allow their starters, primarily Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, to ride the pine as long as possible, especially in the fourth quarter.

Key matchup: Deron Williams vs. Shawn Marion
Here we go again? Marion would again seem the likely candidate to start out on the All-Star point guard who is averaging 22.2 points and 8.2 rebounds. Before the All-Star break, Marion remarked how difficult this stretch of covering top guards has been, but Dallas has little choice with Delonte West sidelined and Kidd and Vince Carter unable to hang with the 27-year-old Williams. Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones could also see time on the brawny, 6-foot-3 point guard from The Colony.

Injuries: Nets - F Damion James (right foot surgery) is out; C Mehmet Okur (sore lower back) is out; Shawne Williams (sprained left shoulder, sore left knee/foot) is out; G Jordan Farmar (strained right groin) is questionable. Mavs - G Delonte West (fractured right ring finger) is out; F Lamar Odom (personal reasons) is out.

Up next: Mavs at Memphis Grizzlies, 7 p.m., Wednesday

Jason Terry's All-Star 3-point campaign bricks

February, 17, 2012
2/17/12
4:46
PM CT
Jason Terry won't need to get another tattoo.

The Mavericks shooting guard said he'd get one that would say he'd win the 3-point contest during All-Star weekend if selected, just as he forecasted Dallas' championship last year when he got a Larry O'Brien trophy inked on his biceps in the preseason.

The list of six competitors for the Feb. 25 event in Orlando was released today and Terry, who leads the Mavs in 3-pointers made, was not on it. Defending champ James Jones of the Miami Heat will go against teammate Mario Chalmers, Kevin Love of the Timberwolves, Joe Johnson of the Hawks, Ryan Anderson of the hometown Magic and Anthony Morrow of the Nets.

Terry has participated in two All-Star 3-point contests and was knocked out in the first round of both in 2006 and 2007. He's unsuccessfully lobbied a couple of times in recent years to get another shot

The 34-year-old veteran sharpshooter has shot the 3-ball at a respectable 37.6 percent (59-of-157) this season. Vince Carter is the Mavs' top 3-pointer shooter percentage-wise, knocking down 46.1 percent (35-of-76).

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9