Dallas Mavericks: Antonio McDyess
A Flagrant 2 foul results in an automatic ejection and is reviewed by the league. As of Monday afternoon, the NBA office had no decision on any potential further punishment.
"He was making a physical play and it turned out to be a Flagrant 2 so that's not good," Carlisle said. "We're not telling anybody to go get flagrant fouls. He had a Flagrant 2. I don't see why he would be suspended."
There's little doubt that this heated series will continue to be tightly contested with more physical play that picked up significantly in Game 4. Along with Najera's Flagrant 2, Richard Jefferson and DeJuan Blair were hit with Flagrant 1 fouls, which are also reviewed by the league.
Dirk Nowitzki, whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter, and Antonio McDyess engaged in physical encounters throughout Game 4.
"I don’t think you can get much more physical. It's already wrestling out there," Nowitzki said. "You've got to respond and play the same way. There was some flagrant fouls left and right, some technicals. That's what the playoffs is all about, and we've got to do more of the same. If they scrap, then we've got to do the same thing."
Catches the ball on the left wing after a pick-and-pop with Caron Butler. Spurs had doubled Butler, leaving Richard Jefferson to rotate to Dirk, who ball-fakes before driving left and drawing a foul on Jefferson as he goes up for a layup (2 points, 0-0 FG, 2-2 FT)
Catches ball with back to the basket, a bit below and a few feet extended from the right elbow with Antonio McDyess defending him. After reverse pivoting to face up, he ball-fakes, jab steps and launches a fadeaway that falls short. (2 points, 0-1 FG, 2-2 FT)
Grabs rebound over Manu Ginobili, who matched up with Dirk in transition, and went right back up for a layup. (4 points, 1-2 FG, 2-2 FT)
Catches ball with back to the basket a couple of feet above the right elbow against McDyess. Drives left down the lane and knocks down one-legged leanaway, planting his right foot just above the charge circle and getting easy separation against single coverage. (6 points, 2-3 FG, 2-2 FT)
Catches ball with back to basket just above right block against McDyess. Tony Parker pretends to come on the double-team, but wasn’t convincing enough to get Dirk to get rid of the ball. After a few dribbles, fakes baseline and pivots other way to launch a high-arching 11-foot fadeaway that rattles in. (8 points, 3-4 FG, 2-2 FT)
Catches the ball with back to the basket midway between the right block and 3-point line against Matt Bonner. Backs Bonner down before pivoting toward baseline for 7-foot bank shot. (10 points, 4-5 FG, 2-2 FT)
Catches the ball with back to basket a few feet off the right block against McDyess. Jefferson comes with a soft double, bailing without forcing Dirk to give up the ball. Dirk, who thought he was fouled, threw up a wild turnaround after pivoting inside and got what he later called a “lucky” bounce off the glass. (12 points, 5-6 FG, 2-2 FT)
Catches the ball facing the basket just outside right elbow and hits a wide-open jump shot. J.J. Barea created the play by penetrating down the middle and dishing to Dirk. (14 points, 6-7 FG, 2-2 FT)
Catches the ball with back to basket a few feet inside the 3-point line on right side of the floor against Tim Duncan, who was called for a foul on Dirk’s baseline drive. (16 points, 6-7 FG, 4-4 FT)
Catches the ball a few feet below the right elbow with the Spurs caught in a poor rotation. With Parker the only player within five feet, Dirk immediately goes up for an easy 12-foot jumper that he misses. (16 points, 6-8 FG, 4-4 FT)
Catches the ball facing the basket a few feet above the left elbow against Roger Mason Jr. after a pick-and-roll with Jason Kidd. After two strong dribbles with his left toward the basket, Dirk goes up for an and-1 fadeaway. Parker’s double came too late. (19 points, 7-9 FG, 5-5 FT)
Catches the ball 16 feet from the basket by the left baseline after pick-and-pop with Kidd and goes straight up for a wide-open jumper. (21 points, 8-10 FG, 5-5 FT)
Catches the ball 19 feet from the basket with McDyess closing after another pick-and-pop with Kidd. After getting McDyess to bite on a shot fake, Dirk takes one dribble to his left and hits a wide-open jumper from the right elbow. (23 points, 9-11 FG, 5-5 FT)
Catches the ball at 3-point arc on left wing against Bonner, who is called for a foul while trying to recover after Dirk beats him with a drive to the left. (25 points, 9-11 FG, 7-7 FT)
Catches the ball between the right block and elbow on a re-post against Bonner. Manu Ginobili doesn’t double again, so Dirk faces up and hits a 13-foot jumper. (27 points, 10-12 FG, 7-7 FT)
Catches the ball in pretty much the same spot as the previous possession. Faces up and takes his time with no double-team coming before hitting an and-1 jumper over Bonner. (30 points, 11-13 FG, 8-8 FT)
Gets mugged without the ball by Keith Bogans while trying to set up high pick-and-roll with Kidd. (32 points, 11-13 FG, 10-10 FT)
Catches the ball above the left elbow against McDyess, who is whistled for a foul when Dirk drives hard to his left. (34 points, 11-13 FG, 12-12 FT)
Catches the ball with back to basket between the left block and elbow, a few feet outside the paint, against Jefferson, who got matched up with Dirk in transition. No double comes, and Dirk hits a baseline turnaround fadeaway after a couple of dribbles. (36 points, 12-14 FG, 12-12 FT)
Sounds like a winning formula. But, it wasn't. The Spurs lost two critical areas: The Mavs shot 20 more free throws for a 13-point advantage at the foul line, and 10 Mavs steals and four blocked shots were part of 17 San Antonio turnovers that led to 20 Dallas points.
But, the real killer -- besides 36 points from Dirk Nowitzki -- was the production, or lack of it, outside of the Spurs' Big Three -- Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Those three combined for 71 of the Spurs' points in Wednesday's 100-94 loss in Game 1 of the their first-round series.
Antonio McDyess finished with 10 points, but no other Spurs players scored more than five points. Richard Jefferson had four points in 32 points. Matt Bonner had five in 19 minutes. George Hill, playing on a sprained right ankle, was scoreless in 18 minutes.
Popovich's assessment was harsh.
"We've got to have a few more people step up and play worth a damn," he said. "I thought we had a lot of guys that played like dogs."
"Trip people?" Nowitzki interrupted.
Um, well, sure. Or as Avery Johnson said during the great 2006 series, to put a "bear hug" on Nowitzki.
The Dallas Mavericks power forward and leading scorer has put up big numbers against the Spurs this season, averaging 28.8 points a game. Yet, the Spurs have made him work for it. Nowitzki's 40.4 percent field-goal percentage in four games against San Antonio is his second-lowest shooting percentage against any Western Conference team this season (Denver, 36.7).
"I’ve got to be ready for anything with Pop," Nowitzki said, referring to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "He’s a defensive genius and he comes up with a lot of coverages and I’ve basically seen it all over the last couple of years facing them. So, I just got to take whatever they give me, see how they start off. You know they’re going to adjust during games sometimes and switch it up in timeouts, and I’ve just got to be ready for it."
Judging much off of the regular-season series is difficult. Because of key Spurs injuries and then the Mavs' All-Star break trade, the first three games were played with radically different lineups than will be seen when Game 1 tips at 7 p.m. Sunday at the American Airlines Center.
And, nothing can be made of the regular-season finale earlier in the week when Popovich at the last minute scratched Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
The Spurs forward/centers Antonio McDyess and Matt Bonner will see the most time on Nowitzki, but at times Tim Duncan gets the call and even the smaller Richard Jefferson took Nowitzki in smaller lineups.
"They didn’t have McDyess the last couple of years," Nowitzki said. "He’s a long, crafty defender, but I’m sure he’s [Popovich] going to throw a lot of bodies like he already did in the regular season. Popovich comes up with a lot of schemes. I think I’ve seen it all over the last couple years. Last year even, anywhere I caught the ball on the 3-point line they were double-teaming me so I’m sure he’s going to look at some schemes this year."
JEFF CAPLAN: The Mavs have a definite size and athleticism advantage inside with the addition of Brendan Haywood. He's coming off the bench, but typically playing starter's minutes with the more plodding Erick Dampier seeing a reduction in minutes. As a pair, they should hold up well against ageless Antonio McDyess and perimeter-oriented Matt Bonner. The main concern for the Mavs could be how much they can use their centers depending how often Spurs coach Gregg Popovich employs 3-point specialist Bonner to draw his defender away from the basket. Bonner shoots 39 percent from the arc and if he's in and McDyess is out, it likely will force Mavs coach Rick Carlisle to go small. But, all-in-all, the Dampier and Haywood pairing should enjoy a significant rebounding advantage. They must provide good help defense to keep Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili from making a living in the lane. Take the Mavs' true centers over the Spurs' hybrids. EDGE: Dallas
TIM MACMAHON: The Mavs have two big bangers to throw at Tim Duncan in Brendan Haywood and Erick Dampier. But it’s not a question about whether they can shut down Duncan, arguably the best big man of this generation. It’s a matter of how much they can limit his damage. The Mavs can live with Duncan getting 20 and 10. They’ve got problems if he’s going for 30 and 15. Dampier has defended Duncan relatively well over the years, including last season’s series, when Duncan averaged 19.8 points and 8.0 rebounds. Duncan has averaged 18.5 points and 10.1 rebounds in 14 career meetings against Haywood. EDGE: San Antonio
JEFF “SKIN” WADE: Yes, don’t listen to the lies. Tim Duncan is a center. When Bonner jumps tip and covers Erick Dampier and Brendan Haywood all series long, then we’ll talk. Until then, the Big Fundamental will dominate this matchup the same way Dirk dominates his. Look for 20 and 10 every night. Damp and Haywood’s biggest impact will come as help defenders on drives. If they get to the right spot in time and help limit the opportunities for second chance points, then they’ll hold their own. EDGE: San Antonio
SPURS 2, MAVS 1
The Mavericks, according to NBA front-office sources, continue to tell the Kings that they want a call back if that stance changes.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Dallas -- reluctant until recently to make Josh Howard available in trade discussions -- is prepared to part with the struggling former All-Star swingman in a deal for Martin.
If that position changes between now and the Feb. 18 trading deadline, Dallas is expected to be one of the league's most determined Martin suitors.
The Sacramento Bee's Sam Amick recently listed Houston, Toronto, Cleveland and Phoenix as teams tracking Martin along with Dallas.
It remains to be seen whether the Kings will bow to that interest in the next few weeks or if they’ll become more open to the idea of trading Martin if they hear that they can also shed another one of their long-term contracts -- such as Andres Nocioni or Beno Udrih -- in the process.
One hypothetical trade scenario could see Dallas offer Howard, Drew Gooden, J.J. Barea and cash to the Kings for Martin and Nocioni. That, however, is a lot of long-term salary for the Mavs to add. It's also not known if a combination of payroll relief, Barea and the opportunity to resurrect Howard's career would ultimately be enough to satisfy Sacramento even if Dallas was willing to take on Nocioni as well.
Such a swap, though, would raise the possibility of the Mavs reacquiring Gooden. If the Kings waived him immediately, Gooden could re-sign with Dallas as long as he waited 30 days after his release instead of signing elsewhere, just as Antonio McDyess did last season with Detroit.
UPDATE: One source close to the situation said Friday that the Mavs would have no interest in a Martin deal if the Kings insisted they take on an additional player with a long-term contract such as Nocioni or Udrih.
It's believed that the Mavericks could also join the bidding for Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala and Washington's Caron Butler by putting Howard and his cap-friendly contract (next season's $11.8 million salary is a team option) on the table.
But there is some sentiment within the organization to keep Howard along with Erick Dampier (whose $13.1 million salary next season is fully unguaranteed) for the rest of this season, preserving them as a combo-pack of assets for an offseason trade splash.
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