Dallas Mavericks: Bruce Bowen

DALLAS – Before the sixth Mavericks-Spurs series started, Dirk Nowitzki took a trip down memory lane with ESPNDallas.com.

Nowitzki reflected on each Mavs-Spurs playoff meeting, going into great detail. You can read the whole post here, but his recollection of the 2006 Western Conference semis is especially interesting with the Mavs trying to repeat history by winning a Game 7 in San Antonio.

“Maybe the best over the course of seven games, the best series I’ve had in my career.

“Just felt locked in, felt in my prime and felt whatever coverage they’re doing, I can score on it. That’s how confident I was. What a great series.

[+] EnlargeNowitzki
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty ImagesDirk Nowitzki called his overtime-forcing and-1 in Game 7 of the 2006 West semifinals one of the biggest plays of his career.
“We win both home games here and went up 3-1, but that’s just how good they are. They just keep coming. They win down there and it’s 3-2. We try to close out here, and they just keep coming. They make it 3-3. Jet [Jason Terry] was suspended for one of those games for a little [groin] clip, so that was tough.

“Then we go down there for Game 7 and it’s one of the greatest games I remember. We were rolling early. We were up 20 in the first half. Just everything goes -- Josh [Howard], Jet, Devin [Harris] driving, I was shooting it -- so it was great. Avery [Johnson] was like, ‘Hey, those boys are going to keep playing.’ Sure enough, it was almost methodically. They always come back. They get stops, they keep grinding and next thing you know ...

“I always remember Jet leaving [Manu] Ginobili on the wing when [Tim] Duncan was posting up on me, and he pulled the trigger. I looked when it was in the air -- boom! Bottoms! The place went absolutely nuts.

“Down three and I remember we had [32.9 seconds left], and I was thinking we were kind of in a similar situation in Game 6. We were down three and I shot a bad 3. I was thinking to myself and Avery even said it: ‘In this situation, don’t hoist a bad 3. Make sure you get to the basket. Anything can happen.’

“So I just spun and put my head down on [Bruce] Bowen and said, ‘I’m going to lay this in.’ We can foul again and at least extend the game. And Ginobili just left [Jerry Stackhouse] in the corner and came over and wanted to block it. I was able to kind of luckily muscle it over a little bit. It hit the rim and bounced in. That was probably one of the biggest plays of my career. Made the free throw.

“I don’t think I scored again in overtime. (He actually hit two free throws to put the Mavs up eight with 9.9 seconds left, giving him 37 points for the game.) The boys were great. We subbed in Gana [Diop] and he made some big stops on Duncan. He had one or two big offensive rebounds. Stack made two pull-ups, I remember.

“Yeah, that was a fun game, fun series for me. I mean, to win a Game 7 in that building is about as sweet as it gets in this league.”

How rare is Lamar Odom's 1-1-1 line?

March, 22, 2012
Lamar Odom reached a new personal low with his one-point, one-rebound, one-assist outing in 24 minutes against the Lakers.

ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Tim MacMahon joins GAC to discuss what went wrong for the Mavs in their loss to the Lakers and if booing Lamar Odom was the right thing for Mavs' fans to do.

Listen Listen
That’s hard to do when playing half a game, but it’s not like such non-productivity is unprecedented in the NBA. Heck, a member of the Mavs had an even more pitiful performance last season, when Brendan Haywood had no points, one rebound and no assists while playing 25 minutes in a November win over the Hornets.

Curious about the rarity of a 1-1-1 or worse line, I plugged those numbers into basketball-reference.com’s Play Index with a minimum of 24 minutes played. There are 95 such outings in the site’s database, which dates to the 1985-86 season.

Odom, a key role player on two title teams and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, isn’t even close to the most accomplished player to have such a stinker. He’d have to get in line behind legends like Joe Dumars, Reggie Miller and Gary Payton as well as stars like Glen Rice (three times), Michael Finley and Chuck Person.

This kind of performance could be called pulling a Bowen in dishonor of the dirty-work dude on a few Spurs title teams. Bruce Bowen had six 1-1-1 or worse lines in his career -- actually they were all worse, and he went scoreless in five.

That didn’t stop the Spurs from retiring Bowen’s number last night.

All Odom has to do to remind himself that his misery against the Lakers puts him in pretty good company is look up at the AT&T Center rafters when the Mavs visit San Antonio on Friday.

Jason Kidd hasn't forgotten taking a seat

December, 9, 2010
DALLAS -- Elephants aren't the only ones with long memories. OK, so February 2008 isn't all that long ago, but Jason Kidd sure hasn't forgotten what went down on the night of the 28th in San Antonio.

Kidd initiated discussion of the topic Wednesday afternoon when asked about New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson's return to the American Airlines Center for the first time as an opposing coach.

On Feb. 28, 2008, Kidd was in his fifth game with the Dallas Mavericks since the blockbuster trade went down during the All-Star break. The Mavs and San Antonio Spurs were locked in yet another classic battle.

Tim Duncan made a pair of free throws to give the Spurs a 96-94 lead with 34 seconds to play. Mavs coach Avery Johnson called a 20-second timeout.

What happened next Kidd described as "maybe the biggest thing that stands out," during his brief time playing under Johnson.

During the timeout, Johnson substituted Jerry Stackhouse into the game and sat Kidd.

The Mavs had chances to score in the frenzied final half-minute, but Dirk Nowitzki missed two shots and Jason Terry had a third attempt blocked by Bruce Bowen. Game over. Five games into the trade and a mini-controversy had erupted. The young, controlling head coach had benched one of the game's great players in the type of critical moment the franchise had traded for the savvy, veteran point guard in the first place.

After the 97-94 loss, Kidd downplayed Johnson's decision. And on Wednesday, despite bringing up that situation when asked simply what he remembers most about playing under Johnson, Kidd gave the coach the benefit of the doubt again. But, it was clear, he had not forgotten.

"No," Kidd said. "I just got there so I understand that whole situation. It was a first. There’s always a first. You can always have something to learn from. As much as I wanted to be in at the end of that game, the trade just happened and I can understand coach going with players who understand what he’s looking for."

The loss dropped the Mavs to 3-2 since the trade that sent Devin Harris to New Jersey. Dallas would lose three of its next four and finish the regular season 16-13 with Kidd before getting dumped in the first round in five games by the New Orleans Hornets.

On Thursday, the Mavs will try to extend their winning streak to 11 games against Johnson's Nets. Kidd said if this one is close at the end, he has every intention of seeing it through -- on the court.

"Unless I fouled out," Kidd said. "But, I plan on being in there."

Dirk steadies for variety of Spurs defensive schemes

April, 16, 2010
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki was being asked a question about the how he thinks the San Antonio Spurs will try to defend him now that Bruce Bowen is no longer there to...

"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."



Monta Ellis
19.8 4.7 1.1 32.4
ReboundsT. Chandler 10.3
AssistsM. Ellis 4.7
StealsD. Harris 1.2
BlocksB. Wright 1.5