Dallas Mavericks: Dale Ellis

Mavs, Celts are elitists with the 3-ball

February, 4, 2011
2/04/11
3:55
PM CT
BOSTON -- No other two teams in the league can get together and put more players on the floor with more combined career 3-pointers made than the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics.

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When the teams play tonight in Boston, three of the league's top eight all-time 3-point shooters will be on the floor. Boston's Ray Allen (2,552) needs eight 3-balls to tie Reggie Miller for No. 1. Jason Kidd (1,740) took over the No. 3 spot earlier this season and Jason Terry (1,589), who is 10 points shy of reaching 15,000 career points, is No. 8.

It gets better. If Peja Stojakovic (1,718) was ready to play, No. 5 all-time would also be on the floor. Stojakovic needs two more 3-pointers to pass Dale Ellis and take over No. 4.

"It’s become the most potent weapon in basketball because of the conversion factor: If you make 40 percent from 3, it's like shooting 60 percent from 2," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "It’s an important part of our offensive attack, but every night we’re talking about taking the 3 out of the game defensively."

They'll certainly try to keep Allen from matching Miller, who Carlisle coached as both an assistant and head coach at Indiana.

When Stojakovic returns, which is expected to be Monday night at home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Mavs will employ three of the NBA's top eight all-time 3-point shooters. No other team can make that claim by a long shot. Boston is closest with Paul Pierce (1,538) checking in at No. 12.

"I can't wait to see what it's like with all those shooters out there," Terry said.

Dirk knows: Patience with Peja's shot

January, 26, 2011
1/26/11
2:45
PM CT
DALLAS -- Jason Kidd said this about Peja Stojakovic: "He might be our best foreign shooter on the team. Dirk might not agree with that. He might also agree with it."

Dirk Nowitzki did agree. But he also cautioned, speaking from the experience of his ongoing struggle to regain his shot after a three-week injury layoff, not to expect Stojakovic to start lighting it immediately upon stepping foot on the court. Stojakovic has not played since Nov. 26 because of a left knee issue. He is not expected to play Thursday against the Houston Rockets, but Saturday night against the Atlanta Hawks hasn't been ruled out.

"The stroke is there," Nowitzki said of his the Yugoslavian-born Stojakovic. "I just shot with him. He beat me every single time. But it’s not only the stroke. In a game, the hardest thing when you’re out for a while -- I’m going through it right now -- it’s the up and down, it’s the explosiveness, the defense, the moving. I think that’s the hard thing. He can always stand there and make shots probably when you wake him up at three in the morning, but it’s all the things in the game that he has to get back to and he’s going to work hard and hopefully be back soon."

Stojakovic is a 40.1-percent career shooter from beyond the arc and ranks fifth all-time in the league in 3-pointers made with 1,718, just one behind Dale Ellis and 14 behind Kidd for third place. However, Stojakovic has played in just eight games this season. He didn't go through a full a practice Wednesday and whenever he does suit up, Nowitzki said patience is key regarding early results.

Nowitzki knows. In his six games back from a right knee sprain, Nowitzki's stroke is there, but the results are not. He's made 36-of-94 shots for 38.3 percent, well below his career average of 47.5 percent and miles from the torrid 54.5 percent he was shooting through 29 games before suffering the injury on Dec. 27.

He's made 50 percent of his shots in just one of the past six games. He was 6-of-15 Tuesday night against the Clippers and didn't record his first basket until around the 2:09 mark of the second quarter. His scoring average is down about five points from the 24.1 points he averaged pre-injury.

"I had a good rhyhtm there before I got hurt and now it's just about working my way back there, getting my stamina up, getting my legs back under me on the shot," Nowitzki said. "I don't feel like I have a lot of lift right now. Just keep on working, do a little extra stuff after practice, do some explosive stuff and hopefully I'll be back here soon."

Rapid reaction: Pacers 102, Mavs 89

January, 12, 2011
1/12/11
8:35
PM CT
How it happened: Dallas Maverickscoach Rick Carlisle was right. The Indiana Pacers were happy to see his struggling, shorthanded team.

Carlisle tried to mix things up by starting little-used center Alexis Ajinca at power forward and returning Jason Terry to the bench. It worked to the extent that Terry led the team in scoring with 18 points, but he didn't have a great shooting night, making 9-of-20 from the field and missing his only two 3-point attempts.

Otherwise it was another slow offensive night as Dirk Nowitzki missed his eighth consecutive game with a sprained right knee. The Mavs shot just 41.3 percent from the floor -- although they were strong from 3-point range at 9-of-22. Terry led five Mavs in double figures, but none had more than 13 points. Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd both had 13, Shawn Marion finished with 12 and DeShawn Stevenson had 10.

Newly signed Sasha Pavlovic saw his first game action and recorded two points, an assist, a steal and two blocks in 16 minutes.

The Pacers shot just 44.6 percent and weren't good behind the arc, making just 8-of-33, but Brandon Rush scored 20 and Danny Granger and Darren Collison had 17 points each.

For the third consecutive game, the Mavs got off to a fast start offensively and led 26-25 after one quarter and were tied 52-52 at the half. And, in what is becoming a trend, Dallas had little going in the second half, scoring 17 points in the third quarter, the difference in the game, and 37 in the second half.

Kidd's 3-pointer made it 93-87, but the Mavs couldn't get any closer. Indiana kept rebooting down the stretch, funneling seemingly every loose rebound for extra possessions, and it was easy to see the frustration building among the Mavs. The Pacers outrebounded the Mavs, 46-41.

What it means: The Mavs suffered their second three-game losing streak without Dirk Nowitzki and fell to 2-6 without him. It doesn't get any easier as the four-game road trip heads to San Antonio on Friday night for the season's third matchup of the season. It is possible that Nowitzki could make his return, but it certainly is not a given.

Stat of the night: Jason Kidd entered Wednesday's game with 1,718 career 3-pointers, tied for fourth all-time with Peja Stojakovich and just one behind Dale Ellis. Kidd made of 4 of 7 from 3-point land against the Pacers to move into third place all alone on the all-time list. Now with 1,722, Kidd will have to hit a whole heck of a lot of 3s if he's going to catch Ray Allen at No. 2. Entering Wednesday's games, Allen had made 2,522. Reggie Miller will hold the 3-point title for a little longer. He made 2,560 in his career.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9