Dallas Mavericks: DeShawn Stevenson

Dirk goes down Mavs-Spurs memory lane

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
Tim Duncan, Dirk NowitzkiAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesThis marks the sixth time that Dirk Nowitzki has faced off against the Spurs in a playoff series.
DALLAS -- They meet again.

This will make a half-dozen times Dirk Nowitzki has seen the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs. He’s felt some agony and some ecstasy in the previous five series against the Mavericks’ Interstate 35 rival, a four-time title-winning franchise that served as a roadblock on Dallas’ route through the West for years.

They are unforgettable highs and lows from those series from the Spurs, memories that are engrained in the minds of Mavs fans, as well as the face of the franchise.

This is how Nowitzki remembers those Mavs-Spurs series, as shared with ESPNDallas.com a day before he departs to start another series in San Antonio:

Series: West semifinals
Outcome: Spurs in five
Nowitzki’s numbers: 23.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 44.6 FG%

Down Memory Lane with Dirk: “We had no chance.

“We had just beaten Utah in the first round after being down 0-2. I remember when [Karl] Malone missed that last shot in Game 5, we were running around on the court like we won the championship. I mean, it was insane. I was lapping around the arena like twice. It was insane. So just for us to beat those guys, that’s how much respect we had for Utah and Malone and [John] Stockton.

[+] EnlargeDirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan
Tom Hauck/AllsportDirk Nowitzki says the Mavs had no chance against Tim Duncan and the Spurs in their 2001 series.
“Then it was hard. It was for a young team to turn around and play against those machines. [Tim] Duncan was obviously so good back in those days, so we really had no shot.

“We lost the first two down there. I remember we went straight from Utah to San Antonio for the first one. It was pretty much over with. The second one, we were kind of around, but not really. And if you want to make a series of it, you’ve got to win Game 3. I remember I was sick. I had food poisoning that game, and then we’re down 0-3. That was basically it.

“We played hard in Game 4 and were able to steal one. The game we stole here, I came back in [after getting a tooth knocked out by a Terry Porter elbow] and we won the game. Then in Game 5, they were just so good defensively. Whatever we tried, they had counters. They were long in there with those two 7-footers. I mean, they were good.”

Series: West finals
Outcome: Spurs in six
Nowitzki’s numbers: 25.3 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 43.1 FG% in three games

Down Memory Lane with Dirk: “I remember we stole Game 1, which was amazing. We were 49-of-50 from the free throw line. That was an amazing, amazing game for us. Game 2, we lost and then here in Game 3 is a big game. Obviously, you want to hold home court, and that’s the game I got hurt.


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“It was tough. I wanted to play and I was testing [his sprained knee]. It felt OK with the adrenaline going.

“But looking back on my career now, it probably was the right decision. Nellie didn’t want me to play. I was young at the time. At this stage of my career, it probably would have made sense to play. I’m old, but then, even I felt it sometimes getting up in timeouts and stuff. It just wasn’t right, just didn’t feel right. Probably looking back on it now, it was the right decision, but it was tough.

“We go down there [for Game 5] and we’re thinking they might close us out. We steal that game. It’s 3-2 and we have a chance here to force Game 7. We were up [13] in the fourth.

“Nellie played small ball. We played Walt Williams at the 4 and just spread it out and let Nick [Van Exel] and Steve [Nash] drive, and it worked great. Then they subbed in Steve Kerr and he made like three or four 3s in that fourth quarter. They came back, and that was that.

“I don’t know, I might have tried to play in Game 7. You never know, but that was disappointing.”

Series: West semifinals
Outcome: Mavs in seven
Nowitzki’s numbers: 27.1 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 52.7 FG%

Down Memory Lane with Dirk: “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.

“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.

[+] 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.
“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, the keep grinding and next thing you know ...

“I always remember Jet leaving Ginobili on the wing when 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.”

Series: West first round
Outcome: Mavs in five
Nowitzki’s numbers: 19.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, .493 FG%

Down Memory Lane with Dirk: “Ginobili was hurt and they really never had enough weapons to beat us that year. I don’t think they had enough weapons without him.

“We tried to take Duncan and [Tony] Parker out as much as we could, and it worked really well. With them without Ginobili, it made it a little easier.”

[+] EnlargeDirk Nowitzki
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe Mavs were the No. 2 seed in 2010 but fell to the No. 7 Spurs.
Series: West first round
Outcome: Spurs in six
Nowitzki’s numbers: 26.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 54.7 FG%

Down Memory Lane with Dirk: “It was a little messed up, because we’d just traded for Caron [Butler] and DeShawn [Stevenson] and [Brendan] Haywood and we were actually the No. 2 seed. They played without Ginobili most of the season, and right at the right time he gets healthy. They’re the 7 seed, we’re the 2 seed.

“That’s obviously a tough matchup for any 2 seed, to run into the Spurs healthy at the right time.

“We made some mistakes, but they were good. They were healthy at the right time.

“We wanted to win and force it here and at least force it to a Game 7. I remember we were so good on the road after we traded for these guys, and we just needed to win one road game. We lost all three games down there and that ultimately sealed it. They stole Game 2 up here and we figured we’ve got three chances to steal a game down there, because we’re pretty good on the road. They won all three down there, and that’s what ultimately lost us that series.”

Wayne Ellington stayed ready, seized role

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
DALLAS – Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle’s “Be Ready” mantra sounds simple, unless you’re the veteran riding the bench.

That’s been Wayne Ellington's world for most of the season.

[+] EnlargeWayne Ellington
AP Photo/Chris SzagolaWayne Ellington is making the most of his opportunities after waiting patiently on the bench.
“It’s tough,” Ellington said. “It’s definitely a challenge. It’s definitely a test of your professionalism – keeping your head in it, making sure you’re ready in all aspects.”

The five-year veteran apparently aced the test in his first season with the Mavs.

Ellington signed a two-year deal with Dallas this summer with the expectation that he’d be a role player the Mavs relied on to provide hard-nosed wing defense and a perimeter shooting threat off the pine. However, Jae Crowder started the season hot and hung on to that spot in the Mavs’ rotation until last week.

That’s when Carlisle decided that Ellington had earned the chance to show what he could do with consistent minutes. Ellington has responded by scoring 30 points, dishing out seven assists and knocking down six of 11 3-point attempts in 61 minutes over the last four games.

To put that playing time in perspective, Ellington averaged only 67 minutes per month in November, December and January.

“There hasn’t been one time all year where he’s complained or dropped his head,” Carlisle said, noting that Ellington’s defense has been as impressive as his shooting. “He’s been a real pro about it. Guys that approach it the right way are always ready when their time comes. He’s a high-character guy, even though he’s a Carolina guy.”

Carlisle’s “Be Ready” mantra isn’t just coachspeak bull from the Virginia alum. He has a track record of major tweaks to the rotation, moving a player from the end of the bench to a significant role at a moment’s notice.

The classic example is DeShawn Stevenson, who bounced back and forth between the starting lineup and the end of the bench on the 2010-11 team. Stevenson’s defensive tenacity and spot-up shooting ended up being important ingredients on the Mavs’ title team.

Ellington doesn’t have a few hundred tattoos and a wild personality, but his recent performance is reminiscent of title-season Stevenson. He knows his role is to play tough defense and hit open jumpers when he’s on the floor. He just doesn’t know when he’ll get that opportunity.

Some players would pout about that situation. A smart veteran seizes the opportunities when they come, which is what Ellington has done.

“It’s Wayne being Wayne,” sixth man Vince Carter said. “He’s always been a great shooter and very solid defensively. It’s a luxury to have somebody like that who hasn’t had the minutes and then you throw him in there and it’s just like he’s been playing all season. He’s a professional player.”

Ellington proved his professionalism by his approach while he was riding the pine. Now he’s taking advantage of a chance to prove he can help the Mavs win.
DALLAS -- For coach Erik Spoelstra, the Miami Heat’s annual trip to Dallas is a reminder of a title lost and lessons learned.

The 2011 Mavs, who remain the only team to beat LeBron James’ Heat in a playoff series, might have delayed a Miami dynasty. Or maybe Miami doesn’t win the last two titles unless the Mavs’ upset forced the so-called superteam to address its flaws and improve its game.

LeBron James
AP Photo/Lynne SladkyThe Mavericks held LeBron James to an average of 17.8 points during the six-game 2011 NBA Finals.
Spoelstra firmly believes that the Mavs pushed the Heat to greater heights.

“That was a very humbling experience for all of us,” Spoelstra said after the Heat’s Tuesday morning shootaround. “We had to reinvent ourselves. We had to be honest with ourselves that we had to improve, that the game that we were playing was not good enough. That might not have happened if we would have had success that first year, but we came back more committed to doing things differently.”

That started with James, the scapegoat of those finals after the Mavs made him look like a mere mortal, holding him to 17.8 points on 47.8 percent shooting during the six-game series. The Mavs executed a genius defensive game plan, with Shawn Marion and DeShawn Stevenson doing outstanding individual jobs guarding James, who was turned into a passive facilitator for much of those Finals.

No player in NBA history has been as heavily criticized during an offseason, which happened to be extra long due to the lockout. James took advantage of that time to fix a hole in his game the Mavs exploited.

(Read full post)

A conspiracy theory: The Rockets emerged as a rumored frontrunner to throw folks off the scent that Dwight Howard has been ticketed for Dallas all along.

Those are whispers that ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne has heard on the West coast.

ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.

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The implication: A wink-wink, nudge-nudge deal has long been in place between Mark Cuban and his pal Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent. I love a good conspiracy theory, but it’s too easy to shoot holes in this one.

Start with the Shawn Marion situation. If this was a done deal, wouldn’t Fegan have convinced his client on the Mavs’ roster to cooperate and make things much easier for everyone?

The best-case scenario for the Mavs would have been Marion exercising the early termination option in his contract and then returning to Dallas on a three-year deal with a salary reduced enough to squeeze Howard’s max deal under the cap. Technically, the Mavs couldn’t have negotiated Marion’s new contract before he opted out, but we’re talking wink-wink, nudge-nudge deals here.

How can the Mavs create enough cap space to sign Howard now? Dumping Marion’s salary in a trade is the most likely scenario. If this was all a pre-arranged deal, would Fegan put another veteran client in danger of being shipped to an undesirable team? (Yes, Marion would pocket an extra $1.4 million with his trade kicker, but if this was all just a money grab for Fegan, he’d be determined to get Howard to stay in L.A. instead of bolting to Dallas.)

It’s true that Cuban and Fegan have a strong business relationship, even a friendship, and have worked together to get several deals done. Hey, maybe Fegan really does feel like he owes Cuban for that Erick Dampier contract!

But, if Marion gets dealt this summer, add that to the list of business decisions made by Cuban that disappointed Fegan clients.

*The Mavs shipped Fegan client Drew Gooden to Washington in the deal that got rid of Josh Howard and brought Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas.

*Jason Terry fired Fegan in part because of frustration stemming from the Mavs’ lack of interest in making a long-term commitment to him during his last year in Dallas.

*The Mavs waived Delonte West, a Fegan client at the time, after twice suspending him for conduct detrimental to the team last fall.

It helps for an owner and agent to have a good relationship, but it guarantees nothing for either side.

Finals Frontier: Efficiency in the corners is key

June, 12, 2013
With the NBA Finals in full swing, the Mavericks are watching two familiar foes -- the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat -- battle it out for the chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Both teams have key components that established them as championship contenders. Let's point out those components and how the Mavericks can learn from them.

One of the most efficient shots on the floor is the corner 3-pointer. One thing that both Miami and San Antonio have in common is that they’re both strong in terms of offense and defense from that spot.

[+] EnlargeDirk Nowitzki
AP Photo/Lynne SladkyDirk Nowitzki and the Mavs haven't been as efficient shooting and defending the corner 3-pointer since their title season.
For Miami, they were first in the league during the regular season with 309 corner 3s made. The Heat's biggest weapons were Shane Battier and Ray Allen. Battier actually led the entire league with 88 corner 3s, while Allen ranked eighth with 63. Miami maximized this strength and made sure other teams couldn’t capitalize on it as they ranked second in defending corner 3s based on percentage.

Miami ranked first in corner 3s and San Antonio wasn't far behind, ranking third with 261 makes. The Spurs had two players who ranked in the top 20. Danny Green was second with 73 corner 3s made and Kawhi Leonard had 52, ranking 18th in the league. San Antonio allowed only 156 corner 3s in the league, the seventh-fewest in the league.

Looking at Dallas, the Mavs ranked 21st in the league in corner 3s made with only 141. O.J. Mayo made the most with 26 and ranked 65th in the league. The Mavs only had two other players in the top 100 -- rookie Jae Crowder ranked 78th and Darren Collison ranked 89th. The Mavs allowed the fifth-most corner 3s in the league. They also ranked as the 10th-worst team in defending corner 3s based on percentage. Those numbers show that Dallas didn’t utilize or defend that critical zone.

Looking back at the Mavs’ 2011 championship team, there is a radical shift in the numbers between then and now. Back in 2010-11, Dallas was fifth in the league with 211 corner 3s.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the NBA Finals, talks about the Nets decision to hire Jason Kidd, the advice hed give Kidd about being a head coach in the NBA and more.

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The eventual champions had two players who ranked in the top 25. DeShawn Stevenson was 21st with 45 corner 3s, while Jason Terry had 44, ranking 24th in the league. Surprisingly, Brian Cardinal ranked 67th. Dirk Nowitzki ranked 96th and Jason Kidd was 99th in the league.

Like the teams in this year’s NBA Finals, the Mavs held their own defending the corner 3 during their championship run. The Mavs allowed only 158 corner 3s that season, the eighth-fewest in the league. They also ranked ninth in defending corner 3s based on percentage.

Dallas has one of the best weapons the league has to offer as a shooter in Nowitzki. They need people on the corner that can be just as dangerous of a weapon.

Bryan Gutierrez currently covers the Dallas Mavericks for The Two Man Game, an ESPN affiliate blog on the TrueHoop Network. Gutierrez, who has covered the Mavs since 2010, studied journalism and psychology at Texas Tech University.

Finals Frontier: Mavs need quality depth

June, 11, 2013
With the NBA Finals in full swing, the Mavericks are watching two familiar foes -- the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat -- battle it out for the chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Both teams have key components that established them as championship contenders. Let's point out those components and how the Mavericks can learn from them.

Both Miami and San Antonio have depth at their disposal. On top of that, their depth is versatile. Whether it is Kawhi Leonard, Ray Allen, Matt Bonner or Shane Battier, each team has multiple options who are solid at multiple facets of the game.

ESPN senior NBA analyst Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the NBA Finals and latest Mavericks news.

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Each team’s respective big three carry the load, but the role players can step up in big situations. If LeBron James has to be relied upon to bring more offense, Miami has someone in Battier who can take on a larger defensive responsibility and still be viewed as a threat from beyond the arc. San Antonio’s Boris Diaw can bring versatility as a big man if the Spurs have to adjust to a shrinking lineup Miami might throw at them.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle isn’t very fond of judging players by the old, by-the-book way of thinking. “He’s a basketball player” is a phrase that often comes out of the coach’s mouth. The game is shifting away from defined labels for players based on position. Carlisle, as well as the two coaches involved in the NBA Finals, have recognized this and often try to find the best lineups that can be placed out on the floor, regardless of the traditional positions.

[+] EnlargeDallas Mavericks
Marc Serota/Getty ImagesThe Mavs have to choose wisely with their open roster spots if they want to make a return Frinals trip.
Neither Miami nor San Antonio rely on a dominant big man down on the block. Both teams faced challenges in their respective conference finals against clubs that had menacing big men. If either team lost, that might have shifted the balance in the future in regards to teams trying to gear more towards a traditional big man down on the low post. With San Antonio and Miami in the Finals, “small ball” prevails.

Now, Dallas has to try to find the right pieces that can bring true depth. The pieces they had this season didn’t amount to much, as they were depleted at the point guard and center positions. They have a relatively clean slate to work with. You have Dirk Nowitzki as the focal point and Shawn Marion and Vince Carter as the veterans. Those two could easily be moved in the offseason, but they also work perfectly in what the Mavs would need to do if they’re building a roster based on depth and versatility.

The championship team of 2011 provides an additional example of how the depth can be advantageous. The Mavs had players such as DeShawn Stevenson and Brian Cardinal who could provide tough defense and perimeter shooting. While Tyson Chandler was seen as the major big man, Brendan Haywood was a solid rim protector who could hold his own in the rebounding department. Like the Heat and the Spurs, the Mavs’ title squad had enough depth to withstand whatever challenges came their way.

Depth has delivered success to Miami and San Antonio. It clearly delivered to Dallas back in 2011. With a roster full of holes, the front office must choose wisely with their open spots.

Bryan Gutierrez currently covers the Dallas Mavericks for The Two Man Game, an ESPN affiliate blog on the TrueHoop Network. Gutierrez, who has covered the Mavs since 2010, studied journalism and psychology at Texas Tech University.
The Mavericks aren’t in the playoffs for the first time since 2000, so we have to find something to fill the time this spring. Might as well keep up with the players from the Mavs’ title team who are scattered throughout the postseason. We’ll have daily updates as long as Mavs championship alums are still alive in the playoffs.

Tyson Chandler: This looked like the Chandler who played such a critical role in the Mavs’ title run. This was the Chandler the Knicks envisioned when they signed him to a rich four-year deal.

Chandler came up with nine points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and a handful of clutch plays that didn’t necessarily show up in the box score to help the Knicks close out the Celtics for their first playoff series win since 2000.

“I felt 100 percent tonight,” Chandler told reporters. “It’s absolutely the best I’ve felt the entire playoffs, obviously coming off the neck injury. Tonight was the first time I came in the game feeling 100 percent and being able to go through my regular routine.”

Jason Kidd: Kidd’s scoreless drought reached four consecutive games. He averaged only 1.8 points per game in the series and hasn’t scored since hitting a 3-pointer during the first quarter of Game 2.

At this point, Kidd is the Knicks’ third point guard behind Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. The Knicks were outscored by nine in Kidd’s 16 Game 6 minutes, with him contributing three rebounds, one steal, one assist and three turnovers.

Jason Terry: JET at least went out with his pride intact.

Terry got off to a slow start in his first playoff series with the Celtics – including a scoreless Game 1 – but he finished strong. He scored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 24 minutes in Game 6. In three elimination games, Terry averaged 16.3 points on 53.1 percent shooting.

However, Terry and the Celtics weren’t able to pull off a historic comeback. Not from an 0-3 series deficit or from a 26-point hole in Game 6, but they gave the Knicks a serious scare in both cases.

“That’s what the definition of a true Celtic is. Never say never, never say die. I’m proud to wear this uniform.”

Caron Butler: Butler scored 14 points on 7-of-16 shooting in the Clippers’ season-ending Game 6 loss to the Grizzlies.

Butler had a pretty disappointing series, averaging 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and failing to dish out a single assist in six games.

Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi had no points on 0-of-3 shooting, three rebounds and two blocks in 10 minutes off the bench as the Pacers closed out the Hawks.

DeShawn Stevenson: He was DNP-CD’d as the Hawks’ season ended. Stevenson played a total of 61 seconds in the final four games of the series.
The Mavericks aren’t in the playoffs for the first time since 2000, so we have to find something to fill the time this spring. Might as well keep up with the players from the Mavs’ title team who are scattered throughout the postseason. We’ll have daily updates as long as Mavs championship alums are still alive in the playoffs.

ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.

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Jason Terry: JET’s best work since signing with Boston has come since the Celtics’ backs were pinned against the wall.

Terry followed up his Game 4 overtime heroics with a 17-point, four-rebound, three-assist, no-turnover, multi-wing performance in the Celtics’ win over the Knicks that forced the series back to Boston. Terry’s 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range was critical to the Celtics building a double-digit lead that was too large for the Knicks to overcome.

"I'm a 14-year veteran," Terry said on TNT moments after the win. "If you don't know who I am by now, you will after this series."

That was apparently in response to Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith, who was suspended for Game 4 because of an elbow that connected with Terry’s head and stunk it up in Game 5, claiming that he didn’t know who Terry was.

Of course, JET has always been one of the league’s best at jawing. Case in point: He repeatedly referenced the Red Sox’s comeback from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, quoting “the great Kevin Millar” about the pressure shifting with a Game 5 win.

Jason Kidd: Mouthy sixth man Smith’s miserable performance got a lot of attention, but Kidd didn’t exactly bring much off the bench, either.

In fact, this ranked among the worst playoff performances of Kidd’s Hall of Fame career.

The 40-year-old went scoreless in 21 minutes, missing all four shot attempts. His only other stats: two rebounds, one block, one turnover and one foul. No assists. His plus-minus was a team-worst minus-14.

Tyson Chandler: Having chipped off rust and worked his way back into shape after a neck injury caused him to miss 16 of 20 games entering the playoffs, Chandler came up with a typical Chandler outing.

The big man had eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, 11 rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes. The Knicks were plus-8 with the 7-footer on the floor.

"I felt great," he said. "This game is probably the best I've felt. I felt lively, my legs felt good."

DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson played a grand total of 16 seconds in the Hawks’ tie-breaking Game 5 loss to the Pacers. He did manage to get up a shot that he missed.

Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi played only 9:27 in the Pacers’ win. He probably would have seen more minutes if he didn’t pick up five fouls. He finished with two points, two rebounds and a block.
The Mavericks aren’t in the playoffs for the first time since 2000, so we have to find something to fill the time this spring. Might as well keep up with the players from the Mavs’ title team who are scattered throughout the postseason. We’ll have daily updates as long as Mavs championship alums are still alive in the playoffs.

DeShawn Stevenson: He dropped out of the rotation when the series went to Atlanta. After a DNP-CD in Game 3, Stevenson played 45 seconds in Game 4. He did at least manage to avoid a trillionire stat line, grabbing one rebound in the Hawks’ series-tying win.

Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi got his most playing time of the series, logging 12 minutes in the Pacers’ loss. He had three points, four rebounds, a block, a turnover and four fouls.

Title Mavs tracker: Stevenson struggles

April, 25, 2013
The Mavericks aren’t in the playoffs for the first time since 2000, so we have to find something to fill the time this spring. Might as well keep up with the players from the Mavs’ title team who are scattered throughout the postseason. We’ll have daily updates as long as Mavs championship alums are still alive in the playoffs.

DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson hit one of his two 3-point attempts and grabbed five rebounds during 19 minutes off the bench in the Hawks’ lopsided loss to the Pacers. The problem was the defensive stopper couldn’t stop Indiana star Paul George, who torched the Hawks for 27 points.

That’s a two-game trend. According to NBA.com, George has 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting in 53 minutes against Stevenson this series. George has scored 42 points on 14-of-37 shooting in 106 minutes when Stevenson was on the bench.

Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi made his Pacers playoff debut, checking in with 3:10 remaining and Indiana up by 33. He had a dunk and three rebounds during his garbage-time stint.
The Mavericks aren’t in the playoffs for the first time since 2000, so we have to find something to fill the time this spring. Might as well keep up with the players from the Mavs’ title team who are scattered throughout the postseason. We’ll have daily updates as long as Mavs championship alums are still alive in the playoffs.

DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson had six points, four rebounds and an assist in 25 minutes off the bench in the Hawks’ loss to the Pacers. He busted out the 3 monocle twice, knocking down both of his shot attempts. His most memorable plays, however, were a couple of hard fouls.

Ian Mahinmi: DNP-CD.
DALLAS – Mark Cuban makes one guarantee about any potential moves the Mavericks make before the trade deadline.

“If you read about it,” Cuban said, “it ain’t happening.”

Of course, that comes from the man who once advised a reporter to “put the crack pipe down” in response to an inquiry about a package the Mavs might send to New Jersey for Jason Kidd. That blockbuster deal went down days later and looked a lot like the reporter’s proposal.

There was also a lot of pre-trade buzz the last time the Mavs pulled off an All-Star weekend blockbuster, shipping Josh Howard and spare parts to Washington for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson.

One good rule to follow around this time of year is to take anything said on the record by an NBA decision-maker with a few big grains of salt.

“That’s probably true,” Cuban said. “You’re a very handsome man.”

Brendan Haywood won't leave with same fanfare

July, 11, 2012
When Brendan Haywood first arrived in the big trade that shipped out Josh Howard in February 2010, the big man in the headband was putting up double-doubles and instantly became a favorite among fans starved for aggressive, enthusiastic center play.

At the time of Haywood's arrival (along with Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson), Erick Dampier was injured. Once Dampier returned, Haywood lost his starting gig -- and he wasn't exactly thrilled with it. He would get a promise that summer from coach Rick Carlisle that the starting job would be kept warm for him as they looked to unload Dampier and his fully non-guaranteed final year.

Only they unloaded Dampier and acquired Tyson Chandler, who wasted no time winning the starting job, another decision that didn't sit well with Haywood for much of the championship season.

Haywood's production in Dallas was a roller coaster. The flashes came and went, and so did the duds. His engine didn't run nearly as hot as his fervor for fantasy football, and that was a big issue when the Mavs needed much more out of the position this season.

He was injured for the majority of the NBA Finals and was horrible this past postseason in the sweep to the Oklahoma Thunder, having his playing time basically stripped while averaging 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes a game, less than backup Ian Mahinmi.

The writing was on the wall at that point that if the Mavs landed Deron Williams -- therefore forcing the use of the amnesty clause on either Haywood or Shawn Marion to create enough cap space -- the 7-footer would be the one to get it.

Even though the Mavs did not get Williams, Wednesday's one-year agreement with Chris Kaman and the Mavs' desire to pursue amnestied 76ers forward Elton Brand, have made Haywood expendable. If the Mavs get Brand, they'll essentially swap out Haywood and Mahinmi for Brand and Kaman.

Haywood, 32, will now be up for bid among teams with cap space. Portland, which lost out on Roy Hibbert after making a max offer to the restricted free agent and was prepared to make an offer for Brook Lopez, and New Orleans could be bidders. If no team bids on him during the waiver process, Haywood will become a free agent.

That summer of 2010, when Carlisle visited Haywood at his North Carolina home and made the promise, Haywood's next visitor was Heat president Pat Riley. If Haywood gets through the waiver process, he could sign a minimum deal and play for the defending champs for a second consecutive season.

No matter what, Haywood will receive the remaining $27.2 million over the final three years of his contract.

A Mavs, Josh Howard reunion in the stars?

July, 1, 2012
Among the many free agents the Dallas Mavericks have shown a level of interest in as they put offseason Plans A, B, C, D, etc., into motion, is their former first-round pick Josh Howard, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Sunday.

Howard, who signed a one-year, $2.15 million deal last season with the Utah Jazz, has kept close ties to the Dallas community, holding charity basketball events a couple times a year and as recently as last month, and he continues to run his basketball camps. He still makes Dallas his home during portions of the year to be close to his young son.

"Absolutely," the source said of the 6-foot-7 small forward being interested in reuniting with the Mavs. "One of the good things for Josh, the fans are why he goes back to the community. They've supported him tremendously with his camps and foundation, even if he's out just eating lunch, they're very supportive."

During a November charity game he organized in Dallas during the lockout, Howard said he would have no problem returning to Dallas.

Any Mavs' moves at this point hinge on Deron Williams. If the the Mavs agree to terms with the All-Star point guard, money will be tight and Howard will be seeking a multiyear deal after his reemergence last season.

The source said Utah remains a strong possibility to re-sign Howard and that he feels a sense of loyalty to the franchise that gave him a chance to get his career back on track. He averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds mostly in a reserve role in 43 games. He played just 18 games in 2010-11 with the Washington Wizards.

The source said the Lakers, Nets, Spurs, Celtics, Grizzles and Hawks have also shown initial interest in Howard.

At his lockout charity game, Howard, 32, also talked of maturing and having learned from past mistakes that contributed to his 6 1/2 seasons in Dallas going up in smoke. The Mavs traded him to the Wizards in 2010 in the deal that netted Dallas Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood.

But just four games after joining the Wizards, Howard, who fought chronic ankle and wrist issues in his latter years with Dallas, tore the ACL in his left knee. A long recovery and rehab, and then subsequent knee issues, he said, have helped to humble him and to turn his focus back on his basketball career as he now embarks on his 10th NBA season.

Charles Barkley: Mavs need to get bigger

June, 30, 2012
FRISCO, Texas -- Charles Barkley of course wasn't without his opinions on the Dallas Mavericks and their pursuit of Deron Williams.

Here's what he had to say Saturday from Dirk Nowitzki's Heroes Charity baseball game.

Q: How will Mavs fare if they don't land Williams?

It won’t put them obviously in a good situation. But I'm not sure even if they get Deron, they’ve got to get bigger, too. That was the difference last year when they had Tyson and DeShawn Stevenson and those guys, they were much bigger. The reason they lost to the Heat the first time is they were too small, too finesse. But if they get Deron, will they be better? Yeah, they’ll be better, but I'm not sure they can beat the bigger teams out West."

Q: Are you surprised the Mavs broke up their title team and put all their eggs in the Williams basket?

Somewhat because I thought they should have kept Tyson Chandler because I think he’s in his prime and really made them a big team, tough, with Dirk and Tyson down low.



Dirk Nowitzki
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9