Dallas Mavericks: New York Knicks

Why Mavs make sense for Carmelo Anthony

June, 30, 2014
Jun 30
Drik Nowitzki and Carmelo AnthonyAP Photo/Jason DeCrowThe Mavs know Dirk Nowitzki would be the best player to ever be paired with Carmelo Anthony.
DALLAS -- How much is winning worth to Carmelo Anthony? How much does he value a legitimate chance to chase a championship?

The Mavericks, confident they can provide a title-pursuing opportunity immediately and for the duration of Anthony’s prime, intend to find out.

The Mavs know Dirk Nowitzki, coming off his 12th All-Star appearance, would be the best player to ever be paired with Anthony, whose teams have advanced past the first round only twice during his 11-year NBA career despite his consistently prolific production.


Which team will Carmelo Anthony choose to sign with?


Discuss (Total votes: 51,250)

With all due respect to George Karl, the Mavs firmly believe that Rick Carlisle would be Anthony's best coach. The Mavs’ front office will point to the 2011 title run and this season’s seven-game challenge of the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs as recent examples of Carlisle’s brilliance. They’ll surely mention Carlisle’s impact on Monta Ellis, who excelled in the Mavs’ flow offense after arriving in Dallas with a reputation as an inefficient, me-first gunner, harsh labels that often come out of Melo critics’ mouths, too.

The Mavs can make the case that a Monta-Melo-Dirk trio would be the NBA’s most explosive one-two-three offensive punch. They certainly will make the case that adding Anthony to Nowitzki and center Tyson Chandler, his former New York Knicks teammate, would give the Mavs the best frontcourt in the league.

Oh, and that frontcourt could get much better next summer, when the Mavs plan to have the financial flexibility to pursue another big fish in free agency, such as Kevin Love, Marc Gasol or Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge.

But it’s the Chandler trade that made the Mavs believe they could convince Anthony that Dallas is the best fit for him now.

“My feeling is that I’m a prospective free agent out there, we became a lot more attractive, because I don’t know many front lines that not only have that kind of punch in terms of inside-outside, but also two great guys, great teammates, guys that you love to go to war with, night in and night out,” Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “That with the fact that we can accommodate a max salary this year and next makes our future bright in the here and now. It also makes it bright in the future, next year. I think the future is bright here in Dallas.”

Yeah, about that max salary, Melo ...

As Mark Cuban clarified Saturday on 103.3 FM’s “ESPN Dallas GameDay,” the Mavs don’t plan on offering one of the available superstars a deal for the full max. It’s simple math, really. Dallas has about $26 million in cap space and needs to re-sign Nowitzki, whose hometown discount isn’t going to be steep enough to give Anthony a starting salary of $22.5 million.

Theoretically, the Mavs could move Brandan Wright and his $5 million salary in a cost-cutting deal and beg Nowitzki to take a bit less than the Tim Duncan discount to make max room for Melo, but that’s not the plan. The Mavs hope to convince Anthony that they present the best chance to win championships, which is probably pretty valuable to a man who has made more than $135 million but won only three playoff series during his NBA career.

Money aside, are the Mavs the best fit for Melo? It might take a little mud-slinging to convince him, but that shouldn’t be a problem for a shark like Cuban.

The Mavs’ case starts with Carlisle, who is clearly the most offensively creative coach among Anthony’s suitors. Would Kevin McHale, who is still searching for his first playoff series win on the bench, know how to keep James Harden, Dwight Howard and Anthony all happy? Do you trust a rookie head coach in Derek Fisher? Or the uncertainty of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Coach TBD?

Nowitzki is a dream teammate: a floor-spacing star willing and eager to hand over the keys to the franchise after he signs a team-friendly contract. How much is Harden willing to share the ball and spotlight? Will Derrick Rose overcome his unfortunate knee problems to be an All-NBA guard or end up as a max-salary albatross? (Hey, how did that work out with Amar'e Stoudemire?)

If Anthony wants to win now, his safest bet is the Mavs, whose front office also has a solid plan to sustain a contender around him throughout his prime and the recent track record that proves they’re capable of pulling it off.

Isn’t that worth a superstar with a nine-figure net worth sacrificing a few million dollars? Hey, have we mentioned that Texas has no state income tax?
With the Dallas Mavericks on the verge of re-acquiring center Tyson Chandler, here is a quick look at the dollars involved in the pending deal with the New York Knicks as reported by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Going to Dallas:
Tyson Chandler: $15,096,888 (includes $500,000 trade kicker)
Raymond Felton: $3,793,693 (player option for $3,950,313 in 2015-16)
Total for 2013-14: $18,390,581

Going to New York:
Jose Calderon: $7,097,191 (guaranteed salaries of $7,402,812 and $7,708,427 next two seasons)
Samuel Dalembert: $3,867,282 (partially guaranteed)
Shane Larkin: $1,606,080 (team options of $1,675,320 and $2,576,642 next two seasons)
Wayne Ellington: $2,771,340
Total for 2013-14: $15,341,893

The deal slices a little more than $3 million into Dallas’ cap space, but the Mavs still have ample room to be aggressive shoppers once free agency opens July 1.

The Mavs’ cap commitments for next season:

Tyson Chandler: $15,096,888
Monta Ellis: $8,360,000
Brandan Wright: $5,000,000
Raymond Felton: $3,793,693
Jae Crowder: $915,243
Ricky Ledo: $816,482
Gal Mekel: $816,482
Minimum cap holds (5 at $490,180 each): $2,450,900
Cap commitments (including minimum holds): $37,249,688

With the cap projected to be $63.2 million, the Mavs have approximately $26 million available.

A chunk of that will go to Dirk Nowitzki. He’s been careful not to publicly discuss specifics about the dollars of his next contract, but he hasn’t shot down suggestions that it will be similar to Tim Duncan’s discount deal (three years, $30 million).

The Mavs would have some cap-clearing work to do to be able to sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, but those are long-shot scenarios. They’re set up to be aggressive filling their other holes in free agency after significantly upgrading the center shot and acquiring a potential stopgap starting point guard to replace Calderon.

Salary information is from ShamSports.com.

Rapid Reaction: Mavs 110, Knicks 108

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24

NEW YORK -- Dirk Nowitzki drained a jumper from the top of the key at the buzzer, and the Dallas Mavericks escaped with a 110-108 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

How it happened: After the Mavericks lost a 108-100 lead with 97 seconds remaining, Nowitzki bailed them out. His dominance at MSG continues. He scored just 15 points -- none bigger than the final two.

The Mavericks ended up going 15-for-36 from 3-point range. Vince Carter led the way with a season-high 23 points and went 7-for-12 from 3-point territory. Monta Ellis had 22 points, but needed a season-high 22 shots to get there and had two crucial turnovers which nearly cost the Mavericks what looked like an easy victory. Jose Calderon added 20 points.

What it means: The Mavericks (35-23) swept their three-game road trip and improved to 9-2 in their last 11 games.

Play of the game: Early in the second quarter, Brandan Wright and Devin Harris combined on a brilliant screen-and-roll alley-oop in which Wright used his long wingspan to catch the lob and convert a highlight-reel-caliber two-handed slam.

Stat of the night: 44. That’s how many points Carmelo Anthony had, as stretch forwards continue to give the Mavericks trouble. LeBron James had 42, Thaddeus Young 30 and Josh Smith 32 in consecutive games against Dallas.

What's next: The Mavericks return home to face the New Orleans Pelicans at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

Carmelo Anthony a challenge for Mavs

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
NEW YORK -- The Dallas Mavericks have struggled to defend stretch 4s of late, allowing LeBron James (42 points), Thaddeus Young (30) and Josh Smith (32) to go off in consecutive games.

And it doesn’t get any easier Monday night when they take to the floor against Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who ranks second in the NBA in scoring (27.9 PPG).

“Right now, he and LeBron James and Kevin Durant are the three hardest guys to guard in the game,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “We played against James five days ago and he had a huge game. And this is just as difficult. Carmelo is on a roll like, he’s averaging [34.6] points in his last five games. I mean, it’s a really difficult task.”

In his past three games, Anthony has posted point totals of 42, 44 and 35.

The good news? His supporting cast has struggled for much of the season, which is why New York has a 21-35 record.

Playing in the Mecca: Dirk Nowitzki has averaged 27.2 points in 13 career games at Madison Square Garden.

“I want you to name a building Dirk hasn't played great in,” Carlisle quipped. “I think that would be my response. He’s been at it a lot of years, and I think guys like Dirk, Jason Kidd always had great success here, Vince [Carter] has been in here a lot. People respect that this is in many ways kind of the basketball epicenter of the world. I mean, New York City is big when it comes to basketball, and the fans here are into it, they appreciate it, and this is a special place to play.”

No doghouse: Despite being a DNP-coach’s decision Saturday, Carlisle said Jae Crowder is not in the doghouse.

“There are no doghouses around here,” Carlisle said. “You gotta be ready because your number could be called at any time.”
Elton Brand is awaiting offers from other teams who have been in discussions with agent David Falk, but he remains “very interested” in returning to the Mavericks, he said in a text message.

ESPN NBA senior analyst Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest developments in NBA free agency. The Rockets are a slight favorite to land Dwight Howard, but the Mavericks are in the running.

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The interest is mutual, although the Mavs might not have much money to offer Brand. The Mavs called Brand four minutes into the free-agency period to touch base. Brand understands that Dallas won’t make any deals until Dwight Howard makes a decision.

The 34-year-old Brand averaged 7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks as a backup center in 21.1 minutes per game in his lone season for the Mavs, who acquired him via amnesty waivers last season. The Mavs value his toughness, defense and veteran presence. Brand said at the end of the season that he wants to be part of the Mavs’ winning tradition, not just remembered in Dallas as part of the .500 beard bunch.

ESPNNewYork.com reported that the Knicks are preparing an offer for Brand, a New York native. Other contenders have also expressed interest and are anticipated to make offers.
The Mavericks would like to bring Brandan Wright back to Dallas, but there are several teams interested in the high-flying, high-efficiency backup big man’s services.

Tim MacMahon joins Galloway and Company to discuss the NBA draft and where the Mavericks stand on getting Dwight Howard.

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According to a source, the Mavs, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks all expressed interest in Wright during the opening hours of free agency.

Wright, like Brandon Bass and Ian Mahinmi in recent years, was a minimum-salary reclamation project whose value increased significantly during his two-year stint in Dallas. Wright, the eighth overall pick of the 2007 draft, had the league’s 20th-best player efficiency rating (21.03) in a limited role last season. The 25-year-old fell out of the rotation for a stretch in the middle of the season, but he finished on a high note, averaging 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 24 minutes per game to help the Mavs got 15-8 down the stretch.

The Mavs own Wright’s Early Bird rights, which would allow them to exceed the salary cap to sign him to a multi-year deal worth up to 104.5 percent of the average player salary (more than $5 million per year). The cutoff point for the Mavs’ bidding could be the four-year, $16 million deal Mahinmi signed with the Pacers last season.

Jason Kidd retiring after 19 NBA seasons

June, 3, 2013

Marc Stein discusses Jason Kidd's career after he announced his retirement Monday after 19 NBA seasons. For more on the story, click here.
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 planned to have updates as long as Mavs championship alums were alive in the playoffs, but frankly, Ian Mahinmi alone doesn't merit it.

Ian Mahinmi is the last member of the Mavericks’ championship team left standing in these playoffs.

With Mahinmi watching all but four minutes from the bench, his Pacers eliminated the Knicks in Game 6, ending a miserable series for two integral pieces of the 2011 title team.

Indiana’s Roy Hibbert dominated Tyson Chandler before the Knicks big man fouled out with 3:12 remaining. Jason Kidd was benched for the second half for the second straight game and went scoreless for the 10th consecutive game, dating to Game 2 of the first round.

Hibbert had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the series finale. Chandler had two points and six rebounds, limited to only 23 minutes because of foul trouble.

For the series, Hibbert averaged 13.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks, compared to 6.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for Chandler. The Knicks were outscored by 23 points with Chandler on the floor in the series, including 17 in Game 6.

The 40-year-old Kidd had a historically horrible offensive performance during these playoffs. He averaged 0.9 points and shot 12 percent from the floor, the lowest postseason field goal percentage for a player with at least 25 attempts since 1947.

This might not quiet the outcry about Mark Cuban opting to break up the Mavs’ championship team – that’d probably require signing a superstar this summer – but it definitely deadens the angry mob’s factual ammunition.

Here is what Cuban feared: The Mavs would look a lot like the Boston Celtics or New York Knicks, veteran teams who weren’t good enough to be true contenders and have extremely limited avenues to improve because of their bloated payrolls and the restrictive rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Imagine if the Mavs paid the price to keep all of their championship pieces. Chandler, Kidd, Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler will cost a total of $35.1 million next season, which would put the Mavs in luxury-tax territory, handcuffing them this summer. Only Butler’s $8 million salary would come off the books in 2014-15.

With a Dirk Nowitzki as the lone star surrounded by an supporting cast of players who are primarily also on the decline, do you really believe the Mavs would have been a threat to come out of the West?

You can make a strong case that it’d have been better for the Mavs to have kept the title core together and at least be a playoff team than the mediocre mess the franchise put on the floor this season. But this really isn’t a Chandler vs. Chris Kaman conversation. It’s a risk/reward discussion.

In Cuban’s opinion, the potential reward didn’t justify the risk of sacrificing roster flexibility if they kept the championship team intact. Finances were only a factor in the post-lockout decisions as they related to limiting the Mavs’ upgrade options.

Cuban decided to dream big, putting immense pressure on him to pull off a superstar acquisition this summer. That ultimately needs to happen to justify stripping down the title team as a good decision.

But if you think the Mavs broke up a dynasty, you clearly didn’t watch much of the first two rounds of these playoffs.
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.

Jason Kidd: It’s gotten to the point that Knicks coach Mike Woodson is being widely praised for benching Kidd during the second half of New York’s series-extending Game 5 win over the Pacers.

Kidd failed to score for the ninth consecutive game, missing a layup in the second quarter. The missed shot was the only stat Kidd recorded during his 5:20 of playing time.

Woodson opted to play rookie Chris Copeland instead of Kidd. Copeland responded by giving the Knicks a much-needed spark, scoring 13 points in 19 minutes. Kidd has scored a total of 11 points in 11 games this postseason, shooting 12 percent from the floor.

Tyson Chandler: Chandler told reporters he’d be fine for Game 6 despite a nasty fall on his back when he got his shot blocked by Indiana’s Roy Hibbert.

Chandler didn’t put up impressive numbers (two points, 1-4 FG, eight rebounds, two blocks), but neither did Hibbert, who had nine points on 3-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds. Both big men got in foul trouble, limiting Chandler to 27 minutes and Hibbert to 31.

Ian Mahinmi: With Hibbert in foul trouble, Mahinmi played 17 minutes, his high this postseason.

Mahinmi had five points, three rebounds and a blocked shot, but his plus-minus illustrated Hibbert’s importance as Indiana’s defense anchor. The Pacers were outscored by 10 points with Mahinmi on the floor.

Title Mavs tracker: Another zero for Kidd

May, 15, 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.

Jason Kidd: The drought continues.

Kidd went scoreless for the eighth straight game. He’s 0-of-16 from the floor and 0-of-10 from 3-point range over 177 minutes during that span. The Knicks have been outscored by 25 points with the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer on the floor in those eight games.

Kidd’s numbers in the Knicks’ Game 4 loss to the Pacers: three assists, one rebound, one steal, two missed shots and a minus-9 plus-minus in 16 minutes.

Tyson Chandler: The Knicks gave him a lot more help, but Chandler more than held his own in the big man matchup after being dominated by Roy Hibbert in Game 3.

Chandler put up his first double-double of the postseason, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also matched high during these playoffs with three blocks.

Hibbert’s line: six points on 2-of-8 shooting, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two assists.

Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi gave the Pacers 10 energetic minutes off the bench, grabbing six rebounds, blocking two shots and scoring two points.
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. (This one is a day late due to Mother's Day.)

Tyson Chandler: The Knicks are in trouble if Chandler keeps losing the big man matchup in such lopsided fashion. He had nine points and five rebounds in New York’s Game 3 loss, compared to 24 and 12 from Indiana center Roy Hibbert.

A sample of ESPNNewYork.com's take on the Chandler-Hibbert matchup:

Mike Woodson hardly ever criticizes his players in public.

But the New York Knicks coach broke protocol following Game 1 of the Indiana Pacers series.

After he watched Indiana's Roy Hibbert outplay Tyson Chandler in the series opener, Woodson said, "I've got to get Tyson (Chandler) playing better than Hibbert."

So far, Woodson's fallen far short of that goal.

Hibbert's been one of the best players in this young series. And some of his success has come at Chandler's expense.

In the Pacers' Game 3 win, Hibbert poured in 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds (eight offensive); the Pacers outscored the Knicks by 20 with their big man on the floor.

"He kind of had his way," Woodson said after Game 3, "and that's got to change."

The Knicks say that they failed to execute their defensive schemes against Hibbert in Game 3. They intended to trap Hibbert and the other Pacers bigs, just as they had in Game 2.

Instead, they left members of their front line vulnerable in one-on-one matchups and left the rim exposed thanks to poor rotations.

The Knicks' lax approach helped Indiana dominate the boards (53-40) and beat New York on second-chance points (20-10).

"We’re not trapping (the Pacers' bigs), then we’re in a tough spot," Chandler said.

That's a big problem that the Knicks need to handle heading into Game 4.

But they also need a better effort from Chandler if he gets matched up against Hibbert.

Hibbert scored on at least three post moves in which Chandler was matched up with him, one-on-one, in Game 3.

It was hard not to notice Hibbert scoring directly over Chandler, the 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Jason Kidd: The scoreless streak is up to seven games and 31 quarters after Kidd missed his lone shot in Game 3.

Kidd had six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 20 minutes, but it’s hard to make a case that the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer helped the Knicks with another doughnut in the points column. Kidd matched Carmelo Anthony for the worst plus-minus (minus-16) in the loss to the Pacers.

Ian Mahinmi: With Hibbert dominating, the Pacers didn’t need much from their backup big man. Mahinmi only played six minutes, scoring two points and grabbing four rebounds.
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.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.

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Jason Kidd: According to Elias Sports Bureau, Kidd is the first player in NBA history to go scoreless while playing at least 10 minutes in six consecutive playoff games.

Kidd, who hasn’t scored since the first quarter of Game 2 in the first round, did manage to make an impact on the Knicks’ series-evening win over the Pacers despite missing all three of his shots. Kidd’s contributions aren’t reflected by his unimpressive numbers (four assists, two rebounds, two steals in 24 minutes).

The Knicks were plus-20 with Kidd on the floor. He made a few critical hustle plays to help the Knicks go on their 30-2 run in the second half that put away the Pacers, including an offensive rebound and pretty feed to Tyson Chandler for a dunk at the end of the third quarter.

Tyson Chandler: Like Kidd, Chandler didn’t put up impressive numbers, but his presence was felt in the Knicks’ Game 2 win.

Chandler had only eight points and four rebounds, but the Knicks were plus-21 in his 31 minutes. He played a key role in holding Pacers center Roy Hibbert to six points on 3-of-7 shooting.

Ian Mahinmi: The only statistic Mahinmi recorded in five Game 2 minutes was one turnover.
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.

Jason Kidd: The Knicks didn’t sign Jason Kidd for his scoring, but it’d sure help New York’s cause if the 40-year-old point guard put the ball in the basket every once in a while.

Kidd went scoreless for the fifth consecutive game in the Knicks’ Game 1 loss to the Indiana Pacers. He was 0-of-1 from the floor in 17 minutes, grabbing two rebounds, dishing out one assist and committing one turnover.

Kidd’s last points came on a 3-pointer in the first quarter of the Knicks’ Game 2 win over the Boston Celtics in the first round. He has played 137 minutes and missed 11 shots since then.

Tyson Chandler: ESPNNewYork.com described Chandler as “practically invisible” in Game 1.

Chandler’s line in the loss to the Pacers: four points, three rebounds, two blocks, two turnovers and one steal before fouling out after 28 minutes. Round 1 of the heavyweight battle between Chandler and Roy Hibbert (14 points, 6-9 FG, eight rebounds, five blocks, four assists) was a knockout.

Ian Mahinmi: Maybe the most stunning stat of the Pacers-Knicks series opener was that Mahinmi didn’t commit a foul in his nine minutes.

He didn’t do much else, either: no points, no shots, one rebound, one block and one turnover. The Pacers did outscore the Knicks by eight with Mahinmi on the floor, though.
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.



Monta Ellis
20.5 4.6 1.5 33.7
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.6
AssistsM. Ellis 4.6
StealsM. Ellis 1.5
BlocksB. Wright 1.5