Dallas Mavericks: Popeye Jones

Monte Mathis promoted to assistant coach

September, 28, 2010
9/28/10
7:31
PM CT
UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas -- The Mavericks promoted player development coach Monte Mathis to assistant coach, meaning he will join coach Rick Carlisle and assistants Terry Stotts and Dwane Casey on the game bench this season.

Mathis replaces Tom Sterner, who took a job as a scout with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Mavs will not replace player development coach Popeye Jones, who joined Avery Johnson's staff with the New Jersey Nets.

*The Mavs completed two practices Tuesday at SMU, the first of four days of workouts on the campus. The morning practice focused on defense and the afternoon practice concentrated on offense.

*All 16 healthy players -- Roddy Beaubois (left foot) is out indefinitely -- practiced.

Source: Popeye Jones to join Avery's staff

June, 15, 2010
6/15/10
6:56
PM CT

The Dallas Mavericks will lose at least one assistant coach this offseason, but Popeye Jones wasn't the one they expected to say good-bye to first.

While Dwane Casey continues to wait for a call to become a head coach, Popeye, the Mavs' player development coach the past four seasons, will join Avery Johnson's staff with the New Jersey Nets, according to a league source.

Jones, who had two stints with the Mavs during his 11-year NBA career, was with the franchise for four seasons as a coach.

2003-04: Year of Antoines and Antawns

May, 13, 2010
5/13/10
12:28
AM CT
Fourth in a series chronicling the Mavericks' streak of 10 seasons with 50 or more wins (previous installments).

The Dallas Mavericks were fresh off an exciting run to the Western Conference finals and motivated by the belief that had Dirk Nowitzki not suffered a knee sprain in Game 3, they would have defeated the San Antonio Spurs and advanced to the franchise's first NBA Finals.

[+] EnlargeAntoine Walker & Antawn Jamison
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty ImagesMark Cuban's changes in 2003-04 included adding Antoine Walker and Antawn Jamison.
(And, wow, how might the landscape have changed throughout the 2000s had the Mavs won that series? The Spurs went on to beat New Jersey for their first of three titles in five seasons.)

But, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made wholesale changes that he would later say were a mistake. The Big Three of Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley returned along with Shawn Bradley and Eduardo Najera.

The rest of the roster received a major makeover, namely with two lanky, head-band wearing rookies and two big-name acquisitions named Antoine, er, Antawn.

All-in-all, the 2003-04 season would prove to be a disappointing watershed year for Nash, Nowitzki, Don Nelson and the franchise as a whole.

Coach: Don Nelson
Record: 52-30 (3rd, Midwest Division)
Playoffs: Lost to Sacramento (4-1).
Team payroll: $76.5 million*
Highest-paid player: Antoine Walker ($13.5 million)*

Offseason transactions: F/G Josh Howard (drafted in first round, 29th pick); G/F Marquis Daniels (rookie free agent); G Travis Best (free agent); traded Evan Eschmeyer, Avery Johnson, Popeye Jones, Antoine Rigaudeau and Nick Van Exel to Golden State for Antawn Jamison, Chris Mills, Danny Fortson and Jiri Welsch; traded Raef LaFrentz, Mills, Welsch and a 2004 first-round draft pick (Delonte West) to Boston for Antoine Walker and Tony Delk.

In-season transaction: Jan. 30, 2004: Signed Scott Williams (free agent).

[+] EnlargeMarquis Daniels, Josh Howard
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesMarquis Daniels (6) and Josh Howard (5) would join the Mavs' fray in 2003, but it was the beginning of the end for Steve Nash in Dallas.
The high: The Mavs won their first 10 games at home on their way to a franchise-best 35-6 home record. Antawn Jamison accepted a reserve role and was named the Sixth Man of the Year. Josh Howard and Marquis Daniels made the All-Rookie second team. On Nov. 17, 2003, Steve Nash recorded the first triple-double in American Airlines Center history (14 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds). Dallas led the league in scoring (105.2) for a third consecutive season. On Dec. 12, 2003, one year and a few days after blowing a 30-point lead at the L.A. Lakers, Dallas finally ended an agonizing, 26-game road losing streak to the Lakers, a string that stretched exactly 12 seasons. On Dec. 15, coach Don Nelson surpassed Pat Riley for second place on the all-time coaching wins list.

The low: The new lineup some called the 'Fantasy Five' just didn't click. After winning 60 games the prior season, the Mavs dropped by eight wins and settled for the No. 5 seed. Nelson often liked to go with a small lineup with Walker at center -- in fact, Nelson made Walker agree to play center in the final 10 games just for him to get on the floor -- but that didn't stop Walker from hoisting 305 3-pointers, (he made 82 of them) second on the team behind Michael Finley's 370. Nash received heavy criticism for his defense on Sacramento guard Mike Bibby in the five-game, first-round loss. Bibby outscored Nash in the series, 23.6 to 13.6, and went off for six 3-pointers and 36 points in the Kings' series-clinching victory. Nelson, as well as many of the Mavs players, ended the season with a cloudy future. To be sure, an offseason of change was on the horizon again, but no one saw the biggest change of all coming.

Roster:
F Dirk Nowitzki (team-leading 21.8 ppg and 8.7 rpg)
G Michael Finley (18.6 ppg, 40.5% 3FGs)
F Antawn Jamison (14.8 ppg, 53.5% FG)
G Steve Nash (14.5 ppg, team-leading 8.8 apg)
F Antoine Walker (14.0 ppg, 26.9% 3FG)
F/G Josh Howard (8.6 ppg, 23.7 mpg)
G/F Marquis Daniels (8.5 ppg, 18.6 mpg)
G Tony Delk (6.0 ppg)
F Scott Williams (3.0 ppg in 27 games with Dallas)
F Danny Fortson (3.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
C Shawn Bradley (3.3 ppg, 74 blocks in 66 games)
F Eduardo Najera (3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg in 58 games)
G Travis Best (2.8 ppg, 1.8 apg in 61 games)

*Source: Basketball-Reference.com

2002-03: Dirk goes down in West finals

May, 12, 2010
5/12/10
12:54
AM CT
MavericksAP Photo/Donna McWilliamFrom left, Shawn Bradley, Adrian Griffin and Eduardo Najera had a hard time watching the Mavs' playoff run end against the Spurs in the 2003 Western Conference finals.
Third in a series chronicling the Mavericks' streak of 10 seasons with 50 or more wins (previous installments).

Coach: Don Nelson
Record: 60-22 (T1st, Midwest Division)
Playoffs: Defeated Portland (4-3); defeated Sacramento (4-3), lost to San Antonio (4-2)
Team payroll: $72.9*
Highest-paid player: Michael Finley ($11.95 million)*

Offseason transactions: G Walt Williams (free agent); G Raja Bell (free agent); F Popeye Jones (free agent); G Adam Harrington (free agent, then released in January)

Major transaction: G Antoine Rigaudeau (free agent, signed Jan. 17, 2003)

The high: The Mavs posted a second consecutive franchise record for wins. They started the season 14-0, falling one win shy of tying the NBA record. Dallas led the NBA in scoring for a second straight season (103.0) and committed an NBA record-low 11.6 turnovers a game. Dirk Nowitzki averaged a career-best 25.1 points a game, finishing sixth in the league, and joined Mark Aguirre as the only Mavericks player to score 2,000 or more points in a single season. Nowitzki finished with 2,011. He and Steve Nash (17.7 points, 7.3 assists) made the West All-Star team again. After taking a 3-0 lead over Portland in the first year of the first-round being expanded to best-of-7, the Mavs had to pull out a Game 7 to advance. Dallas then slayed Sacramento in seven games, a series that included a thrilling 141-137 double overtime win in Sacramento and a 112-99 Game 7 win in Dallas in which Nowitzki scored 30 points and had 19 rebounds. It put the Mavs in the West finals for just the second time in franchise history and first since 1988.

[+] EnlargeSteve Nash
AP Photo/Donna McWilliamSteve Nash couldn't lead the Mavericks past the Spurs in the 2003 Western Conference quarterfinals, although helped the Suns do it this year.
The low: On Dec. 6, 2002, the Mavs suffered one of the franchise's worst losses to their most hated nemesis. Playing in Los Angeles, the Mavs blew a 30-point lead to the Lakers, who trailed 88-61 at the end of the third quarter. But, the biggest letdown came in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals when Dirk Nowitzki went down with a sprained knee. The Mavs lost the game to trail San Antonio, 2-1, and the news wasn't good: "The news is not good," Mavericks coach Don Nelson said. "His knee is very sore. I don't expect he'll play [in Game 4], and I'm not sure if he'll play in this series." Nowitzki didn't play the rest of the series. The Spurs won Game 4 in Dallas, but Michael Finley's 31 points in Game 5 extended the sreies to Game 6 back at the American Airlines Center. The Mavs were giving the Spurs all they could handle. That is until Steve Kerr popped off the bench and took over. Kerr put on a 3-point blitz and the Spurs outscored the Mavs, 34-9, in the fourth quarter. The series began the falling out process between Nelson and Mark Cuban, who wanted Nowitzki to play in the late stages of the series. Nelson insisted Nowitzki sit, unwilling to risk the health of the knee of the franchise player. Had Nowitzki played and the Mavs won the series, they had to like their chances against the Jason Kidd-led New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals. The Spurs certainly did.

The roster:
F Dirk Nowitzki (team-leading 25.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg and 111 steals)
G Michael Finley (19.3 ppg, 37.0% 3FG)
G Steve Nash (17.7 points, team-high 7.3 assists and 41.3% 3FG)
G Nick Van Exel (12.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, 27.8 mpg as sixth man)
F/C Raef LaFrentz (9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 91 blocks in 69 games)
C Shawn Bradley (6.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 170 blocks in 21.4 mpg)
F Eduardo Najera (6.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg in 48 games)
F Walt Williams (5.5 ppg, 37.4% 3FG)
G/F Adrian Griffin (4.4 ppg in 18.6 mpg)
F Tariq Abdul-Wahad (Played in just 14 games)
G Avery Johnson (3.3 ppg in 48 games)
G Raja Bell (3.1 ppg in 75 games)
F Popeye Jones (2.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg in 26 games)
G Antoine Rigaudeau (1.5 ppg, 0.5 apg in 11 games)
F/C Evan Eschmeyer (1.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 17 games)

*Source: Basketball-Reference.com

Plenty of rebound opportunities

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
7:54
PM CT
DALLAS -- It hasn't been a pretty start at the AAC.

The Mavs are 3-of-11 from the floor ... and hold a six-point lead midway through the first quarter. The Pacers have misfired on 10 of 12 attempts from the floor.

Brendan Haywood has grabbed a bunch of the bricks. He already has seven rebounds, 13 shy of his career and season high.

The Mavs' rebound record? Popeye Jones had 28 against the Pacers in Jan. 1996.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
19.9 4.5 1.8 33.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 12.2
AssistsR. Rondo 7.1
StealsM. Ellis 1.8
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4