Dallas Mavericks: Richard Jefferson

Mavs find value with 'Merry Minimums'

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
The Dallas Mavericks pride themselves on finding value in the NBA bargain bins.

The “Merry Minimums,” as the Mavs’ brass often refers to the minimum-salary veterans that fill out the roster, included significant contributors Devin Harris and DeJuan Blair last season.

The Mavs filled three of their minimum slots this summer with players who should at least factor into Rick Carlisle’s rotation, if not play every night. Swingman Richard Jefferson, small forward Rashard Lewis and center Greg Smith are all good bang-for-buck additions.

A look at how the three new members of the Merry Minimums can help the Mavs:


Which "Merry Minimum" will have the biggest impact on the Mavs this season?


Discuss (Total votes: 2,014)

Jefferson: He’s no longer the guy who averaged 22.6 points per game one season for the New Jersey Nets, but Jefferson can still shoot the 3, a skill the Mavs needed after the departures of Vince Carter and Jose Calderon. The 34-year-old made 40.9 percent of his long-distance attempts for the Utah Jazz last season, the third time in four years that he shot better than 40 percent from 3. He averaged 10.1 points in 27 minutes per game as a starter for the Jazz, but the Mavs won’t ask nearly that much from him.

Lewis: At 34, Lewis hardly resembles the scoring threat the Mavs tried to steal from Seattle long ago. The two-time All-Star is a role player now who has the experience of playing in three NBA Finals, including the last two seasons with the Miami Heat. “We’re always looking for veteran players who are pros and know how to win playoff games,” Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “He definitely fits that mold.” Lewis also fits the mold of a stretch 4, allowing the Mavs the luxury of having a legitimate backup for Dirk Nowitzki that doesn’t require completely changing the offensive scheme. The 6-foot-10 Lewis is a career 38.6 percent 3-point shooter and a quality defender, especially in pick-and-roll and isolation situations.

Smith: The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder, who was sent to Dallas in a salary-dump deal from Chicago, will replace Blair as the Mavs’ bargain-priced banger. “Our front line really needs a DeJuan-type presence,” Nelson said. “[Smith] is a thick-body rebounder and enforcer.” Smith, 23, had season-ending knee surgery in February, which the Mavs anticipate will be a “maintenance issue” this season. But there is hope that Smith can get back to his form from 2012-13, when he averaged 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game for the Houston Rockets.

Mavs strike with aggression this summer

July, 15, 2014
Jul 15
LAS VEGAS -- After pushing the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs to a Game 7 in the first round, the Dallas Mavericks will return with a much different roster next season.

The Mavs have acquired center Tyson Chandler, small forward Chandler Parsons, point guard Raymond Felton, a young big man in Greg Smith and a veteran perimeter forward in Richard Jefferson. They have been incredibly aggressive this summer. As always, they've tried to stay opportunistic in the market, whether it be by trade or the free-agent market. To this point, they've done well.

[+] EnlargeRichard Jefferson
Brad Rempel/USA TODAY SportsRichard Jefferson will join his sixth team, having played for the New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Golden State and Utah in his 13-year career.
"Ideal would have been Carmelo and LeBron coming for the minimum, but that didn't happen," Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told ESPN Dallas on Monday.

You can't fault Nelson for being ambitious or for his wit. The Mavs ultimately got the man they wanted in Parsons. It was a move that was priority No. 1 for Dallas.

"We targeted Parsons from a very early stage. We feel he can play 4, 3. He can shoot the long ball, he can get the ball into the gut and make passes," Nelson said. "He's also a team guy and he knows what to do without the ball. He can grab it off the glass and push the ball. He knows what to do without the ball and doesn't need the ball to be effective.

"Where do you stop? He's kind of a perfect, tailored guy for the Mavericks."

Looking around the league, a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to come out smelling like roses in regard to their summer spending. That said, you can't discount what Dallas has done as they've made big moves. Continuity was a big buzzword for the Mavs going into the offseason. Continuity is nice, but getting better talent is, well, better.

"We're doing well. We're changing the team, we're getting it better and improving," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told ESPN Dallas. "Those are all things that are exciting. We've got more spaces to fill and we've got more good prospects. We're going to keep pushing forward."


Who will have a bigger impact on the Mavs this season?


Discuss (Total votes: 15,457)

The three members of the Mavs' brain trust -- Mark Cuban, Nelson and Carlisle -- likely will go on their own separate paths for the remainder of the week. While that might be the case, all three have been hovering around the gyms this weekend, watching the summer league team playing and spitballing ideas. Whenever visible, the three of them would have conversations with one another in corners of the arena, formulating ideas to finish out their roster.

Their last major asset left in terms of money is their $2.7 million exception. While they could go different ways with the money, one focus is on their mind.

"I think we're looking for the best player," Nelson said. "As long as we can get that, we're happy. There's lot of backup roles that are needed. We can go in a variety of different directions, from point guard to center. I think we're going to try to get the best possible player we can."

Whoever the final pieces to the puzzle are, they will put a nice shiny bow on a successful offseason. The challenge will then become trying to become successful in terms of regular season and hopefully playoff games.

Cap space: Harris, Dirk agreements stand

July, 14, 2014
Jul 14
The Dallas Mavericks still have to formally sign Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Harris, which would take up the rest of their cap space. When asked about the idea of altering the agreements with both players in order to create more space, Cuban said that wasn't going to happen.

"I wouldn't ask them to do that. We're good," Cuban said. "We're set. We have our 2.7 [million-dollar exception]. We'll go from there."

The Mavs clearly have a couple of different areas they will want to improve in, and they'll pick the best player in those different areas.

Big man coming
The Mavs acquired Greg Smith in a trade with the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the rights to Tadija Dragievi on Monday, and it's expected that Smith will go through a physical on Tuesday and could be available for summer league play starting Wednesday.

Cuban went out of his way to say that Smith was a player the team has coveted for quite some time.

"We've been trying to trade for him for two years, so we're thrilled," Cuban said.

"He's a 5/4 [center/power forward], backing up Tyson and being able to bang. He's athletic and really skilled. He's young, so like most big men, it's going to take some time.

"He banged against Dwight [Howard] all last year, so he's got some experience there, too. He can play."

Cuban wasn't quick to rule that the addition of Smith would mark the end of DeJuan Blair's time in Dallas.

"Greg has a change to take Blair's place if DeJuan leaves," Cuban said. "There's a chance DeJuan stays. There's a chance we keep any of our guys. You never know."

That remains up in the air as ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported over the weekend that Dallas was in advanced negotiations with the Washington Wizards in regards to a potential sign-and-trade deal for Blair. There hasn't been any update in those talks.

Backing up Dirk
If the Mavs are limited in cap space, they will have to be creative in finding a backup for Nowitzki. If you ask Cuban, it appears the search may not be that hard.

"B-Wright [Brandan Wright] will play more 4," Cuban said. "Right now, there's guys that we think will be minimum players but they don't want to be minimum players, so they're holding out to get the best offer they can get. We'll see what we can do."

That idea of Wright playing the power forward seems like more of a change in direction over recent seasons as the Mavs preferred to have a floor-spacing big man to back up Nowitzki. What has changed since then?

"He's had time with Devin [Harris]," Cuban said of Wright. "For us, the Devin/B-Wright combination is lethal. Chandler can throw a lob. He's good at that, too, so we'll see him in the pick-and-roll. I think we got a lot more versatile."

With Smith logging more minutes at center and Wright shifting to power forward, is it possible that Wright and Tyson Chandler could be on the floor together?

"Yeah, because as long as we put shooters around them," Cuban said.

With the addition of Parsons and veteran forward Richard Jefferson, the Mavs hope they will have acquired perimeter shooting with room for more.

"Guess who was second in the year on corner 3s last season," Cuban questioned.

"Monta. And Richard Jefferson shot above 40 percent and shot 49 percent on corner 3s. If you have one skill that you can be top-10 NBA, I want you even if the rest of you sucks because there's a situation where we can put you to work."

Ellis shot 54.2 percent on corner 3-pointers last season, to be specific.
If Mark Cuban can invest in a time machine, Richard Jefferson would be a heck of a fit as the Mavericks’ starting small forward.

But that’s far from the plan next season for Jefferson, who agreed to a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Mavs.

Jefferson started for a bad team in Utah last season, averaging 10.1 points per game and shooting 40.9 percent from 3-point range. Unless a lot of things go wrong, Jefferson’s role will be much smaller with the Mavs.

Look at Jefferson as a bargain-priced replacement for Wayne Ellington, who didn’t play much for the Mavs last season and was included in the deal with the New York Knicks earlier this summer. At a minimal price, Jefferson can provide the Mavs’ bench a perimeter threat and willing defender.

Jefferson clearly isn’t the same guy who was once a 20-plus-point scorer for the then-New Jersey Nets. At 34 years old, the Mavs believe he can be a bargain-priced role player.

Jason Terry: Stephen Jackson trade a no-brainer

March, 17, 2012
DALLAS -- Mavericks guard Jason Terry loves his Arizona Wildcats, but he's not afraid to call a trade the way he sees it even it involves one of his fellow Cats.

That said, Terry said the deal that reunited the Spurs and Stephen Jackson by sending Richard Jefferson to the Golden State Warriors was an obvious trade to make. Jackson is an edgier and more physical small forward who isn't afraid to throw around some attitude and elbows on both ends of the floor. Jackson also gives the Spurs another defensive option to throw at Dirk Nowitzki if these two teams were to again meet in a playoff series.

Terry, though, didn't think matching up the Mavs was the impetus for Thursday's deal.

"I don’t think Pop cares at all," Terry said. "I think it’s just that’s what they needed. They wanted to get Jefferson out of there and if you can get Stephen Jackson for Richard Jefferson, I would have did it, too. And he’s a Wildcat, but that’s just a no-brainer."

It is possible that Jackson could be with the team tonight. He and Jefferson have 48 hours to report to their new teams, which is 2 p.m. today.

The Spurs are expected to have Manu Ginobili back in the lineup, while the Mavs will be without Brendan Haywood (sprained right knee) and Delonte West (fractured right ring finger). Shawn Marion (sore left knee) is a game-time decision.

Terry said no matter who plays tonight, this one is an important game for Dallas to win.

"This is our rival and obviously everyone knows it's going to be a wild and crazy building tonight and we’re excited for the challenge," Terry said. "They’re playing very well right now. They made a move at the deadline that gave them some more toughness and scoring power. Whether he [Jackson] plays tonight or not, we’ll be ready."

After 1: Mavs 24, Spurs 18

January, 29, 2012
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki received a rousing ovation upon being announced in the starting lineup for his first game back since Jan. 19.

After that, he was Dirk the decoy. With Jason Kidd sidelined by a right calf and Rodrigue Beaubois running the point, the other four Mavs got shots off. Nowitzki did pull down three rebounds and intercepted a pass in the lane to at least get his hands on the basketball. He sat down after a six-minute run with no points. He returned with 41.9 seconds to go and got his first shot attempt off with just seconds to go from the top of the arc. It was off the mark.

Vince Carter got the start at shooting guard and continued his hot starts. He had eight in the first quarter Friday night and put up 10 tonight on 4-of-6 shooting in his second game back from that left foot sprain.

The Spurs got off to an 8-2 start, but Dallas countered with a 12-2 run that became 18-6.

Jason Terry started with the hot hand, hitting both of his jumpers for four points. Rodrigue Beaubois also had four points.

Richard Jefferson leads San Antonio with seven points.

And the big stat of the quarter was the Spurs making just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Remember, on Jan. 5, they nailed 11 in the first half.

Jason Kidd recalls, briefly, Finals vs. L.A.

May, 2, 2011
LOS ANGELES -- The Dallas Mavericks haven’t faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs since 1988, more than a decade before most of today’s players entered the league – including Jason Kidd.

It doesn’t mean that all of the Mavs are facing the Lakers in the playoffs. Peja Stojakovic and the Sacramento Kings suffered heartache in a seven-game battle with Lakers in 2002. Shawn Marion and the Phoenix Suns took pleasure in knocking out the Lakers in five games in 2007.

Kidd had his run-in with the Lakers, too. His came against those mighty three-peat Lakers in the NBA Finals. Kidd’s New Jersey Nets faced the 2002 Showtime squad that dispatched Peja and the Kings.

It lasted four games.

“That was a quick Finals,” Kidd said after Sunday’s practice as the team prepared to fly to Los Angeles. “They did what they had to do. We were just happy to be there.”

That Lakers team was headlined by a young Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, and a younger Derek Fisher. Kidd’s Nets included Richard Jefferson, Kerry Kittles and Keith Van Horn.

Kidd has said that this Mavs team is the most talented squad he’s played on during his 17-year career. He hopes this series lasts a little longer.

“They’ve won plenty of rings and they understand what it takes to do that,” Kidd said. “We’re hopefully going to give them a push and see what we can do.”

Run-and-gun Spurs? Believe it

December, 30, 2010
DALLAS -- The Spurs, a franchise that built a dynasty with an offense that operates at the pace of molasses, suddenly love to run.

Really. The stats don’t lie.

San Antonio ranks fourth in the NBA in fast-break points this season, averaging 16.8 per game. It’s not a coincidence that San Antonio’s offense has never been more efficient. The Spurs average a league-best 112.6 points per 100 possessions, which is also the best in team history, according to basketball-reference.com.

“I’m still not buying it,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “That’s the truth. That’s the truth. I don’t know what else to tell you. I ain’t buying it.

“It’s not who we are. We don’t do that. I don’t know how we’re scoring. I’ve got no clue.”

Not that Popovich has a problem with it.

It’s certainly working for the Spurs, who own the NBA’s best record at 27-4. They’re winning on a regular basis with surefire Hall of Famer Tim Duncan playing a supporting role on offense. Five Spurs are scoring in the double figures, with Duncan ranked fourth at 13.2 points per game.

“It’s definitely unusual,” Popovich said. “So I think it’s best if I don’t try to figure it out, because that would probably just screw it up.”

Popovich, of course, is just playing dumb. He gets credit for recognizing that the Spurs had the skilled athletes (Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson and George Hill) to play at a faster tempo and is pushing them to do so.

Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson joked that his father, ol’ Nellie, negatively influenced old pal Popovich during card games in Hawaii with Willie Nelson. But the Spurs still don’t run recklessly and continue to have one of the league’s best halfcourt offenses. They play at the 12th-fastest pace in the league, but that’s a rapid increase for a team that typically ranks near the bottom.

“You look at your hand and you’re always constantly evolving,” Nelson said. “Gregg is one of the best coaches really in the history of the game if you think about it. So he’s taking advantage of some of the new personnel, and players evolved just like anything else. Hats off to them.”

Role reversal, the 3-ball for division foes

November, 25, 2010

Weird doings are going down with the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

The Spurs won championships boring legions of NBA fans with defense and fundamental offense. So what in the name of Gregg Popovich is going on this season with the Spurs second in the league in scoring, fast-breaking and 3-point-shooting their way to 108.0 points a game? As for that agitating defense the Spurs are so known for? Well, they can still lock down, but the quickened pace is making for more possessions and the Spurs are giving up an unheard of 98.9 points a game.

It has added up to a 12-game win streak an NBA-best 13-1 record.

"They've got a bunch of guys that can score, spread the floor, shoot and they play regular Spurs defense still," Dirk Nowitzki said. "They look really, really good."

Meanwhile, the Mavericks (10-4) enter Friday night's anticipated first matchup of the season in San Antonio practically having traded places with their rivals. Put the 'D' in Dallas because the Mavs rank in the top eight in scoring defense (92.4) and field-goal percentage defense (43.8).

The Spurs, possessing an interesting mix of young players surrounding the original Big Three plus a rejuvenated Richard Jefferson, have made a living beyond the 3-point arc. They're second in the NBA in 3-point percentage (43.0), third in 3s made per game (9.0) and sixth in 3s attempted per game (20.9). Five Spurs are shooting the long ball better than 39 percent, led by Matt Bonner, who has hit 20-of-32.

The Mavs aren't shy with the long ball either, not by a long shot. They're 10th in both attempts per game (19.0) and 3s made per game (6.6).

In the last two games alone, Dallas has launched 47 from beyond the arc and has made just 15 (31.9 percent). But, the key for the Mavs has been timing. Wednesday at Oklahoma City they made 4-of-8 in the final period after entering the fourth quarter having made just 5-of-19. A night earlier against Detroit, the Mavs made 2-of-3 in the decisive fourth quarter after having made just 4-of-17.

Jason Terry, stone-cold throughout Wednesday's comeback win at Oklahoma City, bounced in 3-pointer that gave the Mavs a 93-90 win. Nine 3s (albeit on 27 attempts) boosted the Mavs to 111 points, just the fourth time in 14 games they've scored in the 100s.

"That was huge. It was that kind of night for me, though, personally," Terry said. "I haven't shot the ball particularly well the last two games, but just hanging in there, my teammates picked me up, talking to me, and to hit a timely basket like that, it's huge for your confidence."

Jason Kidd, equally cold, suddenly swished just his second 3-pointer on nine attempts to make 98-93. Nowitzki is also resurrecting his 3-point shot, having made 6-of-8 in the last two games after making just 2-of-11 in the first 10 games.

A shootout in San Antone. It's not only possible, it's likely.

Free-agent dreams are fun, but reality bites

May, 26, 2010
Keep humming the LeBron James song -- man, it is catchy -- or wish upon a Dwyane Wade or even a Joe Johnson.

But, the odds of landing one of those three, especially the first two, are longer than Roy Williams leading the Cowboys in catches next season.

So, if the Mavs don't land LeBron or D-Wade, who will be available on the free-agent market? Well, first let's narrow the focus to the Mavs' top priorities. Youth and athleticism in a small-forward package, a dynamic player who can get to the rim and create his own shot is at the top of the list (As Dirk said, like LeBron or D-Wade). So is a post player with decent agility and the ability to catch Jason Kidd's passes and finish. Brendan Haywood showed he has potential in that role, but he hits the market on July 1 and he'll have options.

The bad news for the Mavs is that after LeBron and D-Wade, and Johnson to a lesser extent, the pool of small forward-swingman-type talent isn't deep. There's plenty of two guards (and a bunch of undersized ones) coming available, but the Mavs are banking on the development of Roddy Beaubois and unless Caron Butler is swapped for a big name, he and Jason Terry will be back.

And remember this: Because the Mavs are over the salary cap, the maximum they can offer a free agent is the mid-level exception (about $5.5 million). To acquire a higher-priced player the Mavs would have to negotiate a sign-and-trade with another team.

So who's out there? Try to restrain your excitement:

Tracy McGrady (New York), Dorell Wright (Miami), Quentin Richardson (Miami), Matt Barnes (Orlando), Bobby Simmons (New Jersey) Travis Outlaw (L.A. Clippers) and Rasual Butler (L.A. Clippers).

Restricted free agent Rudy Gay (Memphis) is possible in a sign-and-trade. Richard Jefferson could bail out of San Antonio -- could he regain form being reunited with Kidd? How about oldie, but goody, Ray Allen (Boston)? Or the younger Tony Allen (Boston)?

Al Harrington (New York) will hit the market as will 7-foot small forward Jonathan Bender (New York), and Kyle Korver (Utah) and Mike Miller (Washington).

Of course, not all of those guys actually fit the bill.

And no post players in there, you say? Recall that big fish and Dallas native Chris Bosh has said he doesn't want to play in his hometown -- too many unnecessary distractions. So, if you find a big man more suitable than Haywood, add him to the list.

Mavs banking on early offense from Butler

April, 29, 2010
SAN ANTONIO -- Count on Caron Butler being prominently featured in the Mavs' first quarter offense.

Butler has jacked up a combined 17 shots in the first quarter of the last two games.

It didn't work in Game 4, when Butler went 3-of-9 from the floor and was whistled for two offensive fouls.

It worked wonderfully in Game 5, when Butler blew up for a dozen points on 5-of-8 shooting.

But Butler's early offense is partially by design. The Mavs want him to be the guy who gets them going. Early opportunities have been there for him in the last couple of games.

"It’s more than coming down calling a play and directing the ball for him," coach Rick Carlisle said. "At this point in a playoff series, it’s about recognition and a feel guys have for each other on the floor."

In other words, get the ball to the guy Richard Jefferson is guarding.

Rough stuff up; Carlisle suspects no suspension

April, 26, 2010
DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said he doesn't expect forward Eduardo Najera to face a league suspension for his Flagrant 2 foul on Manu Ginobili 47 seconds into the fourth quarter.

A Flagrant 2 foul results in an automatic ejection and is reviewed by the league. As of Monday afternoon, the NBA office had no decision on any potential further punishment.

"He was making a physical play and it turned out to be a Flagrant 2 so that's not good," Carlisle said. "We're not telling anybody to go get flagrant fouls. He had a Flagrant 2. I don't see why he would be suspended."

There's little doubt that this heated series will continue to be tightly contested with more physical play that picked up significantly in Game 4. Along with Najera's Flagrant 2, Richard Jefferson and DeJuan Blair were hit with Flagrant 1 fouls, which are also reviewed by the league.

Dirk Nowitzki, whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter, and Antonio McDyess engaged in physical encounters throughout Game 4.

"I don’t think you can get much more physical. It's already wrestling out there," Nowitzki said. "You've got to respond and play the same way. There was some flagrant fouls left and right, some technicals. That's what the playoffs is all about, and we've got to do more of the same. If they scrap, then we've got to do the same thing."

Mavs not as dangerous when Kidd is cold

April, 22, 2010
DALLAS --When the Dallas Mavericks were at the their best in the final two months of the season, Jason Kidd served not only as a superb facilitator, but as a scorer. Having averaged better than 12 points a game since the All-Star break, Kidd's best scoring stretch in his two-plus seasons in Dallas, the Mavs' scoring average jumped by two full points.

In Game 1, Kidd contributed 13 points to go along with 11 assists and the Mavs won, scoring 100 points. In Game 2, Kidd finished with five points on 1-of-7 shooting, and eight assists, and the Mavs lost, scoring just 88 points. He was 0-of-4 as the Mavs trailed by 12 at halftime. Kidd was outplayed by dashing San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who, of course, is now coming off the bench.

Parker had 16 points and eight assists in seven fewer minutes than Kidd in Game 2 and has outscored Kidd in the two games 34-18, a discrepancy that has to be made up at another position. Kidd's low point total becomes even more magnified when Spurs forward Richard Jefferson (19 points in Game 2) steps up to nearly equal the combined scoring of the Mavs swingmen, Caron Butler (17 points), and Shawn Marion (six points).

Kidd is 6-of-19 from the field in the first two games, but he has retained his 40-percent clip from beyond the 3-point arc (4-of-10, although just 1-of-4 in Game 2), which leaves him just 2-of-9 inside the arc.

Spurs x-factor Jefferson comes through

April, 22, 2010
DALLAS -- For one day at least, San Antonio Spurs forward Richard Jefferson won't have to hear about how much of a dog he is.

The veteran forward came through in Game 2 with a 19-point performance, pouring in 17 in the first half and 13 in the Spurs' 34-point second quarter that opened up a 58-46 halftime lead.

Jefferson had an awful Game 1 with four points in 32 minutes. Afterward, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich lashed some of his players, saying too many played like dogs. Most felt that description was aimed at Jefferson, who has struggled through his first season in San Antonio.

But, in Dallas on Wednesday night, he played a leading role in evening the first-round, best-of-7 series at 1-1 as it shifts to San Antonio.

"The difference in the game," Mavs guard Jason Terry said. "Hats off to Richard. He came out and played well. It will be our job to focus a little more in on him and not allow him to get off."

Jefferson, who also had seven rebounds to give him 14 in the two games, drilled the Mavs in a variety of ways. He hit a step-back jumper over Caron Butler, just as Butler had done to him in Game 1. A massive Tim Duncan screen on Dirk Nowitzki opened the baseline for Jefferson as he swooped under the basket for a reverse layup. He also made his only 3-point attempt of the second quarter, which he finished 6-of-7 from the field.

"We needed Richard like that," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who was brilliant with 23 points, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, four assists and five rebounds. "He was so aggressive attacking the rim, getting fouls and sinking some important shots, so he was great."

Here's what didn't work against Dirk

April, 21, 2010
A shot-by-shot look at Dirk Nowitzki's Game 1 offensive dominance:


Catches the ball on the left wing after a pick-and-pop with Caron Butler. Spurs had doubled Butler, leaving Richard Jefferson to rotate to Dirk, who ball-fakes before driving left and drawing a foul on Jefferson as he goes up for a layup (2 points, 0-0 FG, 2-2 FT)

Catches ball with back to the basket, a bit below and a few feet extended from the right elbow with Antonio McDyess defending him. After reverse pivoting to face up, he ball-fakes, jab steps and launches a fadeaway that falls short. (2 points, 0-1 FG, 2-2 FT)
Grabs rebound over Manu Ginobili, who matched up with Dirk in transition, and went right back up for a layup. (4 points, 1-2 FG, 2-2 FT)

Catches ball with back to the basket a couple of feet above the right elbow against McDyess. Drives left down the lane and knocks down one-legged leanaway, planting his right foot just above the charge circle and getting easy separation against single coverage. (6 points, 2-3 FG, 2-2 FT)

Catches ball with back to basket just above right block against McDyess. Tony Parker pretends to come on the double-team, but wasn’t convincing enough to get Dirk to get rid of the ball. After a few dribbles, fakes baseline and pivots other way to launch a high-arching 11-foot fadeaway that rattles in. (8 points, 3-4 FG, 2-2 FT)


Catches the ball with back to the basket midway between the right block and 3-point line against Matt Bonner. Backs Bonner down before pivoting toward baseline for 7-foot bank shot. (10 points, 4-5 FG, 2-2 FT)

Catches the ball with back to basket a few feet off the right block against McDyess. Jefferson comes with a soft double, bailing without forcing Dirk to give up the ball. Dirk, who thought he was fouled, threw up a wild turnaround after pivoting inside and got what he later called a “lucky” bounce off the glass. (12 points, 5-6 FG, 2-2 FT)

Catches the ball facing the basket just outside right elbow and hits a wide-open jump shot. J.J. Barea created the play by penetrating down the middle and dishing to Dirk. (14 points, 6-7 FG, 2-2 FT)

Catches the ball with back to basket a few feet inside the 3-point line on right side of the floor against Tim Duncan, who was called for a foul on Dirk’s baseline drive. (16 points, 6-7 FG, 4-4 FT)

Catches the ball a few feet below the right elbow with the Spurs caught in a poor rotation. With Parker the only player within five feet, Dirk immediately goes up for an easy 12-foot jumper that he misses. (16 points, 6-8 FG, 4-4 FT)

Catches the ball facing the basket a few feet above the left elbow against Roger Mason Jr. after a pick-and-roll with Jason Kidd. After two strong dribbles with his left toward the basket, Dirk goes up for an and-1 fadeaway. Parker’s double came too late. (19 points, 7-9 FG, 5-5 FT)


Catches the ball 16 feet from the basket by the left baseline after pick-and-pop with Kidd and goes straight up for a wide-open jumper. (21 points, 8-10 FG, 5-5 FT)

Catches the ball 19 feet from the basket with McDyess closing after another pick-and-pop with Kidd. After getting McDyess to bite on a shot fake, Dirk takes one dribble to his left and hits a wide-open jumper from the right elbow. (23 points, 9-11 FG, 5-5 FT)

Catches the ball at 3-point arc on left wing against Bonner, who is called for a foul while trying to recover after Dirk beats him with a drive to the left. (25 points, 9-11 FG, 7-7 FT)

Catches the ball between the right block and elbow on a re-post against Bonner. Manu Ginobili doesn’t double again, so Dirk faces up and hits a 13-foot jumper. (27 points, 10-12 FG, 7-7 FT)

Catches the ball in pretty much the same spot as the previous possession. Faces up and takes his time with no double-team coming before hitting an and-1 jumper over Bonner. (30 points, 11-13 FG, 8-8 FT)

Gets mugged without the ball by Keith Bogans while trying to set up high pick-and-roll with Kidd. (32 points, 11-13 FG, 10-10 FT)


Catches the ball above the left elbow against McDyess, who is whistled for a foul when Dirk drives hard to his left. (34 points, 11-13 FG, 12-12 FT)

Catches the ball with back to basket between the left block and elbow, a few feet outside the paint, against Jefferson, who got matched up with Dirk in transition. No double comes, and Dirk hits a baseline turnaround fadeaway after a couple of dribbles. (36 points, 12-14 FG, 12-12 FT)



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