Dallas Mavericks: Washington Wizards

Rapid Reaction: Mavs 105, Wizards 95

November, 12, 2013
How it happened: The Mavericks built a lead with balanced scoring and had Monta Ellis get hot in time to put the game away.

Ellis scored 10 of his team-high-tying 19 points and had two of his seven assists in the fourth quarter. That included a spree of four jumpers in a span of a little less than three minutes, pushing the Mavs’ lead from five to 12 points in that span.

After going 3-of-10 from the floor through three quarters, Ellis made four of his six shots in the fourth.

The Mavs had plenty of scoring while Ellis struggled in the first 36 minutes. Dallas shot 48.8 percent from the floor for the game. Seven Mavs scored at least eight points, including five in double figures.

Dirk Nowitzki matched Ellis with 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting during a milestone night for him. Sixth man Vince Carter snapped out of a mini-slump with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Center Samuel Dalembert had a season high with 15 points, 11 of which came during his 4-of-4 first quarter.

The Mavs had trouble keeping up with the speedy Wizards in transition, allowing 28 fast-break points. But Washington struggled to score out of half-court sets. This marked the second consecutive game the Mavs held their opponent under 100 points after accomplishing that only once in the first six games.

What it means: The Mavs improved to 5-3 and remained undefeated (4-0) at the American Airlines Center. Dallas handled its business against the Wizards (2-5), a team with some young talent that is likely headed for another lottery berth. The Mavs have yet to have a surprising loss this season.

Play of the game: It was a possession, not a play, but a seven-point trip is certainly worth noting. The Mavs managed to turn a six-point deficit into a one-point lead in one possession during the fourth quarter. It started with Jae Crowder’s and-one drive. After he missed the free throw, DeJuan Blair grabbed the rebound and got fouled while making a 5-footer. His missed free throw was rebounded by Carter, who ended the Mavs’ marathon possession by knocking down a 3-pointer from the wing.

Stat of the night: Nowitzki now sits at No. 16 on the NBA’s scoring list, surpassing Hall of Famer Jerry West with a 3-pointer late in the third quarter. Nowitzki has 25,197 career points.

Rapid Reaction: Mavs 103, Wizards 94

January, 1, 2013

How it happened: The Mavericks were fortunate to face the team with the NBA’s worst record.

The Mavs were awful for most of the first half, when the Wizards scored 17 second-chance points and led by as many as 14, but were able to overcome the slow start to cruise to their first win since Dec. 18.

The Mavs got to within striking distance with a 7-0 run to close with the first half, capped by Darren Collison’s floater at the buzzer. They took their first lead since the game’s opening possession with a 9-0 run early in the second half.

Dallas completely dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Wizards by a 35-19 margin. Collison, who finished with 15 points and eight assists, led the charge with eight points and three assists in the frame.

Vince Carter led six Mavs in double figures with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. O.J. Mayo, who had been in a miserable slump during the Mavs’ losing streak, had 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five assists and no turnovers. Shawn Marion, the spark of the key third-quarter run, contributed an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double.

What it means: The Mavs avoided hitting rock bottom by beating the 4-25 Wizards, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games. The win snapped the Mavs’ six-game losing streak, which matched the franchise’s longest since Mark Cuban bought the team.

Play of the game: Carter blew by Martell Webster for a tomahawk dunk in traffic on the first possession of the game. The vintage Vinsanity moment didn’t exactly set the tone for the Mavs -- who didn’t lead again until the third quarter -- but it got Carter going. Carter, who was two points shy of his season high, also drove the lane for a dagger dunk that was his last bucket.

Stat of the night: Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Dirk hitting double digits usually wouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s the first time it happened this season. He scored in single digits in his first four games of the season, matching his single-digit scoring outputs from the previous two seasons combined.

3-pointer: 'We didn't really deserve to win'

November, 15, 2012
DALLAS -- After three consecutive losses, the Mavericks can’t complain too much about putting one in the left-hand column.

But the Mavs sure weren’t going to act like it was a thing of beauty.

The Mavs managed to turn a blowout over the winless Washington Wizards into a nail-biter. They held on for a 107-101 win, but they let the Wizards slice a 22-point lead to three late in the game.

“We snuck that win out,” center Chris Kaman said after his 23-point, eight-rebound outing. “We didn’t really deserve to win that game there, but fortunately we did.”

The fourth quarter was a defensive debacle for Dallas. The Wizards scored 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting in the frame.

Washington had only three players score in the fourth, all reserves. Big man Kevin Seraphin had 14 of his 16 points, making all seven of his shots from the floor, most of which were over Kaman. Swingman Cartier Martin added 14 points -– or twice his total all season long before that point. And Jordan Crawford scored the other six.

“We should have won by 25 or 30,” Kaman said. “That’s the bottom line. But it’s part of the deal. I’m happy we dug the win out, but it didn’t give us any hope for the next game. It didn’t make us say, ‘Hey, we played really well.’ We didn’t. We played well for three quarters. We need a whole game, 48 minutes of effort.”

Added coach Rick Carlisle: “It’s obvious that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

A few more notes from the Mavs’ streakbuster:

1. Washington whining: Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who just happens to share a college alma mater with Mark Cuban, spent the first couple of minutes of halftime complaining to referee Tom Washington.

Wittman was particularly upset at the time that Kaman wasn’t whistled for a foul when he rejected rookie guard Bradley Beal’s attempted dunk, but the Washington coach’s frustration clearly runs much deeper than one possession. He was pretty fired up about the Mavs’ 33-11 edge in free throws attempted.

“For whatever reason, this team doesn’t get any respect,” Wittman said. “We go to the rim and had 11 free throws tonight. These young guys just have to make a name for themselves, and it’s just baffling some of the things that are said to me by the refs for why they don’t call it.

“So maybe we just have to send the game film every day to the league.”

2. Sarge in charge: The two new starters weren’t the only significant changes to Carlisle’s rotation. Brandan Wright went from starting to the end of the bench, with second-round rookie Bernard “Sarge” James getting all the backup center minutes.

James had four points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. Carlisle said that role would be determined on a game to game basis, but the coach likes the energy and toughness James brings to the table.

“He’ll bang and go after the ball and he won’t get punked underneath the basket,” Carlisle said. “Those are important things.”

3. Crowder delivers after demotion: Give rookie Jae Crowder credit for producing, not pouting, after he was stripped of his starting role.

Crowder set season highs in points (12) and assists (3) in 21 minutes off the bench. The Mavs outscored the Wizards by 13 with him on the floor.

“Crowder stepped up in a big way off the bench,” Carlisle said. “That was key.”

Rapid Reaction: Mavs 107, Wizards 101

November, 14, 2012

How it happened: The Mavericks managed to avoid hitting a new low, surviving a comeback bid by the Wizards and snapping a three-game losing streak.

The Mavs made it much more interesting than it should have been against a miserable team playing the butt end of a back-to-back. The Wizards pulled within three points with a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter. Washington never got any closer, missing an open 3-pointer that would have tied it up with a little more than a minute remaining.

The Mavs didn’t have a field goal in the final frame until Elton Brand’s tip-in with 6:45 remaining. Meanwhile, they were getting lit up by little-used reserve swingman Cartier Martin, who had seven points all season until he scorched the Mavs for 14 in the fourth. Reserve power forward Kevin Seraphin also had 14 points in the quarter, going 7-of-7 from the floor.

Washington's Jordan Crawford had 17 of his 21 points in the second half to give the Wizards a chance to pull off the comeback.

Mavs shooting guard O.J. Mayo scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the fourth to help the Mavs escape with the win.

Center Chris Kaman rewarded coach Rick Carlisle’s decision to start him with a 23-point, eight-rebound performance. The 7-footer, who had 22 points and eight rebounds in a win over the Raptors in his only other start of the season, was 10-of-12 from the floor.

Brand added 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double in a Dallas uniform.

What it means: The Mavs’ losing streak ended after three games, pushing their record above .500 to 5-4. With the Detroit Pistons finally registering a victory, the 0-7 Wizards are the league’s only winless team.

Play of the game: Mayo finished a spinning drive down the middle of the lane with a pretty dish to Kaman for a dunk. Mayo delivered a lefty, wraparound pass a couple of feet from the bucket for Kaman, whose defender had to help after Mayo beat his man off the dribble. The bucket late in the second quarter extended the Mavs’ lead to 21 points.

Stat of the night: The 40 points in the second quarter marked a season high for any quarter by the Mavs this season. The previous high was 37 in the second quarter of the Halloween loss to the Utah Jazz. The Mavs shot 15-of-22 from the floor in the second against the Wizards.

W2W4: 'Must win' for Mavs vs. winless Wizards

November, 14, 2012
DALLAS – The Mavs’ three-game losing streak better stop Wednesday night.

They’ve got the winless Washington Wizards coming to town, a night after being blown out by the Charlotte Bobcats. Not that the Mavs can afford to turn up their noses at anybody right now.

"Anybody in the NBA can win, so we're not going to overlook them," point guard Darren Collison said. "That's a very tough team as far I'm concerned, and we really need to win that game.

"We've got to win this next game. It's a must-win game for us for the simple fact that we did let some slip away from us."

Records: Mavs (4-4); Wizards (0-6)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center


Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Rick Carlisle admittedly sounds like a broken record. Defense and rebounding. Defense and rebounding. That’s all he wants to talk about right now. He’s especially concerned with the way the Mavs have allowed dribble penetration the last two games. “We’re just getting lined up and beat,” Carlisle said. “It wasn’t happening when we were on a shotmaking roll. The thing we have to remind ourselves of constantly in this league is it’s a lot easier to be energized when the ball’s going in. But our approach has got to be that we’re going to be energetic and tough-minded defensively no matter what and not be influenced the other way.”

The Mavs are shaking up their starting lineup in an effort to get more energy on the floor at the beginning of the game. Don’t expect Carlisle to exercise much patience if the Mavs play with anything less than maximum effort.

Key matchup: O.J. Mayo vs. Bradley Beal – Any other Wizard worth worrying about? Beal, the third overall pick, has struggled more often than not while forced into a go-to guy role right off the bat. He’s averaging 12.2 points per game on 34.4 percent shooting, but he did have a 22-point, 7-of-14 performance in a loss to the Bucks last week. Mayo is averaging 21.4 points per game, shooting 60 percent from 3-point range.

Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) and F Shawn Marion (knee) are out. Wizards – PG John Wall (knee) and C Nene (foot) are out.

Up next: at Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m. Friday

Week ahead: Opponents missing stars vs. Mavs

November, 11, 2012
A quick look at the Mavericks' four foes this week:

Minnesota Timberwolves (7:30 p.m., Monday, American Airlines Center): The Timberwolves are off to a surprising 4-2 start despite the absences of their two marquee players, point guard Ricky Rubio and power forward Kevin Love. Center Nikola Pekovic leads Minnesota with 14.5 points per game, but the Wolves are winning with defense. Minnesota is allowing 89.5 points per game, the fifth-lowest in the league. Ex-Mavericks guard J.J. Barea is questionable with a sprained foot.

Washington Wizards (7:30 p.m., Wednesday, American Airlines Center): The winless Wizards play in Charlotte the night before their game against the Mavs. Washington had been a bad team with John Wall, and they’re significantly worse without their injured former No. 1 overall pick. Rookie lottery pick Bradley Beal leads the Wizards with 13.0 points per game, but he’s shooting less than 40 percent from the floor. Washington ranks last in the league in scoring (88.0 points per game) and 25th in field goal percentage (41.4).

Indiana Pacers (6 p.m., Friday, Conseco Fieldhouse): The 3-4 Pacers are trying to survive without star small forward Danny Granger. They’re struggling to score, averaging only 90.4 points per game, led by power forward David West’s 16.8. Center Roy Hibbert is off to an especially slow start, averaging only 8.7 points and shooting 38.4 percent from the floor. This will be Mavs point guard Darren Collison’s return to Indiana, which considered him expendable after giving George Hill the starting point guard job late last season. Hill is averaging 15.1 points and 5.1 assists per game.

Cleveland Cavaliers (6:30 p.m., Saturday, Quicken Loans Arena): Kyrie Irving, last season’s Rookie of the Year, is the best player the Mavs will see this week. It won’t be long before his name comes up in conversations about the league’s elite point guards. He’s averaging 23.3 points and 6.5 assists per game. Anderson Varejao (14.0 ppg, 14.0 rpg) could have a big game against the rebounding-challenged Mavs. The Cavs are one of the NBA’s worst defensive team, ranking 27th in the league with 103 points allowed per game.

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.

Lamar Odom's dropoff third-worst this season

April, 13, 2012

Lamar Odom's awful season will eventually be forgiven around here, especially if the Mavericks can put together a spirited title defense in a couple of weeks.

But it's likely it won't be forgotten for some time. That's how pitiful his four months in Big D turned out to be.

Odom was banished from the Mavs after last Saturday's game at Memphis, departing after averaging a career-low 6.6 points in 50 games this season. With the Lakers last season, the Sixth Man of the Year averaged 14.4 points in 82 games. The 7.8 points per game difference, according to ESPN Stats & Info is tied for the third-largest dropoff from last season to this season.

Stephen Jackson, now finding new life with the San Antonio Spurs, is the winner of the biggest scoring average dropoff at 8.4 points per game. Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche is next, down 8.3. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley is tied with Odom at 7.8.

Part of Odom's offensive dip, ESPN Stats & Info discovered, has been a result of fewer attempts inside 10 feet of the basket. Odom took nearly 60 percent of his shots from inside 10 feet last season, but took just under 44 percent of his shots from such distances this season.

The most notable stat is that Odom had just five dunks this season compared to 45 last season.

Fountain of Youth: Brandan Wright feels refreshed

March, 14, 2012
DALLAS -- Brandan Wright made a quiet, but welcomed return to the court Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards.

The 6-foot-10 leaper played just a tick under five minutes, all in the second quarter, recording a rebound and blocked shot. It wasn't much, but it was the first step back after Wright sustained the first concussion of his basketball-playing career March 2 during a game at New Orleans. He got popped in the mouth relatively early in the game, came out because he was bloodied, but later returned.

He said he felt worse and worse as the game progressed and afterward was administered a concussion test.

Unable to be cleared to play until all symptoms were nonexistent, Wright missed the next six games, an unfortunate setback for the 24-year-old who was averaging 18.4 minutes in the previous seven games and 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds with 12 blocked shots.

"He's had a terrific year," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He gives us activity, he's active around the basket, he can block shots, he can run. He just gives us one of three different looks we have at the center position."

At Monday's practice, Wright said he was feeling fine and ready to play. He called the experience of the recuperation a strange process because it was unlike recovering from a physical injury like a sprain or a bruised body part. Wright is no stranger to injuries. His young career has had one setback after another. The former lottery pick missed the entire 2009-10 season after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Wright's absence did allow Sean Williams to get some playing time with the big club, and the former Mansfield High School star played well. However, Wright's return sent Williams back down to the D-League Texas Legends.

Live in-game chat: Mavs vs. Wizards

March, 13, 2012
Follow along with our experts as they tweet and chat throughout the game.

W2W4: Mavs on high alert vs. Wizards

March, 13, 2012
DALLAS -- The praise for the 9-31 Washington Wizards was in full force Tuesday morning at the Mavericks shootaround.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "We’ve got to be ready, this is a dangerous team we’re playing."

Shawn Marion: "They are very athletic, very talented and they push the ball."

Hey, the Mavs have little choice but to fully respect their opponent, any opponent, coming off what was witnessed over the last two weeks.

For review purposes, the Mavs lost to New Jersey, New Orleans, Phoenix, Sacramento and finally Golden State. Those teams will be battling for top ping-pong ball.

As Carlisle likes to say these days, that's where it's at.

At 23-20, there is no margin for error. The Mavs were not competitive in their last two losses and falling at home to Washington tonight or Charlotte on Thursday could have catastrophic consequences for a team already teetering.

"We’ve got to be precise with everything we’re doing," Carlisle said. "And I expect us to be ready to play and for our energy to be good."

Records: Wizards (9-31); Mavs (23-20)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center


Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Energy and urgency, plain and simple. If the Mavs don't have to start this game, when will they ever have it?

Key matchup: John Wall vs. Shawn Marion
The Mavs' versatile forward seemingly will be given another tough matchup against Washington's speedy point guard. Carlisle pointed out that Wall leads the league in coast-to-coast baskets, which will require Marion to be on his toes, literally, to get back on defense.

Injuries: Wizards -- F Rashard Lewis (sore left knee) is out; F Ronny Turiaf (fractured left hand) is questionable. Mavs – G Delonte West (fractured right ring finger) is out, C/PF Brandan Wright (concussion) is probable, C Brendan Haywood (sprained left ankle) is probable.

Up next: Charlotte Bobcats at Mavs, 7:30 p.m., Thursday

Week ahead: Mavs must take first two

March, 11, 2012
And so it's back to work after the most grueling and disappointing stretch of the season for the Dallas Mavericks.

[+] EnlargeBrendan Haywood
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireCenter Brendan Haywood could soon return from his ankle injury and provide a boost to the Mavs.
As Jason Terry said after Saturday's third consecutive loss that dropped Dallas to 23-20 with 23 games left in the regular season, it's time to let reality set in and move on.

Coach Rick Carlisle beat the drum of positivity after completing the 2-7 stretch.

"We went through this, it was tough, it was disappointing, but we have to move forward and keep our spirits up and stay upbeat about the week ahead," Carlisle said. "I’m going to be optimistic and positive with the guys, as well as being truthful. Monday is a big day for us."

It's big because it begins a new stretch of games and because the Mavs could find out that they'll soon be whole again. Starting center Brendan Haywood could get the go-ahead to return and Brandan Wright could, as well. Delonte West, so important to this team's defensive attitude as well as backing up Jason Kidd on the offensive end, will have his broken right ring finger examined.

Senior NBA writer Marc Stein on whether the Mavs be major players at the NBA trade deadline.

Listen Listen
"We’ve got to fight through some injuries," Dirk Nowitzki said, "and hopefully we get the guys back soon and make a push.”

Then come two games that should get the week off to a good start if the Mavs are unified and truly engaged in making a push during the final third of the season.

The Washington Wizards and Charlotte Bobcats are at the American Airlines Center on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. These two teams have combined for 14 wins, or as many as the Sacramento Kings. They have five road wins between them. Only one team (Sacramento) allows more points per game than Washington. Only Charlotte averages fewer than 88 points.

Two wins could jump-start some momentum before the San Antonio Spurs come to town Saturday night to kick off a highly competitive stretch of 12 games. A loss to either could serve as a fatal blow to a fragile team.

Tuesday: vs. Washington Wizards (9-30), 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: FSSW/ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: The Wizards are actually on one of their better stretches, which is what you have to call going 2-2 after a six-game losing streak. Those wins both came at home against Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers. Washington plays at San Antonio on Monday and will be playing a third game in four nights against a Mavs team that will have had two full days to recover. The Wizards have four players that score in double figures, led by a trio of guards -- John Wall (17.4), Nick Young (16.6) and Jordan Crawford (12.9).

Thursday: vs. Charlotte Bobcats (5-34), 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: FSSW/ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: The league's worst team is 2-19 on the road, ranks dead last in scoring and 27th in points allowed. One player, Corey Maggette, averages more than 15 points a game (16.2). They've lost nine of 10 entering tonight's game at New Orleans and 24 of 26. They somehow rallied from a 20-point deficit in the first half to beat the Orlando Magic by 16 on March 6. They've lost three in a row since, to Utah, New Jersey and Oklahoma City. The Bobcats' stop in Dallas will be the finale of a four-game road swing and fifth game in seven nights.

Saturday: vs. San Antonio Spurs (26-13), 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: FSSW, NBA TV/ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: It's been a strange first two games in this series, with the Spurs raining 3s in a blowout win at San Antonio and the Mavs taking the second meeting in Dallas in overtime. Dallas blew an 18-point lead in the second half as Gregg Popovich rolled with his hot-shooting reserves for the final quarter-and-half. Danny Green thought he hit the game-winner at the buzzer, but replays showed he got the shot off a split-second too late. The Spurs will have Manu Ginobili for the first time this season against the Mavs, who should have the benefit of a day of rest while San Antonio will be coming of Friday night game at Oklahoma City. If the Spurs were pull off the road win, it would make it very difficult for Dallas to make a run at the Southwest Division crown.

In another L, Jason Kidd sits; Jason Terry less dire

March, 11, 2012
Coming off a high-energy, 15-point, six-assist performance in a big win against the New York Knicks on Tuesday, Jason Kidd said he felt great and was ready to take on the Mavericks' lone back-to-back-to-back of the season.

That would not be the case. Coach Rick Carlisle opted to sit his starting point guard Saturday night at Golden State on the final game of not only three in a row, but their fifth in six nights and the ninth in 12 -- and it didn't matter how desperate the Mavs were to get a win.

"It wasn’t a good idea for him to play," Carlisle said.

Kidd missed his 11th game of the season, joining Brendan Haywood (sprained left ankle) and Delonte West (broken finger) in suits, plus Brandan Wright (concussion) was back in Dallas.

The Mavs got down by double-digits in the first quarter, trailed by 19 in the second quarter and after getting as close as seven in the third quarter, fell apart. Despite their third consecutive loss and eighth in 10 games, Carlisle said sitting his floor general against the Warriors was the right move.

"He’s so important to us that it’s tough to play without him, but we’ve got to look at this on a big-picture basis," Carlisle said. "I’m disappointed, but not dismayed. We’ve just got to keep going."

Kidd played 30 minutes in the loss at Phoenix on Thursday and 22 minutes in Friday's lopsided defeat at Sacramento. Sitting out Saturday's game gives him three full days off before Dallas opens a three-game homestand Tuesday against the Washington Wizards, followed by the Charlotte Bobcats and the San Antonio Spurs.

Haywood dressed Saturday night, but did not play, which seems to suggest that he'll be ready to return Tuesday night. Prior to the trip, Carlisle said the hope was that Wright will be able to resume practice Monday, perhaps making him available for Tuesday's game. West is expected to be evaluated Monday with the hope that the stabilizing pins in his right ring finger will be able to be removed soon, paving the way for his eventual return.

That's the good news. But, what about this team's collective psyche?

Jason Terry was emotional and didn't mince words after Friday's loss to the Kings, saying that changes were necessary, that they weren't playing as a team, not handling adversity with the aplomb of last season's team and that, "You can only look at something for so long and you’re getting the same result. So at what point are you going to change or are you going to ride it out?"

Carlisle, as expected, has maintained an even-keel approach and reiterated prior to the Golden State game that he's not worried about the team fraying. At Saturday's conclusion, Terry was far more measured and optimistic.

"We can't let this kill our spirit. It's been a rough go and you've got to go through tough times to get to where you want to go," Terry said. "Hopefully, we'll look back on this stretch of the season and say, 'Man, we got through it, we persevered.' The communication is back. I think after the Phoenix loss, we aired a lot of things out. We're all on the same page now. Hopefully we can go home and right the ship."

Mavs are oldest team; tallest, too?

January, 10, 2012
We already know that the Dallas Mavericks are the oldest team in the NBA, boasting a mature average of 30.3 years and a starting lineup that averages 32.8 years (and Delonte West, 28, lowered that when he took over for 34-year-old Vince Carter).

But what about the tallest team in the NBA? Yes, it appears that Dallas, with its recent signing of 7-foot Chinese center Yi Jianlian, can also claim this distinction (if not in total feet and inches, which they might, than in total number of tall players). Seven -- virtually half of the Mavs' 15-man roster -- stand 6-10 or taller. Dallas is the rare team with three 7-footers (Yi, Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood), plus 6-11 center Ian Mahinmi and three 6-10 forwards and/or centers in Lamar Odom, Brandan Wright and Sean Williams.

Dallas has already shown a lineup that includes Odom, Nowitzki and Mahinmi, or darn near 21 feet of front-line players.

The league average for the number of players 6-10 or taller on a team is 4.2.

Four teams -- the New York Knicks, thanks to the addition of 7-1 center Tyson Chandler, the Orlando Magic (with five players at 6-10), the Washington Wizards and the Minnesota Timberwolves -- all have six.

Two teams -- the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers -- have just two players at 6-10 or taller.

Six teams, including tonight's opponent, the Detroit Pistons, have five, six have three, 11 teams -- including the entire Pacific Division -- have four, but just one team stands the tallest with seven.

What does it all mean? Probably not a whole lot. Three of the Mavs' tallest players -- Yi, Williams and Wright -- are role players at best at the moment. Williams is playing for the Mavs' D-League affiliate. Wright has seen limited action of late and Yi could see his first action tonight.

However, the addition of Odom, who is still trying to find his footing in Dallas, does give Mavs coach Rick Carlisle intriguing versatility, such as using Odom to bring the ball up the floor and initiate the offense. And Haywood and Mahinmi are showing to be a nicer-than-expected combo at center. Williams and Wright do provide additional bodies to use in the middle in case of foul trouble.

So, take it for what it's worth. The Mavs have a lot of tall guys.

Mavericks deserve White House trip

January, 3, 2012

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had every right to be enraged at the league for not scheduling the 2010-11 NBA champions to play in Washington this season so they could make the traditional trip to the White House.

[+] EnlargeMark Cuban
AP Photo/LM OteroMark Cuban was right to express outrage at the NBA for not scheduling his defending champion Mavs to play in D.C. for a chance to meet the president.
Instead, the league managed to schedule the Washington Wizards to play in Dallas on March 13. Cuban said he took matters into his own hands and had club CEO Terdeema Ussery call the White House and try to work out a visit. The White House, Cuban said, was receptive and the Mavs will visit President Barack Obama on Monday before a two-game road trip to Detroit and Boston.

The league, however, tells a bit of a different story about how Monday's visit came to be arranged. Tim Frank, the NBA's senior vice president for basketball communications, said the league learned of the president's availability and worked with the Mavs to make it happen.

"Our jurisdiction doesn't extend to scheduling the president, and scheduling the Mavericks against the Wizards would have been no guarantee that the president would be in town and available," Frank said. "We learned that he would be available on Jan. 9 and began working with the Mavericks to accommodate that availability and the Mavericks' schedule. Fortunately, we were able to make it work."

Teams typically work in visits to the White House around playing in the area, so without a scheduled game in D.C., the Mavs were faced with missing out on one of the great traditions in American sport and one that dates back more than 100 years, according to some historians. Cuban on Monday night called the league "stupid" for not making this happen and, frankly, it's a trip the team needs to make for several reasons.

First is just the thrill of going to the White House and meeting the president, something few Americans ever get the opportunity to do. Then there's the fact that the NBA is a league predominantly made up of African-American players and a growing number of head coaches. When Obama, this country's first African-American president and an unabashed basketball fan, was elected, politics became a rare but proud topic in NBA locker rooms.

"My grandmother was born in 1923 in Georgia. It means a lot," said Lamar Odom, who has visited the White House twice after titles won with the Los Angles Lakers. "It's was pretty deep emotionally. It's not just having someone in that position, but having someone that's qualified and that the people picked. That means a lot to people who have had a lot of history in this country. It was emotional for my whole family to see that."

Whatever arena or other scheduling conflicts were involved in devising the compacted, 66-game schedule, Cuban argues that surely the league could have facilitated the game in D.C. Because of 16 fewer games being played due to the lockout, teams will not visit all of the other 29 NBA cities.

The nine remaining Mavs from the title team all won their first championship and expressed appreciation that they will visit the White House after all.

"It's going to be a great honor to meet the chief and maybe we'll even have a little time to play some one-on-one," guard Jason Kidd said. "We know he's going to get the benefit of the calls, and he has homecourt advantage. We'll just try to keep it close."

Jason Terry, who visited the White House more than a decade ago with the NCAA champion Arizona Wildcats, said he's looking forward to meeting "the first black president" and added that the trip is a "tribute to what we were able to accomplish. It's definitely going to be fun."

The Mavs' 7-foot German national, Dirk Nowitzki, might have summed it up the best, saying the Mavs deserve this rite of passage long granted to all champions.

"It's a huge honor and we didn't know if it was going to happen or not this season because we don't go to Washington at all, so we were disappointed initially, but it's very exciting," Nowitzki said. "Every championship team gets to go there and meet the president, so we're fired up about that. Hopefully, have a couple good games here until then and then really enjoy that day. We deserve it and it's going to be a great experience."



Monta Ellis
20.7 4.6 1.7 34.1
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.9
AssistsR. Rondo 8.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.8
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4