Dallas Mavericks: Brandon Roy

Are new CBA rules making teams more cautious?

July, 26, 2012

Five days into free agency, as the Dallas Mavericks quietly scanned the proceedings after being turned down by Deron Williams, the player movement and big money that flowed around the league certainly didn't suggest that a new collective bargaining agreement was sinking its sharpened teeth into management.

The Brooklyn Nets overpaid Gerald Wallace, signing him for four years and $40 million. They then spit in the eye of the harsher luxury tax to come by acquiring Joe Johnson, still owed $89 million, to play with Williams, who signed a five-year, $98 million deal.

The Lakers completed a sign-and-trade for Steve Nash, handing the 38-year-old a three-year, $27-million deal. Prior to that, the Toronto Raptors offered the beloved Canadian point guard a reported three years and $36 million.

The Minnesota Timberwolves gave Brandon Roy, who had retired because of chronic knee issues, two years and $10.4 million and then signed Portland forward Nicolas Batum to a four-year, $45 million offer sheet. The Suns signed guard Goran Dragic, a player they once traded, to four years and $34 million and also inked troubled Minnesota forward Michael Beasley to three years and $18 million.

Portland signed emerging Indiana center Roy Hibbert to a $58 million offer sheet. The Rockets signed Bulls backup center Omer Asik to a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet and did the same with New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.

Does it mean the new CBA isn't working as planned? Mavs owner Mark Cuban hasn't been shy about expressing his displeasure with the final product, comparing the new CBA to the old one by saying owners are now drowning in 2 feet of water instead of 10. We know the rules have radically altered his philosophy for building his team.

Since the opening flurry of moves, some made by teams with cap space to fill, the majority of teams, Cuban points out, have acted responsibly in preparation for the stiffer tax that starts in the 2013-14 season.

"This offseason we saw maybe six teams try to win the summer and make a big splash," Cuban said. "The vast majority did little or nothing beyond keeping their own players."

In 2009-10, 11 of the 30 teams spent into the luxury tax. That number dropped to seven in 2010-11 and six last season. Five to seven teams are headed for the luxury tax this season, a number that does not include the Mavs for the first time in Cuban's ownership. In a year or two, only the Lakers, Knicks, Nets and Heat could be luxury tax violators.

Cuban has vowed that he will spend into the luxury tax again, when the time is right.

Cuban points out two examples of the new CBA in action.

"The best example of the new rules having an impact are the Knicks walking away from Jeremy Lin and the Bulls walking away from three of their rotation players," Cuban said.

The Knicks have supported the most bloated payroll in the league over the last decade. Yet, presented with the Lin offer sheet from the Rockets that included a "poison pill" third year that jacked Lin's salary from $5 million to $15 million, which has been estimated to swell to more than $40 million after tax penalties, it was too much for even the hand-over-fist, money-making Knicks.

The Bulls surrendered Asik because of a similar "poison pill" third year that would have killed their cap. Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver were also sacrificed -- and Chicago tried to trade Rip Hamilton -- all in the name of whittling down payroll.

Free agents still looking for homes

July, 5, 2012
With Jason Kidd unexpectedly agreeing to a multiyear deal with the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks have seven players under contract -- officially contracts can't be signed until Wednesday. The Mavs also have three draft picks that will be given every opportunity to make the team, so add it up and that's 11 players.

Dallas has four free agents still unsigned: Delonte West, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal and Yi Jianlian.

Teams must have a minimum of 13 players on the 15-man roster, so the Mavs are not done in the free-agent market, and trades also remain in play as the roster overhaul continues.

Kidd's sudden departure leaves a gaping hole at point guard. With Jason Terry headed out, the Mavs have only Vince Carter as a true shooting guard along with combo guards Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones and rookie Jared Cunningham. More quality choices exist at shooting guard than at point guard.

The Mavs have to decide how much they're willing to pay and how long they're willing to go as they work to maintain flexibility moving forward after striking out with Deron Williams.

Here's a position-by-position look at a handful of free agents still on the market:

Aaron Brooks (restricted)
Randy Foye
Kirk Hinrich
Ramon Sessions
Leandro Barbosa
Derek Fisher
Keyon Dooling
Ronnie Price
Gilbert Arenas
Raymond Felton

Ray Allen (appears bound for Boston or Miami)
C.J. Miles
O.J. Mayo
Brandon Roy
Josh Howard
Carlos Delfino
Nick Young
Mickael Pietrus
Marco Belinelli
Michael Redd
Tracy McGrady
Courtney Lee

Anthony Randolph
Anthony Tolliver
Matt Barnes
Steve Novak
Sam Young
Rasual Butler
Devin Ebanks

Kris Humphries
Kenyon Martin
Carl Landry
Ronny Turiaf
Troy Murphy
Louis Amundson
Jordan Hill

Chris Kaman
Marcus Camby
Aaron Gray
Joel Przybilla
Kyrylo Fesenko
Tony Battie
Hamed Haddadi

Mavs are on Brandon Roy's short list

June, 30, 2012
The Dallas Mavericks have interest in free agent shooting guard Brandon Roy and the feeling is mutual, a source with knowledge of the player's thinking confirmed Saturday.

Roy has a list of five finalists, according to a Yahoo report earlier Saturday: the Mavs, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The story said that Roy and his agent plan to meet with representatives from the four teams this coming week.

The source who confirmed the Mavs are on Roy's short list could not confirm a scheduled meeting. There are reports that Dallas met with Roy on Saturday.

Mavs fans won't soon forget Roy's incredible Game 4 performance in the 2011 first-round playoff series that rallied the Portland Trail Blazers from a 24-point deficit late in the third quarter to win the game. The Mavs won the next two games to finish off the series and went on to win the championship, pointing to that game as a key moment in their run.

Roy, 27, who has been plagued by knee injuries, decided to retire after the 2011-12 season. But, he has undergone the platelet-rich plasma therapy that helped Kobe Bryant and wants to make a comeback.

Report: Mavs have interest in Brandon Roy

June, 27, 2012

According to a report, the Mavericks are among the teams showing interest in former Portland shooting guard Brandon Roy, who is planning to return to the NBA after a year in retirement (watch the video for details).

You may remember Roy almost single-handedly led the Trail Blazers' epic fourth-quarter rally to sink the Mavs in the 2011 playoffs.

Do you think Roy would be worth taking a flyer on?

Lockout levity: Welcome back, Blazers

November, 28, 2011
Merry Christmas everyone! Who would have figured entering Friday afternoon that we'd come out of Thanksgiving weekend with a tentative labor agreement and an NBA season that is scheduled to start on Dec. 25.

ESPN NBA analyst Marc Stein dishes on the end of the lockout, and how the Mavs' roster will look like on Christmas Day.

Listen Listen
The expectation is a 66-game season, meaning only 16 fewer games than a normal 82-game grind, but in about a month-and-a-half shorter time span.

Had that 82-game grind not been interrupted by a lockout, the Portland Trail Blazers would have been in town tonight for the first meeting since the Dallas Mavericks ousted them from the first round of the playoffs.

The lockout isn't quite over, but it's getting awfully close.

Today's canceled game: vs. Portland

Game No.: 15

Mavs pretend record: 9-5

Last season's matchup: Oh my, did any game last season provide more angst for Mavs fans than the Blazers' 104-96 win at the Rose Garden on April 3? Jason Kidd looked gassed and the Mavs looked done as the regular season was winding down. It was the third consecutive loss on a season-long six-game road trip and there was little positivity flowing after that. Well, that would be the last game Kidd would play for a week as he recharged for the playoffs, and we all know how that ended up. ... Of course Portland can also be greatly credited for righting the Mavs in the playoffs. Brandon Roy and the Blazers made the ridiculous comeback in Game 4 to tie the series at 2-2, Dallas sucked it up and then won seven in a row as Dallas lost just three more times on its championship run.

What might have been: It's always good to see local lad LaMarcus Aldridge back in Dallas. It will be interesting to see if Roy is back on the club or if Portland uses the amnesty clause on their hobbled and beloved shooting guard.

What's been missed: The Mavs have obviously missed getting their championship rings and raising the banner. Among the first 15 games canceled, four division games have been wiped out, plus always fun matchups against the Nuggets and Oklahoma City.

Next canceled game: Wednesday vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Did Rick Carlisle violate gag order?

July, 15, 2011
Oh, brother. This NBA lockout gag order is ultimately going to cause a mess for somebody. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle might have innocently stepped in it Thursday while doing a telephone interview on a Portland sports talk radio station.

[+] EnlargeRick Carlisle
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesRick Carlisle may have gotten a bit too casual with on a Portland radio station while discussing players during the lockout.
Carlisle went on the air with show host and Oregonian columnist John Canzano, who at first joked how he wouldn't try to bait Carlisle into a $1 million fine, the hefty amount commissioner David Stern has allegedly threatened could come down if ownership/management/coaching staff or anyone else on an NBA payroll talks about the lockout or current NBA players or apparently anything that assumes NBA players exist at all (just peek at NBA.com).

It is a bit surprising that the normally cautious Carlisle would even grant an interview under such tense and trying times, but he did serve three seasons as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers and he has a history with Canzano.

So the interview gets started and Canzano acknowledges that Carlisle can't talk about the lockout, so he asks the coach what can they talk about.

"We can talk about the women's [World Cup] soccer team," Carlisle says.

Canzano follows up with, "What do you think about women's soccer?"

Carlisle, as dry as ever, says, "I like it." Then he adds, "They're a kick-ass bunch of chicks; it's fun to watch."

The interview then touches on expected topics like, "Did you sense non-Mavs fans were pulling for you guys against the Heat?"

Carlisle said he did and that he felt fans were rooting for Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd with Carlisle calling them "great, great players, two all-time great players that didn't have the ring."


Carlisle was later asked what the Blazers can do to become a better team. Carlisle naturally said it's not his place to tell coach Nate McMillan or Blazers management how to run their club, and then in the natural flow of the conversation, Carlisle went here:

"[LaMarcus] Aldridge took a quantum leap this year. I voted for him for All-Stars; I have no idea how he didn't make the All-Star team, and he's a great player."


Carlisle also mentioned Blazers guards Brandon Roy and Wesley Matthews, and how the draft-night trade with Portland to acquire Rudy Fernandez was a good move for the Mavs. Carlisle said he liked getting a veteran player instead of a rookie.

The interview continues with neither party thinking gag-order violation flags were being thrown in New York. And so the conversation meandered on and at about 11 minutes in, as Carlisle is talking about how changes to NBA rules over the last decade have enhanced the game, he finishes a rambling thought by suddenly detouring to, "John, I'm sorry, I've got to run. I've got something I've got to do here."

And that was that.

Carlisle's abrupt exit spawned a new conversation about why he bailed so quickly. Was NBA Big Brother listening?

Soon after, Canzano reports that he received a text message from "an NBA executive who is listening to the show" and said, "You better believe that Carlisle got a call immediately from somebody at the NBA office or the Dallas Mavericks."

Oh, brother.

Could commissioner Stern really drop the piggy bank on Carlisle and the Mavs over comments that had nothing to do with the lockout and, in fact, actually kept the game in the forefront? If a fine of any size is coming, shame on the NBA.

An NBA spokesman essentially had no comment Thursday night, saying it is impossible to comment every time a coach or team exec may or may not say or do something. Just Wednesday night, Mavs owner Mark Cuban had special permission from Stern to attend the ESPYs in Los Angeles with half his team. It's not known if Cuban's praise of his players on national television was frowned upon.

"If [Carlisle] gets fined a million dollars for that," Canzano told his listening audience, "I know that we're not going to be able to raise enough money to pay for that fine, but we can get people like in Albany and Salem and everywhere else to come up and help him with the fine. Stupidest thing ever."

About 20 minutes after Carlisle hung up, Canzano caught up with him via text message. Canzano said Carlisle told him that somebody reminded him he's not supposed to talk about current players. Carlisle also said he's not in trouble.

For the love of free speech -- nah, for the love of sanity -- let's hope so.

If Mavs get big lead, can they hold it?

May, 2, 2011

LOS ANGELES -- So what happens if, say, the Dallas Mavericks are playing superbly in tonight's Game 1 and are up, oh, 15 to 18 points with the clock ticking down to about one minute left in the third quarter?

Can they clamp down defensively and secure the win? Does the offense bog down? Does the lead evaporate in a matter of minutes?

It's a legitimate question. The Mavs spent the season building leads and quickly losing them. It didn't end with the regular season. Brandon Roy led a 23-point comeback in Game 4 and the Portland Trail Blazers closed a 17-point deficit with 1:25 left in the third to 86-85 with five minutes to play before losing.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle contends that the Mavs are not alone in the blown-lead department.

"The Lakers have lost leads. Boston’s lost leads. Miami’s lost leads. Hey, it happens," Carlisle said. "For us, headed into this series, we’re going to have to be extremely aggressive and play really smart. And whatever the situation, we’re going to have to be in attacking mode. We talk about how we’re going to attack and how we’re going to be successful. We don’t talk about the negative things."

Perhaps all those teams do blow large, double-digit leads in the second half, but it seems the Mavs have done it on a more regular basis. Against the Los Angeles Lakers, such blown leads would have to seem like Russian roulette.

"That's just the playoffs," Shawn Marion said. "We've seen every team in the playoffs, Eastern and Western Conference, have big leads and come back and then get that close again. You might get cold and they might get hot. It's that kind of situation, but you just got to stay after it and stay consistent with what you're doing and most of the times you will prevail."

Battle of benches could decide Game 6

April, 28, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Dallas Mavericks have relied on bench scoring all season. That hasn't changed in this series and bench play stands to be a significant factor in tonight's Game 6.

"You can almost say it's the battle of the benches," said Mavs sixth-man Jason Terry, who is coming off a 20-point Game 5. "Whichever one comes to perform will win the game. I can see that playing out. We have to come to play."

Winning the bench battle doesn't guarantee winning the game. The Mavs' 48-23 advantage in Game 3 didn't produce a W. Overall, the Mavs hold the definitive advantage when the second units go head-to-head. Dallas' reserves have scored 172 points compared to 111 for the Blazers. Coach Rick Carlisle has mostly used a four-man bench with Terry and Jose Juan Barea, Peja Stojakovic at small forward and center Brendan Haywood.

But, the Blazers' bench has taken advantage at times when Kidd takes a seat. Portland has a decisive size advantage in the backcourt when Dallas goes to Terry and/or Barea and both have been hurt defensively on post-ups. The Blazers' bench, led by Brandon Roy, has performed better at home, scoring 54 points compared to 57 points in three games in Dallas. Roy, who has had increased help from Nicolas Batum and no help from the struggling Rudy Fernandez, has scored 40 points in Portland and just seven in Dallas.

One of the keys tonight for the Mavs' bench is to limit any Portland runs to keep the Rose Garden crowd at bay.

"We've got to be focused from the very beginning," said Stojakovic, who is 12-of-27 from 3-point range in the series. "You have to take them [the crowd] when you're the road team. The home team is going to make runs and the sooner you stop that the better."

Mavs must solve Brandon Roy there

April, 26, 2011
DALLAS -- The curious case of Brandon Roy heads back to the Rose Garden. It's up to the Dallas Mavericks to solve this riddle in Game 6 in Portland where Roy has devastated Dallas or face a Game 7.

The difference in Roy's performances from Games 1, 2 and 5 in Dallas compared to Games 3 and 4 in Portland is nothing short of remarkable, if not unbelievable.

In three losses in Dallas, Roy is 3-of-15 from the field for a grand total of seven points. In Portland, he's the All-Star that Mavs coach Rick Carlisle says he continues to game plan against. On his home floor, Roy is shooting 15-of-23 from the floor for 40 points. He more than quadrupled his road total with 18 fourth-quarter points in his phenomenal Game 4 that kept the series alive for Thursday's Game 6.

"He's been great up there so we've got to make sure we do a better job on him on Thursday," Dirk Nowitzki said. "He really took the game over, just got in a zone, making 3s, and-1s, shooting floaters off the glass, turnaround spins, I mean, he had the whole package going. We did a lot better job of getting into him and not giving him anything [in Game 5], but you know Thursday he's going to come out swinging."

In Portland, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, J.J. Barea and Shawn Marion whiffed at guarding Roy. The Mavs turned to more zone defense in Game 5 in Dallas and also chose to challenge the Portland guard's further upcourt.

They'll look to utilize that aggressiveness on the road in Game 6.

Unlike Game 4, Mavs slam door with D

April, 26, 2011

DALLAS -- Perhaps you thought the Portland Trail Blazers had the Mavericks right where they wanted 'em when Dallas led by a dozen points after 36 minutes Monday night. Particularly after Brandon Roy knocked down an 18-footer on the opening possession of the fourth quarter.

[+] EnlargeJason Kidd
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesJason Kidd and the Mavericks were determined to keep up their defensive pressure throughout Game 5, as Rudy Fernandez learned.
“Oh, no, not again!” a face-painted fan behind press row moaned.

No, not again. Not even close.

The Mavs made sure Portland didn’t repeat its miraculous Game 4 comeback, when Roy scored 21 points while the Blazers rallied from a 23-point deficit in the final 13 minutes and change. The Mavs closed the Game 5 door in convincing fashion, claiming a 3-2 series lead with a 93-82 win.

Roy’s jumper was the Blazers' last bucket until a little more than four minutes remained in the game. By the time the field goal drought of 7:32 ended, there was no doubt about the outcome.

It’s pretty much impossible for the Blazers to erase a 20-point deficit in four minutes, especially on the road. They couldn’t draw inspiration and energy from the deafening roar inside the Rose Garden. The folks in the American Airlines Center were fleeing for the exits in an attempt to avoid traffic in the final few minutes.

Roy fell far short of his 18-point performance from Game 4's fourth quarter. In fact, the Blazers managed to score only 19 points in the last 12 minutes.

“From start to finish tonight, we played aggressive,” said Mavs big man Tyson Chandler, who had a monstrous performance with 14 points and 20 rebounds in addition to anchoring the defense. “We did the same thing in Portland but only for three quarters. Tonight we did it for four quarters and that’s why we got the win.”

Moments after Saturday night’s stunning loss, the Mavs claimed they’d forget about it by the end of their four-hour flight home. They fibbed.

It’s something that stuck in their craw the next 48 hours.

“We had to sit there all day on Easter and think about it while we were egg hunting,” Jason Kidd said.

Game 4’s ghastly finish didn’t add to the Mavs’ emotional baggage, which players, coaches and owner Mark Cuban claim doesn’t exist despite their miserable recent playoff history. It just made the Mavs more determined.

“The only residuals there was a motivating factor,” Jason Terry said. “Hey, we’re not letting that happen again. Keeping that in the back of your mind was good. It was a positive thing. I thought we fed off it. When we got the lead tonight, we closed them out.”

There was a ton of talk about coach Rick Carlisle’s failure to make adjustments during Roy’s ridiculous scoring spree. Carlisle shouldered the blame, and several players pointed his way.

Carlisle responded by mixing in a lot of zone defense, a Mavs staple for much of the season that they hadn’t used this series. As was the case during the Mavs’ previous two wins, Roy was a nonfactor, scoring only five points and none after his shot to open the fourth quarter.

“It looked like you could drive a car through the lane and lay it up [in Game 4],” Terry said. “Tonight, those alleys weren’t there. A few minor adjustments -- not letting Brandon Roy embarrass us like he did in Game 4 was key. Other than that, it was who wants it more.”

Nobody wants to be embarrassed in back-to-back games. They Mavs made sure that didn’t happen, putting themselves one step away from the second round in the process.

Their Easter was ruined. The series was not, although it ought to be over already.

Zone defense works for Mavericks

April, 25, 2011
Portland coach Nate McMillan said he wasn't surprised by the zone defense Dallas applied, yet it did seem to slow his team's uptempo offense.

"We knew that they had the defense in their package," McMillan said. "I thought for us most of the night, we're just not calm in getting to our spots offensively against the man and their zone. Basically, we've seen that, teams trying to mix in a zone."

After Brandon Roy had a wonderful Game 4, he struggled to find his shot on Monday night. Roy scored just five points while taking seven shots. Wesley Matthews scored eight points and missed four of seven shots. Nicolas Batum missed seven of 12 attempts to finish with 12 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge, who can hit some 15-foot jumpers, was off. He scored 12 points and didn't seem to assert himself.

The zone defense also allowed the Mavericks to get on the boards. Of their 49 rebounds, 20 were on the offensive end.

"It was something we talked about," Jason Kidd said of the zone defense. "And we wanted to see how it looked tonight and I thought it slowed them down and got them against the shot clock. In the past two games, that's what happened to us, we were fighting the shot clock. So they had to take some tough shots and they're going to look at the zone and see what they can do to exploit it and it's a chess match now."

Focus turns to shutting down the lane

April, 25, 2011
DALLAS -- Film don't lie. And, what the Dallas Mavericks saw over and over again was Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy, with two surgically repaired knees, dribbling by Jason Kidd or Jason Terry or Shawn Marion and finding a path of no resistance to the basket.

Center Tyson Chandler consistently did not leave Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge or he helped too late, as was the case when Wesley Matthews attacked the rim and blew by Chandler on the way to laying it off the glass to cut Dallas' one-time 23-point lead to 80-72.

Not once did a Mavs player opt to put a hard foul on any of six Blazers drives in the fourth quarter. Portland outscored the Mavs 18-0 in the paint in the final 12 minutes.

"There are opportunities to take hard fouls that we have not taken advantage of and we're going to have to be more physical tonight than we were in Game 4," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Again, it's all about playoff basketball. It's not about hurting anybody or anything like that. But, a physical series, you've got to be physical."

Chandler has gotten himself in foul trouble throughout the series, but few have come on hard fouls in the paint. In fact, Portland has been exceedingly efficient scoring inside the restricted area of the paint, converting at a whopping 70 percent, according to numbers crunched by NBA.com, when Chandler is on the floor. That percentage drops to 55 percent when he isn't.

The 70 percent figure would have led the NBA this season. Phoenix was the best at scoring inside the restricted area during the regular season at 68.7 percent, according to hoopdata.com.

Chandler is considered the difference-maker for the Mavs on the defensive end. He's had his hands full with LaMarcus Aldridge, who brings a steady diet of post moves as well as a perimeter game.

All-in-all, Chandler has done a solid job on the 6-foot-11 Blazers forward. Aldridge is 22-of-49 from the floor for 55 points in the series against Chandler. Against Haywood, Aldridge is 13-of-26 for 34 points.

But, it can be surmised that Chandler's close cover of Aldridge comes at the expense of a clear pathway to the basket.

"He's in a situation where he's guarding a big guy that steps out to 20 feet and shoots the ball," Carlisle said. "Sometimes he's gravitating a little bit away from the basket. We want his focus to be on Aldridge and when he has to move away from the basket our help has to come from different people."

League: Late Game 4 review was right call

April, 24, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The right call was made after a video review reversed the on-court call and awarded the Portland Trail Blazers possession after a scramble for a loose rebound late in Game 4, NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Sunday.

With the score tied, 82-82, Jason Terry missed a 3-point attempt. A scrum ensued for the rebound. Several players’ hands were in the vicinity as the ball scooted out of bounds with 49.4 seconds to play.

The initial call was in favor of the Mavericks, but the officiating crew huddled and opted for a review.

The officials emerged from the scorer’s table and awarded possession to Portland, a crucial call because it set up Brandon Roy’s game-winning basket with 39.2 seconds to play in the Blazers’ improbable 84-82 comeback victory that evened the series at 2-2.

The officiating crews for Games 3 and4 went 1-for-2 reviewing calls. With 12.9 seconds remaining in Game 3 and the Mavs making a late charge, Jason Kidd's long jumper was ruled a 2-pointer and the call was upheld after a review.

It brought the Mavs to within 95-92. However, after the league reviewed it, Frank said the officials should have ruled Kidd’s shot a 3-pointer to make it 95-93.

Either way, Dallas would have had to foul on Portland’s ensuing possession. Andre Miller made both free throws to extend the lead to five. Had Kidd’s shot counted as a 3-pointer, Miller’s free throws still would made it a two-possession game with 9.6 seconds to play.

The Mavs might contend that they’ll never know if Miller, an 85.3 percent foul shooter this season, might feel more pressure at the free throw line if needing to make both free throws as opposed to one to put the game out of reach.

Jason Kidd's hot start not holding up

April, 24, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Jason Kidd Show that swept the nation -- and in particular the Portland Trail Blazers -- has hit a rough patch.

After scoring 24 and 18 points in Games 1 and 2, respectively, to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 2-0 lead, Kidd will be looking for some more home cooking when Game 5 arrives Monday night back in Dallas with the series tied 2-2. In Portland, Kidd totaled 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting, scoring eight points in Game 3 and nine in the epic meltdown of Game 4.

It continues the theme that when Kidd can produce in double digit scoring, the Mavs typically win, and when he doesn't they don't. For those who argue Kidd's assists are more valuable than his points, the 38-year-old veteran has seven assists in the last eight quarters and is averaging a career playoff low 4.8 assists.

Kidd had the hot in Game 4, but rare foul trouble doomed him in the first half, limiting him to just 11 minutes. He hit one 3-pointer in each of the first three quarters. His third-quarter 3 gave the Mavs a 48-37 lead in the third quarter on the way to a 67-44 advantage with 1:16 left.

But, when he had to have one go down, Kidd, who is shooting 48.3 percent from beyond the arc in the series, couldn't buy one. His missed one early in the fourth with the Mavs' once-mammoth lead down to 13 with 8:45 to go. Then, with 1:52 to go and Portland within 80-76, Kidd inexplicably dribbled the ball off his leg with Wesley Matthews hounding him, and lost it out of bounds.

Incredibly, Portland grabbed an 84-82 lead and Kidd had a chance to reclaim the lead and avert the monumental collapse. Wide open from the left wing, Kidd had time to set and fire, but just under 30 seconds to play. But, his shot sailed on him and banged hard off the lower portion of the backboard on the other side of the rim.

"We had two good looks there at the end," Kidd said. "I think I rushed my shot and there were two seconds left and had Jet with the ball, but it should never have came down to that."

Still, Kidd had a chance for his fifth assist of the game after he grabbed Brandon R0y's missed 3-pointer with 3.9 second on the clock and heaved a pass downcourt to the streaking Jason Terry, but his 3-pointer for the win hit back iron.

Brandon Roy blooms late at Rose Garden

April, 24, 2011
Brandon Roy
Brandon Roy's 18 fourth-quarter points helped erase an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Dallas Mavericks to even the series at two games apiece.

This came less than a week after Roy admitted he was disappointed after playing just eight minutes in the Trail Blazers Game 2 loss in Dallas.

Since the series shifted back to Portland's Rose Garden, Roy has elevated his play in front of the home crowd, including scoring a team-high 24 points off the bench in Saturday's victory.

Roy's 24 points were tied for the second-most off the bench by a Trail Blazers player in the last 20 seasons. Only Danny Ainge, with 25 off the bench against the Suns in the 1992 playoffs, had more.

Roy took over the game down the stretch as he scored the Trail Blazers last eight points. In fact in the fourth quarter he outscored the Mavericks by himself (18-to-15).

He was more than just a scorer as he accounted for 33 of the team's final 43 points. Roy either scored or assisted on 14 of the Blazers' final 17 field goals.

The comeback from 18 points down entering the fourth quarter tied the second-largest deficit overcome entering the fourth quarter in NBA playoff history.

Only the Celtics comeback from 21 points down entering the fourth quarter against the Nets in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals marked a larger deficit overcome.

For as good as Portland was in the fourth quarter, they were that bad in the third. Dallas dominated as Portland missed its first 15 field goal attempts to begin the second half. The Mavericks actually opened the third on a 30-to-9 run before Portland scored the final five points of the quarter.

Dallas could not continue its momentum in the fourth quarter as the Mavs shot only 29.4 percent from the field. They were just 1-for-8 from three-point range after going 9-for-18 over the first three quarters.

They also failed to get the job done defensively in the last 12 minutes of the game. Through three quarters the Trail Blazers had just 14 made field goals. In the fourth quarter alone Portland made 15 of its 20 attempts.

While Brandon Roy took over the game in the fourth, Dallas’ star Dirk Nowitzki faded, taking just three shots and scoring just four points in the final frame.

Still Nowitzki could be the key for Dallas in Game 5 as he has been on the other side of this equation before.

In 2001 Nowitzki led the Mavericks back from a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter of a playoff game against the Spurs. While the win was big, it was still just one win and the Mavericks lost the next game and the series.

Dallas can take solace in that each of the two previous times a team lost a playoff game after leading by 18 points entering the fourth quarter, the team rebounded to win the next game and eventually the series.



Monta Ellis
19.4 4.4 1.9 33.8
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.7
AssistsR. Rondo 6.0
StealsM. Ellis 1.9
BlocksB. James 1.8