Yes, Kristaps Porzingis says he misses NYC

Generally, every NBA player, when asked, usually says yes, he misses some aspect of a former team he used to play for. Sometimes the team itself. Other times the arena. And of course, usually the city, and the fans. On that front, here’s Mavericks forward-center Kristaps Porzingis, via the New York Post:

Kristaps Porzingis’ return to the Garden on Friday won’t be as viciously loud as it was in 2019 with only 10-percent capacity allowed during this pandemic season.

But the 2,000 fans permitted inside when the Mavericks visit the Knicks should be vocal. And judging by last season and social media, the 7-3 Latvian is still viewed a villain and undoubtedly will receive more jeers than cheers.

Ironically, Porzingis, traded from the Knicks 26 months ago, says he’s greeted differently on the streets of Manhattan when he visits, though he gave up his Midtown apartment.

Porzingis says he, in some ways, misses being a Knick.

“I do,” Porzingis said. “I miss the city. I miss this place. A lot of great memories. Every time I come back, it’s special. A lot of people here still recognize me and show me love and support. It’s always good to come back.”

The Mavs are 25-21 this season, which is the 7th best record in the Western conference.

Porzingis is averaging 20.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30.5 minutes per game.

Pelicans trade JJ Redick to Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks have acquired guard JJ Redick and forward/center Nicolò Melli in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for forward James Johnson, forward Wes Iwundu, the club’s 2021 second round pick and cash considerations.

Redick (6-3, 194) is a 15-season veteran with career averages of 12.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 25.7 minutes in 927 games (488 starts) with New Orleans, Philadelphia, L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee and Orlando. This season, Redick averages 8.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 18.6 minutes in 31 games off the bench.

A career 41.5% 3-point shooter, Redick ranked second in the NBA in 3-point percentage last season (.453, 180-397 3FG) and ranks 15th all-time in 3-pointers made (1,935). He is also a career 44.7% field goal and 89.2% free throw shooter.

Redick, 36, enjoyed his best statistical season in 2018-19 with Philadelphia when he averaged 18.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 31.3 minutes in 76 games (63 starts).

He reached the NBA playoffs in each of the first 13 seasons, averaging 10.9 points in 110 postseason games (70 starts) with Philadelphia, L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee and Orlando.

Melli (6-9, 236) holds averages of 5.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 15.6 minutes in 82 games (eight starts) over two NBA seasons with the Pelicans after being signed as a free agent in 2019.

A native of Reggio Emilia, Italy, Melli played nine seasons in Europe before starting his NBA career. He appeared in 207 EuroLeague games, averaging 7.4 points (.466% FG, .387% 3FG), 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists with Olimpia Milano (Italy), Brose Bamberg (Germany) and Fenerbahçe İstanbul (Turkey). Melli scored a game-high 28 points in Fenerbahçe’s 80-85 loss to Luka Dončić’s Real Madrid in the 2018 EuroLeague Finals.

He also represented the Italian National Team in two EuroBasket tournaments (2013, 2015).

Redick will wear No. 17 and Melli will wear No. 44.

Johnson, 6-7, 240, has appeared in 29 games this season with the Mavericks, averaging 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Selected 16th overall out of Wake Forest in the 2009 NBA Draft, Johnson has appeared in 663 career regular season games with Chicago, Toronto, Sacramento, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota and Dallas, posting averages of 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.9 blocks in 20.5 minutes per contest.

Iwundu, 6-6, 195, has appeared in 23 games for Dallas this season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds. Selected 33rd overall out of Kansas State by Orlando in the 2017 NBA Draft, Iwundu has appeared in 205 career regular season games with the Magic and Mavericks, averaging 4.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists.

Johnson will wear #16 and Iwundu will wear #4 for New Orleans.

Shawn Bradley paralyzed after being hit by car while riding bicycle

STATEMENT FROM FORMER NBA PLAYER SHAWN BRADLEY

Shawn Bradley released the first public details today of the accident that he suffered on January 20, 2021. Bradley, the 7’6” former NBA player with the Dallas Mavericks, was struck from behind by an automobile while riding his bicycle a mere block from his home in St. George, Utah. The accident caused a traumatic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. After undergoing neck fusion surgery, Bradley has spent the last eight weeks hospitalized and undergoing rehabilitation.

Bradley, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spent two years performing missionary work in Australia after his freshman year at Brigham Young University. Following his mission, Bradley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the number two pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, but he spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Mavericks. His very strong sense of faith is being tested as he participates in grueling physical therapy and learns how to cope with the challenges of paraplegia. Doctors have advised him that his road to recovery will be both long and arduous, perhaps an even more difficult physical challenge than playing professional basketball.

With his wife Carrie at his side around the clock, and supported by an amazing team of rehabilitation specialists and family, Bradley is in good spirits. He plans to use his accident as a platform to bring greater public awareness to the importance of bicycle safety.

Bradley asked to convey his deep appreciation for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers he has received from family, friends and fans. Their support has energized his recovery and bolstered his confidence that he will manage the long process ahead successfully. He does not plan to issue further public updates, preferring to devote his full concentration on his rehabilitation.

A glance at the Mavericks as second half of season begins

The Mavs haven’t stood out thus far this season, but there’s certainly reason for optimism for the rest of 2021. Via the Fort Worth Star Telegram:

Remember that in January that the Mavericks were hit hard by COVID-19, with a number of players, including Jalen Brunson, Maxi Kleber, Josh Richardson, Dwight Powell and Dorian-Finney Smith, missing time. All-Star guard Luka Doncic continued to perform at a high level and Tim Hardaway Jr. was a consistent scorer, but the Mavs went 3-8 over the last 18 days of the month.

Once everyone returned Dallas rebounded, and as of right now the team is looking to keep going strong after winning nine of their last 11 games before the break. This was largely thanks to Doncic, who is averaging 31.7 points on 51.9 percent shooting with 7.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game in his last 10 games.

Going into Wednesday night’s matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, the Mavs are running high on a three-game winning streak and are 18-16 on the season…

As of right now, the Mavericks are nestled into that No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and are looking to move up during the second half. With Doncic, this is a reasonable expectation since he tends to exceed any and all expectations when it comes to his on-the-court performance.

Mavericks recall Nate Hinton from G League

The Dallas Mavericks have recalled rookie two-way guard Nate Hinton from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA G League.

Hinton (6-5, 210) appeared in two G League games for the Long Island Nets before being flex-transferred to Santa Cruz on Feb. 13. He averaged 10.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 23.0 minutes in 10 regular season games (two starts) for the Warriors while helping the club advance to semifinals of the G League playoffs.

The 2020-21 NBA G League season began on Wednesday, Feb. 10, with 18 teams competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Mavericks’ G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, opted not to travel to the NBA G League’s campus. NBA teams without an NBA G League affiliate participating in Orlando have the opportunity to assign roster players and transfer two-way players using the league’s flexible assignment and two-way rules.

Mavericks recall rookies Josh Green and Tyler Bey from G League

The Dallas Mavericks have recalled rookies Josh Green and Tyler Bey from the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars.

Green (6-6, 210) was flex-assigned to Salt Lake City on Feb. 17 and appeared in six games (three starts) for the club, averaging 13.5 points (.455 FG%), 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals in 29.7 minutes per game. He recorded 22 points (10-19 FG), six boards, a game-high eight assists and a team-high four steals while posting a game-high plus-23 rating in the team’s 109-93 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on March 2.

Bey (6-7, 216), who saw action in one G League game for the Long Island Nets before being flex-transferred to the Stars on Feb. 11, averaged 16.2 points (.497 FG%), 9.7 rebounds and 28.6 minutes in 12 games (nine starts) with Salt Lake City. He recorded five double-doubles and three 20-point efforts with the Stars, capping his G League stint with a 23-point night against the Delaware Blue Coats on March 5.

The 2020-21 NBA G League season began on Wednesday, Feb. 10, with 18 teams competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Mavericks’ G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, opted not to travel to the NBA G League’s campus. NBA teams without an NBA G League affiliate participating in Orlando have the opportunity to assign roster players and transfer two-way players using the league’s flexible assignment and two-way rules.

Nets win streak ends with loss to Mavs

With two of the Nets big three out, the Nets on Friday fell to a Mavericks squad that recently welcomed Kristaps Porzingis back to action. Via the NY Post:

The NBA’s longest winning streak ended Saturday with a thud, the sound of the red-hot Nets crashing back down from Cloud 9.

The Nets were undersized and undermanned, playing without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. But they aren’t using any of that an alibi for getting thrashed, 115-98, by Dallas at Barclays Center.

“No, this is a no-excuse team. If you’re on the floor, you’re going to play as hard as you can. They just got the best of us, and they got the win. That’s all it really was,” said Jeff Green, forced out of the game as well. “It’s not about us running out of gas or anything. We just didn’t come ready to play and they won.”

Not only did Irving’s scratch to rest his surgically repaired right shoulder pare the Big 3 down to a Big 1 in James Harden, the Nets also saw Tyler Johnson ruled out just before tipoff with a migraine and Green’s own shoulder injury removed him with 3:17 left in the third.

And the NY Daily News:

On one end of the floor, Luka Doncic spins off his man, drives down the lane and euro-steps around James Harden for the easy basket. On the other, Harden lulls his man to sleep, one flurry of crossovers after another, before stepping back for a contested three that borders on equal parts un-guardable and flat-out unfair.

Watching Doncic and Harden go toe-to-toe at Barclays Center on Saturday was like the viral meme of two Spidermen pointing at one another. Doncic finished with 27 points, seven assists and the victory, while Harden recorded 29 points and six assists in a superstar showdown that substantiated the similarities between the two offensive masterminds.

“Both of these guys are great one-on-one players,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. “They’re great passers. They can both play the team movement game very well. Harden has been in a situation the last few years where the offense has really revolved around him, and our team it does around Luka similarly, but our style is a little bit different than Houston and Brooklyn, but both of these guys are generational type players. There’s no question about it, and that’s another thing that makes a game like this very compelling.”

In the Mavs win, supporting Doncic’s effort was Porzingis with 18 points, four rebounds, three blocks in 26 minutes, Tim Hardaway Jr. scoring 13 off the bench, Dorian Finney-Smith with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Josh Richardson with 11 points.

Jrue Holiday and Josh Richardson win NBA Cares Community Assist Award for January, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Richardson are co-winners of the January NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of their efforts to immediately provide support for those impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in their new team markets, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes players each month who best reflect the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.

After joining the Bucks in November, Jrue and his wife, Lauren, partnered with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation to identify small, women- and Black-owned businesses most in need of assistance. After reviewing grant requests, the Holiday family announced funding for seven local businesses in January – Amri Counseling Services, Carter’s Quality Care, Hands at Home, Jamaican Season Island Restaurant, Kid’s Kingdom, Legacy Home Health Services and The SW Retreat – that provide a variety of services in southeastern Wisconsin, including assisted living, home health, childcare, mental health and substance abuse services, hospitality and more.

Similarly, Richardson, who joined the Mavericks shortly before the start of the 2020-21 season, quickly sought to make an impact in the greater Dallas area, surprising dozens of frontline health care workers from UT Southwestern Medical Center with Reebok sneakers, team merchandise and a surprise video message thanking them for their ongoing efforts to keep the community safe. He also visited a Dallas Independent School District first grade class as a guest reader, surprising the students and encouraging them to embrace reading and education during the particular challenges of this school year.

Luka Doncic named 2021 NBA All-Star Game starter

The NBA announced today that Mavericks guard Luka Dončić has been voted as a starter for the 70th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on Sunday, March 7, at 7 p.m. CT on TNT.

Dončić (6-7, 230) is the first Maverick to be voted as a starter two consecutive seasons after starting the game last year. He is just the third Maverick to start an All-Star Game along with Dirk Nowitzki (2007, 2010) and Jason Kidd (1996). Kidd is the only other Dallas player voted in as a starter (Nowitzki started as a replacement for an injured starter twice). Dončić is the 32nd All-Star in franchise history and is the seventh Maverick to earn multiple All-Star nods.

Among league leaders, the 21-year-old Slovenian ranks fifth in scoring (29.1 ppg), third in assists (9.4 apg) and 18th in rebounding (8.6 rpg). Dončić co-leads the NBA in triple-doubles this season (7) and has recorded three 30-point triple-doubles.

Most recently, Dončić set a career scoring mark, pouring in 46 points vs. New Orleans (2/12/21), before recording a second straight 40-point game with 44 vs. Portland (2/14/21).

In January, Dončić averaged 28.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists. After averaging a 30-point triple-double in November 2019, Dončić is now the third player in NBA history to average 25-10-10 in multiple calendar months (min. 10 games), joining Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook.

Fans accounted for 50% of the vote to determine the 10 starters for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. All current NBA players and a media panel accounted for 25% each. Those voters completed one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference.

For the first time, the entire NBA All-Star celebration will take place on one night, with on-court action beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT. TNT’s coverage will begin at 4 p.m. CT with “TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax,” followed by the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest at 5:30 p.m. CT. Coverage of the 70th NBA All-Star Game will begin at 7 p.m. CT, with AT&T Slam Dunk taking place at halftime. The game will follow the same format as last year, with the teams competing to win each quarter and playing to a Final Target Score during the untimed fourth quarter.