Archive for the ‘ Dallas Mavericks Blog ’ Category

A glance at Mavs forward Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion has been around. You know his game by now, though as he’s gotten older, naturally things change. Here’s Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Shawn Marion

The 15-year veteran remains the Mavs’ starting small forward and the primary backup to Dirk Nowitzki at power forward. Marion, a four-time All-Star during his time with the Phoenix Suns, has transitioned into a gritty role player during the later years of his career. He’s the Mavs’ best and most versatile defensive player and has led them in rebounding the last two seasons, averaging 7.8 boards per game last season.

Marion doesn’t have many plays designed for him, but he’s an effective cutter who scores often on unconventional floaters and an outstanding finisher. He averaged 12.1 points per game last season, shooting 51.4 percent from the floor. It’s reasonable to project him to produce like that again, particularly with the Mavs’ major upgrade at point guard.

Jae Crowder brings defense to Mavericks

Jae Crowder

[Coach Rick] Carlisle said Crowder is in a tough spot because his offense suffers while he consistently tries to slow down scoring machines such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.

“But that’s one of the reasons we like him,” Carlisle said. “He’s one of the best defenders we’ve got.

“He can guard guys that run off screens, he’s a good one-on-one defender, he’s got good size, he can guard different positions, he’s played some [power forward], he’s played some [shooting guard], and he mostly plays [small forward],” Carlisle said. “The flexibility that he gives us is a big plus.”

It’s a big plus that Crowder takes seriously. That’s why he took the initiative over the off-season to try to improve his defensive skills.

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Quick glance at Mavs guard Wayne Ellington

Ellington will be a 3-and-D guy off the Mavs’ bench. His job is to space the floor on offense and defend well on the other end of the floor.

At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Ellington doesn’t have the size to guard small forwards who are scoring threats, but he’s an a good on-ball defender against shooting guards. That’s especially important considering that starting guards Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis didn’t arrive in Dallas with decent defensive reputations. Offensively, Ellington isn’t much of a creator, but he’s a catch-and-shoot threat who has hit 38.2 percent of his 3-point attempts in his career.

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

A glance at Mavs center Samuel Dalembert

A glance at Mavs center Samuel Dalembert

The Mavs signed the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Dalembert to be their starting center. They need him to provide rebounding and rim protection for a starting lineup loaded with offensive potential but flawed defensively.

Dalembert drifted in and out of Milwaukee’s rotation last season, and the Mavs are his fifth team in five years, but his per-minute rebounding and shot-blocking numbers have always been impressive. He’s a limited offensive player who turns the ball over too much for a center and shoots more jumpers than he should, but he understands and accepts that the Mavs won’t ask much from him on that end other than to set screens, rebound and catch and finish around the basket.

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

vince carter

Carter will provide instant offense and vastly underrated defense in his second consecutive season as the Mavs’ sixth man.

Coach Rick Carlisle wants to keep Carter’s minutes in the mid-20s per game again, putting a priority on keeping the 16-year veteran fresh throughout the season. Carter, who remains an outstanding one-on-one and pick-and-roll creator, will be the offensive focal point for the second unit. He can also be a floor-spacing complement with a five that features mostly starters, having knocked down 40.6 percent of his 3-pointers last season.

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

Dirk-Monta duo show positive signs

Dirk-Monta duo show positive signs

There usually isn’t much that’s pretty about a preseason loss to a team that’s likely destined for another high lottery pick.

However, it isn’t hard to find the silver lining from the Dallas Mavericks’ 102-94 defeat by the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

We got a glimpse of just how good the two-man game with Dirk Nowitzki and new sidekick Monta Ellis can be during the second quarter. That duo ran the high pick-and-pop over and over during that frame, filling it up for a combined 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

“That’s probably going to be our bread and butter all season long,” said Nowitzki, who finished with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, although he was more focused on his failure to get a single rebound in 25 minutes.

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

Mavs forward Devin Ebanks suspended two games by NBA

Dallas Mavericks forward Devin Ebanks has been suspended for two games without pay for pleading nolo contendere to driving under the influence of alcohol, in violation of the law of the State of California, the NBA announced today.

Ebanks’ suspension will begin with the first game of the 2013-14 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

This is Ebanks’ third season in the NBA. In his short career so far, Ebanks has averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in limited minutes.

Mavericks expect big things from DeJuan Blair

The Mavs signed Blair to a one-year, $884,293 free-agent contract in August to help bolster their front line. Although he has to defend much taller centers, Blair adds some much-needed muscle and physicality the Mavs were lacking when they lost Elton Brand to the Atlanta Hawks via free agency over the summer.

“I just try to use more of what I have than what I don’t have,” the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Blair said. “I know I don’t have height, but I’ve got a lot of power and strength.

“I’m pretty strong, so it evens out. It’s nothing to me. I’ve been playing [center] all my life against seven-footers.’’

With center/power forward Brandan Wright out indefinitely with a small nondisplaced fracture of his left shoulder, Blair will likely see his playing time increased.

“He has a very good feel for the game for a big guy,” coach Rick Carlisle said.

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Mark Cuban confident in Mavs as usual

Ever the optimist, owner Mark Cuban believes this year’s Mavs team has some of the same characteristics as the squad that won the 2011 NBA title.

“The willingness to move the ball — I think that made a huge difference in [2011],” Cuban said. “We pushed the ball to the open passer as opposed to just putting it on the floor, and I think you see a lot of the same similarities here. And I think that’s what fits well with Rick’s offense.”

While there are no members of the media picking the Mavs to win this season’s NBA championship, Cuban knows none of them picked Dallas to win it all in 2011, either.

Cuban also noted that of the eight Western Conference teams that advanced to the playoffs last year, three of them — Memphis, Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers — have new coaches this season.

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Jose Calderon rests sore hamstring, misses Friday scrimmage

Dallas Mavericks fans will have to wait another night to see how well point guard Jose Calderon and shooting guard Monta Ellis work together.

The Mavs spent nearly $60 million over the summer in signing Calderon and Ellis. While Ellis was able to flourish in Friday’s Blue-White scrimmage at American Airlines Center — the Blue prevailed 31-15 — Calderon didn’t play because of a sore left hamstring.

Calderon has been limited the past three days. Coach Rick Carlisle hopes to have Calderon back for Sunday morning’s practice, a day before the Mavs open preseason play at home at 7:30 p.m. Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

No retirement plans for Vince Carter yet

From the looks of the calendar, Vince Carter is in the twilight of his NBA career.

But don’t ask the Dallas Mavericks’ small forward if he’s thought about retiring and hanging up his high-flying sneakers. Although he is in the last year of his contract, Carter, who turns 37 on Jan. 26, doesn’t have a timetable for ending his career.

“I don’t want to do that to myself,” Carter said after Thursday morning’s practice. “I don’t want to limit myself. I think doing that you’ll start thinking about [retirement] as the season goes on. I’ll just let the body pretty much dictate how I’m feeling in the end.”

Carter acknowledged that his body is telling him that he’s got a few more years left to play. Especially after he averaged a solid 13.4 points — mostly off the bench — in just 26 minutes per game last season.

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Shawn Marion focused on the present, not future

At 35, Marion’s career clearly isn’t done. He’s still a productive member of the Mavericks. He’s their best defensive player and can still overmatch players 15 years younger than him when it comes to making athletic moves at both ends of the court. And he’s smarter than he’s ever been, too.

He steers clear of talking about free agency, as most players do.

“I’m not thinking about that,” he said. “I’m looking at this right here and now. Tomorrow’s not promised to anybody. I’m glad I wake up every morning and get out of the bed. I don’t take this for granted.”

Marion will make a shade over $9 million this season, the last in a five-year contract he signed before the 2009-10 season. In his career, he’s been paid handsomely. And last season, the 6-7 do-everything forward hinted that he is no lock to return for a 16th season.

Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

Steve Nash, ex-wife settle child custody case

NBA star Steve Nash and his former wife have reached a settlement in an Arizona court in their child custody case.

Judge Ray Ryan Adelman of Maricopa County Superior Court on Sept. 25 signed an order accepting the settlement and ordering it sealed…

Nash and Alejandra Amarilla Menrath divorced in late 2011.

Reported by the Associated Press

Monta Ellis says he will prove critics wrong

For Monta Ellis, “efficient” might as well be a four-letter word.

He’s become a sort of analytics antihero the past couple seasons, a model of scoring inefficiency. Frankly, Ellis is sick and tired of hearing about it, which he made clear by shaking his head and chuckling when the subject was broached during the Dallas Mavericks’ media day Monday.

“I’m going to get criticized for what I do anyway,” Ellis said. “The only thing I can do is laugh it off because there’s a lot of guys that take a lot of bad shots in this league. A lot of bad shots. Don’t nobody want to talk about them, but everybody talks about shots that Monta take[s]. The only thing I’m going to do is take the punches and prove everybody wrong.”

There are a lot of guys in the NBA who take bad shots, but precious few put up more bricks than Ellis did in his final season with the Milwaukee Bucks, which explains why he settled for signing a three-year, $25 million deal with the Mavs that was far shy of his asking price when free agency opened.

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

Jae Crowder said at Mavericks media day on Monday that he’s 15 pounds lighter. A small of that portion might have to do with his hair.

Crowder shortened his dreadlocked pony tail on Sunday, cutting off what he estimates was an inch and a half of hair. It’s an annual tradition. Just before basketball season every year, he trims the nest.

“During the summer I just let it go, I don’t cut it at all,” Crowder said. “But during the season I keep it cut. This summer it got down to the middle of my back.”

Reported by Michael Florek of SportsDayDFW

Renaldo Balkman

The Dallas Mavericks on Monday signed forward Renaldo Balkman. We assume it’s a non-guaranteed contract that merely brings Balkman to training camp.

Balkman (6-8, 208) was selected by the New York Knicks with the 20th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 4.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 13.9 minutes in 221 career games with New York and Denver.

The Staten Island, N.Y., native is a Puerto Rican-American who most recently played professionally for Brujos de Guayama in Puerto Rico. Balkman played collegiately at South Carolina where he was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team and National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Most Valuable Player in his final season with the Gamecocks.

With the signing, the Mavericks’ current roster stands at 20 players.

Renaldo Balkman may join Mavs training camp

Former New York Knicks draftee Renaldo Balkman is considering joining the Mavericks as the final member of their training camp roster.

The Mavericks were hoping to bring in active defensive-minded bodies to fill out their camp roster and Balkman would fit that need.

The 6-8 Balkman was the 20th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Knicks. In six NBA seasons, he has averaged 4 points and 3.5 rebounds in limited playing time. He was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2008 then traded back to the Knicks in 2011 as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal.

Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News (Blog)

Spurs Sports & Entertainment today announced that they have named Ken McDonald as head coach of the Austin Toros.

McDonald served as an assistant last season for the Toros under head coach Taylor Jenkins, where he helped lead the team to a 27-23 overall record and to the semifinals of the 2013 NBA D-League Playoffs.

Prior to the Toros, McDonald served as head coach at Western Kentucky University from 2008-12 where he accumulated a 67-48 overall record. In his first season with the Hilltoppers, McDonald guided the school to the Sun Belt regular season and tournament championships, and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Rhode Island native served as an assistant coach for the University of Texas (2004-08) where he helped guide the Longhorns to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. During his four seasons on the Texas bench the Longhorns posted a 106-35 (.752) record. The 106 wins are still the most victories in a four-year period in school history. Texas captured Big 12 Conference regular-season championships in both 2005-06 and 2007-08 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament “Elite Eight” in both of those years as well.

McDonald also served as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia (2003-04), Western Kentucky University (1998-2003) and Clemson University (1994-98).

A Providence College graduate, McDonald played two seasons with the Friars before playing professionally for the St. Paul Revelles in Killarney, Ireland from 1993-94. Before transferring to Providence he played two seasons at the Community College of Rhode Island, where he was a first-team junior college All-American, setting school records for single season scoring as well as three-pointers made in a game, season and career.

The Toros are scheduled to open the 2013-14 NBA D-League season on the road Nov. 22 when they visit the Santa Cruz Warriors. The team will open its home slate on Dec. 1 against the Delaware 87ers at 3 p.m. inside Cedar Park Center.

Dallas Mavericks bench looks solid

Dallas Mavericks bench looks solid

Vince Carter led the Mavericks’ reserves last season, averaging better than 13 points per game while playing less than 26 minutes per game.

His per-minute scoring was his best since 2009-10 when he was in Orlando and was just slightly behind Dirk Nowitzki’s average points per minute.

And Carter likely will have more help on the bench this season. The addition of Wayne Ellington, Devin Harris and DeJuan Blair, all figuring to be backups, should again make the Mavericks’ reserves formidable.

The question, of course, is how they all come together. What the Mavericks have working for them is that most of their bench players have put in a lot of years in the league. Even the still relatively young Ellington and Blair are entering their fifth seasons.

“Yeah, it’s easier now than the first time,” Ellington said about getting adjusted to new players on a new team. “Just being able to make that adjustment and fit in where you need to be on that new team, it doesn’t take forever. We’re all professionals and we have experience. They’ll be some growing pains, but we’ll get there.”

Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

Dallas Mavericks sign Devin Ebanks

Dallas Mavericks sign Devin Ebanks

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed forward Devin Ebanks. We assume it is just a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Ebanks to training camp, where he will have to compete to earn an actual regular season contract.

Ebanks (6-9, 215) was the 43rd overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. In three seasons with the Lakers, he holds career averages of 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 63 games with 15 starts. Ebanks also saw action in 9 postseason contests (starting 6) in 2012 and averaged 4.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 14.0 minutes.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was an early-entry candidate in the 2010 Draft after a standout career at West Virginia University. In his final year with the Mountaineers, Ebanks averaged 12.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.1 minutes per game.

With the signing the Mavericks’ current roster stands at 19 players.

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