The Randle-Noel Trade: The What Could Have Been

The trade was initially discussed but didn’t materialize.

Julius Randle’s name has been in numerous trade rumors even before the start of the regular season. This is due to the fact that according to the insiders from the Los Angeles Lakers, Randle has already grown unhappy with his new role with the team- a player who used to be a starter in the past, now a player who is coming off the bench this season. 
While Randle has been successful in his new role despite only playing 22 minutes per game on the average, he already indicated in numerous interviews that he doesn’t have the choice but to embrace his new role as a bench player who is also averaging 12 points, 6 rebounds and close to 2 assists per game this season. He’s the sixth-leading scorer of the Lakers.
There were many rumors in which Julius Randle’s name is included. While none of those trades materialized, some of those are pretty much interesting. Among the trade rumors that were apparently entertained by the Lakers was the one that would have sent Randle to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Nerleans Noel.

If the trade happened or is to happen before the trade deadline, who would benefit more?


Julius Randle would have benefited from the trade because he would have been teaming up with Dirk Nowitzki by now. The Mavericks would have gained a young power forward who can slide down to the small forward spot at times. Adding Randle into the mix would have added 3 wins in the projected number of wins for Dallas.
On the other side of the court, Nerleans Noel, a player whose career has been ruined by numerous injuries, can benefit from this change of scenery for one good reason: his playing minutes have dropped this season as he’s only logging in 12 minutes per game- a career low for him. While the Lakers’ projected number of wins is decreased by 3 wins, this trade will benefit them in the long run especially if Noel manages to finally stay out of injury. 


While the trade hasn’t materialized, it’s almost certain that Julius Randle will be one of the Lakers who are likely to be traded before the trade deadline in February. Where will he be playing next? The possibilities are unlimited. Who knows? He might end up playing for a championship-contending team. 

Deep Bench Armada: Dallas Mavericks Second Unit Explosion

How about the performance of Maverick’s Players off the bench? Pretty rough for their foe to keep them under control.

Dwight Powell #7
Dallas Mavericks hunted down the Atlanta Hawks 108-94 for their 4th preseason win. This victory was huge especially for the Dallas bench players as they even outshone their starters point production. A good sign for the team will have even more firepower to rely on with every match.
Maximillian Kleber, PJ Dozier, Maalik Wayns, and Gian Clavell scored finished with double digits (16,16,10,19 points respectively) and let Dallas take control of the game. This surprising bench production outscored their starters production with only 44 in total.
On the other end of the court, there was no player to tie up with the Maverick’s performance except Kent Bazemore scoring 20 points which pretty much efforts just ended up in vain.
Mavericks bolstered their offense beyond the arc, turning the game into a shootout with dominance on their side, hitting 19 triples which dusted away Hawks with only 9 from the rainbow country.
If there were something that allowed Hawks to catch up with Dallas, it would be free throw shooting. Mavericks fouled too much, 29 fouls in total whilst Hawks giving only 12. Atlanta made 23 out of 32 free throws. 23 points scored without the clock winding down may have a huge impact if the game could’ve gotten closer.
Mavericks 108 –  Powell 11, Ferrell 11, Smith Jr. 9, Ashley 7, Noel  6, Bench – 64
Hawks 94 – Bazemore 20, Prince 11, Schroder 9, Ilyasova 7, Dedmon 7, Bench – 40 

Dallas Mavericks vs Atlanta Hawks – Full Game Highlights | October 12, 2017 | 2017 NBA Preseason

(video courtesy of YouTube/Ximo Pierto)

No Monster in the Shaded Area: Orlando Magic Collapses Against Mavericks

Nowitzki about to shoot a freethrow

Dallas Mavericks thwarted the inside crushing mechanism of the Orlando Magic, limiting their production in the shaded area by only 26 points in contrast to their monstrous 44 points under the rim.

The last 2 wins of Magic was made possible by their huge points in the paint, but now, they’d banged into a great wall inside that not just equal them but also dominated them from within their comfort zone – the shaded area. 
Despite the clear defeat of the main weapon of Orlando, still they managed to keep a close game tho they lost by just 3 points. 99-96. They kept up with their 3 point shooting, delivering 17 shots as compared to Mavericks with only 11. 
Magic’s offense slacked off a bit due to the pressure defense of Dallas, forcing them to commit turnovers. Dallas has 5 steals in total compared to Orlando with just 4. 
Orlando Magic’s loss against Dallas Mavericks isn’t a total failure because they found an effective away to compensate when their inside isn’t working, they can connect from the outside in order to keep up. It’s just they fell one step short.

Mavericks 99 – Smith Jr. 16, Barnes 14, Nowitzki 10, Ferrell 9, Matthews 7 bench – 43

Magic 96 – Augustin 24, Simmons 19, Vucevic 9, Afflalo 6, Isaac 5, bench – 33

(video courtesy of Ximo Pierto)

The One Big Factor That will Make Dirk Nowitzki Stay for Two More Years

Two More Seasons for Dirk: Why Not?

Health will be a big factor for Nowitzki

We might be able to see more of Dirk for two more seasons

There’s no doubt in everyone’s minds that Dallas Mavericks superstar, Dirk Nowtizki is one of the greatest international players to play in the NBA. At the age of 39, everyone thought he should be retired by now. After all, he has achieved every feat an NBA player would want to achieve: play in the All-Star game, win the MVP and most importantly, win the NBA championship. For Dirk himself, achieving the latter of the three was the best because he had to do so by beating a Miami Heat team that had LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, during the NBA Finals back in 2011 where the Mavs beat the Heat, 4-2. 
Now entering his 20th season in the league, most people are expecting this would be Dirk’s final run, his last chance to lead his beloved Mavericks back to the playoffs, his one final push at adding another NBA title to his resume. While he already indicated that he hasn’t decided on whether or not he would hang his jersey for good after the upcoming 2017-2018 season, he has already mentioned that he would be considering playing for two more seasons. That, if he can remain healthy in the long run.
While Dirk still remains as one of the league’s elite players who can score unstoppably if the occasion arises, his numbers have been going down during the last few seasons. From 18 points per game during the 2015-2016 season, the 2016-2017 season saw Nowitzki averaged 14 points per game. In addition to this, his minutes last season were the lowest since his rookie, just logging in 26 minutes per contest. Furthermore, Dirk was limited to 54 games last season, the 3rd lowest in his career, owing to the injuries he had to deal with. 
Fortunately, if Dirk goes on to play for two more seasons, he doesn’t have to do a lot of work. The Mavericks have been loaded themselves with players who are capable of taking the load off the greatest Maverick of all time. They have Nerlens Noel, a potentially big hit if he can stay healthy. Dallas has also become the newest beneficiary of having Harrison Barnes who can play both forward positions at any given time as we saw during his stint with the Golden State Warriors. Having these guys around will help Dirk remain healthy and lethal at the same time because these players can score and defend while the German big man is on the bench. 
On the other hand, Dirk has already said that even though he wasn’t seeing any sort of problem in his body as of now, he’s also being conscious about one thing: at the age of 39, anything can happen. Anything can snap and before you know it, you’re done. In the meantime, Dirk has said that he will just wait and see how things will unfold come the regular season to see if he could indeed, play for two more seasons. After all, he happens to be one of the greatest Germans to play the game of basketball, right?

Deron Williams has Agreed to Re-Sign with Dallas Mavericks

Deron Williams will be back as a member of Dallas Mavericks this coming season, for at least one year. The Mavericks have agreed to terms with Williams on a one-year, $10 million contract.

Deron Williams had a pretty good performance last season averaging 14.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

The Mavericks also re-sign Dwight Powell to a four-year, $37 million agreement and are hopeful to sign restricted free agent small forward Harisson Barnes after offering the one time champion a four-year, $95 million contract.

Today is Dirk Nowitzki’s 38th Birthday – Let’s Look Back on some Highlight Plays he’s done before in his career as an NBA Player

(Artwork by Sean Curate)

After playing over 1,400 games and 50,000 minutes in the regular season and playoffs over the course of his 17-plus seasons in the NBA, it would be easy for Dirk Nowitzki to think it a chore to prepare for each game — let alone each season. But ask anyone who knows Nowitzki well to describe him and they all say the same thing: as he reaches his 38th birthday, he still approaches the game the same way he did as a kid growing up Germany dreaming about the NBA.

Today, we will look back on some of the Highlight Plays in his career since he started playing in NBA with the Dallas Mavericks.

J.J Barea 32 pts and 11 assists. INSANE!

J.J. Barea

Yes, We all love J.J Barea and the game we had against his country Puerto Rico during the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Barea put on a show as the Mavs gutted out a victory against Brooklyn Nets 119-118 in overtime. Dallas improved to 16-13 while the Nets dropped to 8-21. Dirk also moved to the 6th spot in the all time scoring leader, he surpassed Shaq. The other 5 players above Dirk are Kareem. Malone. Kobe. Jordan. Wilt 

Dallas has secured the 4th spot as it stands right now, to me they are the surprised team this year considering the entire roster has been shuffled. I wont be surprised if Rick Carlisle would win coach of the year again.

Here is the highlight of the amazing performance by Barea;

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Porzingis VS Dirk at the garden!12/7/2015- Porzingis the future Dirk?

The Future and the Legend

Dirk has nothing but high praises for KP. He even said that KP will be great barring any injuries because KP is playing better at this stage compared to a rookie Dirk. KP is averaging 14ppg and 5 reb with atleast a block per game. Dirk only average 8 and his rookie season. 

KP almost won this game for New York but came up short in the end with a score of 104-97 . KP led all scorers with 28 points scoring at will in the 4th like Dirk in the heydays. Dirk led the Mavs with 25 points and 6 rebounds who improved to 13-9. The Knicks fall to 10-12 still not that bad if you ask me because people thought that KP would be seeing the D-League instead of the NBA. But the way he is playing now people even claim that this is going to KP’s Team moving forward and even saying that Melo may not be part of the future plans for this franchise. Well honestly I would wait and just watch the beauty of this young rookie.

Here is the highlight of the DUEL!

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Team Powcast

Mavs with Throwback Jersey! D-Will with Throwback performance 23pts 8 assists and 3 steals!


D-Will has been somewhat a disappointment after leaving Jazz, I for one thought he was just a system player, he was up there with Cp-3 and Rose when they were starting, D-will lost his touch or interest after leaving Utah, he had some notable performance for the Nets but he wasn’t the D-will we used to know.

Now that he is playing for his hometown seems like D-Will is playing inspired basketball once again. 

D-Will helped the Mavs Beat Utah with a great performance and indeed a throwback one. Is this a coincidence or Mavs can cling on D-will to give Dirk his last run. 

Here’s The highlight of the game:

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Team Powcast

Ray Ray Parks Jr. Makes it to the 10 man roster of Texas Legends

Parks 3rd from the top picture!

Parks is just a few games away from getting a legit NBA contract, all he needs to do is work hard and be like Jermy Lin and our very own Jordan Clarkson who started their careers in D-League, the only difference is they were drafted but the mother team assigned the players to their respective D-League teams.

Parks was chosen as the 25th pick in the 2nd round from the 2015 NBA D-League draft, he was part of the 17 man pool that the Texas Legends picked, and its no surprise that Parks made it. 

Thank you so much for your support to Parks and keep supporting him. Game started today the Legends dropped their first game vs Austin Spurs. Details on that will be posted soon

I will now leave you with the summer League highlights of Parks, Courtesy of NBA D-league:

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Team Powcast

Williams ready for fresh start at Dallas

A native of Dallas suburb The Colony, Deron Williams chose to join his hometown Dallas Mavericks after negotiating a $27 million buyout with the Nets. He signed a two-year, $11 million deal with Dallas that includes a player option for the second season.

“I want to prove myself wrong,” Williams said Monday during the Mavericks’ media day. “I started to doubt myself in the past. Mentally, it took a toll on me. I just got to get out of that rut that I was in the last couple years mentally, and I look forward to this situation.

Three-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who is excited about his “fresh start” with the Mavericks after being bought out of the final two seasons of his max contract with the Brooklyn Nets, acknowledged dealing with a confidence crisis over the past two seasons.

“I think I’m past that. This fresh start has definitely helped that a lot. I’m looking forward to this year. It’s a better situation.”

Mavericks forward Parsons has not been fully cleared for the start of training camp

The Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons, center JaVale McGee and guard Wesley Matthews will all be worked into action “gradually” when the Mavs start camp next week.

Parsons, 26, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in May to fix cartilage damage. He missed 10 of Dallas’ last 11 games, including four of five in its first-round loss to the Houston Rockets. Despite pain, Parsons attempted to play in Game 1 of the series, scoring 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting, before being shut down.

Tearful Dirk Nowitzki bids farewell to German National Team

After Germany failed to beat Spain in an incredibly close game 77-76, the fans in Berlin for EuroBasket 2015 had no problems showing their love for German superstar Dirk Nowitzki.

Most likely Dirk Nowitzki’s last game in Europe ended Thursday with a tearful standing ovation before the crowd in Berlin. It was an emotional curtain call for the German center, who came out of national team retirement to play for Germany for the first time since 2011.

Dennis Schroder could have sent the game into overtime but he made only two of three free throws with three seconds remaining.

Dirk scored 10 points on 3-6 shooting in the game.

This was Nowitzki’s seventh EuroBasket with the German National Team, and at age 37, it seems likely he’ll save all the juice he has left for the Dallas Mavericks.

Breaking news: Deron Williams waived by the Nets! Dallas Bound!

D- Will

Its really a surprise but not for Dallas as they really want to contend. D-Will was once considered the best of the best PG wise. He had numbers and the plays that made us all left in awe back when he was in Utah. However, the Nets felt what they wanted didn’t come into the hands of D-Will due to multiple setbacks caused by injuries. However, the buyout was already signed and agreed by both D-Will and the Nets Organization. 

D-will will be joining Dallas a thought that many people wanted 3 years ago and finally its about to happen. 

It might be sad for Nets fans but am sure the Mavericks would love to have D-will, This will be big because this is his hometown.Lets hope that D-Will can bring that fire back !

Let me leave you with D-will’s Cross over moves:

Jason Kidd is not a kid anymore at 38, but he still wants to play

by: powsalud|

You read it right, Jason Kidd, one of the few breeds of basketball superstars who can still play in a high level basketball even at his age of 38. 
He will certainly be back next year because of his contract, although Kidd still wants to play 2 or 3 years more in the NBA. I am not sure if he will still be able to pull it off.  This year he shot a career low of 36.1% and with an average point of only 7.9 per game. Not the Kidd I know, so will he still have more than a year in the NBA? Who are you kidding?

To Dwayne and Lebron: childish … ignorant – Dirk

by: powsalud|

Video of Dwayne Wade and Lebron James coughing spread on the internet like wild fire has reached the man who is being mocked. It was Dirk Nowitzki, he was playing sick game 4 and was coughing all the time.
Dwayne and Lebron denied that they are mocking Dirk,  But Dirk didnt think so and fired back at the Miami heat stars.  (source)
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were “a little childish, a little ignorant”

Miami Heat is now taking the heat

by: powsalud|

Lebron James was received warmly by the city of Miami, were He then promise them a title and a dynasty. Together with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh the Miami Heat was expected to have a good showing in the NBA, and so they did it with heavy fire power and a winning streaks heading to present time, NBA Finals. 
Miami heat was on fire and was ready to take the championship, until recently they encountered the resilient Dirk and the Mavericks. With their recent lost at home the Miami Heat dream of being a the 2011 NBA Champion will be harder to get than any of us expected.
Miami Heat is now taking the heat as they suffered their first lost of the series. Expect a hot showing by Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks as they try to spoil and bring down the emerging Miami Heat dynasty.

Pics courtesy of ESPN Media Zone

What Lebron James have to say heading to game 3?

by: powsalud|

After a shocking late game winner by Dirk Nowitzki in their game 2 Finals game, Miami Heat was left with a sore heart and a bedazzled mind. 
How can a very large lead and a talented team commit such lapses in the game specifically the later part and ending up loosing it. These questions will hunt them as they continue to battle for the 2011 NBA Championship. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh could not do anything to stop the raging Mavericks in game 2. Dirk Nowitzki was just unstoppable as He shows more willingness and hunger to finally win a championship.

What can they do now? How will Miami Heat prepare after the heartache and how will it affect their game.  
Lets here it from Lebron James himslef.
“It’s not going to affect us,” LeBron James told reporters.
“We want to win the game. We feel like we have a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter, that our defense will prevail. That’s how much confidence we have in our defense.

“I don’t feel like our confidence will be down going into game three. We’ll be back to square one and figure out how to win the game.” (Reuters)

Dirk and the Mavs rally to win from behind!

Dirk Nowitzki is nothing less but unstoppable tonight as they defeat the Oklahoma thunder via comeback win.
Dirk registered 40 big points while he gets some defensive help late in the quarter by his team mates Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd. The Thunders who led all the way until the last few minutes are stunned by the resilient Mavericks. Durant and Westbrook could not make a good play late in the game. some of the crowd left and didn’t even finish the game as Mavericks shows a defensive stop after another. Harden who fouled out late in the fourth quarter could have changed the complexity of the game for the Thunders as they now trail 1 – 3 in the series. source

Nowitzki’s 48 leads Mavs past Thunder in Game 1

source: Jaime Aron | The Associated Press
DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki showed no rust from a long layoff, making 10 of his first 11 shots and an NBA playoff-record 24 straight free throws on the way to 48 points,


..leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 121-112 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night. (Wednesday morning in Manila)

Nowitzki was impossible for the Thunder to cover. Six guys tried stopping him, and the big German either shot over them or put them in foul trouble. He made 13 free throws in the third quarter alone.

Despite going nine days between games, the Mavericks picked up where they left off in a sweep of the Lakers. They have won seven straight games this postseason and are 6-0 at home.

They’ll try adding to it in Game 2 at home Thursday night.

Kevin Durant scored 40 points for Oklahoma City.

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Old-but-rested Mavs await rapidly maturing Thunder

By JAIME ARON, AP Sports Write
DALLAS – Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan have been through so many playoff series, they would be good sources to discuss the prevailing themes in the Western Conference finals, like how valuable experience is at this stage and whether there’s such thing as too much rest between rounds.

Only, Bryant and Duncan aren’t around. For just the second time since 1998, neither the Lakers nor the Spurs will represent the West in the NBA finals.

Instead, it’ll either be Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and the aging-but-rested Dallas Mavericks, or Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rapidly maturing Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Mavericks are a collection of 30-somethings bonded by a collective pursuit of their first championship. They have plenty of guys who’ve come close to a title, including a few holdovers from the 2006 team that interrupted the collection of conference titles piled up by the Spurs and Lakers.
With strong defense and so many scoring options they never know who’ll share top billing with Nowitzki, Dallas swept the two-time defending champion Lakers in the second round. The reward was a nine-day wait for Game 1 on Tuesday night.
Or maybe that was a punishment.
“That’s a looong layoff,” Mavs center Tyson Chandler said Monday. “Yesterday, the scrimmage got a little chippy, so it was obvious we were ready to play somebody else.”

Dallas had to keep waiting because the Thunder had its hands full with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Oklahoma City went the full seven games and then some, playing three overtimes in one game and one extra period in another. While most clubs would’ve wanted some down time, the Thunder might be the exception. With their age and exuberance, a lone day off between series may have felt like an eternity.
“We have a young, energetic, athletic team that loves to play and wants to play every night,” coach Scott Brooks said. “We’re excited about being in the position that we are in. We’re not ‘just happy to be here’ and just ‘whatever happens happens.'”
Without the Lakers, and with the Eastern Conference finals featuring the newly crowned MVP and newly crowned Coach of the Year against the glitzy guys from South Beach, this series could be considered the undercard. Having clubs located 200 miles apart in the south, central part of the country certainly doesn’t bode well for television ratings.
Maybe Mavs owner Mark Cuban will break his recent self-imposed silence and take shots at Oklahoma. He’s lived in Texas long enough to know the enmity between Longhorns and Sooners. It’s worth noting he was one of two owners to vote against the SuperSonics moving from Seattle to Oklahoma City.
Then again, the battle of headliners Dirk and Durant could be enough to drive this series.
If not, there are plenty of other good story lines.
• Age, experience vs. youth, inexperience
The contrast in age will be talked about a lot and for good reason.
The top four scorers on the Thunder are 23 or younger. The Mavs only have two guys who are 23 or younger and neither has played this postseason.
Dallas relies on seven players in their 30s. Oklahoma City has only two guys in their 30s and both are backups.
Although no Mavericks have won a title, nearly all of them have deep reservoirs of big-game experience. The Thunder have few guys who’ve ever been this close to a title, but they have two guys with rings: center Kendrick Perkins (2008, Boston) and his backup, Nazr Mohammed (’05, Spurs).
“We’ve got to put them in position they haven’t been in to be able to use that wisdom,” Kidd said. “If you don’t, they’re just as talented as any team left in the playoffs.”
• Rest vs. rust?
Before they were put on hiatus, the Mavs had won a franchise-record six straight postseason games. It remains to be seen whether they can pick up where they left off.
In the shot-clock era, teams that have gone at least nine days between series are 9-9 in Game 1s, and 11-7 in the next round, according to research by STATS LLC.
Among the teams to win Game 1 and the series was the 2004 Pacers, coached by Rick Carlisle, who is now Dallas’ coach.
“I like what we’ve done and I know guys are ready to play,” he said.
• Revenge
In February 2009, Chandler was driving to the airport, bound for Oklahoma City to join the Thunder, when his phone rang. He was told to head home. Oklahoma City said he failed a physical and rescinded the deal.
He hasn’t forgotten.
In three games against the Thunder this season, he had among his best scoring averages (12.7 points) and easily his most rebounds (15.3) against any team.
“You really don’t need any extra incentives,” he said, “but I’ve got some extra ones.”
• Matchups
These teams hardly know each other.
Dallas won two of the three regular-season meetings, but that’s pretty meaningless. The Mavs had Caron Butler for the first two games and didn’t have Nowitzki for 1 1/2 of those games. Butler has since gone down for the season and Peja Stojakovic has arrived. The Thunder shored up its interior by adding Perkins.
All eyes will be on how each team covers the other’s superstar.
Shawn Marion will start against Durant, the league’s two-time reigning scoring champion, and will get help from Nowitzki and others — perhaps even Kidd, who often covered Bryant last round. Carlisle won’t expect Kidd to stay with the speedy Westbrook.
“We’ve got to build a wall on him,” Chandler said. “It’s not about one guy stopping him. It’s about our team slowing him down.”
Oklahoma City will start Serge Ibaka against Nowitzki, with Perkins, Mohammed, Durant, Nick Collison and James Harden among those who also may take turns against the big German.
“We have our work cut out for us,” Durant said, “but it should be fun.”

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tags: Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma Thunder, OKC

Dirk, Peja help Mavs put Lakers on brink of KO


DALLAS – Just when they were about to make things interesting, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers blew it.
Unable to stop Dirk Nowitzki all night, and their big lineup too slow to cover the outside shooting of Peja Stojakovic and Jason Terry down the stretch, the Lakers lost 98-92 to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday to fall in a 3-0 hole in their second-round series.

All 98 teams in NBA history that have trailed by that margin have wound up losing the series. Thus, the Lakers’ two-year reign as NBA champions and their three-year grip on the Western Conference crown, plus the unprecedented coaching career of Phil Jackson, are all on the brink of going kaput — maybe even with the humiliation of a sweep.
Of all the reasons they’re in this predicament, the most stunning is that this pedigreed team has fallen apart when it matters most. They wasted a 16-point lead in Game 1, losing at the buzzer when a 3-pointer by Bryant went in and out, and they failed to hold a seven-point lead with 5:05 left in this game. Dallas rallied with an 18-6 run jump-started by 3s by Nowitzki and Stojakovic.
“We’re disappointed,” said Jackson, who has never been down 3-0 in a series, much less been swept, in 20 years as an NBA coach. “We feel like Games 1 and 3 we controlled the pace of the games. They were better at finishing the games than we were. But we still believe we’re going to win the next game and we’ll go from there.”
The Mavericks pulled this game out by scoring 32 points in the fourth quarter, the most by either team in any period this series. Bryant said the Lakers helped by making “some of the dumbest defensive mistakes I’ve seen us make all year.”
Bryant is not conceding the series. While he knows the history of NBA teams down 3-0, he also knows that MLB and NHL teams have pulled off this kind of comeback.
“I might be sick in the head or crazy because I think we’re still going to win the series,” Bryant said. “Win on Sunday, go back home and see if they can win in L.A.”
Of course, Nowitzki and the Mavericks have a different idea. They want to get this over with as soon as possible.
For a franchise that’s perennially underachieved, and is still trying to overcome blowing a 2-0 lead in the 2006 NBA finals, ending this series Sunday would send a great message about their chances of winning their first title.
There’s a practical reason, too. This veteran-filled club would love to avoid another long round-trip flight and to start resting up for the next series. Dallas would be the home team in the conference finals, regardless of whether Oklahoma City or Memphis advances.
“We’re not good enough to relax or take the pedal off the metal,” Nowitzki said. “You don’t want to ever give a champion life, so hopefully we can have the same effort and the same crowd and a great game on Sunday.”
Missing the suspended Ron Artest, Jackson gambled with a starting lineup featuring 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom at small forward, alongside 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The Lakers logically pounded the ball inside, and controlled the game nearly the entire second half.
Perhaps Artest’s absence caught up to them at the end. Jackson acknowledged “there was some fatigue factor in there.” He also admitted that his super-sized lineup was much better protecting the paint than defending the 3-point line.
And there was that Nowitzki fellow.
Dallas’ superstar scored 32 points, making 12 of 19 shots. With the Lakers’ big guys crowding the lane, he went back to his roots and got comfortable behind the 3-point line, burying 4 of 5. He only took four free throws, but made them all.
Just about everything that happened down the stretch was a direct result of him either scoring the ball or making a play to get somebody a shot, or make a pass for an assist for a 3 or a 2 or whatever it was,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
A record Dallas crowd of 21,156 — most wearing royal-blue giveaway T-shirts that read, “The Time Is Now,” with the Mavs logo in place of the basketball on top of the championship trophy — went through the usual chants of “De-fense!” and “Beat LA!” without much impact through the first three quarters. With the game on the line, they got to their feet and helped the home team sustain its final push.
Terry scored 23, including some of the points that helped ice the victory in the closing minutes. Stojakovic scored 11 of his 15 in the final quarter. Jason Kidd added 11 points and nine assists.
Bynum had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Odom scored 18 and Bryant scored 17. He had only four points in the final quarter.
Gasol had 12 points and Shannon Brown provided a spark off the bench with 10.
“We’re beating ourselves a little bit, not getting a decent shot in the last five minutes of the game,” Bynum said.
Los Angeles’ meltdown included a play where Bryant threw a pass to Gasol, but Gasol expected him to shoot and was looking at the rim. The ball hit him in the back, creating a turnover plucked by Dallas. On the Lakers’ next possession, Bryant came up short on a long jumper to beat the shot clock, leading to a pair of free throws by Nowitzki that put the Mavericks ahead for the first time since the final minutes of the first half.
A quick basket by Derek Fisher put Los Angeles back ahead 89-88, then the Mavericks worked the ball to Terry in the corner for a go-ahead 3-pointer. Odom answered with a flick shot over Stojakovic to tie it at 91 with 1:39 left, but that would be it for the Lakers.
Nowitzki made a tough, left-handed hook shot over two defenders, then ran back up the court snarling and with the lead. Odom missed another flick shot over Stojakovic, with defensive help from Tyson Chandler, and Dallas got an extended possession when Chandler reached between two Lakers to knock a rebound to Terry in the corner. The Lakers resorted to fouls and wild shots to try coming back, an ugly way for a team that’s been so good for so long to go out — or, at least, get really close to starting its summer vacation.
“They have a lot of pride over there in that locker room,” Nowitzki said. “We’ve got to take it. They’re not going to give it to us.”
NOTES: Dallas is 4-0 at home this postseason. … The trio of Odom, Gasol and Bynum had only been on the court together a total of 2 minutes, 19 seconds all season. … A 3-pointer by Steve Blake early in the second quarter was the first by the Lakers’ bench all series. … Since the last time the Lakers were swept (1999), they have pulled off seven sweeps. That includes against Kidd and the Nets in the 2002 NBA finals.
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tags: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, Lakers