Showing posts with label Mavs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mavs. Show all posts
Monday, March 17, 2014

What to Wear to a Mavs Game, St. Patrick's Day Edition

The Mavericks are fresh off a big win over Oklahoma City Sunday night.  YES, the Thunder was without three starters, including Russell Westbrook.  I don't care.  Dallas ended an 11-game losing streak to Kevin Durant and company but there's no time to revel in that victory.  The Mavs are back at the AAC Monday to host the Celtics which presents.....a fashion conundrum.

Dallas Mavericks Women's Solid Slim Fit V-Neck T-Shirt

Think about it: It's St. Patricks Day.  The day we are supposed to wear green.  The Celtics are THE team that was founded on the luck of the Irish!  When you think of them, you envision their green uniforms, the clover and leprechaun.

Boston Celtics T-Shirt

So what should the St. Patrick's Day-loving Mavs fan wear to a game like this one?  My daughter and I are actually going to the game.  I think this is a great night to break out a Mavericks t-shirt.  The good thing is that there are cute options for even the most sartorial Mavs fan.

Dallas Mavericks T-Shirt Options
Any of those t-shirts would pair well with skinny jeans like these from Rich and Skinny and a cute black blazer like this one from Asos (it's only $53!).

If all else fails and you can't find any colors that work, you can always wear Mavs jewelry.  Sure, some of it is cheesy but I found a cute pendant from Kohl's.

Dallas Mavericks Sterling Silver Pendant
Dallas Mavericks Pendant
It's on sale for $140, still pricey for sterling silver but it's the most stylish one I have seen.   Here's a more affordable version for $24.

What You Need to Know About the Mavs/Celtics Game

  • The Mavericks have won six of their last seven games against the Celtics, as well as the last three at the American Airlines Center.  
  • Dirk Nowitzki plays really well against Boston, averaging 26.5 points per game in 28 starts against the Celtics.  That is his highest scoring average against any opponent. 
  • Boston is terrible with a 22-45 record this season, 8-24 on the road.  The Celtics have lost four in a row, including an overtime loss to New Orleans on Sunday. 
  • Dallas is 40-27, 21-10 at home.  The Mavericks are currently 7th in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Memphis and just a game and a half ahead of 9th place Phoenix.  Meaning with 15 games left in the season, every game counts.  

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What to Do in New Orleans This Weekend for the Cowboys Game

Jackson Square in New Orleans, New Orleans for Families
Jackson Square, March 2013
New Orleans is usually a good idea.

During the summer when it's 98 degrees with 100% humidity?  Not so much.

During football season?  Always.

Visiting New Orleans for a Saints game is a blast.  The city is always alive but the spirit is even livelier when the Saints are playing.  

When they play the Cowboys this weekend it will be electric.  Because of New Orleans' proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth, you will see Cowboys fans throughout the city.  

In fact, some Cowboys employees will fly commercially to New Orleans so the team charter can accommodate the sponsors who will be making the trip.

I will be there with my family and friends celebrating my husband's birthday.  A friend who works for the Cowboys asked me about taking my daughter, Jordan, to New Orleans.  He wondered how the city is for kids.

In a word: FABULOUS.

This will be Jordan's second trip to New Orleans.  We were there in March and had the best time.

Storyland New Orleans City Park
New Orleans for Families
What do you do with a kid in New Orleans?  The same things you do without a kid.  She didn't impact our trip one bit.  She enhanced it.  New Orleans is a great city for families.  Here are some ideas:
Granted, we're not out hanging from balconies in the French Quarter until 4am with a toddler.  We will still visit our favorite restaurants, watering holes and shops, though.  Here are suggestions I share with friends any time they visit the city. 

Hotels - if you don't have a room, you will find the availability sparse and the prices high this weekend:
  • Ritz Carlton Hotel - great location on the edge of the Quarter on Canal.  This is one of the most affordable in the Ritz chain.  My go-to.
  • Marriott on Canal - nice Marriott with a Starbucks in the lobby.  I stayed here during the NBA All-Star Game where I stalked Mark Cuban for an interview outside a men's restroom following the Jason Kidd trade. 
  • International House - great boutique hotel located in the Central Business District.  We stayed here during Mardi Gras.  Very chic.  
  • W Hotel - there is one in the Quarter & one near Harrah's Casino.  Both are "W-esque" but the Quarter location has more charm.  I have stayed at both but prefer the one in the Quarter. 
  • The Saint Hotel - a gorgeous, Marriott-owned boutique offering next to the Ritz.  
  • The Windsor Court - near the casino.  Many NBA teams stay here. 
Restaurants - if you have a bad meal in this city, it's your own fault:
  • Antoine's - claims to be the oldest restaurant in America.  Gorgeous building in the Quarter  that is full of history.  Go, if only to check out the building & see if you can get a tour of the wine cellar.
  • Pelican Club - serves delicious local cuisine, nestled in Exchange Place.
  • GW Fins - popular, local seafood spot in the Quarter which is consistently voted one of the best.
  • Bayona - a foodie fave that is worth the wait, price and more. Located in the Quarter.
  • Nola - in the Quarter near Jackson Square, one of Emeril's more casual spots.
  • Emeril's - popular but good.
  • Gautreau's - located in Uptown.  Great seafood.
  • Vizard's - in Uptown on Magazine, good local cuisine. 
  • Herbsaint - in the Central Business district, serves French-inspired cuisine.
  • Domenica - in the Roosevelt hotel, great pizza & roasted cauliflower.
A classic Pimm's Cup at the Napolean House/Courtesy
Watering Holes - I'm not a bar person anymore but I definitely have some NOLA faves:  
  • Napoleon House - for a Pimm's Cup or Dixie to go.  The bartender, Mario, is quite salty but nice once he knows you. 
  • Bombay Club  - a martini spot in the Quarter that is full of character.  It reminds me of a British smoking club. 
  • Pat O'Brien's - a legend with a legendary patio, piano bar and signature Hurricane cocktail.  Go. If anything just to say you went.  
  • Carousel Bar - in the hotel Monteleone.  The name speaks for itself.
  • Bulldog's - sports bar with an awesome, dog-friendly patio on Magazine.  Get a spicy bloody Mary to go and continue strolling the shops on Magazine. 
  • Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop - in the Quarter.  Is it haunted?  You tell me. 
  • Old Absinthe House - on Bourbon street, see if you can find my business card on the wall.
  • The Sazerac Bar - good cocktails in the Roosevelt Hotel.
  • Bar in the Ritz Carlton - more than anything it's a good scene. 
Pirate's Alley
Lagniappe - a little something extra: 
  • Shopping on Magazine - head Uptown and check out the fun shops along Magazine.  I like Hazelnut (great home stuff), Storyville (cute t-shirts),  Probst decorating (LOVE her fabrics) as well as the slew of antique shops.
  • Saturday Morning at the Frenchmen Art Market - just off the Quarter, fun Farmer's Market vibe. 
  • Antique shopping on Royal Street
  • Cemetery Tours or French Quarter Walking Tour- these are popular.  I have never done one. 
  • Pirate's Alley - the inspiration for 1,000's of street artists.  
These suggestions barely scratch the surface.  Writer Rudy Maxa created an enlightening New Orleans walking tour on iTunes.  It takes you past Jackson Square, Truman Capote's old home and more.  Definitely worth a download. 

If you will be there this weekend, get lost in the French Quarter, have fun, stay safe and don't drive! Taxis are your friend. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why Quality Counts: A Lesson From a Louis Vuitton Tote

"In this world, you get what you pay for."
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle 

"Cheap is cheap."
Inez's mother, "Midnight in Paris"

You get the idea.  I am a believer in investment purchases but I hate paying the full retail price for them.  Whether it be a better price on a Gucci bamboo shopper tote, Louboutins for less or Prada for pennies, I've blogged about my love of discounted designer goodies.  But after this weekend, I might just be changing my philosophy on certain items.
Friday, February 17, 2012

Vinsanity 5.0 Working Well in Dallas

Vince Carter has won slam dunk titles, Olympic gold medals and had deep postseason runs but the Larry O'Brien trophy has eluded him.  The Mavericks are the fifth team the veteran guard has played for and Carter is hoping the fifth time is the charm in Dallas. 

The Mavs signed Carter as free agent in December.  He's started in 15 games this year and played in 25 of 30.  He's averaging 11 points, a far cry from the 22 points a game he's posted over the course of his 13 previous nba seasons and the career high 27.6 he averaged with the Raptors during the 2000-2001 season.

At this point in his career, Carter says personal numbers aren't his primary concern. 

"I mean, I'm asked that all the time.  I dont really know how to answer that," he said earlier this week.  "I'm about winning.  It's not about points, not about stats.  At the end of the day, if the team I'm on is winning, that's all care about.  That's what I came here for."

Interestingly, Dallas is 6-0 when he scores 15 or more points.  But Carter is clear, he wants a ring and feels that with the Mavericks his chances are good of getting one. 
"It is what it is, I'm trying to win. I'm here to contribute to a very good basketball team and hopefully it's enough to get us over the hump to win another one."
Monday, February 13, 2012

The Blake Show's Dallas Connection

The Mavericks cancelled their morning shootaround prior to their game against the Clippers Monday.  That gave us plenty of time to spend with the Los Angeles team that is stealing some star power from that other team in the City of Angels. 

It goes without saying that Blake Griffin is one the league's best young stars.  He's also one of the most likeable.  He's an uber-talented, marketable, smart young man who is also a thoughtful, humble interview. 

The Oklahoma graduate's parents are staying north of the Red River tonight but he will still have a long list of fans inside the American Airlines Center tonight.  Griffin has family and ton of friends who live in Dallas.

"I'll have a nice little ticket list tonight," he lamented with a smile.

I asked him which team those family members cheer for.

"They root for the Mavs when we're not playing," he said. "But, you know, they've started to watch a lot of west coast games."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

NBA Set to Lockout Its Players Tonight, Player Reaction Via Twitter

Here we go again.  All that feel-good Mavs mojo from the championship will come to a crashing thud later today when the NBA heads into its first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season.  On the bright side the Mavs could be the champs a little longer and those vet guys (I see you, J Kidd) will get some rest.

The NBA will lock out its players Thursday night when the current collective bargaining agreement expires at 11pm Dallas time.  Both sides have failed to reach any common ground on a new CBA.

NBA team owners, coaches, team executives and staff members are basically following a gag order and not commenting.  The Dallas Mavericks have made it clear they will not speak about the lockout.  Nothing from owner Mark Cuban, GM Donnie Nelson or head coach Rick Carlisle on the subject.

Cuban and Shawn Marion did seem to be focused on more positive issues like lunch and championship hardware.  Here are their tweets with the accompanying pictures from Thursday:

@matrix31 Fresh in my kitchen

@mcuban Who is under there Yoda, ET or Larry O ? My kitchen never looked so good

Cuban's counter & Yoda? I like the Tiffany blue
Here are a few more NBA player tweets for your lockout pleasure, with a triple latte bonus from Shane Battier (best NBA tweeter out there, imo):

@ShaneBattier Dear @NBA, lockout hasn't even started and I already miss your loving touch. Come back, baby. Cocktails and talk this out?

@ShaneBattier I think I have just decided to balance the national budget while I wait for the CBA to be signed. Wish me luck. Goodnight good people.

@ShaneBattier Barring a last minute miracle, looks like the lockout is on like kong. Anyone hiring/needing tall dark and handsome? Negotiable. Make offer

@andrewMbogut NBA Friends: Its July 1 in Australia, Lockout has started for me!! #unemployed #needwork #workingonresume #HOLYSHIT

@agentzeroshow So too all my NBA mates don't go overboard that's what they want us too stay out of trouble and good luck

@dwilkins3000 Guess it's official...we are LOCKED-OUT!! Sad day for the NBA and it's fans. Hopefully we will resolve this sooner than later about 1 hour ago

@JJ Redick47 Last day of camp for me. Probably won't be able to go tomorrow #lockout. For everyone who has asked me to plank- WON'T HAPPEN! #stupidity about 7 hours ago


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your NBA WORLD CHAMPION Dallas Mavericks to Present Letterman Top 10!

How fun is this!!!!!!  (and look who is on the show with Carlisle)

The celebrations continue for the Mavs. This from the cut and paste department:


NEW YORK, June 14 – Members of the Dallas Mavericks, the 2011 NBA Champions, will present the Top Ten List on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, Wednesday, June 15 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Eight players from the team, including MVP Dirk Nowitzki, plus head coach Rick Carlisle and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, will present the Top Ten List via satellite from the American Airlines Center in Dallas. This will be the team’s first talk show appearance since their victory. The Mavericks clinched their first NBA Championship Sunday, June 12, beating the Miami Heat 105-95 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Also visiting the LATE SHOW Wednesday, June 15 are actor Jim Carrey, who stars in the new film “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley from “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”; and musician Todd Rundgren, who will sit in with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.

The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.

Mark Cuban, Dirk and Mavs sing "We are the Champions"

The best thing about winning an NBA championship is all the ridiculous, crazy, fabulous crap you get to do that you never thought you would EVER experience. From riding in parades, to popping an $80,000 bottle of champagne, to sharing moments with teammates, family and friends that are truly priceless; it's the best feeling in the world. Honestly. The absolute best.

Singing off key in one of Dallas' best watering holes is another one of them. Some Mavs players including Dirk Nowitzki, along with staff members, friends and owner Mark Cuban indulged at the Loon earlier this week. Moments like this are truly once-in-a-lifetime and the Mavs are taking every opportunity to take advantage of them.

*Tip of the hat for the heads up on the video to Brian Dameris.

O/T: If I shared with you some of the things I did after the Rockets won the title in 1995, you might never look at me the same. I was a 21 year old PR intern who rode in the Rockets victory parade.  I took a celebratory offseason trip to La Jolla with the team, all paid for by owner Les Alexander.  And I had many all-nighters at the Volcano and Los Andes (our watering holes that season) with Rudy T and the gang.  It was the best experience of my life.  I like to joke that it was all downhill from there. ;)
Sunday, June 12, 2011

Any Different Pre-Game Rituals for the Mavs Prior to Game 6?

In a word: no!

Mavericks players are doing the same thing they've done all postseason which for most includes a good pregame meal and an hour long nap.

"Today you just relax, do your normal routine," Mavs guard Jason Terry said Sunday morning at shootaround.

Having said that, he admittedly is the one superstitious exception.  His pregame routine is quite different from his teammates. 
"I'm very superstitious so all those superstitions will be intact and ready to roll," he added.

His biggest one: how he ties his shoes.  For him, getting the perfect tie is paramount.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why You Still Won't Be Hearing From Mavs Owner Mark Cuban Anytime Soon

You've heard all postseason long about Mark Cuban's silence.  You haven't heard him talk any trash about this postseason.  He hasn't made any postgame show appearances, given any lengthy interviews or made reference to dirty Riverwalk water.  Sure, he may have vented about a call or said a thing or two about the Dodgers but that's about it.

While he's been incredibly cordial and polite to all of us, even delivering a live postgame fist-pump to me on TXA21 outside the Mavs locker room in Portland after a Game 6 six win, he's politely declined ust about every substantial on the record interview request.

Don't expect that to change.

After the Mavs amazing comeback win in Game 4 Monday night in Oklahoma City he came out of the locker room following the game while the media throng was gathered in the hallway.  He had a relieved, half-smile on his face.  A number of media peeps asked him if he wanted to talk.  He broke into a bigger smile and shook his head no.

We joked with him, asking him if he's ever going to talk again, considering how well his team is playing with his lips somewhat sealed.  It was another broad smile with a head shake as he walked away.  He said something to the effect of "I'm not messing with what's working."

Much has been made about the genesis and inspiration of this silence.  I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't a more coordinated effort.  Perhaps head coach Rick Carlisle has seen what a potential distraction Cuban's chatter has been in the past and maybe suggested that the owner stay quiet.

Just a thought.

Mavs Come From Behind to Beat Thunder in Game 4 of the Western Conf...


Yes, that happened.

In my Michael Johnson-like pace to churn out a video blog before we hit the road to Dallas, I forgot to mention something.  Brendan Haywood told me that Rick Carlisle told his guys this was a character win.

Watching the Mavericks come from 15 points down with less than five minutes to go to beat OKC can understand why.  But what was so interesting was what Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd said after the game.

Both said that the Mavericks could have easily given up.  Think about it.  Down 15.  They had already gotten a win in Game 3.  A split in Oklahoma City (a tough place to play) would have been just fine by anyone's standards.  You would have taken that, wouldn't you?  But Dallas wasn't willing to settle for "just a split".  Both players admitted as much.  Obviously, if the Mavs don't win, we're having a different discussion.

That being said, I think "character win" is an appropriate description because Dallas showed a hell of a lot of it in Game 4.  It definitely wasn't anywhere close to a perfect game.  FAR from it.  I know most of you Mavs fans were cussing at the tv (and at me on twitter and facebook!).  But it's one they'll learn from, take and hope to build upon in Wednesday's Game 5.
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are the Mavericks the Most Battle-Scarred Playoff Team in the NBA?

You could almost make the case for that.  And it might just be a reason why the Mavericks could be primed for one of their most successful seasons in franchise history. 

We've focused all offseason on just how playoff-tested the Mavericks are.  Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovich each have at least 10 years of postseason experience.  The rest of the squad, save for Corey Brewer, Dominique Jones, Brian Cardinal, Rodrigue Beaubois and Ian Mahinmi, all have at least five years of playoff experience.  All this postseason experience and, let's be honest, disappointment each individual player and Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle have been through with other teams have shaped this 2011 Mavericks squad.

It's made the Mavericks a hungry, smart team that understands not to take a ride on that emotional roller coaster than can be an NBA postseason.

But no one put it better than Jason Terry on Sunday before the Mavs watched film of Game 3.

"You look at each individual, almost to a man, Peja Stojakovich: Sacramento vs LA, he didn't get it done. Myself and Dirk: in the Finals up 2-0, didn't get it done.  Coach Carlisle: two Eastern Conference Finals, never made it to the championship.  Jason Kidd: two Finals appearances, didn't hoist up trophy.  Someone told me the other day Shawn Marion's been to Western Conference Finals twice, hadn't got the Finals.  Those unique stories in itself (is) what drives us and motivates us to get it done this year."

We know getting it, a championship, is the goal this season.  Can this be the team that finally does it?  I think it's in better shape, both mentally and physically, than the team that made the Finals run in 2006. 
Friday, May 20, 2011

It's One Silly Little Loss, But Are the Mavs Taking the Thunder Too Lightly? Yes, Says 1 Mavs Player

I'm not a girl who likes to say I told you so, but......

The Western Conference Finals are tied at one after Dallas lost to the Thunder 106-100 on Thursday. It's only one loss to but I definitely feel the Mavericks Game 1 win masked a few areas of concern that enabled the Thunder to win Game 2, particularly on defense.  Remember the Thunder were within six with under three minutes to play in Game 1.  We pointed this out on Mavericks Game Night prior to Game 2 Thursday night. 

This series is still right on pace for what I predicted to be a win for the Mavericks in six (I had OKC winning Game 1).  But have the Mavericks lost their edge defensively?  OKC is averaging 109 points a game through the first two.  Dallas didn't given up more than 100 in the entire postseason prior to the Conference Finals.  At least one Mavericks player admitted that they're concentration is off, perhaps they're taking OKC too lightly and that, yes, they have lost some edge.

Dallas allowed OKC to shoot 58% percent in Game 2 and, for the first time in a while, was outplayed by an opposing team's reserve players.  The Thunder bench outscored the Mavs second unit 50-29, led by James Harden's 23 points.

Much more in the video blog.
Monday, April 18, 2011

How Do the Mavs Do Following a Playoff Win? Here's the Ugly Info.

The Mavericks are focused on not having a let down in Game 2 vs Portland on Tuesday night.  It's good that is a point of emphasis because in the recent past, they have struggled in the immediate game following a playoff victory.

Check this out from the Negative Nellie Department:
Since Game 2 of the NBA Finals in 2006, the Mavs are 2-8 in the postseason in the game following a win.  The ONLY games immediately following a playoff win in which the Mavericks did NOT lose were Games 3 & 4 of their first round series against San Antonio in 2009.  They beat the Spurs in Game 3 and followed that with a win in Games 4 & 5 before ultimately winning the series. 

Here's the history:
2005-06 Postseason
June 11, 2006   Mavs beat the Heat 99-85 in Game 2 of the Finals
June 13, 2006   Mavs lose to the Heat 98-96 in Game 3
♦ Mavs lose the series 4-2

2006-07 Postseason
April 25, 2007   Mavs beat the Warriors 112-99 in Game 2 of the 1st round of the playoffs
April 27, 2007   Mavs lose to the Warriors 109-91 in Game 3
May 1, 2007      Mavs beat the Warriors 118-112 in Game 5
May 3, 2007      Mavs lose to the Warriors 111-86 in Game 6
♦ Mavs lose series 4-2

2007-08 Postseason
April 25, 2008   Mavs beat the Hornets 97-87 in Game 3 of the 1st round of the playoffs
April 27, 2008   Mavs lose to the Hornets 97-84 in Game 4
♦ Mavs lose series 4-1

2008-09 Postseason
April 18, 2009   Mavs beat the Spurs 105-97 in Game 1 of the 1st round of the playoffs
April 20, 2009   Mavs lose to the Spurs 105-84 in Game 2
April 23, 2009   Mavs beat the Spurs 88-67 in Game 3
April 25, 2009   Mavs beat the Spurs 90-80 in Game 4
April 28, 2009   Mavs beat Spurs 106-93 in Game 5
♦ Mavs win series 4-1

May 11, 2009   Mavs beat the Nuggets 119-117 in Game 4 of the 2nd round of the playoffs
May 13, 2009   Mavs lose to the Nuggest 124-110 in Game 5
♦ Mavs lose series 4-1

2009-10 Postseason
April 18, 2010   Mavs beat the Spurs 100-94 in Game 1 of the 1st round of the playoffs
April 21, 2010   Mavs lose to the Spurs 102-88 in Game 2
April 27, 2010   Mavs beat the Spurs 103-81 in Game 5
April 29, 2010   Mavs lose to the Spurs 97-87 in Game 6
♦ Mavs lose series 4-2

2010-11 Postseason
April 16, 2011   Mavs beat the Blazers 89-81 in Game 1 of the 1st round of the playoffs
April 19, 2011   ???????????

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nuggets/Mavs Preview: We're Getting Physical....Again

Could Wednesday's game against the Nuggets result in a win the Mavericks need to end their three-game losing streak?  Just at first glance, you could make the case for Dallas.  

The Nuggets are playing on the second night of a back to back, after losing to Oklahoma City in Denver on Tuesday.  It was actually Denver's first loss at home since February 7th.  They were 10-0 at the Pepsi Center since the Carmelo Anthony trade.  They had won six straight prior to the Thunder loss and are 15-5 since the trade. 

What's impressive is the way they've been playing. 

"Since trade they're best defensive team in the league, allowing 10 less points per game, which is staggering," Rick Carlisle claimed Tuesday at practice.  "They're doing it with great balance and are doing it with 10-11 man rotation."

In fact, prior to the Thunder game, Denver was allowing only 94.8 points per game in their previous 19 games, down from the 105.2 they were giving up before the trade.
Then Carlisle mentioned the "P" word which describes the Nuggets perfectly.  I'm channeling Olivia Newton-John. 

"They're physical and it's going to be a big test for us."

Oh Lord.  Another physical team (I still remember how the Mavs were pushed around in their 2009 playoff series against the Nuggets).  Another test.  How did Dallas do in its last test?   Need I remind you of last Thursday's game against the Lakers which has lit up the DFW airwaves and interwebs with "soft" talk? 

What's the focus for the trying-to-toughen-up Mavs tonight? 

"Transition defense is going to be big," Carlisle said.  "We have to compete for shots on offense because they stay into you." 

Denver has had a lot of success against the Mavericks lately, winning eight of the last 11 regular season meetings with Dallas and four of the last six at the AAC. 

I am personally stoked about this game, the first post-trade meeting between the two teams.  The Mavs said they worked on a number of things on Tuesday at practice: communication, defense and focusing on their flow game.  I'm anxious to see how they respond after playing poorly in those three straight losses and see how they react to Denver's aggressive, physical style of play which puts up a league best 107.2 points per game.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Mavericks Failure to Communicate

With apologies to any Cool Hand Luke fan and the late actor, Strother Martin, who portrayed Luke's prison warden so wonderfully, the Mavericks have a failure to communicate.

"It depends if you're talking on or off court," Mavericks center Tyson Chandler said with a big smile across his face.  "They gotta open their mouths on the court."

No doubt Jason Terry's recent "Charminator" comments come to mind as an excellent example of off the court chatter.  On the court, though, is a different story. 

Shawn Marion alluded to the issue last month and Chandler brought it up at Tuesday's practice.  I asked Chandler and head coach Rick Carlisle why a communication breakdown exists on a veteran team this late in the season and, frankly, their answers weren't so surprising.

"We got guys that just aren't big talkers," Chandler admitted.  "It's something we got to get used to. A lot of good teams talk, a lot of good teams communicate, whether it's something you do, whether it's something you're comfortable at, you got to make yourself comfortable at it."

The Mavericks are full of a bunch of nice, respectful, fabulous guys.  Most fathers would love it if their daughters brought any of these guys home.  In your face, inspiring leaders?  Perhaps not so much.

Chandler says he's trying.

"I feel like as a big guy, you see everything coming.  You're the last line of defense so, you know, I try to communicate to my guys when I'm out there," he said. 

Carlisle likes the fact they're talking about it.

"We spent time working on that today," he said.  We're a team of guys that have high basketball IQ but our personality isn't to be outgoing and talkative all the time.  That's a habit that we've worked on all year to develop and we've gotten better with it.  We can't allow there to be lapses."

This is where I paraphrase former Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells who would say "you are what you are."  Is it too late for the Mavericks to try to become this communicative team when it's something they've struggled with this season?  The cynic in me says yes.

"Communication is so key, not only in keeping all the guys on the floor on the same page, but taking energy away from other guys on the floor, too," Carlisle added.
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Handing Out the NBA Postseason Hardware Plus a Finals Prediction

For Sunday night's Mavericks/Blazers pregame show, our young producer Cody Winstead assigned Bill Jones and I a task: pick our NBA MVP, Mavs MVP, 6th Man of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year and our Finals prediction.

Bill and I didn't discuss our picks at all but they were almost identical, except for one.  So without further ado, here you go:

Bill: Derrick Rose
Gina: Derrick Rose

Mavs MVP
Bill: Dirk Nowitzki
Gina: Dirk Nowitzki

6th Man of the Year
Bill: Lamar Odom
Gina: Lamar Odom

Rookie of the Year
Bill: Blake Griffin
Gina: Blake Griffin
(this vote should be unanimous, league-wide, IMO)

Coach of the Year
Bill: Doug Collins
Gina: Tom Thibodeau

Bill liked the turnaround Collins has done with a 27-win team (currently 40 wins) that doesn't have real superstar players.  I liked what Thibodeau has done with a young 41-win team (currently 56 wins) that dealt with injuries well and is playing good defense.

Finals Prediction
Bill: Lakers over Bulls in 6
Gina: Lakers over Bulls in 5

Bill just couldn't pick the Heat.  I kind of agree with him.

What do you think?  Agree/disagree?  Who's getting your postseason hardware?
Monday, January 31, 2011

Wizards Source: Josh Howard has been Great

Josh Howard is back in Dallas tonight as his Wizards are still looking for their first road win of the entire season against the Mavericks.  He will miss the game while he's still bothered by a surgically repaired knee (Howard tore his ACL last February).

Dallas represents many things to Howard: the place where he started his NBA career and became an All-Star.  It's also the place where he starting making bizarre decisions and, in turn, even more bizarre statements before ultimately being traded to the Wizards last season.

Howard has only played eight games this season because of the knee issue but he has been a "great player" according to one Wizards source.  I asked him specifically about Howard and he said that the 30-year old has been just about perfect: doing what's been asked, supporting the team and having a good attitude about all of it.

Does that surprise you?  It surprised my Washington friend.  He did point out that Howard is not making nearly the kind of money he was in Dallas and doesn't have a long-term deal.  Howard signed a one-year contract with Washington this offseason.

Do you care?  When Howard went down that path, many Mavs fans were crushed.

So now, almost a year removed from the Howard trade, are you over it?  Or do you still wonder what could have been?
Friday, January 14, 2011

Spurs Guard Tony Parker: Mavs Miss Dirk

I know you're saying "Duh!"  but he actually said as much Friday morning at Spurs shootaround.  It's late in games, however, that the Mavericks struggle without Nowitzki on the floor according the former Mr. Longoria.

"It's been tough for them," Parker admitted.  "They play well most of the game and then down the stretch, Dirk usually makes the big shot, the big play."

"They don't have that guy anymore so it's been tough on them."

Does Parker have any advice for the Mavericks?
"Everybody has to be more aggresive when you have one of your main guys who average 25, 26 points."

Insighful, isn't it?

For the record, the Mavericks are putting up just under eight points per game less in the eight games without Nowitzki.  In the 29 games he started, Dallas averaged 99.4 points a game.  In the eight he's missed, it's been 91.8 a game, a number inflated a bit by the 107 the Mavs scored in a 10-point loss to Orlando.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Roddy B Free. Sorta

He's jumping!  And shooting.

Rodrigue Beaubois has been cleared to begin taking jump shots and showed off at Mavericks practice this morning.  His three-point shot was good enough to beat Dominique Jones and DeShawen Stevenson in a little competition.

Beaubois told me on a Mavericks pre-game show in November that he had hoped to be back around the first of the year but now admits it's going to be a while longer.

"I don't know," he said "I still need more time."

How important was being able to jump, finally?

"It's big because I've been on the floor so long. Now I can go up. It's a first step. Now the conditioning part is going to be hard because I can feel that I am getting tired very quickly."

Beaubois was scheduled to see a team doctor today to track his progress.