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Tag:Dallas Mavericks
Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 4:43 pm
 

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

Dwight Howard could determine whether or not this is a busy NBA trade deadline. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver   

Will we see two hectic NBA trade deadline days in a row? Las Vegas seems to think so.

The 2011 trade season was crazy, but the biggest deals -- Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets -- were both completed in advance of the Feb. 24 deadline. Even so, Gerald Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Baron Davis, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks and Jeff Green were just some of the names that moved on the final day of the trade season.

This year, Vegas oddsmaker Bovada anticipates a similar level of activity. On Wednesday, the site set the over/under on trades that will happen on the March 15th deadline at 6.5. Of course, this number is for entertainment purposes only.

It goes without saying that the biggest potential trade chips are Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Both are listed at even odds if you want to bet "yes" on them moving. 

So will we see seven trades? Given the slow run-up of rumors it looks a little bleak right now. Let's take a look from both sides.

If this does wind up being a quiet trade season, you can bet on the following factors emerging as explanations after the fact.

Howard's uncertainty

Teams with top-tier assets are on hold as they wait for the Howard situation to clear up. If it gets closer to the deadline and he winds up staying in Orlando, rival GMs will have the choice of scrambling to execute a back-up plan or simply holding their cards until the offseason. It's essentially the same thing if he winds up moving late. For teams not in the transaction, they won't have days to weigh their options as they did following the Anthony and Williams trades last year.

Lockout schedule

The delayed start to the 2011-2012 season also pushed back the trade deadline. With six weeks until the playoffs, the temptation to fold the tent and wait until Draft season could be strong for teams that either aren't true contenders or have already dropped out of the playoff chase. It's much easier to write-off a 66-game season than it is an 82-game season. A number of teams have tanked hard since the beginning of the season using the same logic.

Established dominance in the East

In the East, Chicago and Miami have separated themselves so far from the pack that GMs may have trouble selling their owners on a win-now move that requires taking on salary. Why stock up only to get cut down by two truly elite teams? That train of thought is compounded by what is expected to be a strong free agency class. Taking on salary now means less flexibility later.

If, on the other hand, we do see a flurry of deals, here are a few factors that might trigger them. 

Wide open West

If there's activity for basketball reasons, there's a good chance it happens out West given the possibility that 4.5 games separate seeds 3 through 11. If someone wants to pay to make a push, they will be able to do so.  The Clippers, Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets and Timberwolves would all seem to have interest in making their team better for a little postseason fun.

Luxury tax  

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, high payroll teams are set to be hit with major fines for going over -- and eventually, for staying over -- the luxury tax line. Already, we saw one high-profile salary dump for tax purposes, when the Lakers moved Lamar Odom to the Mavericks.  It doesn't have to be big names or big salary numbers that move, though. Simply shipping an extraneous smaller-salary (over multiple years) guy to a team with cap space for oblique future Draft considerations could wind up saving a taxpayer real money when everything is added up down the line.

Danny Ainge 

The Boston Celtics are always active and this year they have assets galore plus plenty of motivation to move them given the uncertain direction going forward. Last year, Ainge made trades both big (Kendrick Perkins) and small (Luke Harangody). It's difficult to imagine he could sit on his hands with Boston limping along as the No. 7 seed.
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Jason Kidd fined $25K for blasting refs

Jason Kidd was hit with a fine. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Everyone seems to agree that Jason Kidd will one day make an excellent NBA coach. He got a jump on his future this week, when he blasted off on a group of officials for doing a poor job and for not paying his Dallas Mavericks the respect they deserve as defending 2011 NBA champions.

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Kidd has been fined $25,000 for comments he made following a Monday night loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks led late but wound up losing 95-91 and shot just 10 free throws while Oklahoma City attempted 33. Kidd was upset about that free throw disparity as well as a late, questionable foul call.

Here are the offending quotes via ESPNDallas.com.
"We don't get the benefit of the whistle," Kidd said. "I don't think we're looked upon as champions, but that's a whole other story. Dirk [Nowitzki] should live at the line if they would call it the way it's supposed to be. But, he doesn't."

"He didn't foul him. It was a bad call. Clean block," Kidd said. "I just said [to referee Pat Fraher] it wasn't a foul. He blocked the ball and after the play he said he bumped him with his body. I don't think so. It was a bad night for the officials. It happens."
According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Kidd, 38, is on the books for $9.6 million this season.
Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:09 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 10:32 am
 

Mark Cuban says Mavs aren't making trade calls

By Matt Moore

The Mavericks have pretty much freaked everyone out. The Mavericks not only held off signing three of their major championship components to long-term deals, presumably because of the luxury-tax implications in two years under the new CBA, they didn't re-sign th
Mark Cuban says the Mavs won't be ringing up other teams at the deadline. (Getty Images)
em, period. They moved a trade exception to get Lamar Odom, despite knowing Odom has never really had a lot of success outside of the cocoon of L.A. and Phil Jackson (though there was absolutely no way to predict how many personal issues Odom would unfortunately undergo which have impacted his play). They are rumored to be pursuing Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, but if so, why aren't they active on the trade market? To put it the way one Western Conference exec told the San Francisco Chronicle
"I can't tell what Dallas is doing. I'm as confused as everybody else," one Warriors source said.
via Considering the Warriors' trade possibilities.

And the subterfuge continues. Mark Cuban himself told reporters before the Mavs' win over the Knicks that if fans are waiting for the Mavericks to dive into the trade pool with the deadline a week away, they shouldn't hold their breath.
If Mark Cuban can be believed, the Mavericks are only going to be players before the March 15 trade deadline if somebody blows them away with an offer.

It will not happen if teams are waiting on the Mavericks to start proposing deals.

"We're not calling anybody,'' Cuban said before Tuesday's game against New York. "I told Donnie (Nelson) to take calls, but we're not making any calls. There you have it.''
via Mark Cuban: Mavericks are not making trade calls | Dallas Mavericks Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News.

I know, I know. Cuban always says this. Teams always says this. Cuban said Saturday at the Sloan Sports Analytic Conference that they take pride in never letting trade talks leak. If we believed every GM, trades just spontaneously happen because no one ever calls anyone. But let's for the moment take his word. The Mavericks are closing in on a potential top-four seed and homecourt advantage in the first round. But from watching them, it's easy to see there's a big gap between them and the championship-caliber team of last year (in the shape of Tyson Chandler, specifically). And yet, the Mavericks remain painfully patient. So what gives?

Maybe it's the luxury tax and Cuban wanting to get space to make careful moves before the punitive measures take effect. Maybe it really is the big dream chase of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard in free agency, and wanting to boost Marion's value as much as possible. Maybe it's just a conceptual approach to flexibility. It may be smarter to simply allow yourself options down the road than aggressively pursue a plan.

But the fact remains, the Mavericks are baffling everyone and it's kind of freaking us out.
Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:46 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 11:02 pm
 

NBA ref to Dirk Nowitzki: 'Do you want to go?'

Posted by Ben Golliver  

Dallas Mavericks All-Star forwrd Dirk Nowitzki wasn't pleased with a no-call but he had no idea his protests would be met with four threats of ejection.

In one of the more direct exchanges between NBA referee and superstar player that you will ever see caught on camera, official Eric Dalen asked Nowitzki directly if he would like to be ejected on four occasions.

"Do you want to go?" Dalen asked, over and over, after first hitting Nowitzki with a technical foul for arguing a no-call on a drive attempt.

The scene began with a little more than 7 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a Tuesday night game between the Mavericks and the New York Knicks. Nowitzki drove the paint against multiple Knicks defenders, only to have the ball swatted out of his possession with no foul given. Nowitzki reacted with frustration and was hit with the quick tech from Dalen. As he went to the sideline to argue that call, Dalen moved towards the scorer's table, issuing his ejection threat while looking directly at Nowitzki.

Nowitzki backed down, which was a smart move given that it was just an 8-point game at the time of the incident. The Mavericks held on for the 95-85 win. Nowitzki finished with a game-high 28 points.

Here's the video of NBA referee Eric Dalen asking Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki if he wants to be ejected.

Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:15 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:22 am
 

Report Card 3.6.12: Celebrating revenge

The Bulls did some celebrating of their own in a beatdown of the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Bulls second-half defense The Bulls' win over the Pacers in a "revenge" game for celebration-gate earlier in the month was close in the first half. In fact, the Pacers lead. It was going well. The pace was how the Pacers want it, and the Bulls offense had resorted back to "Rose dribbles around and then passes to Noah in the pinch post who holds it for too long until passing it to someone for a mid-range jumper which misses. Then the third quarter happened, a 33-13 cannibalistic raid which started with the Bulls attacking the Pacers dribble furiously to create turnovers then running out for dunks and transition threes. It was like Chokeholds in Seven Seconds or Less and it turned a great battle into a rout before the Pacers could figure out they were hit.
OKC defense The Thunder won the free throw differential, again. The Thunder had some bizarre offensive possessions again. But when the Thunder absolutely needed to shut down the Mavericks, they did. The defense for OKC has come miles in the last three weeks. They blanketed Dirk and disrupted Dallas' playsets enough to completely block out any chance of a miracle tying bucket. They allowed too many Dirk Nowitzki threes early in the fourth, but their recovery down the stretch was championship level.
Orlando Magic/Toronto Raptors The Raptors have no center, no real power forward, and are playing Jamal Magloire and a series of tweeners. And yet outside of Dwight Howard's dominant 36 points, the Raptors hung with the Magic. That says a lot about both teams. The Magic needed a clutch J.J. Redick three to finish them off and this team simply had no frontcourt to defend Orlando with. That's a problem loss.
Sacramento Kings Essentially, twice against the Nuggets, all the Kings had to do was avoid the exact thing they wound up doing. Don't foul Arron Afflalo on a desperation three-pointer at the end of regulation. Don't miss free throws. Don't let Lawson go ISO with space. And yet they did all these things, twice blowing leads that seemed safe and tossing away a game they had every chance to win.
Clippers composure Kenyon Martin gets T'd up needlessly inside the final three minutes. Blake Griffin gets a technical for a bad fall into Luke Ridnour, then missed both of his free throws for the fouls which started it. Chris Paul misses a tying free throw. For whatever reason, the Timberwolves turn the Clippers into toddlers with buckets on their heads, running into walls and down stairs.



E FOR EFFORT
Dwight Howard (36 points on 20 shots, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks in 26 minutes)
Al Jefferson (25 points on 16 shots, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks)
Kevin Love (39 points, 17 rebounds, huge shot after huge shot in the win)
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:30 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 12:38 pm
 

Lamar Odom recalled from D-League

Posted by Royce Young

Another twist in the brief, but strange Lamar Odom situation in Dallas: Now he's not going to the D-League, as was reported a few days ago. The team actually sent out a press release announcing he was "recalled" despite him not actually ever playing for the affiliate. More details via ESPN Dallas:
Forward Lamar Odom will skip what was Saturday's scheduled return to the court in the D-League, and instead report directly to the Dallas Mavericks as they seek to snap a four-game skid, according to sources close to the situation.

The Mavericks, who have lost five of six, face the Utah Jazz Saturday night in Dallas.

Odom, his agent, Jeff Schwartz, and Mavs owner Mark Cuban had met earlier this week in Dallas and worked out a plan to ease Odom back onto the team after his personal absence unexpectedly extended more than a week.

He was just hours away from reporting to the D-League's Texas Legends in nearby Frisco for the morning shootaround and was to play in their game Saturday night to build up stamina before returning to the Mavs for their road game Monday at Oklahoma City. Odom has not played in a game since Feb. 20.

But after Dallas lost Friday to the New Orleans Hornets 97-92, plans changed because the Mavs need him now, a source said.

This comes a day after coach Rick Carlisle didn't hold back on Odom saying his patience was "worn thin" and questioned if he was really all in with the team.

It's not an ideal situation for a defending champion to deal with. They've had enough turnover in losing Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and others so an issue with Odom isn't just a distraction, but hurts them on the court as well.

Odom has missed four games due to a family matter. He'll be in uniform Saturday as the Mavs play the Jazz in Dallas.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 7:37 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 7:38 pm
 

Carlisle: Patience has 'worn thin' with Odom

Rick Carlisle has a trophy, but he doesn't want the headaches involved with Lamar Odom. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

It's not going well for Lamar Odom in Dallas right now. He's not playing well, he left the team this week for personal reasons and instead of returing to the Mavericks, he'll be headed to their D-League affiliate in Frisco instead.

And don't think for a second the Mavs are entirely cool with it all. In fact, coach Rick Carlisle is pretty much fed up with Odom. Via ESPN Dallas:
"When he comes back, we're going to find out very quickly where things are at," Carlisle during his weekly appearance Friday on the ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Galloway & Co." "He's going to have to show us with his actions and attitude that he's in."

[...]

"Mark asks a fundamental question of anybody in our franchise: Are they in or are they not in?" Carlisle said. "Our fans want to know that Lamar's in. Our players want to know that Lamar's in. It's not about how many points he's scoring or rebounds; those things are a factor. Our fans, our players want to see the guy playing like his pants are on fire and we haven't seen that so far and that's got to change."
If Odom had been clearly committed on the floor, this obviously wouldn't be a question. But he hasn't come close to playing anywhere close to the level he did last season with the Lakers when he won Sixth Man of the Year. He hasn't just had a down year. He's fallen on his face. And the Mavs, notably Carlisle and the locker room, are pretty much sick of it.

"There is a personal issue here and we do not know the extent of it or the details of it," Carlisle said. "There is a fine line between compassion, which our owner is showing, and gross insensitivity."

"I'm disappointed," Carlisle continued, "with the way the whole thing's gone. We've worked hard with this kid. I'm a patient guy, Mark is a patient guy, Donnie is a patient guy, our team is a patent team, but patience has worn thin here.

"... This is serious business. The business of winning NBA basketball games is serious business. This is not easy. It's not easy to win a game in the NBA. ... We need people that are engaged and we need people that are into it. Our players will tell you the same thing. You ask Jason Kidd, you ask Dirk and they're going to tell you the same exact thing, and every night that you step onto the court or you step into that coaching box, it's a war and you've to got to be ready to go to war as a player and you've got to have people around you as a coach on your coaching staff, and ownership that are ready to go to battle with you and that's what we ask."

Tell us how you really feel, Rick. But he has reason to be worn out with it. At a certain point you can't just toe the company line and say everything that's politically correct. Odom's making almost $9 million this season and he's not holding up his end of the deal. He's mailing it in for the Mavs and they aren't happy with it.

Carlisle even said this, which I thought was maybe his strongest quote: "When Lamar comes back, if he comes on the floor and he competes the way people expect him to compete as a member of a world championship defending team," Carlisle said, "this problem will go away." The Mavs aren't hiding behind anything here. Their cards are on the table. Now it's up to Odom to meet them.

Odom's agent, Jeff Schwartz, put out a statement Friday on behalf of his player.

"The whole idea of going to the D-League was Lamar's," Schwartz said. "He proposed it to the Mavs; they never asked him. He wanted to get some floor time in actual game conditions before rejoining the team. People need to educate themselves on the rules in place here. NBA veterans don't get sent to the D-League without their consent."

No, they don't. But NBA veterans the caliber of Odom don't typically have to be.

Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 6:43 pm
 

Report: Odom going to the Mavs D-League affiliate

 Odom has a stop to make before he returns to the Mavs. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Hard to imagine Lamar Odom won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season, and did it with maybe his most efficient season ever.

Why is that hard to imagine? Because he's headed to the D-League, according to ESPN.com.

The Dallas Mavericks hope to have Lamar Odom back in uniform in a matter of days, but it might not immediately be a Mavs uniform, sources said.

Odom is likely to play at least one game with the Mavericks' D-League affiliate in nearby Frisco to, as one source said, "get his legs back under him." The Texas Legends play the Austin Toros at home Thursday night, but sources said it's more likely Odom practices with the Legends on Friday while the Mavericks are in New Orleans and then plays Saturday's home game with the Legends, also against Austin, while the Mavericks are playing host to Utah.

A team spokesman had said earlier Thursday that Odom will not make the trip to New Orleans. The team plans to provide another update on Odom's status before Saturday's game.

Odom was given a week of personal leave from the team after he left the team before the All-Star break to tend to an ill father. The assignment is more seen as something to help him just get back in shape. But then again, with the way Odom has performed this season, plus with the rumors starting to swirl around him, it's easy to assume there could be more to this.

Maybe the Mavs are deep in trade talks right now for him. Maybe they're just unhappy with his production and effort and are trying to grab his attention. Or maybe Odom really just needs some time to get back in shape.

As for buying him out, Cuban says it's not happening.

"We're not going to buy out anybody, there's no reason to do it," Cuban said. "We're not going to do that. That's not the way we work. We try to find what the problem is and fix it."

Since his trade from the Lakers before the season, Odom clearly hasn't been the same player. It's mostly a mental thing, as he was wounded by the way the Lakers sent him uncerimoniously out of town. He also briefly considered retirement due to an unexpected death in his family. So Odom has been dealing with issues off the court, which have affected him on it.

And right now, he's away from the Mavs on leave and likely is headed to Frisco before he finds his way back into a Dallas uniform, if he comes back to Dallas at all. My, how things change in a year.
 
 
 
 
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