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MavsWorld Mock Draft 2.0

We’ve now far surpassed the midway point of the season, and the NBA Trade Deadline this afternoon. The Pelicans acquiring DeMarcus Cousins further thickens the Western Conference playoff race, however trading for Nerlens Noel may be a step towards nabbing the 8-seed come April. Here are the current ESPN BPI Projected Records we will be using for order of the draft  –

Enjoy this Post-Trade Deadline edition of MavsWorld Mock Draft 2.0!

bos  1. Boston Celtics (from Nets)
PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
Previously: #1

The Celtics had a major advantage as we approached the NBA Trade Deadline with the potential #1 pick under their belt as a bargaining chip. However, they opted to keep the pick throughout the rest of the season. I’d still look for them to make a draft day trade, yet I still believe Markelle Fultz is the consensus #1 pick, regardless of who holds the pick on draft night.

phoenix_suns_2013_logo  2. Phoenix Suns
PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Previously: #2

After a season full of letdown, the Suns are searching for another piece to play alongside Devin Booker for the foreseeable future. To me, Lonzo Ball is the clear cut #2. While the Suns don’t necessarily need a PG, Ball is too good of a prospect to pass on at this point.

lal  3. Los Angeles Lakers
SF Josh Jackson, Kansas
Previously: #5

Earlier this season, I had Jackson much further back on my draft board, mostly due to his slow start on the offensive end of the floor. However, in the months since, Jackson has proven to be not only a slasher, but a valuable passer and shooter in the Kansas offense. The Lakers need all the talent they can get, and Jackson may be the cornerstone they need.

76ers  4. Philadelphia 76ers
SG Malik Monk, Kentucky
Previously: #4

Malik Monk stays at #4 overall, just as he was in Mock Draft 1.0. The 76ers need scorers that can consistently drop in 20+ points a night, and I think Monk fills the biggest hole in their young lineup. With Ben Simmons returning before next season, the Sixers will be primed to make a run at the playoffs.

orlando_magic_logo  5. Orlando Magic
PG Dennis Smith Jr, North Carolina State
Previously: #6

The Magic have needs just about everywhere, especially now after trading away Serge Ibaka. The best place to start? Get a franchise PG that will make everyone else on the floor better. Dennis Smith has proven all year that he will be a major contributor to any NBA team he’s on, and I think he’ll be a step in the right direction for the Magic.

twolves  6. Minnesota Timberwolves
SF Jayson Tatum, Duke
Previously: #3

Throughout the season, Jayson Tatum has showed up and showed out every time he touched the floor. Though he’s slipped some in the draft, it’s mainly because of the great play of Josh Jackson and the team needs ahead of him. The Timberwolves aren’t too far from competing for a playoff spot, and with Andrew Wiggins at SG and Karl Towns at PF, adding a dominant scorer like Tatum to the lineup could be the push they need.

knicks  7. New York Knicks
PG Frank Ntilikina, France
Previously: #10

The Knicks are (or need to be) in full rebuild mode. Derrick Rose is obviously not the future of the franchise, and aside from Kristaps Porzingis they have needs at every position. Getting a court general is a must and although De’Aaron Fox is still on the board, after hitting on Porzingis, I see the Knicks going international to grab Ntilikina here at 7th overall.

sacramentokings  8. Sacramento Kings (from Pelicans)
SF Jonathon Isaac, Florida State
Previously: #9

If there’s one thing I see in Isaac that I really dislike, it’s how skinny and frail he is. However, at 6’10 with the abilities of a guard, Isaac brings a unique skill set to the table. He has a pure shooting stroke, elite length, great slashing ability, and top notch defensive potential. The only major question mark surrounding Isaac is regarding how much strength can he add this offseason. No doubt the poor play of Brandon Ingram this season will discourage GMs, however his potential is unavoidable.

dal  9. Dallas Mavericks
PF Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Previously: #15

Here we are, past the trade deadline, and the Mavericks are still right in the thick of the lottery. After trying their best to blow this season on a playoff push, we’re 2/3 of the way through the season and still at #9 in the lotto. I think grabbing Lauri Markkanen here is a huge win for the Mavs. He’s an International 7’0 Stretch Big (sound familiar?) with good rebounding ability and good athleticism for such a big guy. Plus, having a year to play alongside the greatest international player of all time? I’m all in.

sacramentokings  10. Sacramento Kings
PG De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Previously: #7

After trading away DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings are now in a complete restart. With Buddy Hield already in hand, and Jonathon Isaac already drafted (in this scenario) adding the second-best passer and quickest player in this draft class to facilitate the offense is almost a no brainer. Fox is lightning fast, good on defense, and an improving shooter. He’ll be a step in the right direction for this restructuring team.

portland_trail_blazers-logo  11. Portland Trailblazers
SF Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Previously: #11

The Blazers just added Jusif Nurkic to bolster their front court for the future, and with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum on the rise, adding a 19-year-old athletic freak will allow them to take the next step in the Western Conference. The only big weakness in the Blazers lineup is at SF, and Miles Bridges is one of the best prospects at small forward in this draft.

mia  12. Miami Heat
PF Robert Williams, Texas A&M
Previously: #12

After a slow start to the season, the Heat have gone on an impressive tear. Whether or not they’ll even end up in the lottery is questionable at this point. However, if they do indeed stay in the lotto, adding depth to the front court will be a major concern in this draft. Williams is an elite athlete with great potential moving forward.

cha  13. Charlotte Hornets
PF Harry Giles, Duke
Previously: #8

Had it not been for major injury setbacks throughout the last two seasons, Harry Giles would’ve been a candidate for any of the top 5 picks in this draft. However, Giles has had a rough time staying on the floor this season at Duke, dropping his stock more and more. The potential is still there, however the injury concerns could scare away any team.

denver  14. Denver Nuggets
PF Isaiah Hartenstien, Germany
Previously: #27

The Nuggets love international players and need a PF. What a perfect fit! Hartenstein is a 6’11 big with a good shooting stroke, great court vision, surprising quickness, and good defensive upside. While his game needs work, he’s a really good fit for the Nuggets roster.

mil  15. Milwaukee Bucks
C Justin Patton, Creighton
Previously: N/A

Justin Patton has been flying up draft boards since the beginning of the season. The 19-year-old redshirt freshman is averaging 14 points, 7 boards, and 2 blocks on 70% shooting. He’s got good bounce and mobility for a 6’11 center, along with good rim protection and back-to-the-basket scoring. He’ll fit well with Giannis Antetokounmpo and help the Bucks get even close to playoff run.

indiana_pacers  16. Indiana Pacers
C Jarrett Allen, Texas
Previously: #18

With the Pacers opting to keep Paul George, they’ll now be looking for another big piece to pair him with. With the ascension of Myles Turner, adding another Texas big man to the fold may be exactly what the Pacers need. Allen is a massive 7 footer with great length and shot blocking ability. He may be the best center in this years draft, and he’s only 18 years old.

chicago_bulls_alternate_logo  17. Chicago Bulls
PF Edrice Adebayo, Kentucky
Previously: #19

The Bulls have a major need in the front court, and Bam Adebayo may be one of the most slept on players in this years draft class. With elite athleticism and rim protection, Adebayo could be a defensive star in the coming years. Chicago needs some help to put alongside Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, and Adebayo may be just that.

det  18. Detroit Pistons
SG Terrance Ferguson, Australia
Previously: #14

The Pistons are one of the youngest teams in the Eastern Conference, but they lack elite shooting throughout their roster. KCP is developing well, but aside from him they’re a bunch of slashers and rebounders. Terrance Ferguson is an uber athletic guard with good shooting ability. Although a rough season in Australia has caused him to fall down the board, this year of experience in pro basketball could help him in the future

atl  19. Atlanta Hawks
PF Ivan Rabb, California
Previously: #20

Had Ivan Rabb entered last year’s draft, he was a sure lock to be a late lotto pick. However, in staying, he’s forced himself to enter a more talented class. Rabb is currently having a great season at Cal, averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per contest. No doubt his extra year has helped him improve his skill set, and he’ll now be a steal for any team after the lottery.

okc  20. Oklahoma City Thunder
SG O.G. Anunoby, Indiana
Previously: #13

The Thunder have surprised everyone this season by making a crazy playoff push without Kevin Durant. However, they’re still quite a few pieces away from returning to the Western Conference Finals. Anunoby has fallen down the board some after suffering a season ending injury, however I fully believe he’ll return to form and help fill the void in the Thunder lineup.

portland_trail_blazers-logo  21. Portland Trailblazers (from Nuggets)
PF T.J. Leaf, UCLA
Previously: #16

T.J. Leaf is by far one of my favorite players in this class. He’s been having a great season at UCLA, and will no doubt be one of the better players in the second half of the draft. His ability to stretch the floor, along with his improving rebounding, will help the Blazers fill their weak front court. Meyers Leonard and Ed Davis are great and all, but they need someone better.

wizards  22. Washington Wizards
PF Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Previously: N/A

Caleb Swanigan is the most underrated player in the class. After being turned away by NBA GM’s because of his weight, Caleb Swanigan returned to Purdue and completely transformed his game. Swanigan is now in shape, and has learned how to use his great strength to score and grab ridiculous amounts of rebounds. He’s averaging 19 points and 10 boards per game (23 points and 15 rebounds per 40 minutes) and will be a steal here for the Wizards, who are in dire need for front court help.

uta  23. Utah Jazz
SF Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
Previously: #23

The Jazz don’t really have any weaknesses. They’re really deep in the backcourt, and with Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors down low, they don’t need much help in the front court either. Lydon is a good two way player that will add depth at the SF/PF position, with Gordon Hayward’s looming free agency, Lydon may have to step in at SF sooner than expected.

tor  24. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers)
SF Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Previously: N/A

Justin Jackson’s breakout year hasn’t gone unnoticed. He’s increasingly becoming one of the more dominant scorers in the ACC. His length and athleticism give him great defensive potential, and the Raptors, after acquiring Serge Ibaka, could be one piece away from contention.

orlando_magic_logo  25. Orlando Magic (from Raptors)
PF Johnathon Motley, Baylor
Previously: #28

Johnathon Motley may be the most skilled big man in this class. He’s a great passer for a 6’10 PF, he can stretch the floor from deep, and he has a 7’4 wingspan. Motley is the leader of the top-10 Baylor Bears, and he’d be a steal for the Magic this late in the draft.

bkn  26. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics)
PG Andrew Jones, Texas
Previously: N/A

The Nets are royally screwed. The Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade may go down as one of the worst in NBA history. Instead of grabbing a superstar prospect like Markelle Fultz, they’ll have to settle for an average prospect late in the first round. AND Boston owns their 2018 first rounder too. Andrew Jones is good, he’s a step in the right direction, but the Nets need a new SG, SF, and PF too.

portland_trail_blazers-logo  27. Portland Trailblazers (from Cavaliers)
SG Luke Kennard, Duke
Previously: #17

Having three picks in this draft could be really good for the Blazers. They’ll have the opportunity to add a ton of depth to their already good roster. Luke Kennard is one of the top scorers in the ACC, and he’s developed into a quality defender. He’s slipped some in draft position, but thats mostly due to team needs.

lal  28. Los Angeles Lakers (from Rockets)
SG Grayson Allen, Duke
Previously: #26

Grayson Allen has caught a lot of grief this year for being immature, however he’s come back strong and been a major contributor to a great Duke team. Allen plays with a fire and intensity that is unmatched, and he’s primed to be a good sixth man for an NBA team early in his career.

sas  29. San Antonio Spurs
C Anzejs Pasecniks, Gran Canaria
Previously: N/A

One of the more unknown prospects in the draft, Pasecniks is one of my sleepers. At 7’2 220lbs, Pasecniks loves to run the floor and has great defensive potential. The Spurs love to grab the unknown gems and develop them into studs, and I think Pasecniks could be a great young big man.

uta  30. Utah Jazz
SG Josh Hart, Villanova
Previously: N/A

The potential NCAA Player of the Year sits farther down the board for a few reasons. First, he’s subject to the Perry Ellis effect. He’s stayed at Villanova for four years, which means he’ll be 22 or 23 at the time of the draft. Second, he lacks elite athleticism and length for the NBA game. While I think he’ll be a great pick this late in the draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taken higher.

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MavsWorld Mock Draft 1.0

As we approach the midway point of the season, the Mavericks continue to find themselves near the bottom of the conference. In preparation for the upcoming NBA Draft, I will be producing three different Mock Drafts to help give Mavs fans an idea of who we could draft in June. Every week, the Basketball Power Index (BPI) uses an extensive analytic system to simulate the season 10,000 times, and then project the final record and standing of each team. To best predict the draft order, we will be using the BPI Projected Records to set each pick (link here – With that, here it is – MavsWorld Mock Draft 1.0!

76ers 1. Philadelphia 76ers
PG Markelle Fultz, Washington

The immediate needs for the 76ers are a scoring PG or SG that can step in an      immediately make a difference. Fultz not only fits the roster they’ve already assembled, he’s arguably the best pure scorer in the draft.

bos 2. Boston Celtics (from Nets)
PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA

The Celtics don’t need a point guard at this juncture, but Lonzo is far and away the second-best player in this draft. I don’t think Danny Ainge could pass him up. I’d look for the C’s to move the pick at some point, however.

phoenix_suns_2013_logo 3. Phoenix Suns
SF Jayson Tatum, Duke

The Suns really need some defensive help. They have needs at SF and PF long-term, and I think Tatum’s great offensive play and even better defense at Duke this year make him a great pick at 3rd overall.

76ers4. Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers)
SG Malik Monk, Kentucky

Yes, the 76ers are probably going to have two lotto picks. The pick is top-3 protected by the Lakers, but they currently sit sixth in the lotto standings. Drafting Malik Monk here allows the 76ers to fill both gaps at PG and SG in one draft.

mia5. Miami Heat
SF Josh Jackson, Kansas

The Heat really need a SG after Dwyane Wade’s departure, however the SG pool in this draft is really weak. Jackson is a developing offensive player with a high basketball I.Q. and great defensive ability.

dal6. Dallas Mavericks
PG Dennis Smith Jr, North Carolina State

The Mavs’ are 5-4 in their last 9 games, hurting the extremely high draft aspirations of Team Tank. However, with needs at PG, PF, and C, grabbing Dennis Smith here would be a big win.

orlando_magic_logo7. Orlando Magic
PG De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky

The Magic really need a PG for the future, because Elfrid Payton is not that guy. They also lack a SF, and Vucevic is aging at the C position, however I think Fox is the right pick here.

twolves8. Minnesota Timberwolves
PF Harry Giles, Duke

The Timberwolves only real gaps are at SG and PF. However, it’s starting to look like Zach Lavine is making the transition to SG, leaving the only gap at PF. Harry Giles is an athletic rim protector that should play really well alongside KAT.

nop-copy9. New Orleans Pelicans
SF Jonathon Isaac, Florida State

After acquiring Buddy Hield last June, the next hole in the Pelicans roster that needs filling is probably SF. Tyreke Evans is on the roster, but he’s played 33 games in the last two seasons. Isaac is a raw prospect with ridiculous athleticism.

sacramentokings10. Sacramento Kings
PG Frank Ntilikina, France

The Kings will only keep this pick if it stays in the top 10, otherwise they’ll have to swap with the Bulls. They desperately need a future PG, but with Rudy Gay already packing his bags they’re going to need a SF soon. Ntilikina is a great raw prospect, and frankly the last PG available at this point.

denver11. Denver Nuggets
SF Miles Bridges, Michigan State

With Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamaal Murray heading up the backcourt and Nikola Jokić becoming one of the league’s most skilled, young big men, one major weakness the Nuggets have is the SF/PF position. Miles Bridges is a raw and athletic prospect that, paired with Mudiay, Murray, and Jokić, could do some damage in the West for years to come.

knicks12. New York Knicks
PF Robert Williams, Texas A&M

The Knicks have Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis already. The one major hole in the Knicks lineup is Joakim Noah. Drafting Robert Williams gives you an athletic rim protector and rebounder, with tons of offensive potential.

indiana_pacers13. Indiana Pacers
SG O.G. Anunoby, Indiana

The Pacers are much like most teams in the area of the draft. Solid lineup with one or two weaknesses, which in the Pacers’ case is Monta Ellis at SG. Monta is in his mid-30’s and is a black hole on steroids. Anunoby is a great young prospect to eventually take his place.

chicago_bulls_alternate_logo14. Chicago Bulls
SG Terrance Ferguson, Australia

The Bulls desperately need some three point shooting. They rank last in the NBA in three point percentage (30.7%) and adding a pure shooter like T-Ferg will really help them.

portland_trail_blazers-logo15. Portland Trailblazers
PF Lauri Markkanen, Arizona

The Blazers have a great backcourt in Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum, but they really lack a solid big man (all three of their big guys have a PER under 10). Markkanen is a big improvement over Meyers Leonard.

wizards16. Washington Wizards
PF T.J. Leaf, UCLA

Much like the Blazers, the Wizards have a strong backcourt and weak front court. John Wall and Brad Beal are averaging almost 50 points per game. Adding a stretch big like T.J. Leaf will definitely help take some of the scoring burden off of the backcourt.

det17. Detroit Pistons
SG Luke Kennard, Duke

The Pistons’ one major hole is their SG position. They don’t have any pure shooters. Luke Kennard’s ability to hit threes at a high level, as well as drive to the rim and finish through contact, will add a big element to the Pistons’ game.

atl18. Atlanta Hawks
C Jarrett Allen, Texas

With the news that the Hawks are shopping Paul Millsap, they will need to add a young big man to possibly replace him. Dwight Howard is also getting up there in age, adding a 19 year old to learn under him would be a smart move.

mil19. Milwaukee Bucks
PF Edrice Adebayo, Kentucky

The Bucks have one of the best young rosters in the NBA, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker leading the way. However, the Bucks do need another athletic big man to help fill out their lineup. Bam Adebayo is a freak athlete that rebounds well and blocks shots like crazy


cha20. Charlotte Hornets
PF Ivan Rabb, California

Last season, Ivan Rabb was thought to be a sure-fire lotto pick, now after staying for his sophomore season, he’s seen his draft stock drop a little (mostly because of the ridiculous amount of freshman talent). For the Hornets, adding an athletic big man could help them in their climb to the top of the East.

denver21. Denver Nuggets (from Grizzlies)
C Jonathan Jeanne, France

If there’s one thing we know about the Nuggets, its that they love international players. After taking Miles Bridges earlier this draft, Jonathan Jeanne is a promising addition. Jeanne has CRAZY physical attributes. He’s 7’1 with a 7’6 wingspan, he’s got handles and crazy potential.

okc22. Oklahoma City Thunder
C Marques Bolden, Duke

The Thunder are still working on rebuilding their roster after the departure of Kevin Durant last offseason. Adding a promising big man to play alongside Steven Adams could help these Thunder get back to prominence.

uta23. Utah Jazz
SF Tyler Lydon, Syracuse

The Utah Jazz look much improved this year, however the one position they could use some depth in would be SF. Tyler Lydon is a great prospect out of Syracuse, as he would allow teams to stretch the floor with his shooting. Still needs work on the defensive end, but he’s 6’10 so size isn’t an issue.

bkn24. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics)
C Thomas Bryant, Indiana

Team Needs: Everything. The Nets are very bad, and the fact that Boston owns their next TWO picks doesn’t help them out any more. Grabbing a solid young center like Bryant is a step in the right direction, but nowhere near the talent they would be getting at #2.

tor25. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers)
SF Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson

The Raptors are a fairly strong team, they currently sit second in the Eastern Conference standings. Their one weak position is small forward. DeMarre Carrol is a good defender, but they could use an upgrade. Blossomgame is a great prospect, even though he’s a Senior at Clemson he shows constant improvement and ability.

rockets26. Houston Rockets
SG Grayson Allen, Duke

Honestly, I’m a big fan of Grayson Allen. He’s an underrated athlete, at 6’5 he still has the best vertical on the Duke roster. Allen’s game has grown from a simple 3-and-D guy his freshman year, to a multifaceted scorer. He could be a steal for the Rockets this deep in the draft.

tor27. Toronto Raptors
PF Isaiah Hartenstein, Germany

The Raptors are another team that loves to grab international players deeper in the draft. To some degree, Hartenstein is a guard in a 7 footer’s body. He has the ability to score from the perimeter, as well as destroy weak defenders in the paint. He has a big, strong frame with lots of potential.

cavs28. Cleveland Cavaliers
C Jonathan Motley, Baylor

Prior to this season, I wouldn’t have had Motley in the first round. However, he’s increasingly becoming a more respected prospect heading into conference play. The Cavs lack depth in the front court, and Motley could definitely be beneficial.

sas29. San Antonio Spurs
PG Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State

Tony Parker is 34, and his game just isn’t where it used to be. It would be a very Spurs-like thing to take Evans at 29 overall and turn him into their next franchise PG. Evans was heralded as a potential lotto pick last season, but after deciding to stay for his sophomore year he’s seen a drop in stock. Evans shows innate scoring ability and serves as the court general for a good OSU team.

uta30. Utah Jazz (from Warriors)
SG Dwayne Bacon, Florida State

Joe Johnson is nearing the end of his career, and the Jazz will need some more depth at the SG position. With Rodney Hood on the rise, adding Bacon will help when Johnson leaves.


Written By: Spencer Forsyth

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Wesley Matthews: the Glue Holding the Mavericks (Somewhat) Together?

I waited a little while to write this article for couple reasons: one, to see if the Mavericks opening month of the season was just a fluke and we would all eventually wake up from this nightmare, and two, to see if Matthews would continue on this hot streak he is on. One of the two reasons is still painfully real but the other, the Matthews one, seems like one of the few bright spots in this incredulously bleak season the Dallas Mavericks have found themselves in the middle of. At 6-18 and arguably holding the title of the worst team in the National Basketball Association there are few things, basketball wise, for Mavs fans to smile about. But Wesley Matthews’s hot streak has all Mavs fans alike hoping that maybe, just maybe, the man alongside Barnes can take this team to at least mediocrity.

The 30 year old shooting guard found himself in a terribly inconsistent rough patch to start off the season. Some nights scoring 25 points, others scoring under 10, forcing players such as Harrison Barnes and J.J. Barea to lead to the way with Dirk and Deron Williams injured at the time. Now Barea, Dirk, and Bogut are all injured and the Mavs season should look even bleaker than it did in those wee, early moments of the season, but somehow the last week has possibly been the best of Dallas’s year so far. With a HUGE 25 point win against Chicago, a strong outing against Indiana, and another huge 20 point win against a struggling Denver squad, the Mavericks look poised to regain some footing in what seemed to be a completely lost season. And in my humble, yet accurate opinion, Wesley Matthews is the driving force behind this recent influx of success.

This season Matthews is besting himself in every statistic throughout his whole career. At the moment he is averaging 16.5 ppg which is higher than both his career average and his best season average. He is also shooting over .400 from beyond the arc, which is something he has only done once in his eight year career. A majority of Matthews success has come in the last two weeks alone, as he saw his numbers skyrocket and watched his slump from the beginning of the season fall back in the dust just like my memories of the 2011 title team and Mark Cuban’s credibility as an owner. Since November 27th, Matthews has had six 20 plus point games, leading the team to wins in four of those. Which if you take note of the Mavericks current record, that is two thirds of the teams wins. Since that fateful day on November 27th, Matthews has also only seen one game in which he scored less than 15 points, and that was a 14 point finish. Also note that Matthews is sitting at 3rd in the NBA in threes made per game in the month of December. So basically what I’m attempting to get across is the man is playing very good basketball and Harrison Barnes is no longer alone out there on the court.

With Matthews having his best season of his career (stats wise) it argues the question, should the Mavericks keep Matthews around if at the end of the season they go into full rebuild mode and dump all of the “older” players? I think they should. The man is generally somewhat reliable to provide some solid numbers, having a career average of 14 ppg. It also would be ideal to have someone with some type of veteranship out there on the court with all of the youth that is there and the influx of youth that is more than likely going to be coming at the end of the season, if not sooner than that. In finality, Matthews is a bright light at the end of a very, very long and dark 6-18 tunnel.


Written By: Caiden Berry

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Way Too Early: Dallas Mavericks 2017 Draft Scouting Report

With the Mavericks dropping to 2-7 after a 93-77 loss in New York on Monday, it’s becoming more apparent by the day that this Mavs team is almost destined to nab a top-5 pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft. While it’s going to be a rough 225 days until the draft, the opportunity to land a 19 to 20-year-old potential star is what’s keeping me going. This particular draft class is one I’m actually very familiar with, as these guys are my age and I’ve been following them since high school. So now, let’s dive into the top five scenarios the Mavs could encounter next June.


As long as the Mavs finish in the top five picks:

THE BEST SCENARIO – PG Markelle Fultz, Washington

This one is a long shot, and therefore it’ll be my least extensive. Fultz is a 6’5 195lb combo guard with the innate ability to create for himself and others around him. Fultz is increasingly being viewed as a lock for the #1 overall pick, and his 30 point, 7 rebound, 6 assist opener against Yale was definitely a great start in that direction for him. His one glaring weakness is his streakiness as a shooter (we don’t know anyone like that, do we? @Wesley). His shot isn’t broken, he has good form and his misses generally look close. Regardless, at this stage in his game, he’s more of a shot creator than a spot up shooter. He’s a creative ball handler, with the ability to change speeds and keep defenders off balance. He can create space, elevates well, and can be a lock down defender if he really gives it his best. All-in-all, Fultz is my number one pick. If we can luck into a lotto win, I’m all in on Markelle Fultz, however I’m not going to put all of my money on that happening.

Markelle Fultz NBA Comparison: Brandon Roy / Dwyane Wade


Here’s where we get into a more likely situation. Lonzo Ball is my favorite player in this year’s draft. Last year, he led Chino Hills High School to a 35-0 record, the High School National Championship, and was awarded National Player of the Year honors from MaxPreps. He’s currently listed as the 4th player on the board at, but in my opinion he could go as high as #2 overall given how he’s started this season at UCLA. Ball brings a mixture of pure passing, insane physical tools, and great athleticism to whatever court he’s on.


  • Size/Physical Features: Ball is a 6’6 190lb point guard with a frame that could fill out to a solid 205lbs before it’s all said and done. Along with his size, Ball has great bounce and dunking talent. Throughout high school he showed slashing ability, along with the capability to finish over larger defenders. The biggest perk of his size, however, is his ability to crash the boards and pull down rebounds (11.3 rebounds/game in high school). So far at UCLA, he’s averaging 8 rebounds a game and further proving his ability to crash the boards with some of the best athletes in the country.
  • Instinctive Passing: I believe Lonzo Ball is the best passer in this draft class. He has the ability to sling passes across the court and through tight spaces to set teammates up for easy buckets. He plays with his head on a swivel, and constantly whips the ball around. At this summer’s Adidas Nations Summit, Ball averaged 8.7 assists per 40 minutes, and so far at UCLA he’s averaging 8.5 assists per game. He has the potential to be an elite passer at the professional level.


  • Shooting Inconsistency: The one odd part of Lonzo Ball’s game… he has a funky form. DraftExpress describes it as a “slingshot release” from the left side of his face. It’s easily contestable, and could screw his shot up eventually. However, he’s shooting 71% from the field and 54% from three thus far at UCLA so maybe Steve Alford helped him out a little. He’s got some work to do on his jumpshot, but I still think he’s a top prospect heading into this year’s draft.

OUTLOOK – Depending on how he finishes this season out, Lonzo Ball could be the #2 pick or the #12 pick in June’s draft. He’s a triple-double threat on a nightly basis, and I love the versatility he’d give us as a team.

Lonzo Ball NBA Comparison: Penny Hardaway (ceiling)/Michael Carter-Williams(floor) 



Dennis Smith Jr. could very well be the most explosive player in this year’s draft class. He’s a two-foot dunker, making many of his dunks Westbrook-esque. He has a great ability to create and use his athleticism to score the ball. Though he suffered a torn ACL before his senior season in high school, he enrolled early at NC State and began his rehab on site before participating in the Adidas Nations camp this summer. So far, his recovery looks to have come full circle. Keep an eye on him at NC State this year as he progresses even further.


  • Ridiculous Athleticism: This 6’3 guard flies above the rim. At a game last summer, he even amazed Stephen and Seth Curry with his ludicrous leaping ability. Though he’s yet to post an official vertical measurement with any scouting website, I have no doubt he’ll post a 45+ at any draft workout. However, Smith’s athleticism goes far beyond jumping ability. He’s one of the shiftiest players in this class. His stutter-step hesitation has defenders on their heels, and his ability to change speeds is almost unmatched. Dennis Smith will blow past you with his lightning first-step, and then rise up over your teammates with a thunderous dunk.
  • Elite Shot Creator: This attribute goes hand-in-hand with his athleticism. Because he can beat any opponent off the dribble, he’s at a major advantage to be open on many mid-range jumpers. He’s a great ball handler, great finisher at the rim, and has shown good consistency with his mid-range game. Also could be an excellent pick and roll threat down the line.
  • Defensive Potential: Again, his athleticism gives Dennis Smith insane potential to be a lock down defender. He has lightning quick feet and has shown the ability to play passing lanes, however he tends to take defensive plays off at times.


  • Perimeter Shooting: Still a streaky shooter from the arc (28% in DraftExpress-monitored games this summer) and leaves plenty of points on the table at the free throw line (72%). While his perimeter jumper is progressing, it’s still one of his weaknesses.
  • Out of control at times: We see this pretty commonly with insane athletes like Russell Westbrook, they get rolling and tend to chunk up bad shots and lose the ball from time to time. He’s becoming a more conscientious player on the floor, but definitely has room for improvement.

OUTLOOK – An uber-athletic guard that has the ability to score from all levels on the floor. Coming back from a knee injury that could hurt his draft stock some, but still sits in the 2-4 range on most mock drafts.

Dennis Smith Jr. NBA Comparison: Russell Westbrook (ceiling)/Gerald Green (floor)

If the Mavs fall out of the top five picks:

INTRIGUING PROSPECT – PG Frank Ntilikina, Belgium

The Mavs hit big on an unknown European player once… why not try it again? If the Mavs do drop out of the top five, I really like this young PG from Brussels. Frank Ntilikina (knee-lit-keena) is an 18-year-old point guard that stands 6’5 tall with a 7 FOOT wingspan who is budding with potential.


  • Court General: Watching him play, Frank looks almost unfazed by pressure. He has great intangibles and exhibits true maturity. He’s a dual-threat defender, who can defend both guard spots, get steals, and block shots. DraftExpress calls him “a coach’s dream”.
  • Developing Offensive Skills: Currently, he’s an extremely unselfish passer, an incredible ball handler with great court vision, and has an improving jumpshot. On film, he has a solid looking shot form that is oozing with potential. Every part of his game is improving.


  • Struggles Finishing: He currently weighs 175 lbs, and therefore he really struggles to finish in the paint at times and doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate. He’s still filling out his frame, but who knows how well he’ll gain weight in the near future.
  • Great Upside, Huge Bust Possibility: Over recent years, players like Ntilikina enter the league and struggle mightily, sometimes never reaching their full potential. Betting on Ntilikina may prove to be either a great success or a colossal failure.

OUTLOOK – While I think Ntilikina is an interesting prospect to watch, I think it’s highly unlikely he’s drafted by the Mavs early in the first round of this year’s draft. He has potential to become something great, however I think his bust potential might deter Cuban and Co. from bringing the Belgian guard to Dallas.

Frank Ntilikina NBA Comparison: Shaun Livingston pre-injury (upside)/Rodrigue Beaubois (floor)


No matter where the Mavericks finish, I believe the focus this June will be on setting the team up with a future court general. While there are a few promising big men in this class, I think the emphasis needs to be on getting a leader to run the team within Coach Carlisle’s system. My prediction: The Mavs take Dennis Smith Jr. with the third or fourth pick in the draft. Keep your eyes open for a draft prediction article when we get closer to the draft!


Written By: Spencer Forsyth


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Should the MAVS tank? 

Are the Mavs better off tanking?By Spencer Forsyth


After a 2-5 start to the season, the Mavericks finally picked up their first two wins of the season this week against Milwaukee and Los Angeles. With potential future centerpieces emerging in players like Harrison Barnes and Justin Anderson, would the Mavs be better off cutting losses and trying to nab a top pick?


The Issue: Keeping Dirk Happy

To this point, the Mavs front office has done its best to throw together a solid supporting cast around Dirk to keep the team in playoff contention. Dirk has been quoted saying “Tanking is just not part of my DNA, not the way I’m wired. I want to win, I want to compete.” He’s also said that he will remain with the Mavs as long as he’s having fun and as long as they’re competitive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the biggest Dirk fan out there. I have a signed Dirk magazine hanging on my wall. He was one of the reasons I fell in love with the Mavs. But it’s time. Looking back to the late 1990’s, in order to get our star of the future we were 63-151 in the three season leading up to the drafting of Dirk. We have some rough years ahead. Harrison is quickly becoming our best player, and over the next two season he’ll iron out the rest of his game and become the ironclad leader of this team. While I want more than anything for Dirk to stay with us for longer, it’s just no longer practical for us as a franchise. In keeping Dirk around, we’re committing to be a mediocre team for whatever duration of time he keeps playing. I would love for Dirk to play until he’s 40, but It’s unlikely to help our future if he does.


My Argument for Tanking

I hate losing. Watching the first five games of the season was extremely difficult. However, if you look at our future draft chances, we’re going to have to be AWFUL to get any benefit out of the draft. After giving up our first round pick to Boston last year (the last piece owed to Boston in the Rondo trade) we now retain the rights to all of our future first round picks. Looking at next year’s draft, the top 6-7 picks will hold much higher value than they did this season. By all standards, this year’s rookie are trash compared to last season (not including Embiid, or the injured Ben Simmons) as the top scorer is averaging 8 points per game. While some of them could be solid players eventually, I think next year’s draft is stacked with talent. As of now, 14 college freshmen are projected to go in the first round. Like I said, losing sucks, but we don’t have the free agent appeal of a place like Miami, New York, or Los Angeles. We’ve proven our inability to build through big name free agents in the past, so our only other outlet is to build through the draft. We’re already 2-5 (presumably 2-6 after the Warriors game)…. Might as well make the best out of this situation and not strive for mediocrity.


Potential Draftees

The class is headlined by 6’8 SG/SF Josh Jackson, who is said to have one of the highest basketball IQ’s ever in a 19-year-old. The Mavs have their SF/PF of the future in Barnes, but I don’t expect the Mavs to win the lottery either, so we need to look a little deeper to find the pieces that will help us considerably.

1. PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA

6’6 190lbs 19-years-old

Lonzo Ball is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He’s a 6’6 point guard with ridiculous handles, great court vision, and unreal athleticism. He has a different shot form… but it goes in so who cares. He led his high school team to the State and National Championship in his senior season behind a perfect 35-0 record. Now he heads to UCLA for a season to show what he’s got at the next level. Ball would fill the Mavericks’ long-term void at the PG position, because in all reality D-Will isn’t the answer.

2. PG Markelle Fultz, Washington

6’5 190lbs 18-years-old

Markelle Fultz is slated to go first overall in some draft projections. He’s an all-around stud. Elite scorer, lock down defender, and great distributor. He struggled to knock down shots consistently at the Nike Hoops Summit this summer, but he’s developing that part of his game. Landing Fultz would be a major step in the right direction.

3. PF/C Harry Giles, Duke

6’11 240lbs 18-years-old

I’ve been a Harry Giles fan ever since I saw his high school mixtape. He’s a 6’11 athletic big man that has a frame resembling Nerlens Noel. An amazing rim protector that rebounded the ball ridiculously well in AAU championships (19 rebounds per 40 minutes). Incredibly fast for such a big guy with great handles, and has great touch around the rim with either hand. Oh, and he dunks a ton. Giles would fill the gap in the paint for years to come. Suffered some knee injuries in high school, so watch for that this season at Duke.

4. PG Dennis Smith Jr., NC State

6’2 195lbs 18-years-old

Dennis Smith is an uber-athletic, scoring point guard that has been compared to a young Derrick Rose-style player. He really is ridiculous. Watch the video at the bottom to find out. Smith is coming off a torn ACL in his senior season of high school, so he’s fallen down this list because of the significance of that injury. Keep an eye on him this season, though. He’s crazy talented.


In summary, I think the Mavs need to take advantage of this ridiculous talent at the top of this year’s draft. Like I said, I hate losing. But if it would land us a franchise centerpiece… sign me up. There are a legit 8-10 guys that have true potential to be NBA studs, and I don’t want to waste away another year of being mediocre, losing in the first round, and getting decent guys in the draft. We need a transcendent talent in Dallas, and this is our way to get one.


Want to watch some film on these guys listed to see if you’d want to tank for them?

Lonzo Ball –

Markelle Fultz –

Harry Giles –

Dennis Smith Jr. –

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MAVS / Dubs 11/9

Game Preview: Mavericks (2-5) at Warriors (5-2)Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 9:30 PM CT at Oracle Arena


Harrison Barnes is awesome. For the third time in seven games, HB went over 30 points against the Lakers on Tuesday (he had one such game in his career prior to joining the Mavericks). Now, Harrison makes his return to Oracle to take on the 5-2 Warriors. Last season the Mavericks finished 1-3 against the Warriors, handing Golden State one of their nine losses on December 30th. The Mavs hope to stretch their current win streak to three games in HB’s return to Oakland.



This Warriors team was dubbed one of the greatest of all time before they even stepped on the court. However, their struggles early have exposed the gaping holes in their roster that were left open in the signing of Kevin Durant. They lack true depth, as Harrison “The Black Falcon” Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli, and Marreese Speights all skipped town to sign bigger contracts, while Golden State weakened their bench by signing Zaza Pachulia, Damian Jones, Patrick McCaw, a 37-year-old David West, and JaVale McGee to fill the gaps. While they try to straighten things out, they’ve already dropped 2 games – something they didn’t do until December 30th last season (at the hands of the Mavs, I might add). However, when their first group is on the floor they look ridiculously good. Steph is still Steph, and he proved that Monday when he throttled a winless New Orleans Pelicans squad for an NBA record 13 threes. Kevin Durant is trying to make his case for MVP as well, averaging 28.9 points and 7.3 rebounds through 7 games. Draymond Green is still a triple-double threat every night out, as he’s currently averaging 9.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per contest. While Zaza surprised a lot of people in Dallas, he’s underwhelming and doesn’t quite fit into the GSW system, averaging 4.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. And then there’s Klay Thompson. Poor Klay just doesn’t fit in. Three’s a crowd, right? Well then what’s four? There’s just not enough shots to go around for Klay to put in the same kind of productivity as he did last season. His points per game averages have fallen from 22 to 17, and even though he’s had two good games of 28 and 24 points he’s struggling to score that consistently with 5 games of 10-14 points. On top of that, he’s allowing opponents to score 112 points against him per 100 possessions, significantly higher than he’s ever posted. The Warriors have shown weaknesses rebounding the ball and on team defense, currently allowing the 5th most points against in the league.



Man, I really like this team. The Mavs have finally found a group that can be effective together: the “Golden State B-Team” lineup. Call it what you want, it works. The Mavericks have been searching for a group that can work together both offensively and defensively, and actually be effective and it looks like they’ve found it. With HB, Bogut, and Seth on the floor the Mavs found consistent success. Seth Curry has been deserving of significant minutes all season, and last night he proved it front and center. After his 23-point performance, there’s no doubt that Seth means business. On top of that, it looks like starting Finney-Smith instead of Justin Anderson gave young Simba the push he needed, as he had one of his most efficient nights this season. As we move on to face Golden State tonight, the Mavs definitely have a challenge ahead of them. However, this team has proven to be a good defensive squad (11th best in the league) and in the past two games they’ve had the offense to go with it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Seth get the start tonight. I would expect Seth and J.J. to start in the backcourt, even though I feel J.J. may have reduced minutes because he’s a terrible mismatch on Steph or Klay. Additionally, Wesley and HB will start at the three and four spots matching up with KD and Draymond respectively. Lastly, Andrew Bogut will tip off at the five, swapping sides with Zaza Pachulia from last season’s matchup. Defensive stoppers like Justin Anderson and Dorian Finney-Smith should see considerate play time because of their size and athleticism, especially facing a team like the Warriors. Last night, Rick didn’t dip into his bench very much (only three bench players saw play time) and I wouldn’t expect to see anything much different tonight, as the Mavs look to knock off the Warriors on the road.



1. Keep feeding HB the rock! Look what happens when this man gets going! It seems like he’s adding 30 point games every time he steps on the floor. Last night, HB had a true shooting percentage of 70.6% which is ridiculously efficient. Tonight, he’s going back to Golden State and you know he wants to show them what they could’ve had. Get this man the ball.

2. Roll with the Warriors 2.0 lineup more. JJ, Seth, Wes, HB, and Bogut together just look like something special. They seem to have a chemistry together that we haven’t seen all season. The five of them had a combined plus-minus of +69, all other Mavs had a combined -9. Keep them together and let’s ride this out.

3. Don’t let Steph, KD, or Klay have anything easy. Goodness, please. These guys only need one or two easy looks to get rolling, and when they get rolling it isn’t pretty. Individually speaking, the Mavs do a good job defensively, and tonight it’s even more important than ever to win the defensive battle.



Golden State Warriors

– Damian Jones (Pectoral) OUT


​Dallas Mavericks

– Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles) OUT

– Deron Williams (Calf) OUT

– Devin Harris (Toe) OUT
Written by: Spencer Forsyth 

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No Need to Fear, Harry B is here! / Team Troubles

​Just as I stated in one of my earlier articles discussing his preseason woes, that MFFL’s having nothing to worry about and it’s nice to see I was right about him!

​Barnes is currently averaging a solid 21 ppg, 6.5 rebounds, and about 1 assist per contest being a consistent lift for the Mavericks despite the record the Mavericks have of 1-5. Two of the losses Dallas suffered went to the wire. Took the Pacers to OT because of Harrison Barnes’ shot which took them into extra basketball where he posted 19 pts and 9 rebounds. Although he didn’t do much in the way of scoring in the second game (10 pts & 5 rebounds) against the Rockets where it was a down to the last second game and he was still a factor in the game although it was his lowest scoring game on the season. As Dallas continues to play without Dirk in the line-up, this is Harrison Barnes’ real time to shine and show what he can do now and what he is capable of going forward and the game against Milwaukee was a perfect example of how effective he can be, dropping 34 points on 13-26 shooting following a double-double in the previous game. I’ve noticed myself that he is taking the ball to the basket more than he has ever done in the past. Constantly knocking down shots and making the clutch ones when they were needed on multiple occasions at the end of the game knowing the team was struggling at the beginning of the 4th and he delivered.
The only real problem I see for Dallas besides slight defensive woes, is their shooting efficiency, with JJ shooting 40% FG and Matthews shooting 28%…..AND 24% from 3!!!!! Had to put these 2 guys on blast His inconsistent shooting this season is really affecting them as a team, especially being one of the main scoring guys in the offense; his woes have really gotten under my skin because I know he is a better shooter than this. The Mavericks are shooting a mediocre 41% from the field as a team and 31% from the 3-point line, so if you’re looking for one of the reasons we have so many losses; you should take this into account and realize this is a big part in it. With next four games for the Mavericks being on the road, they look to improve their shooting and keep making sure Barnes gets his touches as they look to pick up some more wins on this 4 game road stand. On the plus side, the Mavericks held star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to just 11 pts, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists in the contest, those being his lowest stats in those 3 categories on the season, whereas he usually fills up the stat sheet for his team. So that is a testament to what we can do on the defense end and holding the Bucks to scoring just 75 in the game, we just have to continue that as the season progresses.



Mavs vs. Bucks Nov. 6, 2016

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Mavs/Bucks 11/6

GAME PREVIEW : Mavericks (0-5) vs. Bucks (3-2)Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 6:30 pm CT at the AAC


In 36 years of existence, the Dallas Mavericks had never begun a season 0-5. Until now. Previously during the Rick Carlisle era, the Mavericks’ worst start was in 2011-2012 when they started off 1-4 and finished 36-30 (after the Mark Cuban destruction of the championship roster). The chart below outlines the Mavericks’ starting record for each season, and the final record they finished each season with, under Coach Carlisle.

The Mavericks have yet to finish with a losing record under Rick Carlisle. However, with the way the Mavs have opened this season, it looks more likely that we might miss the playoffs for just the second time in 9 seasons.


Now, the Mavs will host a young Milwaukee Bucks squad Sunday night before heading back out on the road to face the 3-3 Lakers and 4-2 Warriors. Last season, the Mavs split the season series 1-1 including a 103-93 win at home, and a 96-95 loss on the road. With Dirk out for the next week, the Mavs will have to make numerous adjustments to get on track.



This talented young team is headlined by their 21-year-old, 6’11 Point-Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (who the Mavericks drafted KELLY OLYNYK over… FML) who is currently averaging 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. 3rd year PF Jabari Parker continues his return from his season-ending ACL injury 2 years ago, and is averaging 17.6 points and 6 boards for the season (averaging 24p and 6r in November). Their starting lineup is rounded out by free agent signees Greg Monroe and Matthew Dellavedova, and recently acquired SF Tony Snell from Chicago. Off the bench, John Henson, Rashad Vaughn, Michael Beasley, Malcolm Brogdon, Thon Maker, and Jason “THE JET” Terry fill out the remainder of the roster. Statistically, the Bucks don’t do anything particularly special. Throughout the season, they have been outscored by 2 points, outrebounded by 5, and they foul 22 times per game, yet have still managed a winning record to this point. The Bucks will more than likely be a fringe playoff team in the East, however they will pose a major challenge to this Mavs team that remains winless to this point.



I have a pretty good idea how this game is going to go. Milwaukee starts the game off on a 12-2 run and eventually stretches their lead to 15. Then, the Mavs will scratch and claw their way back, pull it to a 3-point game, and then instantaneously fall back behind by 12. That’s been the story thus far in every single game. At this point, I’m not 100% sure when the Mavs pick up their first win. Playing the Bucks and Lakers, there’s a solid chance it comes sooner rather than later. However, I was expecting a win in Salt Lake City and we know how that went. The starting group has been sluggish and completely incapable of playing defense. Wes Matthews still can’t shoot, Dirk is hurting and struggling to stay on the court, and J.J. plays like he’s making $94 million. I love his fire and enthusiasm, but when J.J. doesn’t pass the ball to HB it frustrates me. At this point, I want to feed the ball to HB every possession. If we’re going to be 6-76, I want Harrison to get 30 shots a game to allow him to get comfortable being the #1 option. These lead perfectly into the keys to a Mavs victory!



1. For the 5th game in a row, FEED HARRISON. Remember when you played football in Junior High and that one kid called “all-time quarterback!”? Well, this is going to be my all-time key. If we’re going to win any games this year, Harrison is going to have to be involved. Therefore, you can expect this to be a really common occurrence. We need to feed HB the ball.

2. Push the ball in transition. Tonight showed us one thing, when we push the ball and shoot quickly, we get buckets. As mentioned by Mark Followill and Derek Harper during the broadcast, the Mavs rank 29th in transition offense. While losing Dirk hurts, it allows young guys like Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell to gain a large amount of minutes. Plugging in this athletic duo, along with transition shooters like Seth Curry gives us the bench push that we’ll need.

3. Wesley Matthews NEEDS to get back to himself. After impressive showings against Paul George and James Harden on October 28, Wes no longer looks like the lock down defender he did. Since then, he has allowed a combined 92 points to Rodney Hood, Dame Lillard, and James Harden. Wes needs to find his stroke offensively, and reignite his defensive spark to give us a better chance going into Sunday.




– Khris Middleton (Hamstring) OUT



– Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles) Doubtful

– Devin Harris (Toe) OUT
Written By: Spencer Forsyth

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MAVS/Blazers postgame 

            The Dallas Mavericks have hit an all-time low, technically speaking. Friday night they fell to the Portland Trailblazers 105 – 95, marking the first time in franchise history that a Mavericks team has ever opened a season 0-5. That is a pretty cold, hard fact for a franchise that was arguably the worst in all of sports throughout the 1990’s, until a certain German guy showed up and saved the team. This Mavericks team, however, is thankfully not as bad as some of those dreadful incarnations of the 90’s, one of which nearly matched the all-time record for losses in a season, winning only 11 games. It will get better than that. As to how much better is up in the air at this point.
            Friday night’s loss to Portland could not have been a more perfect summation of the Mavs season to this point. Wildly inconsistent play on both ends of the court, falling behind big only to make up the gap, and in the end being just not quite good enough to take down their opponent. The fact that Dirk Nowitzki missed the entire second half with the lingering problem of a sore achilles obviously did not help the cause (we can only pray that this is not a serious and lingering issue that causes Dirk to go out a shell of himself like Kobe did). Yet somehow, in spite of it all, including a 42 point TORCHING from Damien Lillard, the Mavs found a way to keep it close until the end. The offense and defense looked much better at times, and at the same time looked just as bad as it has in the previous games at other times. It is honestly baffling how this team can simultaneously look like a team that has no business winning 20 games, and like a team that could still fight for the 8th seed. It’s uncanny, I’ve never seen anything like it. Mathews continued to be just horrendous on offense, and the starting unit once again looked incomparably bad on both ends when on the floor together.
            The Mavericks best stretches of play continued coincide with any variation of Anderson, Powell, Barnes, Mejri, Curry, Barea, or Williams being on the court together. That group fights, and fights, and freaking FIGHTS. They aren’t the most talented group, but man they just don’t give up. The two big Mavericks runs, in the 3rd and 4th quarters respectively, came with 5 of those 8 on the court at a time. It’s time for Carlisle to go all in on giving these young guys as much playing time as possible and letting them develop together and learn how to win. The playoffs are looking less and less likely by the day, so why not let the young guys get some burn. I’m not saying tank, that is competitively immoral. What I am saying is to give the youngsters the majority of the playing time, and if they get us there, cool, and if not, then it wasn’t meant to be. When they were are the court against Portland they scrambled like crazy on defense, actually made cuts and set good screens on offense, moved without the ball, and just flat out hustled and did everything they could to get a win. That is the kind of experience that is going to make them better and help the franchise in the long run, not getting spot minutes on a veteran team going nowhere fast.
            Think about this: Do you really want the Mavericks to make the playoffs this year? I mean really think about it before you answer. What is the point? What are the benefits other than maintaining pride and making sure Dirk doesn’t go out in “Kobe fashion”? The answer is nothing. There is no reason for this team to make the playoffs right now. Rick need not take years off his life by attempting to drag a hastily assembled roster into the playoffs once again. The Mavericks front office cannot continue to compromise the future of the franchise for the sake of being a first round appetizer for a top 3 seed year in and year out. For the first time in 5 years, the Mavericks actually have some solid young pieces to build around, and a legitimate all star caliber player in Harrison Barnes. The next step is to finally get that one big time payer, that elusive superstar, to add to the already existing collection of young players. And the only way that is going to happen is through the draft. No more big fish hunting summers in free agency. No more mid-season, blockbuster trades that don’t pan out. It’s finally time to do this thing right, if the opportunity presents itself, and there is a really nice looking draft class developing for this upcoming June.
            Now I am not one to overreact, and I know that just Wednesday night I was preaching hope and silver linings, and I still am; just not for any kind of playoff push this season. That is looking more and more like a pipe dream with each passing game. So the hope is in the development of the young players. It is in the hope that Dallas finally gets a high pick, and that Mark Cuban get the hell out of Donnie’s way and let him do his job for once come draft time. And it is in the hope that the Mavericks at long last have a future, and something to work towards and grow into. Hang onto the hope MFFL’s, we will get through this together. We have indeed seen darker days.
Written by: Blake Combs 

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Dallas Mavericks 2016/17 Season Outlook Mavs Better/Worse ?

Offseason 2016

Other than trying to create their closest version of the 2015-16 warriors roster , the Dallas Mavericks offseason was another sluggish starless offseason . It’s not the end of the world though , Although aging legend dirk nowitzki turned 38 in 2016 , the Mavs roster still shows upside to youth talent. While acquiring Ex-Warriors Harrison barnes and Andrew Bogut, the dallas mavericks also went out and signed Seth Curry and Quincy Acy . Two young and very intriguing players who both played alongside each other on the Kings.


2017 Better or Worse ?

Since May,09,2008 (Rick Carlisle was hired) the mavs have made the playoffs 7⁄8 years and have never finished with a record below .500. The dallas mavericks will remain relevant for as long as rick is under contract . 2013 featured what was possibly the worst talent of any avs roster to ever exist …. Yes that includes the 16 win ‘93 Mavs. That 2013 roster still managed to fight hard and play at a competitive level . I’m not saying they won the nba finals , but i am saying they managed to finish .500 with an even 41-41 record. 2017 mavericks are far more talented with the likes of Harrison Barnes and emerging All-Star talent justin anderson.

Dirk might be aging but the mavs still do benefit from his veteran decision making and leadership role he plays with the young roster . Also, he still poses a shooting threat and stretches the floor for center play and shooters to get open shots.

No Place Like Home !!

I might sound like an over opportunistic #MFFL but bare with me , I have a case here for seth curry becoming his brother steph or even more .

  • ●  Unlike brother Steph who was drafted to the warriors and given time to sharpen his talent and become elite , Seth was undrafted out of duke in 2013 and never really found a home in the nba since then .
  • ●  Seth signed a 2 Year deal with the mavs this offseason , making dallas his first real team in the nba .
  • ●  Extended role in the rotation will benefit seth and give him the opportunity to gain experience in the nba.
  • ●  Last but not least , Seth will also benefit from Dirk and wes stretching the floor which will allow him to shoot the 3-ball like he did in college and throughout training camp.

I’m not saying seth will lead the mavs to an unbelieveable finals run , averaging 30 and 13 , but i am looking for a huge improvement in his scoring average and assists per game . Bold Prediction Alert : Seth Curry will win Most Improved Player of The Year.

We’ll Be Fine

Although the 2017 mavs lack superstar talent and the “Twitter” standard of talent,(Lebron, Steph, Russ, etc…) #MFFL’s around the world should feel nothing but optimistic on what could lay ahead for Justin Anderson , Harrison Barnes , Seth Curry , Dwight Powell , and other young talents on the roster . For the first time since the title run in 2011 the Dallas Mavericks have a future to look forward to and could be in contention for rings in the near future if they can finally strike a big name free agent in the offseason and continue to build a young roster . 2017 like every other mavs season should be full with its up’s and downs but this roller coaster looks like one to be ridden and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. GO #MFFL’s !!!!!!

2016/17 RECORD: 49-33

Written by: Amir, twitter: @A1_Belk

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