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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  – http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/BPI-Playoff-Odds/espn-nba-basketball-power-index-playoff-odds

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 – http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/BPI-Playoff-Odds/espn-nba-basketball-power-index-playoff-odds.) 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
@sforsyth10

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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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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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Mavs World Ep. 31 Podcast (Mavs v Rockets, Houston woes, Cowboys, Chris Collinsworth)

Thank you for downloading episode 31 of the show. I briefly, and by brief I mean 30 seconds, give my first impressions of about 15-20 teams in the NBA. Down the line when I’m not 100% glued in on the Mavs I will go in depth and talk about all of the teams in the Association.

This episode talks a lot about the early impressions of this years Mavericks team, as well as my totally non-bias thoughts on this years biggest travesty, the Houston Rockets. Near the end on the mailbag I get a questions about Nerlens Noel, Mavs preseason, the Cowyboys, and that dingus Chris Collinsworth.

 

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Game Preview: Mavericks (0-1) vs Rockets (0-1)

Friday, October 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM CT at the AAC

 

The Mavericks dropped an Overtime thriller against the Pacers on Wednesday night. Now, they return to the AAC as they will take on the Houston Rockets in the 2016 Home Opener! Last season, the Mavs split the season series with the Rockets, including a 110-98 win in November, a 100-96 loss in December, and a 115-104 loss in January, before closing out the series with an 88-86 win in April. The Mavs hope to bounce back from a tough loss, and continue this promising start to the season!

 

OPPONENT ANALYSIS

If there’s one thing we know about the Rockets, it’s that James Harden is going to get his. However, the Rockets are now transitioning Harden into a point guard role, which seems to be working well. Despite the loss, Harden posted 34 points and 17 assists in Los Angeles in the Rockets’ season opener on Wednesday (though he still had 7 turnovers). While the Lakers are still very bad on the defensive end, Harden appears to be more of a facilitator than before. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still the human turnstile that we know and love (playing against). Expect Wes Matthews and Harrison Barnes to take advantage of this throughout the night. This summer, locker room kryptonite Dwight Howard departed to Atlanta, and Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson took his spot. Clint Capela has now entered the starting lineup, and had an extremely efficient night on Wednesday posting 16 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes. As they normally do, the Rockets play very little defense and simply try to outscore their opponents.

 

MAVS ANALYSIS

The Mavs jumped out to a slow start on Wednesday in Indianapolis before settling into a groove and giving the much-improved Pacers squad a run for their money. In one of the night’s biggest stories, Deron Williams gave Jeff Teague BUCKETS on his way to 25 points and 7 assists on 55% shooting from the field and 63% from the three-point line. Yet, the most exciting moment on Wednesday came when newcomer Harrison Barnes earned his money, knocking down a clutch 26-foot three-pointer to send the game to Overtime. HB finished with 19 points and led the team with 9 rebounds, shooting 57% from the field and 50% from the arc. Matching up against the Rockets, Williams will likely take on Eric Gordon, leaving Wesley Matthews to take on offensive star James Harden. Harrison Barnes will likely matchup with Trevor Ariza, while Dirk and Bogut will face Ryan Anderson and Clint Capela to start things off. One thing we learned Wednesday: The Mavs bench is deeper than ever. In Indianapolis, sixth man J.J. Barea dropped an efficient 22 points, while rising stud Justin Anderson posted 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, locking down Paul George in the process. Seth Curry impressed with his three steals, and Dwight Powell was effective on the glass, pulling down 7 boards. As usual, the Mavs entered the season ranked lowly in the NBA Power Rankings, coming in at 16th in the NBA and 10th in the West. However, with play like this, the Mavs won’t stay there for long.

 

KEYS TO THE GAME

  1. Improve the team defensive play. Individually, the Mavericks have some amazing defensive potential. Despite his stats, Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews kept Paul George silent. With defenders like Seth Curry and Justin Anderson coming off the bench, the team has four to five great on-ball defenders on this roster. However, collectively, the Mavs struggled to contain the Pacers. Indiana was afforded too many wide open jumpers and transition layups that inevitably cost the Mavs a victory. As a unit, the Mavs have to lock down the Rockets to pull out the home opener.
  2. Crash the glass. While the Mavs only lost the rebound battle by three (52-49), they allowed Myles Turner six offensive rebounds which led to about 12 second chance points for the Pacers. Crashing the glass as a unit will be vital, as the winner of the rebound battle generally wins the game.
  3. Slow James Harden. James Harden is one of the more prolific scorers in the NBA. He attempts a high volume of shots, while allowing a high volume or points against him as well. In the Pacers game, the defensive duo of Matthews and Barnes slowed Paul George impressively throughout the game. Doing the same against Harden will give the Mavericks an edge in winning the first of two with the Rockets.

 

NOTABLE INJURIES

            Mavericks

  • Devin Harris (Toe) OUT

 

            Rockets

  • Patrick Beverley (Knee) OUT

Written By: Spencer Forsyth

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5 keys to the Mavericks Making the Playoffs #MFFL Style

It’s the best time of year for us, isn’t it MFFLs? How is this year going to be a success? How did Donnie and Mark do in the offseason? Can Rick get the chemistry right in time to make a run? Let’s countdown ways to make it happen:

5) Deron Williams
Will D. Will be D. Will or No Will? It is certainly not guaranteed that Deron will stay healthy the entire season as he has struggled with injuries throughout the twilight of his career. When he is healthy, he is a good pick and roll player, average defender, good shooter and clutch in crunch time. His health will determine the overall quality of PG play.
4) Justin Anderson
Can Simba take a leap in his sophomore NBA season? An above average defender in his rookie season, the most athletic player on the team already has proven his worth as a late 1st round pick. If he takes the next step in improving his shooting and scoring the Mavs will take a leap forward with him. We’re hungry for stars on this team as #41 won’t be around much longer.
3) Andrew Bogut
We have a big man! Tyson Chandler signed with Phoenix after the 2015 season and in his absence a crater was created at big man. Zaza was fun, but not the rim protector you seek in a center. Powell can play the 5, however he will get pushed around down low. Bogut’s arrival means big change in the middle. A crafty passer, heady defender with a sweet touch around the rim. He is integral in the offense and defense.
2) Dirk Nowitzki
The clock is ticking and its increasingly louder. The Big German will not want to have a farewell party at every road game in his last season, much like TD from down I35. Will father time catch up and rob him of that shooting stroke that was as good as ever last season? Already looking like the steps are harder to take and the defense is harder to play, Dirk cant fend off father time forever (we all wish he was the first though). If Dirk can average in the 18-20 ppgm. range he’ll have fought him off for 1 more season.
1) Health
Yes, health. The team consists of 8 players 26 and under (largely unestablished stars) and the rest are age 30 and older. If any of the core starter group goes down, the next man up is wholly an unproven talent. Bogut, Dirk and D. Will are critical to this seasons overall success. Buckle up #MFFLs, it’s going to be a wild ride!

 

Written By: Jeff Hubbard

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Preseason Analysis & Regular Season Predictions

In the preseason we saw many flashes of good from our Mavs, even though our record was quite poor (2-5). In these 7 contests, our 94 million dollar man in Harrison Barnes really struggled…giving Mavs fans a reason to be skeptical about how he will make the transition from role player, to star.

During the preseason, Barnes on averaged 7 points & 3 rebounds per game on 20 minutes per game for the Mavs, this is pretty poor. He shot an ice cold 27% from the field and only made 3 of his 21 attempts from behind the arc, continuing to show his shooting woes that he displayed in the 2016 NBA Finals with Golden State. He only averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist in the finals while shooting 35 % from the field and 31% from 3 point range. Normally people would look at this as just a slump, but this has been going on since the finals in June, which is a cause for concern for MFFLs. The eye test will have you concerned, but I believe it will be something he will get over through the season and put it all behind him and begin to produce after about double digit games or so into the season. Head Coach Rick Carlisle isn’t concerned about Barnes’ preseason debut and neither am I because I know what he can bring to the table and the kind of player he has the potential to be.

Now, let’s talk about those players who were auditioning for a spot on the roster this preseason and who ended up making the cut. Brussino, Finney-Smith, and A.J. Hammons among those filling the last few spots on the roster and were not cut from the team. I predicted that Brussino would make the team because of his height and ability to shoot the basketball. Finney-Smith showed solid flashes of his ability to handle the ball and be trusted in clutch moments for the Mavs, having a game sealing lay-up to help give Dallas one of their 2 wins in the preseason. A.J. isn’t a player who I thought we would let go of since he was drafted 16th in the 2nd round by us unless he just played absolutely terrible, and he is a good addition to our team with a good mid-range shot and also helping Mejiri and Bogut out manning the middle being 7 foot.

My predictions for this regular season are as follows: 49-33 overall record & 5th in the Western Conference. Many don’t believe so, but I see us having a better season than last year and team being better chemistry wise. As far as all-stars on our team goes, I don’t think we will have any and if we do it will just be one, but I couldn’t tell you who it would be honestly. Mavericks will have a tough Eastern Conference match-up tonight as they take on a rebuilt and solid looking Pacers team with their additions of Jeff Teague and Al Jefferson, with Paul George always being a force on the floor which Dallas will look to try and contain tonight.

 

Written by: Drew Ivery

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Mavs – Pacers – Game Preview

Game Preview: Mavericks at Pacers

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 7:00 PM CT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

 

On Saturday afternoon, the Dallas Mavericks officially trimmed the active roster to 15 players, bringing us one step closer to Opening Night 2016. As we stride into Wednesday night, it’s time to take a look at the Mavericks’ matchup with the Indiana Pacers. Last season, the Mavs dropped both games against Indiana, including a 107-81 blowout in Indianapolis and a 112-105 heartbreaker in Dallas. However, the Mavs have revamped their roster and hope to jump out to a hot start against the Pacers on Wednesday!

 

OPPONENT ANALYSIS

This summer, the Indiana Pacers quietly pieced together a deeper and more talented roster, headlined by the acquisitions of PG Jeff Teague from Atlanta and C Al Jefferson from Charlotte. Paul George is now two years removed from his gruesome leg injury, and showed last season that it’s not holding him back one bit, posting career-high averages of 23.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Former Maverick Monta Ellis is entering his second year in Indiana, and PF Myles Turner returns planning to see increased minutes after a successful rookie campaign. Additionally, the Pacers starters are joined by Thaddeus Young, C.J. Miles, Aaron Brooks, and Joseph Young off the bench making this one of the Pacers’ more talented teams since moving away from Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson to restructure.

 

MAVS ANALYSIS

With the acquisitions of Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, and Seth Curry this summer, the Mavs took an alternate route from their initial plans including Hassan Whiteside and Mike Conley. However, Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban managed to hand Dirk possibly one of the best supporting casts he’s had since the 2011 Championship run. Bogut stands as the rim protector that Dallas has lacked since the departure of Tyson Chandler, and will most likely match up with Al Jefferson to start the game. Dirk will then be faced with the tough task of picking up the remaining big man, either Myles Turner or Thad Young (given Jefferson gets the start). The most exciting matchup on Wednesday should be the Mavericks’ new $94 million man, Harrison Barnes, and Pacers Star SF Paul George. Barnes is revered as a quality defender, and allows the Mavericks more defensive flexibility than in previous years. Look for Barnes and George to trade shots and lock each other up throughout the night. In the past, Wesley Matthews would have been forced to take on the 5-inch mismatch of guarding Paul George because of the weak defensive ability of Chandler Parsons. However, because of the change in personnel, Matthews will be matched up with former Maverick Monta Ellis, who is known to save his energy for the offensive end of floor. Matthews should be able to exploit this mismatch throughout the night and start the new season on a high note. Rounding out the starting lineup, 32-year-old point guard Deron Williams returns to Dallas after posting averages of 14 points and 6 assists per game last season. Williams is matched up with All-Star guard Jeff Teague, who I believe is the best newcomer on the Pacers roster. Williams’ ability to limit Teague will be a major key in bringing home a win. The Mavericks have improved on the defensive end significantly from last season, and a vital aspect to winning this game will be the Mavericks’ ability to limit the Pacers’ high-powered offense.

 

KEYS TO THE GAME:

  1. Lock down Paul George. The Mavs finished last regular season playing fiery defense, and they’re going to need some more of that Wednesday night. The team has improved defensively as a whole, but the most important matchup will be Harrison Barnes v. Paul George. George is one of the few players in the league that can single-handedly put the team on his back and carry them to a victory behind about 45 points. Barnes and sophomore Justin Anderson will have to hold George to 20 points or less to put the Mavs in a good situation to win. Last season, the Pacers were only 13-14 when George scored less than 20 points.
  2. Get Wesley Matthews rolling. Last season Matthews came out rusty over the first six games, averaging 8.5 points on 31.3% shooting from the field and 35.7% from three. Granted, he was one year removed from his ruptured Achilles, Matthews is now coming back to form. The Mavericks were 11-4 in 2015 in games where Matthews scored more than 18 points, and 13-13 when he scored less than 10. Getting Wesley off to a hot start could be a huge factor in pulling out a win.
  3. The Harrison Barnes Question. At this point, we’re not sure what to expect. Barnes had a mediocre preseason and we understand that he’ll require an adjustment period to settle into this new role. However, the Mavericks can’t afford a 10 point, 4 rebound, 2 for 13 shooting night from Barnes. Barnes needs to be efficient on offense and effective on defense to give the Mavericks an opportunity to win.

 

NOTABLE INJURIES

Pacers

  • Aaron Brooks (Knee) Day to Day
  • J. Miles (Knee) Day to Day

 

            Mavericks

  • Devin Harris (Toe) Doubtful
  • J. Barea (Elbow) Questionable
  • Quincy Acy (Ankle) Probable

Written By: Spencer Forsyth

Twitter: @Sforsyth10

 

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Mavs World Ep. 29 Write up + Download

I dropped Mavs World 29 today, it’s the first podcast since July! This podcast focuses heavily on trying to predict the upcoming season for the Mavs. Andrew Bogut was, to me, a huge addition to this team pending health.

On the next episode I look to dive into some of the roster battles that are going on right now. Seth Curry and Jonathan Gibson, Quincy Acy and Dwight Powell, and so forth. This team has a lot of depth and we have a lot to look forward to as Mavs fans.  Here are some links to relevant videos and posts from Mavs Media Day, as well as an MP3 download for this edition of the Mavs World Podcast. I would recommend watching the media day scrimmage. It gets off to a super slow start but Rick does some nice intros for the guys. Seth Curry gets a lot of playing time, and we also see AJ Hammonds, Salah, Justin Anderson, JJ Barea, Acy, Barnes, Gibson, and some of the other guys we picked up this off season.

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Mavs Scrimmage

JJ Barea’s sweet Alley-Oop to Dwight Powell!

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