Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 3)

Dallas Mavericks vs Denver Nuggets

Game Day Preview

Mavs vs Nuggets- Tonight your Dallas Mavericks will be playing in Denver riding a 4-game winning streak after their latest edition Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell on Jan 28, 2017.

“Ferrell (6-0, 180) went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 9, 2016. The point guard saw action in 10 games and averaged 5.4 points, 1.7 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per contest before being waived on Dec. 8, 2016.” Who has been great coming in and taking advantage of every minute he gets out there on the floor, who in his 4 game tenure so far for the team, the rookie is averaging 17.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 5.0apg, & a team leading 1.8 spg showing he can do a little bit of everything. Not to mention tying Rodrigue Beaubois’ rookie record for Dallas for most made threes in a game and also making the game-sealing 3-pointer against the Trail Blazers in the previous game. 
Players to watch: 
Nuggets: Nikola Jokic – 15.5ppg, 8.5rpg, 4.1apg
Mavericks: Yogi Ferrell – 17.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 5.0apg

Game time: 8pm CT

Radio: 103.3 FM ESPN

TV: Fox Sports SouthWest

Mavericks will have a tough task in containing Nuggets Center Jokic tonight as he is coming off his first career triple double in their last contest. Rick Carlisle on Nikola Jokic: “His skill level with shooting and passing is as good as anybody in the game at that position.” – via Earl K. Sneed FSSW

The Nuggets(22-28) are averaging a solid 116.6ppg in the month of January and in those 22 wins they average 117.7ppg so main keys in this game is to keep up out great team play to keep the win streak going. Limiting Jokic and Gallinari(17.2ppg) their leading scorer tonight, keeping team chemistry, and defensive stops are what I believe to get a another win tonight against Denver. Mavericks are 1-1 against Denver in with a 112-92 win and a 117-107 loss. The Denver Nuggets currently sit in the 8th seed in the Western conference standings, with Dallas in 10th but trailing just 2 games behind and what better a night than tonight to get another win. Barnes looks to keep up his scoring pace leading the team with 20.4ppg tonight and Seth Curry gonna be looking to keep up his great play in previous games into tonight’s game as well.

Injury updates:

Deron Williams (left great toe sprain) — doubtful

Andrew Bogut (right hamstring strain) — out

J.J. Barea (left calf strain) — out

Written by: Drew Ivery

Game 51: Mavs at Nuggets

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Mavs vs Cavs: Gameday Preview

Ah, here we are again with a Dirk vs LeBron match-up. Something us MFFL’s know all too well and a constant reminder to LeBron fans of what happened in 2011, myself included. Starts tonight @

Location: AACenter

Time: 7:30pm CT (doors open at 6)


Radio: ESPN1033
Tonight the Dallas Mavericks will host the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who last time they played, defeated us by a margin of 40. With that game on the team’s mind going in, should have them focused on extreme improvement from the last game against them. With a healthier roster than the previous game, and with the team playing a good all around game last night and beating the Spurs in SA for the first time since 2010, along with a career night in points from Seth Curry (24), and ending a 12 game losing streak against the team. 
Players to watch tonight: Seth Curry & LeBron James
Curry is shooting 50% FG in the last 10 games averaging 14.4ppg, 1.5apg, 3.5rpg, & 1.6spg in that span. He is doing well in the starting role for Dallas and is shooting better FG% on the season than his brother and reigning 2 time MVP Steph Curry 46.6%-46.4%. Here are his highlights from his career night in points last night and a W against the Spurs:

While we all know you have to look out for LeBron in any game you play, but you especially keep watch when he’s hot. Although his team hasn’t been lately, he’s been putting up some numbers. Going 25.7ppg, 8rpg, & 8.5apg and the past 10 games, so you know he has been everywhere in these games being a major force on the floor. Mavericks look to get their first win tonight on the 2nd night of a back to back this season (0-9) and a win against this team would be huge. Then maybe it would give us a head of steam going forward after beating two powerhouse teams and then build off of it. Keep an eye out on Harrison Barnes to keep up his consistent scoring tonight (20.4ppg) on the season and see how well Dirk does tonight in the back to back after getting a double-double against SA (15pts & 10rebs). 

Wesley Matthews: “Cleveland beat us by 40 in 24 minutes (on Nov. 25), so we’ve got to remember that.” -via Earl K. Sneed FSSW

Injury Report:

Andrew Bogut (right hamstring strain) -questionable
Deron Williams (left great toe sprain) – out

J.J. Barea (left calf strain) – out

Written by: Drew Ivery 

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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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My Unedited Thoughts On The Mavs… SO FAR.

The Mavs suck. Boy was I wrong about how their season would start. I was right about Harrison Barnes but thats literally it. Deron Williams having a resurgence…..wrong, he’s barely been able to play. Wes Matthews having a comeback season and a strong offensive season…wrong, very wrong. The Mavericks do have a very strong defense but guess what they ant score even 90 points a game. That is awful. Am I happy that the Mavs are more likely than not going to have a top pick, kind of, kind of not. Do we really trust Mark Cuban to do the draft right? I really don’t know. Guess what were gonna have too!!


Moving on to another subject….Chandler Parsons…If you haven’t read the Timmy Mac piece on the relationship between Cuban and Parsons you really should its fantastic. The biggest thing that stood out to me in the article was how much Parsons really wanted to be here. We really did the guy dirty if I’m being honest. Cuban basically ignored him all off season,  Parsons even offered a home town discount (you can believe that or not). The other aspect of the article that really intrigued me was the fact that Parsons wanted to pair himself and Harrison Barnes together. Man i think that would have been fun to watch and a damn good spring actually. DO i think ur record would be any better this, no. Parsons has been hurt most of the year but if we could have

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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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MAVS / Jazz reaction 

            Have you ever had a weird dream? Like a really, REALLY weird dream. You know what I’m talking about, one of those dreams that makes absolutely no sense to the point that you actually realize the absurdness of it all while you are still actually in the dream. That has pretty much been this Dallas Mavericks season so far. Wes Mathews continues to miss shot after shot, we have had two glimpses of what the Mavs without Dirk looks like, Harry B has shown he can really get buckets, and all the while the Mavs are 0-4 and could just as easily be 3-1. Cue The Twilight Zone music. The Mavericks dropped their 4th straight game Wednesday night to the Jazz in Utah to remain winless so far this season. The game started off incredibly sloppy, with the Mavs only managing 14 points in the first quarter, a season low to this point. They found themselves down by only 1 going into the second, however, thanks to a really solid, gritty defensive performance with plenty of hustle on both ends of the court, and some missed easy ones by Utah. After that the Mavericks offense came to a grinding halt, and Utah started making their threes, highlighted by a running 35 footer at the halftime buzzer by certified Maverick killer, George Hill. By the time the 3rd quarter was winding down, the Mavs found themselves in a 20 point hole, with nothing, whistles included, going their way. Then they went on an absolutely ridiculous 15-2 run to close out the quarter, and, after a couple of buckets to start the 4th, found themselves trailing by only 3. What ensued for the remaining 10 minutes, to make a long story short, was the disappearance of any type of penetration or offensive creativity for the Mavs, to go along with a barrage of Utah 3 pointers, which all culminated in about 2 minutes of garbage time for the end-of-the-bench guys, and a 16 point loss for Dallas. The good news? The only other Mavericks team to ever start a season 0-4 ended up winning a franchise record 67 games. The bad news? This team is nowhere near as experienced or talented as that 2007 Mavericks team was, and they lost in the first round anyway. Now, allow me to point out all the negatives before addressing the positives (always end on a good note people). The Mavericks have shown an inability to defend the 3 point line so far this year, or at least to do so consistently. That is bad news for a team who’s strength should and could be defense. Wes Mathews and Harrison Barnes could be possibly the best defensive wing duo in the entire league, and D-Will is no slouch, but they are getting torched from behind that arc right now. Speaking of defense, the Mavericks interior defense has been almost as bad as their three point defense to this point. Bogut was supposed to fortify the inside, and be possibly the best center Dirk has ever played with outside of the ever-beloved Tyson Chandler. But to this point, Bogut has looked really out of sorts, and almost overwhelmed at times on both end. For him to struggle on the offensive end is no big deal obviously, new team, new system, etc. But changing teams should not affect one’s ability to defend the rim, at least not to such an extent. Dirk Nowitzki (in the two games he has played) has been the Mavs’ best interior defender so far this season. Seriously. I’m not kidding. Watch the tape. His quick hands and solid positioning has actually helped the Mavs inside defense when he is in at the 5, not to mention boosted their 3 point defense a bit as he actually appears to be more mobile than Bogut on the perimeter defensively. Offensively, the Mavs completely stall somewhat frequently, especially when Dirk isn’t on the court. There is a lack of penetration and creation in general for this team. I am the biggest J.J. Barea fan in the history of the Earth, but when he is your team’s best creator (all due respect D-Will) you are in some trouble. To compound that problem, the Mavs have a lack of movement off the ball. They all look confused and as if they are attempting not to step on each other’s toes. This is part of the growing pains of a newly constructed team, but it is really rough at times. A great way to solve that would be to utilize Andrew Bogut in the high post in the same way the Warriors did, instead of just running side to side to try to get a three off when he has the ball at the top of the key. Where are the back cuts, weak-side down-screens, and layered off-ball screens that allowed Bogut’s teammates to break free, and, subsequently, him to be such an effective passer as he was in Golden State? Now I realize this Mavericks team is not even in the same category as that Warriors team that set the single season wins record, but off ball movement in basketball requires no great deal of talent. However he does it, Uncle Ricky needs to find better ways to utilize the passing ability of the big guy, and I have every bit of confidence that he will because the dude is a freaking coaching genius. If it sounds like I’m overreacting, I promise I’m not. It’s only 4 games in and I’m not hitting the panic button yet. The Mavs could just as easily be at least 2-2 if Dirk had not come down with a stomach virus, and if James Harden wasn’t so historically and annoyingly good at drawing fouls. Now, on the bright side…number 1 overall pick? JUST KIDDING! Please don’t leave, it was only a joke. But in all seriousness, this team is gritty as all heck and has the potential to be a top tier defense. They never give up, as evident by their already 3 uncompleted major comebacks in 4 games (in Indy, Houston, and now Utah). Seriously, this team is really, really not gelling or playing all that well, and they are right there. They have an insanely promising young group with Barnes, Curry, Anderson, and Powell all in their early to mid 20’s. Oh and in case I forgot to mention, that 15-2 run in last night’s game came with Anderson, Powell, and Barnes all on the court and Dirk on the bench. That in and of itself is encouraging. This team is truly one go-to guy and a slightly more filled out bench away from being a legitimate title contender. Where will that go to player come from? Well, it could be in the form of a Boogie Cousins trade (please God no) or a big free agent signing (stop me when this sounds familiar). But the most likely scenario is either a solid draft pick or Harry B. developing into that player, but I digress. This Mavericks team is still capable of pulling of 50 wins and a 4th or 5th seed in the playoffs, and they are just as capable of winning 20 games and making draft night the most exciting it’s been for Mavs fans in 20 years. The point is, it is too early to tell. But if the Utah game, and for that matter the other 3 games, have shown anything about this Mavs team, it is hope. Hope that they can get better and make a playoff run. Hope for the future with their bright young players showing improvement and promise. Hope for a tank of a season that ends in a lottery pick? Sure, if that is your version of hope for this team. See, no matter what happens, and no matter how you slice it, this season is a no lose situation. No matter the outcome, the franchise is headed in a the right direction for the first time in 5 years, and the season will end as a success. Even if the Mavs finish in that God forsaken position of being just outside of the playoffs and just outside of the lottery, as long as their young core of players get plenty of playing time, grow together, and show the right amount of improvement, that is a good year considering where the franchise has been since the championship. The takeaway from Wednesday night’s loss, and the season as a whole so far, should not be the prospect of defeat in the present, but the probability of success in the future. So fear not, MFFL’s, there is a silver lining on the horizon at last.
Written by: Blake Combs 

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