ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One moment from last night’s All-Star Game that didn’t get that much attention during the game was a simple alley-oop. Now, obviously an alley-oop isn’t all that special in the context of an All-Star game — almost every NBA player can complete an alley-oop. And an alley-oop to an NBA player that is 7-feet tall is even less surprising. But Dallas Mavericks big man Dirk Nowitzki spend most of his time closer to the perimeter than the rim, which is where he’s shown his greatest value throughout his MVP-winning career.
So when Dirk got out on the break last night and completed an alley-oop, he immediately began celebrating, breaking out his former teammate Vince Carter‘s “point to the sky” routine.
And why the huge celebration from Dirk? According to ESPN, it was his first alley-oop in the regular season in over a decade…
Dirk Nowitzki had an alley-oop dunk tonight.
He has 9 of those in regular-season play … his last was in January 2004!
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We talked about Star Wars night in Dallas, but unfortunately the force was not with the Mavericks, who lost to the Clippers, 115-98. The Clips got a huge game from center DeAndre Jordan, who went for 22 points and a career-high 27 rebounds. And to commemorate his big game, Jordan did his best Marshawn Lynch impression during the postgame interview.
Why did Jordan have such a big game? Perhaps because he was playing near home and his Mom was at the game…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you, like me, love the Star Wars franchise, you’ll appreciate this. Last night the Dallas Mavericks hosted Star Wars night, which basically means they found ways to tie in everything to Star Wars, like the great video above. The Mavs came up with about a hundred Star Wars comparisons. This also meant they did things like having Stormtroopers involved in the pregame intros. Fun stuff…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A group of NBA fans in Japan have selected Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons as the NBA’s most handsome player. As Parsons posted on Instagram, they presented him with a certificate certifying his handsomeness, and even a drawing of Parsons in traditional Japanese dress. I’m not sure what organization presented this award, or how large this group of fans is, but Parsons seems pretty excited about it, so he’s got that going for him…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A couple of days ago, Mavs broadcaster Skin Wade was just minding his own business, recording an interview with Chandler Parsons, when Dirk Nowitzki strolled by and with a flick of the wrist made quick work of the whole situation. My favorite part might be the way Parsons reacts, with equal parts surprise and confusion.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is currently sidelined as he recovers from knee surgery, but instead of staying home and chilling out, Gallinari went to last night’s Nuggets/Mavericks game. At one point the game, Gallinari joined the Denver television broadcasters, and just as they asked Gallo to do some play-by-play in his native Italian, J.J. Hickson threw down a monster dunk.
Turns out excitement sounds about the same in any language…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Back in 2012, Tyson Chandler was named the NBA’s defensive player of the year. Two years later, looks like he’s still got a knack for stopping his man at all costs.
Against the Warriors on Saturday night, Chandler was defending Marreese Speights, who lost a shoe during the run of play. It was pretty impressive when Steph Curry picked up the shoe and tossed it out of the way during a halfcourt set. But on the next Golden State possession, when Curry tried to toss the shoe back to Speights, Tyson Chandler was having none of it…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Chandler Parsons has had an eventful few months, becoming one of the offseasons most coveted free agents with his move from Houston to Dallas. And apparently he’s been busy off the court, as well.
In the video below, Parsons discusses his newly minted partnership with Stance Socks, the brand NBA fans may know from their collaboration with Dwyane Wade. Parsons — an avowed sockaholic who says he actually plans his outfits around his socks — recently got a sock deal with Stance, and has a signature sock coming soon.
To that end, Parsons spent time with Stance recently to film a short flick about his love for Stance Hoops, the brand’s basketball collection. Here’s the world premiere of that video…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Memphis Grizzlies swingman Tony Allen is something of a spiritual leader for the Grizzlies — the guy who spawned the “Grit N Grind” identity the Grizzlies have so fully embraced. Part of that leadership means that Allen occasionally lets loose a bit on the court, like whenever the Grizzlies force a turnover, Allen gives a football-style “first down” sign to signal the change of possession. But last night against the Dallas Mavericks, Allen broke out a variation on the first down sign, adding some popping and locking to the move…
After the game, Allen tweeted out an explanation…
😂😂😂Lol….and as far as the dance, got a little excited and put a little funk on the 1st down sign 🔜➡⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩⏩😂
You know, if the Mavericks decide in the future to give the ball to Monta Ellis instead of Dirk Nowitzki, that wouldn’t be such a terrible move, you think?
Look, this is still Dirk’s team, but Ellis proved once again Wednesday night that, in the clutch, he’s every bit as reliable as his future Hall of Fame teammate. With Dirk on the bench resting a creaky back, Ellis chopped down the Bucks and this is starting to become habit-forming. He’s proving to be quite the go-to guy this season and it could end up putting him in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
It was his sixth career game-winning basket in the final 5 seconds and the first since last December against the Blazers. But look at this recent closing streak by Ellis: 15 points in the fourth quarter against the Raptors … 14 in the fourth and OT against the Bulls … and against the Bucks, he scored the Mavs’ final eight points and 10 of their last 13. That’s dominance.
Keep in mind that the Horry Scale measures more than just the game-winning basket. Other factors are weighed that make the buzzer-beater truly epic, or merely run-of-the-mill. Although I think we can all agree that no buzzer-beater is routine. That said, let’s study the scale of Ellis’ latest clutch bucket.
Ellis went one-on-one against O.J.Mayo and it really wasn’t a contest. Ellis backed Mayo down, made a quick move and then from 17 feet launched his game-winning bucket on a fadeaway off one foot. From a cosmetic standpoint, it wasn’t the prettiest, but it was effective. Strangely enough, the Bucks didn’t send any help for Mayo, perhaps fearing a wide-open shot by Chandler Parsons. But given Ellis’ play of late, maybe you take that chance.
“They’ll be watching that shot for the next day and a half on SportsCenter,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.
Ellis wasn’t having the most accurate shooting night (11-for-26) but the Mavericks needed him. Dirk played 42 minutes of a double OT game the night before in Chicago. In the other uniform, Brandon Knight was willing to get into a fourth-quarter scoring exchange with Ellis and for a while was winning that contest. Knight hit a jumper over Tyson Chandler with 8.9 seconds left to tie the score after two Richard Jefferson free throws. The game was suddenly up for grabs, which means it was a situation suited for Ellis.
Well, any game the Mavericks win especially without Dirk, is important if only because they’re playing in the West. In a conference that once again is amazingly deep with quality, every loss counts. Oh, and Kevin Durant is back for OKC and you can expect the Thunder to rise in the standings. So there’s that as well. The Mavericks improved to 8-3 on the road, the mark of a team to be taken seriously.
Monta did a little strut as he sashayed off the floor, followed by his teammates, who dashed through the tunnel. It had to be especially sweet for Ellis because he played for the Bucks two seasons ago. Maybe he felt he wasn’t as appreciated in Milwaukee, but based on his performance, he is missed.
Ellis is clearly on a tear and there are nights when this is his team, even with Dirk on the floor. This was one of those nights. He rescued the Mavericks when they appeared to be reeling against a very improved and frisky Bucks’ team. Milwaukee wanted to use this game to make a statement about where the franchise is and where it’s headed. The Bucks are better than anyone thought, based on the first month of the season. But the statement instead was made by a player who’s one of the more underrated guards in the game, and perhaps the most talented player never to make the All-Star team. Give it four Horrys.