Posts Tagged ‘Dirk Nowitzki’

Horry Scale: Monta Is Money


VIDEO: Monta Ellis GWBB

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I can not tell a lie: It has been a season of highs and lows here at Horry Scale Central. We began the season with three Game-Winning Buzzer-Beaters within seven days, a flurry of activity to make even the most jaded NBA watcher’s head twirl. This required me to write three Horry Scale posts in succession, which turned out to be a controversial endeavor. Folks weren’t happy with my rating of the Jeff Green GWBB, which kept me up very late at night, triggering some difficult and genuine soul searching, at least as far as you know. Since then I have perhaps tried to overcorrect with some of my other ratings, a maneuver that has in no small part generated its own share of controversy, and which has caused something of an existential Horry Scale crisis.

But I digress. Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain: What is the Horry Scale? For those who are new around these parts, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

With the rules in place, Today we turn our tired eyes to the lovely Pacific Northwest. Let’s check out last night’s game-winner from Monta Ellis

DIFFICULTY
Monta Ellis has made tougher shots in his career, probably even in this game. This was basically a catch-and-shoot on a curl coming around a screen, a shot Ellis has taken thousands of times in his life. And Ellis made a clean catch, swung around the screen, and had a wide open look at the basket. And yes, he drained the shot, so kudos to him. To me the most interesting thing on this play was that the Blazers did not switch defenders on the screen. In the NBA, for the most part defenders always switch on picks in the last few seconds of a game, and particularly on an inbounds play. This is not only easy for the players on the floor to remember, in a more general sense it means defenders are always running at the ball when there are only seconds to play. But as Ellis came around the series of screens, Portland’s Wesley Matthews tried to stay with him, with no real help waiting for him. (As my main man Ben Golliver reports on Blazers Edge, Portland had decided before the play to only switch guard-on-guard screens. Dallas’ other guard on the floor was Jose Calderon, who was inbounding the ball, so the Blazers all knew there would effectively be no switching.) By the time Ellis caught the pass, curled around the pick from DaJuan Blair and popped free at the top of the key, Portland’s best defensive option may have been LaMarcus Aldridge, who was flat-footed about six feet away from Ellis. Matthews made a last-second swipe at the ball from behind while trying to recover, but he couldn’t make a difference.

GAME SITUATION
What you don’t see in the clip above is the clutch three-pointer Lillard made to tie the game with 1.9 seconds remaining. That play was set up by a Dallas turnover from, you guessed it, Monta Ellis. So in many ways this GWBB was about redemption for Monta. Still, once Dallas got the ball with the game tied, it seemed like it would probably be Dirk Nowitzki time, right? Even in the video above, as the Mavs line up for the play, you can hear Portland analyst Mike Rice note, “Watch [DaJuan] Blair set a pick for either Vince Carter or Dirk.” So Dallas coach Rick Carlisle using the situation to run a play for Ellis was not only in retrospect a wise choice, it was crafty, as well.

IMPORTANCE
This was big on both sides. The Blazers had been riding a four-game winning streak, and had amassed eight straight wins at home. The crowd in Portland, which is always among the best in sports, was rowdy and sold out, twenty-thousand strong. The Mavs, meanwhile, after an offseason that was quieter than most expected, have been something of a mild surprise this season, bobbing along a couple of games above .500. Any road win in the NBA is a good thing, but a road win over the best team in the Conference is always a great thing.

CELEBRATION
The Mavs seemed really fired up by Ellis’ shot, surrounding him and grabbing him. Also, I’m pretty sure someone ran off the Dallas bench and hit Ellis with a large cushion at about the 19-second mark of the video. I particularly enjoyed this facet of the celebration: The cushion bash needs to become a regular part of post-shot celebrations.

If nothing else, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was jacked up about it…

https://twitter.com/mcuban/status/409555622430908416

GRADE
I think we can all agree that the degree of difficulty wasn’t through the roof, at least just as a jump shot, in a bubble. But all the other parts of this play — Ellis’ earlier turnover, Lillard’s game-tying three moments earlier, Portland’s home win streak, Dallas’ execution on the final play — give added weight to the play. This is one of those situations where I wish we had half-Horrys to award, because I really feel like this is a 3.5 Horry Play. Should I round up or down? That’s another discussion for another day. In this case, I’m going with four Horrys, because for me the post-shot cushion bash lifts it from three to four…

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That’s my take. How many Horry’s would you give the Monta Ellis game-winner?

Mavs Tell You What You Need

By Jeff Case

So far this season, the Mavs have tried to pump up excitement for their team by going to two pop culture wells: doing a tie-in with a current pop song (i.e. the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis’ “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”) and doctoring movie footage (the Hulk gets his Mavs-colored tint on in a scene from “The Avengers”). Not to let too much time pass between viral videos, the Mavs are going to the music well again. This time, they’re offering up a cover of The Beatles’ classic, “All You Need Is Love”, with a version of their own:

What Do The Mavs Say?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of this summer’s most popular viral videos came from the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, who released their weird song “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” That video has almost 175 million views, so they’re obviously doing something right.

Leave it to the Dallas Mavericks to create a spot-on parody of the song and video. Want to see guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Sam Dalembert in uniforms and partial animal masks, singing non-sensical lyrics? Then do we have a video for you!

I nearly spat out my coffee when Vince Carter made his appearance…
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VIDEO: What Do The Mavs Say?

Dirk Nowitzki Loves Game Days

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When we last saw Dirk Nowitzki, he was riding around in the back of a car with a DJ and singing “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones.

Now Dirk has re-emerged, this time in the Dallas Mavericks offices, and here we see what Dirk is like on a typical game day. Dude gets pretty fired up, it seems. (BTW, shoutout to Earl K. Sneed with the cameo.)
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(via Mavericks.com)

Dallas Mavericks Auctioning Off Championship Court

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I grew up in Atlanta going to as many Hawks games as I could afford to get to ($5 seats FTW!). Then, in 1997, the Hawks announced plans to demolish their long-time arena The Omni and build what would eventually be named Philips Arena.

A few weeks after the last event was held there, the Hawks had an auction in The Omni, so my friend Matt and I showed up. Everything was for sale, from kitchen equipment to usher uniforms. We ended up $20 on two huge framed photos that had formerly lived in the press room of former Hawks forward Ken “Snake” Norman, and we pooled whatever money we had to buy two seats from the arena, mounted on a piece of plywood. Matt and I shared an apartment at the time, and we plunked those seats right down in the living room. (They currently reside in my parent’s basement.)

It wasn’t much, but I knew I had to get a piece of history. The Hawks hadn’t won a title in the building — they hadn’t even been to the Conference Finals — but I’d spent so much time there and had so many memories there, that I wanted some kind of keepsake. Not long after our purchase, this happened (skip ahead to the 6 minute mark)…
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I bring this up because news broke today that the Dallas Mavericks are going to auction off two sections of the court that they played on when they won the 2011 NBA Finals, as well as few sets of floor seats, autographed by Dirk Nowitzki. The auction will take place in Chicago on Aug. 1, and if you want to get in on the bidding, you better have some bingo: The court sections have a minimum bid of $7,500, while the seats are all around $400 already.

The coolest part is that according to the Dallas Morning News, proceeds will go to a great cause: the Dallas Mavericks Foundation.

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(via B/R)

Dirk Nowitzki Can’t Get No Satisfaction

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here is a list of the things that happen in the following YouTube video:

1. Dirk Nowitzki gets into a car with a fellow German, a DJ named Flula.

2. The car is driven by a member of the Dallas Mavericks Dancers. Another member of the Dallas Mavericks Dancers is riding shotgun. They are both wearing their dancing costumes.

3. While riding in the car, Flula uses a bunch of technical equipment to create a beat and loop it.

4. Eventually, a spirited rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” breaks out.

5. Dirk takes the lead.

If it sounds like there’s a lot going on here, that’s because there is. And I didn’t even get to half of it. But it’s totally worth checking out…
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(via TBL)

Help Design New Dallas Mavericks Uniforms

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER –Have you ever looked a team’s uniform and thought, “I could come up with something better than that?” Well, has Mark Cuban got a proposition for you: You can design new uniforms for the Dallas Mavericks.

In the wide universe of sports uniforms, everything old is new again. Or at least it seems that way, as franchises introducing new uniforms increasingly look to throwback logos and color schemes, trading on nostalgia to find looks that simultaneously feel new and familiar. The Mavs have had the same basic look since 2001, with a few notable exceptions: Who could forget the drab gray alternates in 2003-04…

Steve Nash moves ball

…or the P-Diddy-designed green alternates?

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

Now it’s time for something new (well, for the 2015-16 season). Mavs owner Mark Cuban is crowd-sourcing this project on his blog, asking fans who have an idea or a plan to offer up their designs in his comments section. If you win, you could see the Dallas Mavericks rocking your uniform on the court. Pretty simple.

If there’s a catch here, it’s that Cuban says you will not be paid for your work — he suggests maybe some free tickets could be in the offing — but he’s up-front about the deal and suggests that if this offends you, don’t get involved. (I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t some elaborate Willy Wonka-type situation where Cuban is just looking for someone who is willing to do the work for free, and then he will reward you by giving you the Texas Legends D-League team or something like that. With Jerry Jones as Slugworth? OK, sure, probably not.)

Anyway, do you think can do better that what you’ve seen here? Swing by Cuban’s blog and show the world.

Golden State Opponents Keep Wrecking Visitor’s Locker Room


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER – We can understand when a player, fresh off a loss, feels the need to somehow react. After all, you play to win the game, and when you catch an L, it’s never a good feeling — and it’s even worse when the sentiment is rubbed in by 20,000 rabid fans, as often happens to Golden State opponents in Oracle Arena in Oakland.

So we get why Denver F Kenneth Faried was apparently pretty upset after losing at Golden State last night. So upset, in fact, that Faried put his foot through a locker room wall, as documented here by USA Today‘s always excellent Sam Amick:

And as we noted earlier, the isn’t the first time an opponent in Golden State has been driven to violence: After losing at Oracle in the 2007 Playoffs, Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki tossed a trash can through a wall 12 feet in the air. Five years later, as Amick showed last night, the wound is still there, now commemorated with a t-shirt…

If the Warriors are going to keep knocking off higher-seeded teams in the Playoffs, maybe they should invest in a punching bag for the visitor’s locker room? Could probably save themselves a good bit in drywall costs.

Horry Scale: Aldridge Drops Mavs (Again)

by Jeff Case
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If it seems like the Horry Scale has weighed the Blazers more than few times since we started this venture back in 2010, it’s not that far off. By our count, Portland has been on the Horry Scale — either as the Horry-er (aka the shot-maker) or as the Horry-ee (aka the victim) — three times, including once this season, entering Tuesday’s action. The Blazers’ mark in those Horry situations? They’re 2-1 … but let’s make that 3-1 after LaMarcus Aldridge went to a reliable Horry shot to sink his hometown Mavs.

If Aldridge’s game-winner last night that you see above looks an awful lot like another recent Horry shot from him, you’ve got a sharp memory. Just a little more than a year ago, Aldridge victimized the Mavs in Dallas with a fadeaway jumper at the horn over Brendan Haywood. Haywood has since moved on to Charlotte, but that didn’t stop Aldridge from victimizing another Mav (with a similar-sounding first name), Brandan Wright, with a nearly identical shot.

(Props to our crack multimedia crew at the NBA Digital empire for cranking out this great look at Aldridge’s last two Horry shots).

Of course, it takes a team effort to set the stage for a shot like Aldridge’s and the Blazers needed everyone’s effort on Tuesday to get into a spot where they could win this game. The Mavs essentially had the Blazers finished after building a 69-48 lead off O.J. Mayo‘s stepback 3-pointer with 8 minutes, 37 seconds left. By late in the fourth quarter rolled, though, we had a lead-changing frenzy.

For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

How does Aldridge’s shot Tuesday night stack up? Let’s dive in …

Difficulty

At times to the chagrin of Blazer fans, Aldridge has made his All-Star bones as a perimeter shooter, so it’s fitting he’d favor that shot to clinch a victory. Shot selection is key when there’s 1.5 seconds to go, so kudos to coach Terry Stotts for putting Aldridge in position to succeed. Much like his shot against the Mavs in 2012, Aldridge sets up on the low post. Unlike against Dallas, though, Aldridge knows he doesn’t have time to move out to the perimeter, catch the ball and take two dribbles to set up his shot. So he gets position on Wright, receives the ball from inbounder Wesley Matthews, turns … fades … and that’s the ballgame.

For Dallas, Mayo provides token pressure on the inbounds, Vince Carter stays at home with Nicolas Batum on the left baseline, making this a one-on-one situation for Aldridge. Darren Collison appears to try and help Wright from underneath, but he can’t get there in time.

Overall, this is an All-Star-vs.-rotation-player situation, and not surprisingly, the All-Star gets what he wants. Wright defends it pretty well, but Aldridge knows what he’s doing here.

Game Situation

Tie ballgame between two low-to-mid-level West teams … not a shocker, right? Wrong. As we mentioned, the Blazers were down 21 in the third and looked cooked. Portland’s bench won’t win any productivity awards this season, but without those reserves, the Blazers wouldn’t have won. Big contributions from Sasha Pavlovic and Ronnie Price in the fourth quarter kept the Blazers ahead or tied with the Mavs down the stretch. No play was perhaps bigger for that crew than Price drawing a charge on Mayo with 1.5 seconds left.

The Mavs weren’t without their own displays of clutch-itude, what with Collison banking in a wacky 3-pointer with 3:01 left and Dirk Nowitzki draining what at the time seemed to be a back-breaking 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds left to give Dallas a 104-101 lead.

Aldridge, being the hero he was this night, answered Nowitzki’s 3-pointer with one of his own with 4.9 seconds left, setting up Price’s defensive stand and Aldridge’s game-winner.

Importance

Portland is still trying to stay in the West playoff race and this one helps the cause, pulling them within a game of eighth-seeded Houston.

For Dallas, it is another rough loss in a season filled with them — the Mavs are now 2-5 in games decided by three points or less (Portland is 8-3 in such games).

One win can never make up for a loss elsewhere, but no doubt this one had to lessen the sting of the last Horry moment at the Rose Garden — Washington’s Jordan Crawford draining a 3-pointer at the horn to drop Portland just eight days ago.

Celebration

Teammates Nicolas Batum (a Horry Scale inductee himself in 2011) said Aldridge was “smiling like a rookie” after hitting his shot. Aldridge, who starred at the University of Texas and Dallas-area high school Seagoville, simply turns and looks at the Mavs’ bench a little before laughing, smiling and walking up court. Matthews chest bumps him first before everyone short of ex-Blazer James “Hollywood” Robinson comes running toward him from the Blazers’ bench to celebrate.

There’s one last huddle up and then the Blazers head out to the locker room.

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Grade

4 Horrys. Tough shot for most players, but pretty routine for Aldridge. This one kind of ranks up there in importance with the J.R. Smith shot against the Bobcats earlier this season in that the defense gave a standout player just the kind of shot he wanted.  Overall, it should be three stars. But I give it that extra star bump for the clutch-iness of Aldridge in not just nailing the game-winner, but also the game-tying shot, too. If that’s not the sort of thing Horry used to do, I don’t know what is.

What sayeth you?

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Jared Cunningham


By Jared Cunningham, Dallas Mavericks

Warm Welcome

I have had a lot of excitement starting back on Draft night in June. Right away, the Mavericks organization and the fans gave me a very warm welcome. I had a chance to meet some of my teammates early on and get a feel for the city, which has very nice weather.

I found a place next to the arena, so I don’t have to do much commuting. I moved my sister Jade out to Dallas with me for a couple months to help me get settled. We had to do a lot of shopping — buying furniture, cooking utensils, glasses, those kinds of things. I’m a styrofoam plate and cup kind of guy, but I guess it was time to buy glass.

I’ve been learning my way around the Dallas area, and sometimes when people recognize me, they tell me how excited they are to see our team play. It’s important to me to have that community bond, so I look forward to interacting with the fans more.

Rookie Transition Program With The Assist

There are a lot of new things to learn and prepare for as an NBA rookie. I am glad we had the Rookie Transition Program this past summer, which helped the rookies a lot. I learned a lot during those few days, and took a lot of information away with me. We had a lot of great speakers, and one thing they talked about was remembering that we represent our team; it’s not college or high school anymore. It’s a business and your livelihood, so you have to take it seriously.

They also talked about being smart with our money. Once you start getting paychecks, they encourage us to save. When you make it to the NBA, it’s easy to want to buy all kinds of stuff. But, in the end it’s about saving and learning how to say no.

World Traveler

We just got back last week from our NBA Europe Live Tour. The entire experience was awesome! I got to see another side of the world! It was my first time flying on the team plane and making the trip with my teammates. Unfortunately, we went 1-1 overseas, but I think we all worked hard.

First, we went to Germany. Right when we got to the airport, people recognized us as the Mavericks. When we got to the hotel, everybody was waiting outside to see Dirk Nowitzki. For a rookie, it was nice to see all the love that NBA players get when they go to their hometown like I saw with Dirk in Germany. I remember what it was like being a fan and wanting to take a picture with a player, so it was it was pleasant to see how he reacted to the fans – so humble and willing to sign autographs and take pictures. A couple fans wanted to take a picture of me, which made me feel good. And after going overseas, I have a lot more followers on Twitter now!

In Barcelona, we went to a Real Madrid vs. Barcelona soccer game. It was one of the best events I’ve ever been to — about 100,000 fans and it was crazy…a real, live, good game.

I scored seven points in our second game, but unfortunately we lost that one. Darren Collison had said to me, ‘Be ready when you hear your name called.’ I took that advice. Once I got on the floor, all the nerves went away. I just hooped and played like I know how to do.

Back On U.S. Soil

After playing in Europe, we learned that we have a lot to work on as a team. I feel that everybody put out a great effort, and it showed on the game tape. We got back to Dallas on Wednesday, and have had a few hard and competitive practices since then.

As a team, we are going to be one of the best defensive teams in the league if we execute and communicate. And that will translate on offense. It’s been great joining with the other rookies and being around the vets. Once we get more and more comfortable with each other, I feel like we could do anything out there on the court.

Individually, I am working on gaining the trust of my teammates. As a rookie, I have to prove myself. I am learning from the coaches and veteran players everyday, and am ready to do whatever it takes to help our team win.

We have preseason home games tonight and Wednesday. My body feels good, and my head is ready for the game. Just to get on the floor in front of the home crowd…that’s exciting.

Cast Your Vote!

I’m paying a lot of attention to the upcoming election. I take a special interest in it because I played Oregon State basketball for Coach Robinson, who is Michelle Obama’s brother. I went to the White House with our team three times while I was in college, and had the chance to hang out with the First Lady and the President in his office and out at some of our community events. They also came to watch our games when we played in the Washington, DC area. I will be voting!

Twitter: @J1flight

Jared Cunningham is a 6-foot-4 guard out of Oregon State. He was the 24th player taken in the 2012 NBA Draft, selected by the Cavaliers and traded to the Mavericks.

Check All Ball throughout the season for more NBA Rooks: Diaries …