Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Mavericks

Raptors-Mavericks Points Per Game: Vin-tage Carter with a side of Mayo negates strong DeRozan performance

- November 8th, 2012

DALLAS – Another horrible start has Dwane Casey thinking it might be time to shake up his starting lineup (more on that later on Thursday).

Aside from that start, it was a good bounce-back effort from the Raptors, but the hole was just too large to crawl out of.

- We’ll start with Vince, then the positives, then the negatives.

- There are a lot of things one can say about Vince Carter. One of them is the man loves to put on a show when the lights are brightest. Raptors fans know that well (aside from Game 7 against Philly). Toronto was buzzing apparently with the (old) news that Vince didn’t really want to be traded back in the day (he was just pouting about a few things that could have been worked out with some effort) and he wouldn’t mind coming back to the team to finish his career. Knowing all eyes were on him, Carter had one of his best performances in years, stuffing the stat sheet in a Shawn Marion-esque manner, important, because the Matrix was out due to an injury.

Carter had some huge plays early and some even bigger ones later, including a couple of threes and one emphatic block on DeMar DeRozan.

Afterwards, Carter had a few things to say:

I guessed correctly. More than anything, I just tried to stay in front of him and as he was making his move I just tried to stay by him. Feel good? That I can still get there? Like I said, I just guessed correctly. If he would have gone left, he would have got me.

He’s more confident. I think that’s the biggest thing. You can tell when you play against a guy in his confidence and he was confident in his moves. He was confident in his decisions that he made and I think that just comes with repetition, and of course, years,” Carter said of DeRozan.

- Which leads to a positive. DeRozan contributed across the board for the first time minus Kyle Lowry. He was solid and carried the team, along with Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani, at least offensively. Bargnani’s defence still wasn’t there, but he did grab nine rebounds and looked more engaged, though there still were frustrating lapses like the time he didn’t even pretend to go after a rebound, leading to a Dallas offensive board.

Amir Johnson’s play also was superb.

- The negatives were the failure to come out ready to play and the continued struggles of Landry Fields, who is shooting around 20% for the season and seems to have no confidence.

Jonas Valaniunas got into some foul trouble and was quite frustrated, but looked OK when he did play. He was still talking about the Kevin Durant dunk before the game and said “maybe I need to dunk on someone tonight.” That happened in the first quarter when he threw one down on Chris Kaman.

 

Canadian Junior Women’s team doing well; NBA luxury tax teams revealed

- July 24th, 2011

Nice to see Canada’s Junior Women’s team playing very well at the FIBA U-19 World Championship for Women.

The ladies went undefeated in the first round claiming top spot in Group A. The top three teams from each group (12 in total) will meet in the next round and the top eight will go to the quarterfinals. The tournament resumes on Monday.

In NBA news,it was revealed this weekend that the Dallas Mavericks once again paid the luxury tax – this time they got a championship for their troubles. The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic also had to pay about $20 million U.S.

The New York Knicks actually avoided paying the tax for the first time in more than a decade.

Orlando is in terrible shape. The team has spent a ton in order to appease Dwight Howard but has a terrible roster and is nowhere close to being a contender so everybody expects Howard to leave as a free agent, unless the new CBA helps Orlando keep him.

Multiple reports: Casey to Raptors done + more on the draft

- June 20th, 2011

As expected, it looks like Dwane Casey will be named Raptors head coach in the near future.

Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News had it first on Monday morning, though he was incorrect in stating the announcement could come Monday afternoon.

He also first reported that Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle told him last week he expected to lose CAsey to the Raptors.

A last-minute disaster could still screw the deal up, but that is extremely unlikely, since Michael Jordan isn’t involved.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Monday night that Casey was with Bryan Colangelo at the team’s New York City workout of big man Bismack Biyombo.

A media conference could happen as soon as Tuesday.

Detroit wanted to get Casey in for an interview this week, but as I speculated recently, with three other candidates (Kelvin Sampson, Mike Woodson, Lawrence Frank) still in the running there, Casey didn’t even bother.

Given his busy schedule leading the Mavericks deep into June, it is unclear how familiar Casey will be with potential draft picks.

Logically, Casey, with strong ties to his former school, Kentucky (despite an ugly departure years ago), has a pretty good book on Brandon Knight or could be filled in pretty quickly by somebody there.

The Raptors definitely need to improve their dismal defence and players like Kawhi Leonard and  Byombo are the top defensive options available at No. 5, though they might provide very little at the offensive end.

In time Jonas Valanciunas could become a solid defender, but he isn’t there yet and might not even be around if Cleveland takes him at No. 4. That could make Enes Kanter available. Kanter will rebound the way Casey likes his players to and plays with an edge and throws his weight around, but it is unclear if he will be quick enough to rotate effectively in the NBA. With Casey, rotating well in the zone is a key and Casey is going to have a difficult time getting Andrea Bargnani to figure out how to do it.

Kanter + Bargnani might be a disaster in waiting as the bottom part of a zone defence. Don’t see enough lateral quicks with either of them though Kanter at least has the basketball IQ that Bargnani lacks on defence.

Knight has always been decent defensively. I have concerns with Kemba Walker as a defender at the next level though.

Here‘s a good look at the two point guards.

It’s still early, but at this point, I’d be surprised if one of Walker, Leonard or Biyombo is not the pick on Thursday. Obviously that changes if Knight and Kanter are still on the board, but that looks less likely with every passing minute.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-mavericks/headlines/20110620-mavericks-lose-their-top-assistant-toronto-raptors-to-hire-dwane-casey.ece

Quick thoughts on Game 3 of finals and congrats to latest Canadian star prospect Anthony Bennett

- June 5th, 2011

Will get to the finals in a minute but first …

Canadian basketball fans should get to know the name Anthony Bennett. He’s yet another stud Canadian prospect making noise. I was a bit late on Bennett, but have been told all year he’s the next big thing after the current crop playing in the NCAA and the players who went to the McDonald’s All-American and Nike games.

Bennett is a 6-8, 230 pound power forward from Brampton (very similar size to Brampton’s Tristan Thompson who is expected to become the highest drafted Canadian ever later this month).

Like Thompson, Bennett plays for Findlay Prep in Nevada.

Graduating Findlay player Myck Kabongo won MVP at last year’s Pangos Camp, a very highly regarded prospects camp in the U.S., while Bennett was named co-MVP this time around thanks to some tremendous performances.

Currently ranked 46th by ESPN in the class of 2012, most believe it is just a matter of time before he cracks the top 20, or higher.

As for the finals, some quick thoughts:

Dirk continues to be spectacular. Very few teams go to a big man in the clutch these days and even historically. Karl Malone was the guy for Utah and I can’t think of too many more examples at the moment.

That’s traditionally the time for swingmen or point guards to shine, so it’s pretty amazing how Dirk seems to score the last 10-15 points for Dallas in big games. He’s an all-time great.

Said in my piece in Monday’s paper that LeBron might get all the attention, but Dwyane Wade is the guy you want in the playoffs. He’s a killer. Not just on offence, where he’s brilliant, unless he goes into three-point chucking mode, but also defensively, where he’s an absolute terror – unless he’s outsmarted by Jason Kidd.

Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem continue to play underrated roles for the soon-to-be-champion Heat. They don’t show up much on the statsheet, but they’re invaluable.

Mario Chalmers, a guy Miami didn’t really want the past two years, is really earning his keep. Chalmers is nailing big shots like he did while at Kansas.

Shawn Marion is doing a solid job on James but Dallas can’t afford another 4-12 effort out of Marion. Somebody besides Dirk and Jason Terry needs to light it up for the Mavericks on Tuesday if they are to make this a series again.

These finals have been a treat for basketball fans.

Strange night for Chris Bosh. Started pretty well. Was awful in the second and third quarters. A bit better in the fourth until stinking it up late … but hit the game-winner.

One final thought. Dwayne Casey is doing a great job. He’s basically the defensive coordinator for Dallas and the team is buying in to what he is selling. Rick Carlisle has been fantastic as well, but I’d be shocked if Casey doesn’t get a head coaching job for next season, either in Toronto or elsewhere.

It is not easy to hold the powerful Heat well south of 50% shooting. Casey has helped make it happen.