Saturday, July 12, 2008

Clipped in SL opener by 17

LAS VEGAS – The Los Angeles Clippers jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as the squad defeated the Dallas Mavericks 86-69 in the final game of the first day of competition at the 2008 NBA Summer League Presented by EA SPORTS on the campus of UNLV in the COX Pavilion.

The Clippers never trailed in the first quarter, withstanding a 10-0 Maverick run in the final two minutes of the period, cutting L.A.’s lead to 21-18. Maverick James Singleton led all scorers after one with nine points.

Dallas continued to have the hot hand into the second quarter, stretching their run to 14 points and claiming the lead in the opening minutes of the stanza at 22-21 before the Clippers pulled away, closing the half with a 17-point advantage; 45-28. Al Thornton and Eric Gordon finished with 11 points apiece in the first half.

Los Angeles captured a 20-point lead, their largest of the game, in the third quarter on the back of Gordon’s seven-point period before finishing the stanza with a 12-point lead, 66-54.
The Clippers closed out the game with a 20-point quarter, holding the Mavericks to only 15 points.

“Our defense was ahead of our offense. On offense I thought we struggled,” said Mavericks Summer League head coach Dwane Casey. “Some of our guys weren’t sure and we didn’t execute offensively, and that’s something that happens in Summer League, and that’s something that we’ll work on tomorrow in practice.”

Next up: The Mavericks return to action Sunday when they face the Golden State Warriors.

Check out Summer League Central 2008 for the box score and more info on the team, including stats, the schedule and standings.

Friday, July 11, 2008

McLeod and Singleton also added

A pair of free-agent veterans, guard Keith McLeod and forward James Singleton, also inked deals today, bringing the roster up to 14. Both are currently on the Mavs summer league team, which begins play tonight (9 pm, KTXA-21) in Las Vegas.

Singleton (6-8, 230) played last season Spain and the two previous years were spent with the Los Angeles Clippers. He has career averages of 2.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 10.1 minutes in 112 career games. He sold the Mavs on his hustle and versatility, especially on the defensive end.

“I do the little things,” Singleton said. “If you need an extra possession or you need to guard a bigger 3 or a more agile 4 or if you need a guy to switch on a point guard on a pick-and-roll, I can do it. In the West we have some great guards in Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant – I’m able to switch out on those guys and give the team versatility in different areas.”

McLeod, who played for Carlisle two years ago in Indiana, joins J.J. Barea as true backup point guards behind Kidd. The four-year pro has played with four NBA teams, and holds career averages of 5.5 points, 2.7 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 200 games with 88 starts.

“Right now I’m just taking it day by day and trying to better myself and help the team,” McLeod said. “Hopefully that will lead me into training camp and open other opportunities for me.”

Singleton (6-8, 230) spent the 2007-08 season with the Spanish National Champion TAU CerĂ¡mica. In eight games, he averaged 3.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists. In Euroleague action, he averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in seven games. After going undrafted in the 2003 NBA Draft, Singleton signed with Sicc Cucine Jesi and was named All-Italian Lega2 Player of the Year.

McLeod (6-2, 190) was a member of Montepaschi Siena, the winner of the Italian National Championship in 2007-08. In four games, he averaged 4.5 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 14.4 minutes in Euroleague play. An Ohio native, McLeod played four years of college basketball at Bowling Green State University and finished as the school’s second-leading scorer (1,895 points). He went undrafted in the 2002 NBA Draft.

Aggie swingman Antoine Wright returns

The Mavs added to their perimeter depth by re-signing Antoine Wright today. The former first-round pick out of Texas A&M (whoop) is part of a swingman rotation that also includes Josh Howard and newly-signed Gerald Green.

“We are excited that Antoine will be returning to Dallas next season,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson. “He is an emerging young prospect with tremendous promise. With his youth, athleticism and talent, he has a very bright future in Dallas.”

Wright isn’t wasting any time starting on that future, leaving Friday afternoon for Las Vegas to meet up with Rick Carlisle. The Mavs coach will conduct workouts with Wright and Gana Diop, who signed Wednesday, while also evaluating the summer league team.

Wright, a three-year veteran, spent two complete seasons with New Jersey before coming to Dallas as part of the Jason Kidd trade on Feb. 19. Wright (6-7, 215) averaged a career-high 6.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 22.0 minutes in 56 games last season.

The A&M standout was the 15th overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft. Wright was the first Aggie in history to be named First Team All-Big 12 and left the Aggies after his junior season as the school’s ninth all-time scoring leader with 1,338 points.

The Mavs roster is now up to 14 with Dirk Nowitzki, Kidd, Jason Terry, Erick Dampier, Howard, Jerry Stackhouse, Brandon Bass, Gana Diop, Green, J.J. Barea, Eddie Jones, Wright, Keith McLeod and James Singleton. Teams are allowed to keep a maximum of 15.

Several summer league players are currently auditioning for a spot, including NBA veteran Richie Frahm. A number of promising rookies, such as Shan Foster, Ronnie Seibutis, Reyshawn Terry and JaJuan Smith, are in the mix.

“There’s a lot to be decided between now and October,” Carlisle said. “We’re looking at everything. We’ll look at trades, this, that and the other.”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Looking for that diamond

Fellow assistants Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts presided over the last workout in Dallas. It’s been an intense week of practice, as the new coaching staff takes the first steps in implementing a new system. Teaching has dominated the proceedings, but there’s also been plenty of time to scrimmage and work up a sweat during a few three-hour sessions and two-a-days.

The week began Monday with 17 players, with 15 making the trip. Pops Mensah-Bonsu stayed in Dallas, but he hopes to join the team in the next few days. Yaroslav Korolev, another NBA vet, is expected to leave the team before the Rocky Mountain Revue (July 18-25) in Salt Lake City.

At the end of it, several could be invited back for training camp in October. The Mavs hit on free agent Brandon Bass last summer. They’re hoping lightning strikes again.

“Trying to find that diamond in the rough,” Casey said, “that’s what summer league is all about. Not only guys on our team, but also the guys on the other teams.”

So what about going undefeated? Rick Carlisle likely won’t be too disappointed if this version of the Mavs drops a game or two along the way.

“Of course you want to win,” Casey said, “but it’s about scouting talent, players improving and making sure you put guys in proper situations where we can make sure we see what they can do.”

Mensah-Bonsu not on SL team ... for now

Pops Mensah-Bonsu is still in the mix for a roster spot. Though he’s not currently on the summer league roster, the former Mavs forward hopes to join the team at some point in Las Vegas.

Mensah-Bonsu is weighing a few offers from teams overseas, but his preference is to give the NBA another shot. He practiced with the summer league team earlier this week before sitting out Wednesday and Thursday.

Mensah-Bonsu attended workouts both days. He just didn’t get on the court. He remains optimistic that he’ll join the Mavs soon. The summer league team was scheduled to leave for Las Vegas early Thursday evening.

McLeod trying to make a point

Hoping to win a job as one of Jason Kidd’s backups, Keith McLeod may have a leg up on the other summer league hopefuls. The Bowling Green product spent part of the 2006-07 season playing for new Mavs coach Rick Carlisle in Indiana.

“It helps a lot,” said McLeod, who averaged 4.2 points and 2.0 assists in 22 games for the Pacers. “He’s come into a situation where he’s not familiar with a lot of guys here on a personal basis. I played for him in Indiana so he already knows me, and it’s a situation where I can help this team. So hopefully things go well.”

McLeod has 200 games worth of NBA experience, including 88 starts. After spending last year in Europe playing for Montepaschi Siena, McLeod is trying to make his way back to familiar soil.

“Here is an opportunity and I’m just trying to make the best of it,” he said. “Coach told me to just come out and play and get wins in the summer league. That’s been the focus, trying to have a good summer league.”

The Mavs appear to have room for another point guard on the roster. In addition to Kidd, Jason Terry can play the point and newly-signed J.J. Barea is back. The coaching staff also wants to give Ronnie Seibutis a strong look at point guard.

Stacked at Summer League

Rick Carlisle has joked a few times that this summer league team shouldn’t lose a game. He’s not trying to put any extra pressure on Dwane Casey, who’ll head up the team that’s headed for Las Vegas later today.

“We feel like personnel and talent wise that we’re going to have as good a team out there,” Carlisle said. “I expect us to win games. Whether or not we’ll win every game, I don’t know that but we should be very good.”

He’s just being realistic looking at a roster that features a number of NBA vets like former dunk champ Gerald Green, hustling forward James Singleton, sharp-shooting Richie Frahm and steady point guard Keith McLeod. There’s also the promising second-round contingent of Shan Foster, Ronnie Seibutis and Reyshawn Terry.

“We have seven guys out here with NBA experience, so you’d have to say they’re serious prospects,” Carlisle added. “We’ve also got one draft choice and two guys that were on our radar that were undrafted. So there are ten or eleven guys out here that we feel are great NBA prospects.

“There’s opportunity here because of our roster is in flux so it’s an exciting situation if you’re in their shoes. It’s exciting for us too because we get a chance to evaluate.”

To check out the full 15-man roster and schedule, visit Summer League Central 2008 at

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gana & Barea sign deals today

Gana Diop and J.J. Barea are back in the fold, as both signed contracts Wednesday with the Mavericks. The two fan favorites, who entered the offseason as free agents, inked their deals on the first day after the league moratorium.

It’s a return for Barea and reunion for Diop. Barea spent the last two seasons in Dallas after making the team as an undrafted free agent rookie in 2006. Diop spent 2 ½ seasons with the Mavs before being traded to New Jersey as part of the Jason Kidd blockbuster.

“You’ve got to be happy,” said Diop, who was pursued by several teams. “This feels good. I felt this is the place for me to be. I’ve had a good time in Dallas. I love the city. I was back here two days after the season ended.”

Diop signed his contract at the team’s offices inside American Airlines Center. He can’t wait to start working with new coach Rick Carlisle. Diop is headed to Las Vegas, site of the NBA Summer League, this weekend to work out individually with Carlisle from Sunday to Wednesday.

“He was a big part of me coming back,” Diop said of Carlisle, who took an active role in the recruitment process.

Getting a chance to play with his former teammates and friends – Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Terry, Josh Howard and others – also played a part in his decision. Kidd was another selling point for the Senegal native nicknamed “Gana Buckets” within team circles.

“I’ve got to run the floor,” Diop said, “and get my hands up for these easy buckets.”

Read the rest of this story at

Dancer Auditions this Saturday

Auditions for the 2008-09 Dallas Mavericks Dancers will be held on Saturday, July 12, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Hotel located at 2201 Stemmons Freeway. If you haven’t turned in your application, you can bring it to the auditions on Saturday.

The Mavs are seeking women who are high school graduates at least 18 years of age or older who will be living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area during the upcoming season. The judges will be looking for talented, energetic, physically fit ladies who love to perform in front of large crowds.

Dancers should wear half top, shorts, nude hose, white socks, white sneakers or dance shoes and come with performance ready hair and makeup. Callbacks will be held Sunday, July 13.

“The Mavs Dancers will be entering their 20th year of performing at Mavs games and are considered one of the top squads in the league,” said Shella Sattler, Mavs Dancers Director. “We are excited to be hosting the auditions again this year and are looking forward to seeing the amazing talent that Metroplex women have. We encourage all aspiring dancers to come tryout.”

The ladies selected to the squad will perform at all Mavs home games and represent the Mavs on national and local television, in print media and at events throughout the Metroplex.

Also, check out the dancers on the Ticket (1310 AM) Thursday at 1:50 p.m., and Friday on Lex and Terry (97.1 FM The Eagle) at 8 a.m.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Green: Making this shot count

Gerald Green didn’t come home when he signed with the Dallas Mavericks, but it’s pretty darn close. The Houston native has a number of relatives in the Metroplex, including a sister, so Green won’t be missing too many family barbeques.

But that’s not the reason the 22-year-old inked a one-year with the Mavs. Getting his career back on the right track is the only priority for the former first rounder who’s on his fourth team in less than one calendar year.

“This has made me a lot more hungry than I’ve been,” Green said after his first summer league practice. “It’s humbled me in a way and actually has put me in a position to restart, refresh my career and I think if I keep working hard and listen to the coaches here and listen to my teammates, I think I should be OK.”

Green was expected to be much more than OK when Boston used the 18th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft on a 6-foot-8 athletic freak out of Gulf Shores Academy in Houston. Just a year removed from high school, Green had become a valuable rotation player for the Celtics averaging 10.4 points per game.

He also won the Slam Dunk title during the 2007 All-Star Weekend. He was soaring in more ways than one. Then the breaks hit. Traded to Minnesota last summer as part of the Kevin Garnett blockbuster, Green took a backseat on a young Timberwolves team that seemingly needed players like Green.

He lasted only 29 games in Minnesota before being shipped to Houston. A trade to his hometown wasn’t the cure one might think. The Rockets, in desperate need for bigger bodies, cut Green during their playoff push.

Whispers of immaturity dogged Green. Wondering where his career was going, he began to sulk. He needed another chance. He was pretty sure he would get one, but also knew nothing was guaranteed.

“Yes, I did get down on myself and that’s what I shouldn’t have done,” Green said. “When I fall down I have to quickly get back up. The quicker I get up the quicker things can get better. One thing I’ve always known is that to have success there’s going to be failure.

“This is a humbling and learning experience for me. I’m just blessed to be in this situation, back in the league, and with a team like the Dallas Mavericks. I couldn’t be happier.”

Read the rest of this story and Q&A at Also check out the Summer League Central 2008 page for the roster, schedule and other info.

Singleton close to deal

Among the other players to practice Monday were free-agent rookies Reggie Williams and Derrick Low. NBA vet James Singleton, who played two seasons for the LA Clippers before heading overseas, is close to signing a guaranteed contract for next season.

The 6-8 forward was part of the rotation with the Clips in 2005-06, averaging 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 12.8 minutes. Singleton, a solid defender, is expected to provide depth at both forward spots.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer League team & schedule

Preparation began in earnest Monday afternoon for a number of hopefuls looking to hook on with the Mavericks next season. The spots are more secure for some than others, as summer league practices opened at American Airlines Center.

“There are a lot of things that can happen between now and the end of October,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I lived it firsthand as a third-round pick that unexpectedly made it.”

The team will play 11 games total at the NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports (Las Vegas) and Rocky Mountain Revue (Salt Lake City) beginning July 11 and running through July 25. Rick Carlisle’s assistant Dwane Casey will coach the Vegas entry. He will be assisted by Terry Stotts, Mario Elie and Popeye Jones.

The games start Friday against the L.A. Clippers (7 p.m. CT) and all five NBA Summer League games will be broadcast nationally on NBATV. Locally, KTXA-21 will broadcast the first three games live, while the last two will run at 7 p.m. CT on tape delay. Revue games will not be televised.

The summer league entry will be made up from the 17 bodies who attended the first workout, with 11 players confirmed. Practices will run all week before the coaching staff decides on the 12-14 headed for Las Vegas.

The team includes recent free-agent signing Gerald Green, 2008 second-round pick Shan Foster, and 2007 picks Reyshawn Terry and Ronnie Seibutis. The team also features NBA veterans Richie Frahm, Keith McLeod, Yaroslav Korolev, James Singleton, Pape Sow and Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a former Maverick.

Read the scouting report on some of these guys, and check out the confirmed roster and schedule in the Summer League preview at