Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dirk vs. J.J. with Beijing on the line

Despite a valiant effort from Dirk Nowitzki, Germany lost today to Croatia 76-70 in the semifinals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. That doesn't mean the end of the Olympic road for Dirk.

But it does mean that only one of the Mavs playing in Athens right now will be in Beijing next month. Germany will face Puerto Rico in the third-place game, with the winner claiming the last available spot in the Summer Games.

Puerto Rico lost to host Greece 88-63. It wasn't much of game -- you can bet Greece wasn't about to lose on its soil -- but J.J. Barea did lead the PR with 16 points.

So it'll be NBA teammates Dirk vs. J.J. with the Olympics on the line tomorrow. Nowitzki almost punched his ticket today, which would have fulfilled a lifelong dream, with 30 points and 13 boards.

McLeod and Seibutis not part of RMR

The Rocky Mountain Revue entry had a few defections before debuting yesterday. Keith McLeod, Ronnie Seibutis and Pape Sow are no longer on the team. To help fill out the roster, the Mavs added Darryl Watkins, a 6-11 center who played nine games with Sacramento last season and another 40 in the D-League.

McLeod hasn’t been cut. His absence in Salt Lake City is a courtesy that’s been extended to the veteran point guard. He remains under contract, though it’s a make-good deal that’s not presently guaranteed. He’s not currently free to sign with another team.

It became obvious that Seibutis wouldn’t stick with the big club this fall, so the promising guard is headed back to Europe for more seasoning. He could also stand to pack on a few more pounds of muscle. The Mavs continue to hold his NBA rights.

As for Sow, the forward did show flashes in Vegas. His chances of making the roster were slim, so leaving the Mavs allows him to hook on somewhere else.

Darius Miles works out for Mavs

Former phenom Darius Miles worked out recently for the Mavs in Vegas in an attempt to restart his career. His story in chronicled on SI.com. (I'm not a regular on the site, but the boys over at DallasBasketball.com picked up on it.)

For what it's worth, it's another low-risk move with payoff potential. Miles was once the third pick in the Draft and seen as an heir apparent to Kevin Garnett. Heady company, for sure.

Some team is likely going to sign him for the minimum if his knee checks out. He's not in basketball shape and his explosiveness isn't the same, but he still has considerable skills. Though another backup forward isn't a priority for the Mavs right now, Miles is worth a look.

This kid had all the talent in the world. Maybe now he's ready to use it.

Win streak snapped at RMR

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Gerald Green scored 20, but it wasn't enough as the Mavs dropped their opening game of the Rocky Mountain Revue 89-74 Friday to Atlanta. The loss snapped Dallas' three-game summer league winning streak, going back to Vegas.

Green and rookie Shan Foster (11 points) were the only Mavs in double figures. James Singleton and Charles Rhodes each had six rebounds. Dallas (3-3) has five games left in summer league play.

For a closer look at everything going on with the Mavs at the RMR and a recap of their week in Vegas, visit Summer League Central 2008 at mavs.com.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dirk and J.J. advance to the semis

Dirk Nowitzki is one victory away from realizing his lifelong Olympic dream, and he’s got up to two games to get it done. Germany knocked off Brazil 78-65 today behind 20 points from Nowitzki to reach the semifinals of the FIBA Qualifying Tournament.

The top three teams in Greece earn spots in next month’s Summer Games. Should the Germans upend Croatia, they’re off to Beijing. If Germany loses, Nowitzki and his countrymen need to win the third-place game.

Nowitzki isn’t the only one still living the dream. Puerto Rico also advanced to the semis by beating Slovenia 81-70 today. J.J. Barea scored eight points for Puerto Rico, which faces a sizable challenge by facing host Greece in Athens.

For a complete look at the tourney, visit FIBA’s official site.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bucks stop there: Lue & Allen to Milwaukee

Tyronn Lue and Malik Allen, a pair of vets added last season, will tag-team it with Milwaukee this upcoming season. The veteran free agents didn’t fit in with the Mavs’ plans this upcoming season.

Scott Skiles thought differently. The following is a snippet from the official release on the Bucks’ site...

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Tyronn Lue and forward Malik Allen to contracts, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Tyronn and Malik have been solid contributors and good teammates throughout their NBA careers,” said Hammond. “They give us added depth at the guard and forward positions, and both bring valuable playoff experience to our roster.”

Double-figure quartet helps down Pistons

LAS VEGAS – Aaron Miles scored eight of his team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Dallas Mavericks held on down the stretch for a 79-73 victory over the Detroit Pistons in the first of six games Thursday at the NBA Summer League Presented by EA SPORTS.
Shan Foster finished with 11 and Charles Rhodes and James Singleton each chipped in with 10 for Dallas in the win.

“It was a tough game,” Foster said. “Detroit has a lot of good players, and they came out a lot harder, but we were able to overcome some obstacles and get a win.”

Dallas was in control most of the fourth quarter, but Detroit’s Will Bynum kept it interesting -- converting on a steal with 1:22 to play to bring the Pistons within three at 71-68. The teams traded hoops to make it 74-70 with 39.3 to play, but the Mavericks held on for the victory.
Bynum led Detroit with 20 points, while Walter Sharpe finished with 16.

Dallas finishes with a 3-2 record in summer league play in Vegas. The team heads to the Rocky Mountain Revue next.

“It’s been great,” Foster said. “There are a lot of great coaches here and ‘I’ve been able to learn a lot from them and our veterans. I’m just getting better – it’s a process, just getting better every day and trying to learn everything I can -- but in the end I just want to be able to help my team in any way possible.”

Here’s the box and visit the new-and-improved Summer League Central 2008 at mavs.com for video hightlights, stories and more.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Barea and Puerto Rico fall

ATHENS -- Croatia overcame an early 17-point deficit and pulled away for a 95-81 triumph over Puerto Rico on Wednesday to claim first place in Group D of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Davor Kus and Marko Tomas each poured in 15 points to lead a balanced scoring attack for the Croatians, who now face Canada in a quarter-final on Friday.

The defeat means that Puerto Rico must take on Slovenia.“We’ve just got to learn how to protect a lead,” Puerto Rico guard Carlos Arroyo said. “We know teams are going to make their runs, but we need to stay true to what we do.”

J.J. Barea scored seven in 17 minutes for Puerto Rico.

Nowitzki and Germans win another

ATHENS -- Germany put paid to a gritty New Zealand on Wednesday night and provided plenty of evidence that one of the three spots for the Beijing Games could be theirs by the end of the week.

Dirk Nowitzki had 35 points while new national team center Chris Kaman scored 20 in an 89-71 triumph to secure first place in Group B.

New Zealand will now have to take on the winners of Group A in the quarter-finals and that means a likely quarter-final showdown against tournament hosts Greece, who were hosting Brazil in Wednesday's last game.

The Germans will take on the losers of that contest.

Read the rest of this game recap at FIBA's tourney website.

Green stars in rout of Kings

LAS VEGAS – The Dallas Mavericks, led by Gerald Green’s explosive 18-points, defeated the Sacramento Kings 93-71. The win was the largest margin of victory thus far in the 2008 NBA Summer League Presented by EA Sports which is taking place inside the COX Pavilion on UNLV’s campus.

Charles Rhodes came up big for Dallas as well, recording a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double performance en route to the team’s second win in the summer classic.

“It was a pretty good game,” said Green of his game. “I slowed down my offense today and it worked out pretty well for me. My tempo was one of the problems with the first two games I played, I really didn’t slow it down - I was kind of forcing the issue, so today I slowed it down and let it come to me a little bit. And, that is a credit to the coaches.”

Sacramento got off to a hot start in the first quarter, leading the Mavericks the whole way to finish the period up 10; 21-11. Dallas surged back in the second, going on an 11-0 run to take the lead at 22-21 with 7:46 to play. In the quarter, Dallas outscored the Kings 35-11 in the second. Despite the slow start, the Mavericks owned a 14-point lead, 46-32, their largest of the game, going into the halftime break.

Dallas’ hot hand extended into the third period, as the squad finished with a commanding 20-point lead, 69-49, on the back of Gerald Green’s 14-point quarter. It was deja vu all over again in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks continued their winning ways, stretching their lead to as many as 27 in the quarter.

Sacramento was led by Spencer Hawes’ 17 points in the loss.

Next up: Dallas returns to action on Thursday, July 17, when they face the Detroit Pistons at 1 p.m. Sacramento’s next game comes on Friday, when they take on the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. Both contests are set to take place in the COX Pavilion.

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

Mavs Summer Warehouse Sale

What: Mavs Summer Warehouse Sale

When: Saturday, July 19th, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center

More Info: On Saturday, July 19th, the Mavs will host a summer warehouse blow-out sale on the main floor of American Airlines Center. Hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys, jackets and warm-ups will be available for purchase. All items will be priced 50%-80% off the whole sale price.

Fans can park in Lot F and enter through the north side doors.

Dirk and J.J. closer to Olympic berth

Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea are a step closer to realizing their Olympic dreams, as Germany and Puerto Rico both won yesterday and reached the quarters of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The top three teams are headed to China for the upcoming Summer Games.

Here are the recaps from FIBA's website...

ATHENS -- Chris Kaman enjoyed a winning debut as Germany beat Cape Verde 104-68 to clinch a place in the quarter-finals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Kaman, the American center of the Los Angeles Clippers who only got his German passport at the beginning of this month, started and had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes.

“This is new for me,” Kaman said to FIBA.Com immediately after the game. “I had a little nerves going into it and I’m glad to get it out of the way. The rust was out there.

“I was missing some easy looks. I was fumbling the ball. The ball was different. When the ball gets wet in the NBA, it sticks to your hands better. Here, it gets more slippery.”

Germany now have two bona fide stars in Dirk Nowitzki and Kaman, though the biggest strength of the team is probably the familiarity that most of the players have with each other, and Dirk Bauermann’s system.

Nowitzki had a game-high 16 to lead a balanced German attack in their first game in Athens.

And Puerto Rico ...

ATHENS -- Puerto Rico held off Cameroon 81-72 to reach the quarter-finals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The Puerto Ricans survived a dazzling display by Harding Nana, who scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds but saw his side crash out of the tournament after a second successive defeat.

The team from the FIBA Americas led by as many as 21 points but Cameroon, just as they had on opening day against Croatia, battled back to threaten a major upset in the fourth quarter only to fall just short.

Parfait Bitee, the nephew of Cameroon coach Lazare Adingono, made consecutive baskets – the second a three-pointer – to trim Puerto Rico’s lead to 65-59 with 6:45 left.

Nana followed with a strong move in the paint to make it 65-61. Puerto Rico’s Jose Barea replied with a three-pointer, but Cameroon refused to go away.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

James Singleton: Not another Bass ... yet

James Singleton has heard the comparison plenty this summer: He’s this year’s Brandon Bass. Nice words, to be sure, but perhaps it’s a good idea to tap on the brakes just a bit.

Not to say that both Singleton and Bass have a thing or two in common. Neither had the best Draft experience – Singleton wasn’t picked and Bass, the SEC Player of the Year out of LSU, went in the second round. Both spent two years with the same team to open their NBA careers, only to leave without fanfare.

But the road for Singleton has taken a few extra turns. Bass did stick in the league at first, though he played a bit role with the Hornets before the Mavericks came calling last summer. Singleton, a Murray State product via community college, took his show to Italy for two years before landing with the Clippers.

His stint with the Clips wasn’t too memorable – averages of 2.6 points and 2.7 boards – so it was back to Europe. He ended up winning a title in Spain last season (TAU CerĂ¡mica) and winning a few more NBA fans … at least among general managers.

Not giving up on his basketball dream, Singleton returned home with the goal of making it stick in the NBA. He’s cleared one hurdle by signing with the Mavs, who were in the market for untapped potential. In other words, another Bass. He’s currently making his Mavs’ debut with the summer league team.

Singleton, who turns 27 on Sunday, isn’t the same wrecking ball as Bass. He’s a 6-foot-8, 230-pounder who can fill in some at power forward in pinch, but is best suited to play on the wing. President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said his defense, especially against high-scoring swingmen like Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, sold the Mavs on Singleton.

Now it’s up to Singleton to make it work. Read the Q&A with Singleton at mavs.com.

Mavs pick up first SL win

LAS VEGAS, July 14 – The Dallas Mavericks ruined Kevin Love’s NBA debut as they crushed the Minnesota Timberwolves 88-74 in the final game at COX Pavilion Monday night. JaJuan Smith led all scorers with 19 points off the bench for the Mavericks.

Despite trailing by six early in the first quarter the Mavericks closed out the quarter on a 19-6 run earning a seven point lead heading into the second quarter.

The Mavericks continued their dominance of the Timberwolves in the second quarter building their lead to as many as 24, their largest lead of the game.

Minnesota’s effort was led by Kevin Love who tallied 18 points and a league high 13 points and Blake Ahearn who contributed 17 points off the bench.

Notes: The Mavericks will take Tuesday off and return to the hardwood on Wednesday as they take on the Sacramento Kings at COX Pavilion. The Timberwolves will also take Wednesday off and resume their summer league play on Wednesday as they host the L.A. Lakers at Thomas & Mack.

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

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mavs Dancers: Auditions down to 41

Over 250 girls auditioned this past Saturday at the Hilton Anatole Hotel for the preliminary audition for the 2008-09 Dallas Mavericks Dance Team. Shella Sattler, director/choreographer of the team, had her work cut out for her as she went through 3 rounds of dance competition, selecting 71 at the end of the day.

On Sunday at Elevation Fitness, the final audition took place, bringing together the 71 girls that were selected on Saturday, along with veterans from the 2007-08 season. Another fierce competition ended with 41 girls going to training camp July 14-17th. The final team will be announced on July 17th.

It's been a busy month for the Mavs Dancers, who also headed to Seoul Korea over the 4th of July holiday, joining Jordan Farmar of the LA Lakers and Hugo the Hornet from the New Orleans Hornets, participating in NBA Madness.

The 3-day event took place at Yongsan iPark Mall in Seoul. This is the second year for this event, sponsored by EA, which featured the NBA Madness Basketball Challenge and NBA 3-point shootout.

Thanks to Kirsten Seiter for giving us the lowdown.

Summer League on AAC Big Screen

Catch all the Summer League action on the AT&T Plaza outside American Airlines Center. The KTXA-21 broadcast of each game from Las Vegas will be shown on the HD screen on the south side of AAC.


This week's schedule:

Minnesota, today @ 9 p.m.
Sacramento, Wednesday @ 5 p.m.
Detroit, Thursday @ 3 p.m.

** All games on NBATV. KTXA-21 will tonight's game live and the next two will run at 7 p.m. on tape delay.

For more info on the Mavs' entry in Las Vegas, visit Summer League Central on mavs.com.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mavs fall to Warriors 95-86

LAS VEGAS – The second game of day three at the NBA Summer League Presented by EA SPORTS inside the COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV featured the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors.

(Click here for video hightlights from NBA TV.)

The victorious Warriors were led by their starting lineup, which scored 74 out of their 95 total points in the contest. Marco Belinelli poured in 25 points with Brandan Wright scoring 15 of his own.

"It was a solid performance," said Brandan Wright, Warriors forward. "We kind of let them get back into it but the biggest thing is that we got the win."

The opening quarter started out with the teams keeping pace with each other, but a few costly turnovers towards the end of the period hurt the Mavericks - the Warriors took a six point lead after the first 10 minutes; 25-19.

Dallas chipped away during the course of the second quarter causing 11 lead changes and seven ties in the half. The Warrior bench came in, though, and provided a spark pushing the lead back up to a comfortable margin. Belinelli punctuated the second period with a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give his squad an eight point lead at halftime; 46-38.

The Warriors carried their momentum from the break and pushed their lead up to as many as 16 in the third period. However, the Mavericks fought back and cut their deficit to five at 68-63 by the end of the stanza.

Powered by Belinelli, who scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, the Warriors were able to hold off the feisty Mavericks; 95-86.

The Dallas Mavericks scoring leaders were James Singleton with 17 points and Gerald Green with 15.

Dallas head coach Dwane Casey said, “We were much better tonight, we just have to work to clean up some things, make open shots, cut down on our turnovers and I think we’ll be okay.”

Next up: Dallas will square off against Minnesota in Monday’s final game of the night, while Golden State plays in the final game on Tuesday evening against Charlotte.

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