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Shaquille Harrison working to bring his offense up to the level of his defense

Shaquille Harrison didn’t need to record a steal in his 11th straight game, as he did Wednesday night against the Wizards, to continue displaying his defensive prowess. After all, he recorded 20 of them in the previous 10 games and at one point led the NBA in steals per 36 minutes.

It’s his offense that the coaching staff has been working with him on, following one simple credo: Look at the rim. And he had the rim clearly in his sights when he made a nasty dunk over the Wizards’ Thomas Bryant on Wednesday night..

Harrison, who has perhaps taken greater advantage of his extended opportunity than any other Bull, entered the Wizards game shooting just 42.6 percent. That included a meager 24.7 percent from 3-point range.

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Harrison has demonstrated an ability to penetrate consistently. But with teams playing him as a driver and not a scorer, defenses have sagged off and played his kick-out pass.

“The coaches have been telling me to take what they give me,” Harrison said. “And slow down. When I’m going at a good pace and not 100 mph, I think things go well for me. But when I get sped up a little bit or get a little frenzied, things get out of hand. I feel from when I first got here to now, cheap nba jerseys from china
I’m miles ahead of where I was (offensively).”

Back setback: The sliver of hope Kris Dunn created Monday in New York about seeing value in playing even if for one game closed with news that Dunn’s sore back didn’t respond to his workout. Dunn didn’t even participate in the morning shootaround.

And while the team has not officially declared Dunn done for the season, that’s an extremely safe assumption.

“I would say it looks that way,” coach Jim Boylen said. “He just didn’t feel right while he was doing the workout. He didn’t feel like the workout got him loose or helped him.”

Dunn fielded a question about his offseason plans.

“You gotta take time to let the body heal and just get some rest,” he said. “And then once I get itching to pick up the basketball, I’ll do that.’’

Executive order: Otto Porter Jr. wouldn’t comment when asked for thoughts on the Wizards’ decision to fire Ernie Grunfeld, the franchise’s longtime top executive. Grunfeld, hired two months after the Bulls hired John Paxson in 2003, was one of the league’s longest-tenured executives along with Paxson, the Heat’s Pat Riley, the Mavericks’ Donnie Nelson, the Spurs’ R.C. Buford and the Celtics’ Danny Ainge.

Under Grunfeld, the Wizards amassed a 568-724 mark and qualified for eight playoffs with four first- and four second-round exits. The Bulls are 661-631 with 11 playoff appearances, one Eastern Conference finals appearance and seven first-round exits under Paxson.

Staff stuff: After originally committing to join Fred Hoiberg’s staff at Nebraska, Windy City Bulls coach Charlie Henry is now contemplating taking another college job or remaining with the G League, a source said.

Who Owns the Worst Playoff Meltdown? It Almost Has to Be the Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning were almost unstoppable this season, racing to 62 wins in 82 games and the best point total since the N.H.L.’s current system began in 2006.

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The Lightning scored 103 more goals than they surrendered, powered by Steven Stamkos’s 45. Other stars of the deep team were Nikita Kucherov, who led the league cheap nba jerseys
in points (128) and assists (87); and Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was a rock in goal.

“It’s one of the best I’ve ever played with,” said Stamkos, an 11-year veteran, when asked to evaluate his team in January. “I have no concerns about us taking our foot off the gas.”

But that’s exactly what happened. The Lightning were swept in their best-of-seven series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and it was not even close. Tampa Bay was outscored by 19-8 over four games. Stamkos and Kucherov had been held pointless heading into Tuesday’s series finale, and a slight reawakening from the stars was not nearly enough to stave off a 7-3 defeat that ended their season.

Dallas Mavericks: Best and worst case scenarios for new additions

The Dallas Mavericks made plenty of additions at the trade deadline, and those new players are giving the Mavs hope of realizing their expectations.
The Dallas Mavericks had a 2019 trade deadline to remember. Following the trend of last summer, success found Dallas twice before the deadline buzzer.

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The blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks was the basketball personification of killing two birds with one stone. It gave Luka Doncic another Euro confidant and simultaneously cheap nba jerseys from china
shipped a previously shopped Dennis Smith Jr. The Mavs acquired a star player in a salary dump which like a solar eclipse is something you don’t see often. Getting lost in the Kristaps Porzingis rabbit hole is nearly impossible, but there is substance in the other players involved.

Speaking of a salary dump, Justin Jackson role in Dallas is to be determined, fortunately, at a more digestible cost than Harrison Barnes opting into his $25 million player-option this summer.

GAME THREAD: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat

WHO: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat

WHAT: A villain’s last night in Dallas.

WHERE: American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Central

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HOW: FOX Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass

THE STORY: Tonight is the last appearance of Dwyane Wade at the AAC, a building in which he won his first championship. The 2006 NBA Finals will forever be a thorn in the side cheap nba jerseys
of Mavericks fans and Wade, deservedly or not, became the focus of so much ire in Dallas during that series. Those same fans will get the chance send him a final farewell before he hangs up his high tops at the end of the season.

Prior to tonight’s game, Wade reenacted the closing seconds of Game 6 in 2006. Fans in attendance know how they must respond.
Forget Wade, though. The Doncic era is now.

MUSIC!

4 things as Dallas burned at home, lose 112-101

The Dallas Mavericks finished out their last game before the All-Star Break in pretty forgettable fashion, losing Wednesday night 112-101 at home to the Miami Heat.

DIRK VS WADE ONE LAST TIME

In what we assume will be the final matchup between Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade, it was the 37-year-old Wade who had the last laugh, going for 22 points and leading a second half turnaround that saw Miami re-take the lead and build a comfortable margin. Dirk hit some shots but was just 2-10 from three and finished with 12 points. Fittingly, both checked in at the same time, leading to a loud ovation that then turned into obvious boo-ing that followed Wade the rest of the night.

LUKA JUST MISSED ANOTHER TRIPLE DOUBLE

Luka Doncic struggled again shooting the ball, converting just 5 of 17 field goals for 18 points, but the rookie did fill out the stat sheet, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out 9 assists as well. He had been stuck on 9 since I believe the end of the third quarter, which touches on another issue we’ll get to. Miami Wholesale nba jerseys
was doing a lot of trapping in screen action, and they with their size and athleticism they were able to force some questionable passes out of the 19 year old Doncic. Still, with some better shotmaking, Luka would have undoubtedly had his fourth triple-double.

MAVS SHOOTING WOES CONTINUE

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With several huge trades coming in the last few weeks, paired with injuries or age related regression for their bench, the Mavericks are majorly shorthanded right now in terms of being able to put out quality shotmakers on the floor. With Harrison Barnes gone, and Kristaps Porzingis being kept out, Dallas is really stretched to get good looks out of the rest of their roster, and it’s starting to show. They 38% from the floor and 28% from three Wednesday, with several of those misses being open shots.

20 POINTS FOR THJ

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavs with 20 points, and it’s clear that the former Michigan Wolverine will be a key part of the Dallas offense for at least the rest of this season. So far through 5 games he’s averaging a little over 15 points on sub-optimal shooting(40% from the field, 29% from three), but this was his second 20-point performance and it will be worth watching to see if perhaps the Luka-Carlisle combination can generate more consistent good looks for him. It’s unclear what role Hardaway will have next season, but for now, Dallas needs every point they can get from him.

With the All-Star Break coming up, Dallas won’t play again for almost 10 days, taking on the Denver Nuggets next Friday at the AAC. See you then!

4 things as Dallas comes up short in Memphis, loses to Grizz 98-88

The Dallas Maverick were riding high coming to Memphis, winners of four straight — including a 50 point win against Utah, and a win against the defending champion Warriors — but fell back down to Earth on Monday night, losing to the Grizzlies 98-88. The game was closer than the final score might suggest, as Dallas was in the game the entire way, even leading for a portion of it, but the Mavs went ice cold in the final five or six minutes, and that was all Memphis needed to pull away.

UGLY SHOOTING NIGHT FOR DALLAS

6-20. 6-15. 3-14. Those were the shooting lines of the Mavs’ three offensive stars, Luka Doncic, Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes. Dennis Smith led the way with a team-high 19 points,cheap dallas mavericks jerseys thanks to 3 threes and 4-5 shooting from the line(a nice bounce back after his horrid free throw shooting in the last game), but he was still -8 on the night and had some bad possessions late when Dallas needed to right the ship. Meanwhile, Dennis’ counterpart, Mike Conley, torched the Mavs for 28 points, including 7 threes. Dallas is going to have a tough time beating anyone when their starters struggle, especially a quality team like Memphis, who improves to 11-5.

SHORTHANDED BENCH ALSO STRUGGLES

With J.J. Barea and Dwight Powell out and Dorian Finney-Smith starting in place of also-injured Wes Matthews, the Mavs’ bench was paper thin Monday. Coach Rick Carlisle played an 8 man rotation, with rookie Jalen Brunson seeing his second highest minute total of the season, but the replacements never found a groove, going 0-4 from three and 4-17 from the field collectively. Maxi Kleber had a pair of show-stopping blocks but missed all four of his shots.

DEANDRE JORDAN NEARLY HAS 20-20 VISION

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DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 boards and added 17 points, including 5-6 from the free throw line. It’s been mentioned before but it honestly can’t be said enough how shocking Jordan’s improvement at the line is. I truly can’t think of anything comparable in modern basketball history, for a career 40-ish free throw shooter to suddenly jump 30 points like this, on high volume. We can — and will — point out other areas of concern for Jordan, but he deserves a lot of credit for turning his greatest weakness into a strength.

SHOULD DOE-DOE KEEP STARTING?

Wes Matthews is a respected veteran who has done everything in his power to compete when on the court with the Mavs, despite his limitations, but given both his success playing with the second unit and the dramatic improvement of third year wing Dorian Finney-Smith, it’s a fair question to ask: what should happen when Wes returns? The answer is most likely that DFS will go back to the bench, but count me as in favor of keeping Finney-Smith in the starting lineup. Dorian converted 3 of 6 threes Monday, raising his already stellar three point percentage from the 44% it stood at entering play. He is an extremely active defender who generates deflections with his long arms and hustles for offensive boards when he’s not spotting up from deep. It’s still early in the season, but Finney-Smith is starting to turn himself into a really important piece longterm for the Mavs, and someone that the team should absolutely invest some of its ample cap space in retaining this summer.

This was a rough one for the Mavs to lose at the end, but they will get a chance to get back in the win column Wednesday against a well-coached but beatable Brooklyn Nets team, in Dallas. We’ll see if the injury list will be a little shorter come that game.

Nowitzki to receive key to the city of Dallas during halftime of Mavs-Nets game

DALLAS – For his numerous accomplishments on the basketball court and amazing contributions in the community, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will receive the key to the city of Dallas from Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings.

The event will occur at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night during halftime of the Mavs’ game against the Brooklyn Nets.

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An honor of this caliber is an astonishing feat for someone of Nowitzki’s stature.

“It’s about time,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “If you ask me there aren’t enough awards and accolades that can be bestowed upon Dirk Nowitzki with everything he’s done here for over two decades.

“That’s great to hear, it’s a great gesture. Well-deserved.”
Mavs forward Maxi Kleber is from the same small cheap nba jerseys from china  town – Wurzburg, Germany – where Nowitzki hails from. When asked if Wurzburg hands out a key to the city to its distinguished citizens, Kleber said: “I’m not sure we have a key there, but they should give him one, too.

“He’s a man of the town. If one guy deserves it, it’s him.”

Asked if he has a key to the city of Wurzburg, Kleber said: “No, I only have a key to my house. That’s all I have.”

What about a key to your parent’s house back in Wurzburg?

“They let me in,” Kleber said. “If I ring the door or knock on the door, they would let me in.”
Nowitzki becomes just the third person to receive a key to the city of Dallas since Rawlings became its mayor over seven years ago.

“I’m not sure what the key to the city means, what it exactly unlocks,” Carlisle said. “But if there’s anybody that deserves the key, it’s him.”

Dirk Nowitzki to receive key to city from mayor Mike Rawlings at halftime of Mavericks-Nets game

Dirk Nowitzki isn’t just a Mavericks icon, he’s a face for the entire city of Dallas.

As such, he will be honored with a key to the city by mayor cheap nba jerseys
Mike Rawlings at halftime of the Mavericks’ game against Brooklyn Wednesday night.

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It will be just the third key to the city given out by Rawlings during his seven-year tenure as mayor. Virginia McAlester and Jordan Spieth also received the honor.

Nowitzki is being honored not only for his professional achievements in his 20 seasons with the Mavericks, but also for his outstanding contributions to the community.

Every holiday season, Nowitzki makes an appearance as “Santa Dirk” at Children’s Hospital to surprise patients and spend a day talking, playing and supporting them.

That’s just one of his many philanthropic efforts.

Nowitzki has yet to make his debut in his 21st season with the Mavericks, but the hope is that his recovery from ankle surgery will allow him to begin playing in the coming weeks.

2018 NBA Offseason Review: Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks

Additions: Ryan Broekhoff, Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic, Devin Harris, DeAndre Jordan, Ray Spalding

Subtractions: Kyle Collinsworth, Seth Curry, Yogi Ferrell, Aaron Harrison, Doug McDermott, Nerlens Noel

2018-19 Cap Space: None. $18.1 million under Luxury Tax.

2019-20 Projected Cap Space: $53.3 million.

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Analysis: The Mavericks have split the difference between competing for the playoffs and rebuilding for the past two seasons. Each year started with hopes of the postseason,Dallas Mavericks jerseys  but was waylaid by injuries, ineffective play, or a combination of both. Things came to a head last season when Mark Cuban was fined for openly saying it was better for his team to tank than to attempt to be competitive.

Cuban’s comments were made in the heat of the moment when their season was all but lost. However, the Mavericks’ offseason moves recently have run counter to any thoughts of tanking. Two summers ago, they signed Harrison Barnes. This summer, it was DeAndre Jordan. As the Mavs play out the final years of Dirk Nowitzki’s Hall of Fame career, they’re committed to trying to be competitive. If the season goes south, the team no longer seems overly inclined to do much to stop the slide, as the allure of high draft picks to build around is too great to pass up. This offseason delivered on both. Dallas signed some vets to bolster a playoff push, but they also drafted their building block for the future.

The Mavericks swung a draft day deal with the Atlanta Hawks to move up a couple of spots to select Luka Doncic. Dallas also sent Atlanta a future first round pick that has sliding protections to draft the European wonder-boy. Doncic joins the NBA as accomplished a player as any 19-year-old could possibly be. He’s won at the highest levels in both EuroLeague and EuroBasket, in addition putting up great stats. The Mavs have installed him as a starter from day one and will give him a chance to do what he does best: make plays. At 6’7’’, Doncic is a true wing in the new-age NBA. He’s big enough to hold his own inside on both ends, but quick enough to play on the perimeter. He can handle and pass the ball, as well as shoot. Doncic is equally as good at making plays for others, as he is getting himself open to score. Dallas has their franchise player for the post-Dirk years.

Three years after a debacle that owned Twitter for a couple of days and saw DeAndre Jordan re-sign with the Clippers, the Mavericks finally got their man. Jordan signed a one-year, $22.8 million deal to come to Dallas and anchor the center position. The five spot has long been a challenge for the Mavs and Rick Carlisle. They’ve cycled through options over the year, but haven’t found a player who can really change games on either end. Jordan should be a massive upgrade defensively and on the glass, while his rim-rolling offensive game meshes well with Doncic and second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr. If it doesn’t work, it’s just a one-year contract and both sides can move on easily in the summer.

The Mavs lost a couple of backcourt players who had come into their own during their time with Dallas in Seth Curry and Yogi Ferrell. Following a breakout 16-17 season, Curry missed all of last season with a stress fracture in his leg. Ferrell initially reached an agreement to return to the Mavericks, but had second thoughts on where he would fall in the rotation. Both sides agreed to go their separate ways. Curry signed with Portland, while Ferrell headed off to Sacramento.

Dallas replaced the combo guards with a veteran and a rookie. Devin Harris returns to the team for his third run, and the Mavericks drafted Jalen Brunson in the second round. Harris is a favorite of Carlisle because of his dependability. He’ll likely take Ferrell’s minutes. Brunson is a longer term project and should see plenty of time with the Texas Legends in the G League, but several teams had a first round grade on him at the draft.

The Mavericks also lost a couple of former lottery picks that they had taken shots on via trades, as both Doug McDermott and Nerlens Noel left town. McDermott got a three-year, $22 million offer from Indiana, which was both too rich and too long for the Mavs. Noel never quite came around in Dallas and left for a bench role with the Thunder. With other options on the roster, neither player will be missed all that much.

This season is likely to play out a lot like the previous two. The Mavericks will be competitive, but not quite good enough to pull off enough wins. At some point, the focus will shift to making Doncic and Smith the present as well as the future. That won’t lead to wins this year, but it should help lead to more success down the line. And with both kids in the fold, it’s finally as much about the future in Dallas, as it is trying to recapture the past.