Mavs’ Kidd on ‘Logo Luka’: ‘It was a big-time shot, with the clock running down’

The Dallas Mavericks(4-2) continued their early-season dominance at home when they defeated the Sacramento Kings(3-3) 105-99 at American Airlines Center on Sunday.

Dallas took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter and held on down the stretch to defeat the Kings.

The Mavericks have started 3-0 at home for the first time since 2013-14. Dallas won their first seven home games in 2013-14.

Here’s is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Dallas’ win over Sacramento.

The Great for the Mavericks:

-Luka Doncic led the Mavs in points, assists, and rebounds for the second time this season (including ties) after recording 23 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists. This also marked Dončić’s 128th career game with 20+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists, which sets him two such games away from tying Dirk Nowitzki’s franchise record of 130 games of 20-5-5.

Late in the game, with Mavericks leading 92-89, we saw “Logo Luka” when he hit a 36-foot three-point shot with the shot clock winding down that helped Dallas close out the game.

It was Doncic’s only made three of the game.

“Great recovery then good offense by a good player,” Mavericks head coach said about Doncic’s shot. “It was a big-time shot, with the clock running down; we all know he has the type of range. It was a big basket too. If I recall, I think that’s the only three he made. It was needed.”

Doncic added: “More confident than all my threes and my free throws. That shot goes in, and then all my normal shots can’t go in. I’ve got to work on those normal shots.”

First-quarter: For the first time this season, Dallas led after the first quarter. The Mavericks led 31-22 after the first. Maxi Kleber led the way with 7 points in the quarter on 3/3 shooting.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. This is his third game of the season with 15+ points, and the Mavericks are 3-0 in those games.

-Dorian Finney-Smith had 13 points and six rebounds tonight. Finney-Smith has recorded 6+ rebounds in five of his six starts.

-Dwight Powell compiled 12 points and eight rebounds. The Mavericks were 10-2 last season when Powell finished in double figures and are already 3-0 when he scores 10+ this season.

-Frank Ntilikina went 4-6 from the field, including 2-2 from deep, as he finished with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Ntilikina finished a point shy of tying his season-high from last season (13, accomplished twice).

-Defense: Dallas held Sacramento to 39.6% from the floor and to 7/36(19%) from three-point range.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-Maxi Kleber left the game in the first quarter with a back injury and did not return. Kleber was starting for Kristaps Porzingis, who missed the last four games with back tightness.

Bottom Line:

Good teams play well at home. Dallas got a solid victory over the Kings, and they had a balanced attack with five players in double figures. The goal for Dallas is to get one of the top spots in the West. To do that, they need to establish a true home-court advantage at American Airlines Center.

What’s Next:

Dallas hosts the Miami Heat in a nationally-televised game on Tuesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Richaun Holmes led Sacramento with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It was his fourth double-double of the season and the 49th of his career, and Harrison Barnes had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento, marking his third double-double of the season.

Mavs’ Kidd on loss to Nuggets: ‘When you have games like this, no matter how you look at it, it’s just bad’

The Dallas Mavericks came into Denver riding a three-game winning streak after losing their season-opener to the Atlanta Hawks. The Mavericks(3-2) were playing their first back-to-back game of the season on Friday, and it showed. 

The Mavericks got off to another slow start and trailed by 11 at halftime. In the third quarter, Dallas would entirely fall apart. The Nuggets(3-2) led by as many as 35 points. Ultimately, they would defeat Dallas 106-75.

The Great for the Mavericks:

Nothing good came from this game. Dallas was never in this one on Friday night. Here’s the good thing, it’s only one game in October. There are 77 more games left.

Here’s a good thing: Eugene Omoruyi scored six points in his NBA debut.

The Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-Dallas leading-scorer Luka Doncic struggled with his shot(6/18 FG, 1/4 3pt), but he did lead the team with 16 points. However, he was not very good.  Doncic’s shot has been off this season. He’s 9/35 from downtown in five games.

-The team’s second-leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr. also could not throw a rock in the ocean; he was 1-7 from the field with three points.

Dorian Finney-Smith could not make a shot as well. He was 0/7 from the field with two points.

-Shooting: Dallas shot 29.5 percent from the field. You shoot like that; you should expect to lose.

First-quarter woes: For the fifth straight game, Dallas trailed after the first quarter. Thursday night, they overcame it against the Spurs, but on Friday, against a much better Nuggets’ team, Dallas could not bounce back from their slow start.

Bottom Line:

Jason Kidd said it nicely:

“When you have games like this, no matter how you look at it, it’s just bad,” Kidd said.

Dallas has to throw this one away and move forward.

What’s Next:

Dallas returns home on Sunday to face the Kings.

Best of the Rest:

Will Barton led the Nuggets with 17 points; Nikola Jokic had 11 points, 16 rebounds, and eight assists.

 

 

Mavs’ Doncic on slow start against Spurs: ‘We shouldn’t let this happen again’

The Dallas Mavericks started very slow on Thursday night. They were down 23-3 in the first quarter. Then, the Mavs’ bench came in and changed things around. 

Ultimately, the Mavericks would take their first lead in the second quarter and hold on to defeat the Spurs 104-99.

Here’s the Great for the Mavericks:

-Luka Doncic led the Mavs with 25 points on 11-19 shooting. Doncic scored 18 of his 25 in the second half, including eight straight points down the stretch in the fourth quarter to give the Mavs a 10-point lead.

-Jalen Brunson came off the bench for 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and a +21 rating in the win. Brunson was the spark for Dallas and a big reason why they were able to get back into the game.

-Maxi Kleber recorded 12 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high-tying six blocks (12/26/18 vs. NOP) off the bench in the win. 

Dorian Finney-Smith finished with 14 points to go with eight rebounds and two steals. Finney-Smith now has eight rebounds in three of the four games this season.

Dwight Powell added 11 points for the Mavericks, while Reggie Bullock made his first start in a Dallas uniform and recorded seven points.

-The Mavericks overcame a 20-point deficit, marking the first time they had done so since 8/10/20 when they were down by 22 and came back to defeat the Jazz.

-The entire bench unit finished with a double-digit positive net rating against San Antonio, led by Frank Ntilikina at +24.

Here’s the Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-While Dallas was able to win this game after being down 23-3, they do realize this is a recipe for disaster. In fact, Dallas has trailed after the first quarter in all four of their games this season, which is an issue.

“We got off to a slow start,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said postgame. “I didn’t think we would get off to that slow of a start, but it happens in this league. The character of that bench, the team, playing… they just came in and gave us an energy that was much needed. From that point on, we started to get into the game. San Antonio, again, well-coached, we knew that they were going to put pressure on us. We were just a little slow to start the game, and it’s been like that since the season started. So, we just have to talk about it and address it.”

Doncic added on slow start: “Just a bad start. A really bad one. There was no energy. Everyone was sloppy, starting with me. We shouldn’t let this happen again. It was a terrible sight.”

Bottom Line:

Dallas got an excellent performance from the bench, which saved the day for this team on Thursday night. In addition, they got it done without Kristaps Porzingis(back), who will miss Friday’s game against the Nuggets.

What’s Next:

Mavericks have their first back-to-back of the season when they travel to Denver to battle the Nuggets on Friday night.

Best of the Rest:

Dejounte Murray led the Spurs with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists tonight, finishing two assists shy of his second triple-double in as many games; Jakob Poeltl had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, Poeltl, and Bryn Forbes react to loss to Dallas:

 

 

Mavs’ Doncic on the whole team playing against Rockets: ‘I think it was a great idea’

The Dallas Mavericks(2-1) defeated the Houston Rockets(1-3) 116-106 in their home opener on Tuesday night. Dallas trailed 60-57 at halftime but took a three-point lead into the fourth before pulling away.

Here’s the great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Mavs’ win over the Rockets.

The Great for the Dallas Mavericks:

-Luka Doncic had 26 points to go with a season-high 14 rebounds and seven assists. Doncic also had a game-high +15 rating.

-Jalen Brunson recorded a double-double with 11 points and a career-high-tying 11 assists off the Mavericks’ bench. This was the seventh double-double of his career.

-Boban Marjanović came off the bench and recorded 11 points and four rebounds in only nine minutes of action.

Interesting stat: Marjanović moved in a tie (Freddie Crawford) for third place all-time for the most times scoring 10-or-more points when on the court for under 11 minutes. 

-Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-12 FG) and Reggie Bullock (6-11 FG, 4-7 3FG) each added 16 points for the Mavericks tonight.

 -All 15 players got minutes tonight for the Mavericks, which was the plan from the start for Dallas. After the game, Jason Kidd explained why he went 15 deep against Houston.

“Yes (the plan was to play everyone),” he said. “The matrix was in a twist, but we figured it out. It’s a really cool thing because we talk about team sports and to have all 15 play — and they knew that they were playing. I give them credit for not telling you guys. It’s really cool thing in this league opening night here. The floor has all of the past players, and for those (current) players to be able to touch the floor with their names out there was really cool.”

Also, Kidd revealed that Dallas has a leadership council, and according to Kidd, it was the decision of the leadership council to play all 15 guys. However, Kidd did not reveal who was a part of the council.

“We’ll let the council stay the council,” Kidd said. “It’s a communication thing. Talking to those three guys before, they wanted to do it. It’s a cool thing because we always talk about 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 as part of the team, and they tend to not get to play. They come to work every day just like the starters or the rotation guys, and I think this just shows what kind of character, what kind of guys we have in that locker room, which is really, really cool.”

Doncic added: “I think we all agree. We have 15 guys. They are able to play. I think it shows that we trust them, and I think it was a great idea. I think all 15 players, they can play, and we got the win, so that’s what matters.”

-Bench Points: It’s rare for a team to play the whole roster in a reasonably close game. However, the Mavericks did get a season-high 52 points from their bench. By comparison, Dallas only had 52+ bench points on five occasions last season.

The Not so great for the Mavericks:

Kristaps Porzingis left the game for Dallas in the third quarter with a lower back injury. Any injury to Porzingis is not good, and hopefully, it’s not something that Dallas will have to worry about going forward.

Bottom Line:

This is a game Dallas should win, but last season the Mavericks lost at home to Houston and other bad teams, so it’s good to see them get a victory over the Rockets.

What’s Next:

The Mavericks get back at it on Thursday night when they host the San Antonio Spurs.

Best of the rest:

Houston’s Christian Wood had 16 points and a game-high 17 rebounds

Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 22 points off the bench.

Mavs waive Tyrell Terry, Jones, Hunt

The Dallas Mavericks waived guards Tyrell Terry, Carlik Jones, and forward Feron Hunt, the team announced on Friday.

Terry was the 31st overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Mavericks. He appeared in 11 games as a rookie last season. The second-year guard, who was away from the team for personal reasons, will be owed 1.5 million this season and $1.8 million next season. Hopefully, the 21-year-old Terry will get whatever help he needs going forward.

Hunt went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft after three seasons at Southern Methodist University. He played in all four preseason games for the Mavericks averaging 5.3 points and 1.8 rebounds. 

Jones went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft after a college career at Radford and Louisville. The Cincinnati native played in all four preseason games and averaged 6.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.

In addition, Dallas signed forwards Justin Jackson and E.J. Onu.

Jackson was the 15th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings and holds career averages of 6.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists with Sacramento, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Milwaukee. The Houston native was previously traded to the Mavericks on Feb. 6, 2019, which sent Harrison Barnes to the Kings and finished that season with the Dallas in the NBA bubble. Last season, Jackson won an NBA championship as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.  

The 6-11 Onu went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft after four years at Shawnee State, where he was named First Team NAIA All American while leading the Bears to an NAIA championship. Onu played in four games for the Mavericks at the MGM Resorts Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 1.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per contest.

Both Jackson and Onu will probably be headed to the G League.

 

 

 

 

 

Mavs’ Doncic on Kidd: ‘It’s terrific for me to learn from a guy that was a champion here as a player’

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has come back to the place where it all started for him professionally. Kidd, who was drafted by the Mavericks and ultimately won a championship with the team in 2011, was hired by Dallas after former head coach Rick Carlisle resigned back in June.

One guy who is excited to play for Kidd is Mavericks star Luka Doncic. The two-time All-Star thinks he can learn a lot from Kidd, who is a Hall of Famer and one of the best passers in NBA history.

“It’s terrific for me to learn from a guy that was a champion here as a player, playing the same position as me,” Doncic said at Mavericks’ Media Day on Monday. “He was one of the best passers in the NBA, and I’m really excited.”

Kidd is excited to coach Doncic as well, and he compared him to the great artist Picasso. However, Doncic, who averaged 27.7 points and 8.6 assists per contest, was ball dominant at times last season and must do a better job of getting others involved, which Kidd wants to help him do.

“I don’t know if anybody told Picasso that he has to use all the paints, but I just want to remind him that he can rely on his teammates,” Kidd said. “His teammates are going to be there to help him. I’m very excited to have this opportunity to work with a young Picasso whose paintings have been incredible up to this point and are only going to get better.”

Kidd was also an amazing leader and led the Nets to back-to-back Finals appearances, and Doncic, who signed a five-year, $207 million contract in the offseason, is hoping to improve in the area of leadership.

“Obviously, I learned from the playoffs and from the Olympics on how to be a leader,’ he said. “One thing I learned is I have to be more a vocal leader for the team.”

The Mavericks are hoping that the Kidd-Doncic pairing will pay dividends this season and beyond. Doncic has a world of ability, and at 22, it will only get better, and with Kidd’s help, hopefully for Dallas, that means the Mavericks can win a championship soon.

Mavericks sign free agent G Frank Ntilikina

The Dallas Mavericks have officially signed free agent guard Frank Ntilikina, the team announced on Thursday.

Ntilikina, 23, was originally the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks and was selected one pick before the Mavs selected Dennis Smith with the ninth pick.

Last season in New York, Ntilikina averaged 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.6 assist per contest.

After four seasons with the Knicks, he holds career averages of 5.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 19.5 minutes in 211 games (55 starts).

Before being drafted by New York, the French native began his professional career in 2015 with SIG Strasbourg of the French Pro A League. Ntilikina was named the league’s Best Young Player in both seasons he competed for Strasbourg.

Ntilikina recently competed with the French national team at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, bringing home a silver medal.

With the addition of Ntilikina, the Mavericks training camp roster to 20 players.

 

Mavs’ Luka Doncic dedicates two basketball courts in his hometown(VIDEO)

In partnership with the Municipality of Ljubljana and Dallas Mavericks All-Star Guard Luka Doncic, 2K Foundations has refurbished his childhood court.

The refurbishment also includes brand new seating and lighting.

The artwork featured on the court was designed by Doncic, who chose local graphic designer Nejc Prah to bring his design to life. Doncic’s new logo integrates Luka’s initials (LD), his jersey number (77) and arrows that represent his deceptive style of play with negative space revealing an ‘S’ for his home country, Slovenia.

“This is a very exciting day for me.  I have great memories growing up in Ljubljana.  These are my childhood courts where I learned and practiced the game,“ said Doncic. “It’s an honor to be able to give back to my city and to my country that gave me so much and that I love.  The opportunity for kids to play on the same courts and pursue the same dreams I had is something I am excited about.”

As part of the celebration, Luka signed the court, officially dedicating it to the community, and local children were then invited to participate in basketball scrimmages, 3-on-3 games, dribble clinics and skills challenges. MVPs of the challenges were judged by Luka and others while Jordan Brand and BioSteel, who both work with Dončić provided prizes and equipment on the day as well.

Photo Credit: Medimat Agency

Mavs’ Kidd finalizes coaching staff

The Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd finalized his coaching staff on Tuesday.

Here are the members of Kidd’s coaching staff:

-Igor Kokoskov, the head coach of the Serbian National Team, coached in the EuroLeague last season. Kokoskov spent over two decades in the NBA, mainly as an assistant. He was the head coach of the Phoenix Suns in the 2018-19 season.

-Sean Sweeney previously worked with Kidd in Milwaukee and Brooklyn. He most recently spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Pistons and the prior four as an assistant with Milwaukee. 

-Jared Dudley transitions to an assistant coaching role following a 14-season NBA career. Dudley spent the last two seasons of his playing career with the L.A. Lakers, winning the 2020 NBA title.

-Greg St. Jean comes to Dallas after spending two seasons as a player development coach and advance scout with the L.A. Lakers, helping the organization to the 2020 NBA championship alongside Kidd. His father, Garry St. Jean, was head coach of the Kings and the general manager of the Golden State Warriors. 

-Kristi Toliver began her NBA coaching career with the Washington Wizards, where she spent two seasons (2018-20) while concurrently playing for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. 

Kidd retained three members from Rick Carlisle’s staff: 

Darrell Armstrong, God Shammgod, and Peter Patton complete Kidd’s coaching staff. Armstrong will begin his 13th season with the Mavericks, while Shammgod and Patton begin their sixth and fourth seasons, respectively, with the organization.

 

Mavs sign Hunt, Jones, Onu

The Dallas Mavericks have signed rookie free agents Feron Hunt, Carlik Jones, and EJ Onu, the team announced on Saturday.

According to reports, these are all Exhibit 10 contracts. According to hooprumors.com, here are notes related to Exhibit 10 contracts.

  • A team can’t carry more than six Exhibit 10 contracts at a time.

  • An Exhibit 10 contract can only be converted to a two-way deal before the regular season begins.

  • An Exhibit 10 contract that gets converted to a two-way deal can later be converted into a standard NBA contract.

  • An Exhibit 10 bonus earned by a player who ends up in the G League or on a two-way contract isn’t counted toward the NBA team’s total salary.

The 6-8 Hunt spent four seasons at SMU. In 78 games (41 starts), Hunt averaged 9.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 0.86 blocks, and 26.3 minutes while shooting 55.7% (300-539 FG) from the field. Among SMU leaders, he finished his career ranked fourth in field goal percentage, 32nd in rebounds (533), and T-17th in blocks (67). 

Hunt attended DeSoto High School in suburban DFW and averaged 11.2 points and 7.1 rebounds as a senior.

Jones finished his collegiate career at Louisville, where he was an All-ACC First Team selection and the 2020-21 AP ACC Rookie of the Year. The 6-1 guard became the first person in Louisville history to reach double figures in his first 17 games as a Cardinal.

Before joining Louisville, the Cincinnati native played three seasons at Radford and was named the 2019-20 Big South Player of the Year after being the only NCAA Division I player to average at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists that year.

Onu, a 6-11 center, played 125 career games (64 starts) over four years at Shawnee State in Portsmouth, Ohio. Onu averaged 12.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.2 blocks last season en route to helping Shawnee State to the NAIA championship.

The Mavericks training camp roster stands at 20 players.