Mavs’ Richardson: ‘I think we have a lot of talent from the top to the bottom’

In January, the Dallas Mavericks(28-21) went to Utah to play the Jazz(38-12) in a two-game set, and it was not pretty. Dallas was defeated by double-figures in both games, and was down by 20 points or more in both contests.

Two months later, the Jazz traveled to Dallas to battle the Mavericks on Monday, and this time, it was a much different story. Dallas had five players in double figures led by Luka Doncic’s game-high 31 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists. Also, Dorian Finney-Smith had a season-high 23 points, and Jalen Brunson added 20 points off the bench as the Mavericks defeated the Jazz 111-103.

Dallas snapped Utah’s nine-game win streak with the win, which was the longest active win streak in the NBA.

“Every win gives you confidence,” Doncic said. “Any NBA team can beat you, so every win gives you confidence. Obviously, this team is first place in the West, and so it is a big win, and we just have to keep rolling like this.”

The Mavericks are rolling right now. They have now won five straight games, marking their longest win streak of the season. Dallas has won those five games by an average of 13.8 points. In addition, the team has won 13 of its last 18 games and 20 of its last 28 games.

“I like what we’re doing,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. “I like the direction that we’re going. But if you ask the guys in that locker room, they’re going to tell you we haven’t done anything yet; there’s a long way to go here. There’s a lot of ground to make up that we lost early. We’re trying to get into the top six. We’re really not looking at the standings, but we’re just looking game to game.”

Dallas was without their second-leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis(wrist), but without KP, others stepped up and got it done, which speaks to the Mavericks’ depth. Josh Richardson, who had 17 points against the Jazz, discussed how deep Dallas is this season.

“I think we have a lot of talent from the top to the bottom,” he said. “Anytime you got a guy like Tim [Hardaway], JB [Jalen Brunson], Trey [Burke], guys who can shift the whole momentum of a game coming off the bench, and that’s always a big help. I think we have the personal that anybody any night can really hurt you.”

Dallas is getting it done, and hopefully, they can get Porzingis back sooner than later, but for now, they enjoy a big win over the best team in basketball.

Carlisle on Luka: ‘Sometimes you simply run out of adjectives to describe how good he is’

The Dallas Mavericks(21-18) were looking to avenge Monday’s loss to the Clippers(26-16) on Wednesday night, and behind their All-Star guard Luka Doncic, Dallas defeated the Clippers at home 105-89 in the second of their two-game set with Los Angeles.

Doncic was 16-28 from the field, including 6-11 from three-point range. He also had nine assists, six rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Doncic has now scored 40-plus against the Clippers on three occasions (incl. playoffs), his most against any team. 

It was like a playoff game at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night, which Doncic discussed after the game. 

“They’re a really good defensive team,” Doncic said about the Clippers. “The past two games were like playoffs.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle ran out of words to describe the greatness of Doncic.

“Luka [Dončić] was spectacular,” Carlisle said. “Sometimes, you simply run out of adjectives to describe how good he is. But he was exceptionally good tonight, and we needed every point, every rebound, every assist, and defensively, he was terrific as well.”

Maxi Kleber, who had 12 points for Dallas on Wednesday night, has a lot of confidence when Doncic shoots the basketball.

“Sometimes, when I am on the court, it feels the same way,” he said. “You see him attack the guys, and he takes an easy step back; that looks so simple for him, but every time he shoots it, you think that is cash. He creates a little bit of space, and he doesn’t need much, and he shoots it, and every time the ball goes up, I think it is a basket. Today he just did incredible things. He was scoring on every possession, it felt like. He is a very rare and special talent. I think that was Luka Magic everybody has been seeing all year long here.”

Dallas now travels to Portland to face the Blazers in a two-game set starting on Friday, and according to Josh Richardson, Dallas will be ready.

“It’s my first year in the Western Conference,” he said. “Seeing all these tough opponents every night is tough. It’s a grind. But I think we have the players and the depth to fight through that and to be able to go out and battle.”

Notes:

Paul George led the Clippers with 28 points (5-8 3FG), 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 41 minutes.

Kawhi Leonard had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for the Clippers. Leonard has scored 20+ points in 21 of his last 22 games.

Mavs’ Richardson: ‘We have so much talent on this roster from the first man to the 15th man’

The last time the Dallas Mavericks(20-17) went into Denver back in January, they won 124-117 in OT, but COVID-19 impacted the team after that game. Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, and Josh Richardson missed multiple games due to health and safety protocols.

On Saturday night, Dallas returned to Denver, and just as they did in January, they got the victory. Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points and Luka Doncic had 21 points and 12 assists as the Mavericks defeated the Nuggets(22-16) 116-103. 

“After a very poor start, going down 10-nothing, and we really gathered ourselves well, finished the first quarter strong within a point,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. “The second quarter was much, much better, and then, we were able to create more distance, and we did a lot of good things.”

Dallas led by as many as 21 points and was in complete control after three quarters. 

The Mavericks also got another strong game from Josh Richardson, who scored 20 points, including 4/5 from three-point range. The Mavericks are 16-6 when Richardson scores in double figures, and according to Carlisle, Richardson has been a leader on the defensive end.

“Nobody is talking about it, but Josh Richardson has really stepped up in the last two weeks and has been a leader for us defensively, out front on the ball, getting on guys,” Carlisle said. “He’s been one of our leaders. We’re a team that can score, and we’re in a process of developing a collective will for our defense.”

Richardson added on the team: “I think we’re starting to figure out how to play for each other. We have so much talent on this roster from the first man to the 15th man.”

Dallas has now won 12 of their last 16 games and now go home to play a two-game set with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. Dallas is currently in the 8th-seed in the Western Conference. If they want to make noise in the playoffs, they probably want to get higher in the standings,  and right now, the talent is there for this team to continue to climb the standings out West. 

 

 

Mavs’ Carlisle on Luka: ‘The basketball floor is his stage’

Two of the NBA’s top stars went back and forth on Saturday night in Dallas(10-14). Steph Curry and Luka Doncic had a great battle, but Doncic, with Maxi Kleber’s help, was able to get a home win against the Warriors(12-11) 134-132.

The undermanned Warriors routed the Mavericks 147-116 on Thursday night.

Curry was 19-31 from the field, including 11/19 from three-point land to score 57 points, while Doncic was 12/23 from the field, including 7/12 from downtown to tie a regular season career-high with 42 points. 

Late in the game, with the Mavericks up one, Doncic dished the ball to Kleber, who hit a three to clinch the game for Dallas. The Mavericks got the victory, but this game was about Curry and Doncic.

“What Steph does is unbelievable,” Doncic said. “I think that the way he plays the game is amazing. Every time he shoots a shot, I always think that it’s going to go in.”

Mavs’ Josh Richardson added: “Steph is one of the best players in our game today. I mean, it’s tough. Once you get him going, there is not much you can do; just hope he misses it.”

According to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, Doncic, like the great ones, is up to the challenge of dueling with any of the top stars in the league.

“The basketball floor is his(Doncic) stage,” Carlisle said after the game. “Guys like him — and I was around guys like [Larry] Bird, and I was around Reggie Miller — when there’s another player on the other team raising his game to the level Curry was, you feel an obligation if you’re that kind of player. I saw Bird do it; I saw Miller do it. You just dig deep, and you find a way to try to match the guy and try to match the guy for your team — and that’s exactly what he did. Whether it was shotmaking, whether it was playmaking, whether it was situations getting to the free-throw line where we were in a rut— he was spectacular.”

Curry scored 62 points against the Blazers back in January in a winning effort, but scoring 57 points against the Mavericks was not enough for the Warriors to get the victory, which he discussed after the game.

“It is just a fun atmosphere competing at that level,” he said. “But it is frustrating when you have a night like that, and it doesn’t lead to a win. I would be lying if I said I was happy right now. It is kind of weird walking off the court knowing we didn’t get the win.”

After losing six straight, Dallas has now won two out of three. Now, they have to keep the momentum going as they play the third game of their seven-game homestand Monday night against Minnesota.

Listen to Doncic as he talks Curry below:

Mavericks’ Doncic on win over Clippers: ‘I think we showed who we are’

The Dallas Mavericks finally broke out in a big way on Sunday against the Clippers. Dallas(1-2) dominated the Clippers from start to finish and led 77-27 at halftime. Yes, Dallas led by 50 points at halftime. Ultimately, they would defeat Los Angeles 124-73 at Staples Center to get their first victory of the season.

This was the first time these two teams met since the playoffs last season, where the Clippers defeated the Mavericks 4-2 in their first-round matchup.

Dallas’ 51-point win marks the first win by 50-plus in the NBA since 2018. In addition, Dallas became the first team to hold a team to 27-or-fewer points in the opening half in over three seasons.

“Maybe never. Maybe when I was really, really young. I remember,” Luka Doncic, who had a game-high 24 points on Sunday, said when asked if he was ever up by 50 at halftime. “But, I think we showed who we are. People judged us like on the first two games of the season. It’s a long season.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was happy with the team’s effort on Sunday and thinks it’s the best he has seen from his guys this season.

“This was obviously our best effort, our best performance of all the games. Preseason and regular season,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. “We had some uneven effort in the first couple of games. Guys were aware of it. They knew the caliber of opponent today, and they just decided that they were going to be the hardest playing team in the gym.”

Mavericks’ Josh Richardson, who poured in 21 points, added: “We came in with more of a sense of urgency.”

The Clippers(2-1) were without Kawhi Leonard due to a mouth laceration. They shot 24% from the field in the first half, including 1-19 from three-point range. 

Los Angeles played on Christmas day and defeated the Nuggets on the road, so many of the Clippers’ players celebrated Christmas the next day. According to Paul George, who led the Clippers with 15 points on Sunday, the team may have been sluggish because of the Christmas holiday.

“I take full responsibility,” George said after the game. “I enjoyed my Christmas Day yesterday. Today just popped up on me a little too fast. I take full ownership of that. It’ll be a different situation come next game. We’ll be ready.”

In a long NBA season, teams will play like the way Dallas played on Sunday, and teams will play like the Clippers did on Sunday. Games like this happen.

Dallas needed this breakout performance in the worst way after losing the first two games of their three-game road trip. Now, it’s time to get back to Dallas and get ready for the home-opener against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Mavs’ Richardson: “I think me coming here and him(Seth Curry) going there(76ers) was good for both parties’

Last season, Mavericks G Josh Richardson came to the 76ers and was expected to be key piece to a championship-caliber team. Philadelphia acquired Richardson in a trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Heat. However, things did not go the way many expected for Richardson and the 76ers in the 2019-20 season.

The 76ers would get swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, and from there, the organization made changes. Philadelphia fired their head coach Brett Brown and hired Doc Rivers to replace him. Also, they brought in Daryl Morey to be the team’s president of basketball of operations. With changes in the front office and on the bench, you knew there would be changes with the roster, which included trading Richardson to the Mavericks for Seth Curry on draft day.

According to Richardson, who averaged 13.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 55 games (53 starts) last season with the 76ers, he had an idea that he could get moved.

“I kinda had an idea that something was going to happen, but it was between a few teams, so I wasn’t really sure,” Richardson said via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. “I’m really glad I ended up here. Hopefully, I can bring some positive things to this city and to this team.”

While things did not work out the way he wanted them to in Philly, the 27-year-old Richardson enjoyed his time with the 76ers, but he feels Dallas’ system will fit him better.

“I’m thankful to the city of Philly for everything they did for me and that organization,” he said. “They have great players there, so it was great to be able to play with some of the best players in the league. Coming here is going to be a different look for myself. It’s a different playstyle: I think it kind of fits me more.”

Ultimately, the fifth-year veteran believes the trade that sent him to Dallas and Curry to Philly will benefit both teams. 

“I think that Seth(Curry) will fit in Philly well because he’s a great spot shooter, and I think that’s one of their big things they’ll need,” Richardson said. “I think me coming here and him going there was good for both parties, but I think a change of scenery is nice.”

This is a move that probably will benefit both teams. Philly needed shooting, and Curry fills that void, while the Mavericks needed a reliable, athletic defender, who can score, and Richardson does that for them. So, yes, Richardson is right. The Mavericks and 76ers will be happy with this move.

Philadelphia trades Josh Richardson to Mavericks for Seth Curry

The Philadelphia 76ers and new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey were very busy on draft day in the NBA. According to reports, the team will send Al Horford and picks to the Thunder for Danny Green. On draft night, Philly sent Josh Richardson and the draft rights to Tyler Bey, the 36th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, to the Mavericks in exchange for guard Seth Curry.

With Richardson, the Mavericks get an athletic guard who can score a little bit and defend. The 27-year-old Richardson averaged 13.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 55 games (53 starts). Richardson played four seasons in Miami before being dealt to Philadelphia as part of a four-team deal last summer. The five-year can opt out of his contract at season’s end.

The 76ers get shooting with Curry, and the six-year guard gets to play for his father-in-law, Doc Rivers. Curry is married to Rivers’ daughter, Callie. Last season, the 30-year-old Curry averaged 12.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 64 games in his second stint with the Mavericks, and more importantly for the 76ers, Curry shot 45% from three-point land.

Philadelphia is looking to reshape their roster, and you wonder if there are more moves to be made. To be able to unload the 34-year-old Horford, who signed with Philadelphia last offseason and had three-years, $81 million left on his contract, is incredible. If there was any contract that seemed unmovable, it was Horford’s deal with the 76ers. While it cost him picks, Morey got it done. We’ll see what’s next in Philadelphia, but you get the sense that Morey is not finished remaking this team.

 

76ers’ Richardson named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

The NBA announced today that Josh Richardson of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played between Monday, Jan. 6 and Sunday, Jan. 12. In his fifth NBA season, and first with the 76ers, it’s Richardson’s first career Player of the Week selection.

Richardson led the 76ers to a 2-1 week, including wins over Oklahoma City and Boston, while posting a team-leading (eighth in East) 22.7 points per game. For the week, Richardson connected on better than 50-percent of his shots from the field (24-47) and scored 16-plus in each of the three contests.

 Last Monday, at home against Oklahoma City, Richardson notched a team-high 23 points (9-17 FG) and added four assists as the 76ers earned a 120-113 win, snapping a 10-game home losing streak against the Thunder. He followed up on Thursday with a 29-point (9-16 FG), seven-assist outing against Atlantic Division-rival Boston, the East’s No. 2 seed. In that game, Richardson knocked down each of his career-high 10 free-throw attempts as the 76ers clinched the season series over the Celtics for the first time since 2013-14. With the pair of home victories, Philadelphia improved to 18-2 at The Center this season, the team’s best home record through 20 games since 1982-83. In the team’s final game of the week, Richardson tallied 16 points in 34 minutes at Dallas on Saturday night.

Richardson, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Miami, has appeared in 32 games (all starts) for the 76ers this season, averaging 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.1 minutes per contest. He’s scored in double figures 24 times and reached the 20-point mark on eight occasions, including twice over the past week. The former Tennessee Volunteer is the team’s first Player of the Week honoree this season and the first since Ben Simmons earned the award in March last season.

Are 76ers better today than they were at the end of last season?

The Philadelphia 76ers were very active on the first day of free agency. They reportedly re-signed Tobias Harris to a five-year deal, traded Jimmy Butler(signed four-year deal with Miami) to the Heat in a sign-and-trade for Josh Richardson(deal still being worked on), and signed Al Horford to a four-year contract. Also, Mike Scott re-upped with the team, and JJ Redick has moved on to the Pelicans. These deals can’t be official until July 6.

So, at this point, Philly’s projected starting lineup is Ben Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Horford, and Joel Embiid. That is an excellent lineup, and this lineup has the potential to be very good on the defensive end. All the starters will be at least 6’6″ or taller. However, is it better than what they had to finish last season? Not so sure.

One of the issues Philly had before they brought in Butler, was not having a guy who can beat you off the dribble and effectively create their own shot. Butler did that for the 76ers. He was a guy you can give the ball to and ask him to make a play, which was on full display against the Raptors in the playoffs, where he led the team in points per game(22.0) and assists per game(5.6). He was Philly’s best player in that series. People forget it was Butler who tied the game up late in the fourth quarter before Kawhi Leonard hit that miracle shot to close out the series. With Butler taking his talents to South Beach, it’s going to be imperative for Ben Simmons to step up. Simmons, who made his first All-Star team last season, can do a lot, but since he has not developed his jump shot yet, he can’t be your closer. Also, Harris is a good offensive player. However, while he is solid off the dribble, he is not Butler, and for as good as Embiid is, he is not a guy who can get a shot off the way Butler can late in games.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this new lineup works for Philadelphia. It’s definitely more versatile and more athletic, on paper than what they had last season, but in terms of better, time will have to be the judge of that. Remember, this team was a couple of bounces away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and beating the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors.

Obviously, they will add more pieces to this roster, but for now, it’s too close to call on whether this starting five and team will be better than what they had last season.

I guess we gotta see how this all plays out!