The Mavericks Lottery Odds, advice in exit interviews, Adam Silver calling 2k players ‘athletes,’ Mark Cuban getting the last word, and something in the AAC that has bothered me all season ... here are 10 things you may have missed about the Dallas Mavericks this week.
Luck be a lady
Only the Top 3 picks are actually decided by the ping pong balls in the Draft Lottery. Then after, every other pick falls in place based on record. The tiebreaker is decided by a “random drawing” and that will take place on Friday April 13th.
Teams that are tied split the combination of ping pong balls evenly so right now the Mavs and Hawks have the same chance to get a chance to received a Top 3 pick. But, if neither the Mavs or the Hawks get a Top 3 pick then their draft order is determined by the random drawing.
Essentially, the Mavericks two lotteries... If Luck was a lady that Frank Sinatra met one time then we might have to call him up and see if he’s still got her number on him. The Mavericks might need it.
Wes Matthews Parting Words?
During his exit interview, Wes Matthews was asked what his best advice for Dennis Smith Jr. was and he started by simply saying, “play basketball.” Then he listed a few more things before saying something that really caught my attention.
“Shoot, work on your game, he’s going to do that, stay in shape, and watch the playoffs..let it hurt.”
Let it hurt.
The drive of an NBA player is fascinating. Being able to push your body to it’s limits over and over and over again in the off season and throughout the regular season takes an incredible amount of mental discipline and strength. They have to find motivation somewhere, something to latch on to.
Some coaches practice the art of “bulletin board material” where they will take a phrase another player said or a coach and sometimes literally post it somewhere to motivate his players.
Matthews seems to find his motivation from his failures and Dennis Smith Jr. isn’t much different so that advice might go a long way and light a new fire under Mavs point guard. Or it might just help fan the flame he has already lit.
Johnathan Motley from deeeep
Johnathan Motley has never met a shot in the paint he didn’t like. Just over 72% of his shots in the NBA this year came within 10 feet of the basket.
But his biggest shot of the year came from 24 feet.
In college, Motley attempted 50 threes during his entire three year stay at Baylor—and he only made 12 of those attempts. But that three point shot is something he has been working on alongside Texas Legends teammate Jameel Warney. He attempted at least one three in each of his last 12 G League games and made five out of the last nine he attempted. It’s a work in progress but maybe with a full summer and some professional coaches he could add that to his game.
Even becoming a threat to shoot can help open up the offense for a guy like Motley.
Texas’ Legendary Season
The Texas Legends season may have ended in a first round exit in the playoffs but their season should not be forgotten.
Coach Mackinnon and crew earned their best record (29-21) since moving to Frisco in 2010. They also had two players on the midseason All-NBA G League teams who almost averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds each (Motley & Warney). And to top it all off the Legends brought in the highest attendance numbers of any G League team in the League (by a wide margin).
Cuban vs Woj Pt. II
One of the funnier stories from last offseason was when Mark Cuban instructed his staff in the Mavs draft room to not leak their pick under any circumstances.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Cuban was overtly aware of a certain NBA Insider’s abilitiy to get scoops. “‘I said, ‘OK, two things. One, when I’m on the phone, everybody shut up. Two, if this gets to Wojo before our pick, whoever we find out did it is fired.’”
Fast foward to the NBA 2k League Draft, the Mavericks had the very first pick in the whole draft and guess who broke the news...
Mavs Gaming will select Artreyo Boyd, aka Dimez, as the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural NBA2K Draft, league source tells ESPN. Draft starts soon, with Commissioner Adam Silver at the podium.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 4, 2018
And of course, Mark Cuban couldn’t resist giving his response.
Adam Silver calling NBA 2k Gamers ‘athletes’
Right before the NBA 2k League Draft, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference and was asked about the players that were about to be drafted. Silver was asked about the debate surrounding whether or not NBA 2k players are athletes or not. During the question Silver sat up in his chair and couldn’t help but smile.
In his response Silver was very clear about his stance, “I do see them as athletes because I think it requires a unique combination of mental and physical skills.”
It’s an almost alarming concept if you haven’t spend much time considering it. The Mavs GG team has coaches, general managers, scouts, a sports psychologist, will have a state of the art practice facility and have group work outs as well (The people will work out, not players in the game. That’d be weird). So they will be treated as athletes in a way. And if you haven’t yet, it’s time to start thinking about whether or not these gamers are athletes or not.
Dirk Nowitzki was declared out for the season a week ago due to an ankle injury and apparently that’s why he’s looked slow all year.
Nowitzki decided to play through the left ankle impingement that plagued him throughout this season and his mobility was severely hampered at times, but the Mavs' hope is that today's procedure helps in that department— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 5, 2018
On a more serious note, Dirk was seen in the training room before the Mavs last game working out with a boot on his foot. The man is a legend and will play forever.
The Super Mega Hamster Lineup lives on
Remember that bench unit of Dirk, Devin Harris, J.J. Barea, Yogi Ferrell, and Dwight Powell? That group that was the most effective lineup in the entire NBA? That was crazy.
That crew got to play 231 minutes together this year and finished with a Net Rating of 19.4. That’s the highest Net Rating of any 5-man unit on the Mavs that played 50+ min or more and the fourth highest in the entire NBA that 200+ min or more. There were many bad nicknames for this unit. At first, I called them The Savvy Six (the sixth man was Carlisle) but eventually settled on calling them the Super Mega Hamster Lineup.
But when Harris was traded Doug McDermott fit right into his shoes. McDermott with the other four Mavs on the court played 95 minutes together and finished the season with a Net Rating of 18.5.
Dirk has hinted that next season he would be willing to come off the bench if needed, and according to those numbers it might not be a bad idea.
Fake “Viral” In Game Entertainment
Some people love stuff like this and some people hate stuff like this, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not staged... Luckily, the Mavericks great in-game entertainment staff don’t try and pull off stunts like this. But we did have eight proposals at the AAC this season.
The Derek Harper Banner
It’s easy to forget everything that happened over the course of the season. Remember when Derek Harper’s jersey was hoisted in the rafters of the AAC? That was a great night, but now every time I look up at the banners it’s hard to see anything other than Harper’s banner.
The border around Harp’s banner is translucent and different than all the others. When the lights are on it almost glows. Next time you’re there, take a look.