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ProfessaPackMan's Blog
NBA 2K9 Association: 2008-09 Dallas Mavericks Part 2 
Posted on November 19, 2008 at 12:10 AM.
Coming into this season, one of our team goals was to get better on rebounds and 4th quarter defense. Well, we've shown improvement on the latter but continue to get mauled on the boards. And in this league, if you can't rebound you will not last long in the playoffs.

Coming off our 2nd straight loss to division rival Houston, we looked to put that game in our rear view mirror and look ahead to the Memphis Grizzlies who were coming into town Friday night. We got off to a slow start against the Grizz as we had to adjust with Erick Dampier for a few days, who was out with a twisted ankle.

We didn't shoot too well in the beginning and continued to let the young, scrappy Grizz Kids hang around and by the end of the 1st quarter, they had jumped on us for a 23-22 lead. But after that, we eventually settled down and started to play the kind of defense that would make Avery Johnson jealous and getting alot of good looks at the basket. Before you know it, we had a 46-35 lead at halftime and never looked back. It was a team effort all around as Dirk led the way with 16 Pts and 3 Rebounds, followed Gerald Green who scored 15 of the bench's 42 points and helped get us back on our a feet with a 92-71 victory. Rudy Gay started to catch fire towards the end but it wasn't enough as he finished as the Grizzlies leading scorer with 18 points on 7-18 shooting. But he wasn't the only bad spot on the Grizz as nobody on the team could pretty much get in a rhythm.

After the Grizzlies game, I told the team to take the next 3 days off and just rest up, since they needed it and to come back fresh for our next game at home against the Pacers.

The Pacers have been a team who has given everybody problems and were always in every single one of their games. This game also marked the return of Erick Dampier, who had missed the Grizzlies game with a twisted ankle and he came made his presence known immediately. By the end of the 1st quarter, he was our leading scorer with 7 points and 2 rebounds. I didn't give him too many minutes as I didn't want him to reinjure that ankle and just wanted him to get his feet wet a little again before we started our mini West Coast road trip.

This game proved to be a back and forth battle as neither team could get a lead bigger than 7 and when one team got hot, the other team's defense would put a stop to that and that's how the pattern would be all night. 2nd Half, we came out a different team, as we were grabbing rebounds and spreading the ball around, and before you know it we would win the game thanks to great rebounding and 4th quarter defense. We won the game 92-85 as Dirk Nowitzki lead the way with 22 pts and 9 Rebs and Gerald Green chipped in with 16 pts.

It looks like Gerald Green has continued his consistent play off the bench for me and looks to be playing his way towards securing a long-term deal in Dallas, which he said he wants to continue his career here. The question is do I take the chance on giving him a new deal and then his play just starts dipping or do I wait it out til the end of the season before I begin discussions on a new deal for him. What are you guys' thoughts on it?

Going on our mini West coast road trip, I set goals to at least split the two games out there or to at least remain competitive in both of games. Our first game took us to the Staples Center for our second meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers, who were riding high on a 13 game win streak. The last time we met them was back in Dallas as we were still trying to get a feel for what kind've team we were. A half-court team ala the San Antonio Spurs or going back to our Don Nelson roots as an open court, run and gun team. Lakers didn't care what type of team we were as they ran us off the court 105-94, in a game that wasn't really close as the score indicated.

In Staples, the Lakers jumped out to a quick 18-7 lead midway through the 1st and after a timeout, we would settle down and climb back within 6 as we were down 24-18 after one. 2nd quarter, we seemed to play with a little more urgency as this game had the feel of a playoff-like November lol. We would trade baskets with each other and at halftime we were down 46-39.

One of my plans coming into this game was to not let the "Black Mamba" get into any type of rhythm whatsoever. That meant whenever he touched the ball, there would ALWAYS be a guy in his face. That plan worked to perfection for most of the game as Kobe was a non factor until the 4th quarter(which I'll get to later). I would use a rotation of Antoine Wright, Gerald Green, and Jerry Stackhouse to contain Bryant and force him to take shots he doesn't like to take. However, one thing I did forget to do was make sure he didn't get his teammates involved, particularly Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Those two combined for 35 Pts and 19 Rebounds in the game, but yet even that wasn't enough as the game was close all the way down to the last shot.

After calling a timeout being down by 2, I had to draw up a final play to hopefully force overtime. After the timeout, Dirk inbounded the ball to a WIDE OPEN Jason Kidd in the corner, Kidd shoots..............and it goes in and out at the buzzer as the Lakers would pull out a 92-90 victory and extend their winning streak to 14. After the 2nd Rockets game, I wasn't feeling too confident in my team's chances against the elite teams, but after this game, I felt a little more confident knowing that my team will always be in the game til the end.

Right after the game ended, we had to hop aboard our bus to LAX as we had a game the next night in Sacremento. This game, we didn't play particulary well in and a part of that could've been due to the barn burner we had in LA before or we just didn't have the energy or a little bit of both. For the first 22 minutes, we played like we were still sleeping. Not hustling back on defense, not making our FTs, not hitting our shots. At halftime, I gave this a tongue lashing that almost had me pass out. I told the guys that they needed to wake the **** up and pull their head out of their ***** because that team was not just going to lay down or feel sorry for us because we had a game less than 24 hours ago.

For some reason, that must've worked as we came out firing on all cylinders. Hustling back on defense, forcing turnovers, making our FTs, hitting our shots. This game also came down to the last shot as well. After taking a 95-93 lead with 10 seconds left, the Kings called a timeout to see if they can get a shot off to either force OT or go for the win. They inbounded the ball in to Kevin Martin who was matched up with Jason Kidd. He burned off about 5 seconds before he started to make his move. He looks like he about to drive but as he's driving, my help defense comes along from the side and he dishes the pass outside to John Salmons who hits the game winning 3 pt shot at the buzzer as the Kings would go on to win, 96-95. Two tough losses, that came down to the final shot, but as I said earlier, I wanted to at least split this road trip or at least remain competitive in both games, which we did, but it was also apparent that we are just a middle of the pack team right now in the league.

Luckily, we are on a 7 game homestand(Clippers,Suns,Hawks,Spurs,Bobcats,Thunde r,Nuggets), with 4 of the 7 coming against teams with a 6-12 record or worse. So hopefully we can use this homestand to build up our confidence again and make American Airlines Arena a tough place to play in come April by winning these 7 games. I told the team beforehand that these next 7 games will determine us a team this season. Would this homestand mean that we are truly a team not to be slept on or are we really worse than our record indicates.

Right now, I have Erick Dampier and Jerry Stackhouse both on the trading block. Trading Stack because I'd like to free up his minutes between Wright and Green, as I'd to keep those two in Dallas for a while and Dampier because he's pretty much only good for about 20 minutes and then he's gassed out and because I'm looking for an athletic big and partly looking to dump his contract.

Right now I've got offers for both of them. The one for Dampier is from the Knicks who are offering me Quentin Richardson. Richardson has 1 year left on his deal for about $8.83 Mil. For Stackhouse, I have a few deals on the table, mostly include swapping players. The first deal for Stackhouse is from Utah as they are offering me Luke Ridnour in return. Ridnour has $13 Mil left on his 2 year deal so I am a little hesistant to take on another huge contract for somebody who probably won't see that many minutes in my rotation anyway.

The second deal is from the Timberwolves as they are offering Corey Brewer for Stack. Again, another player who probably wouldn't fit into my rotation, especially since he's a SF and I already have Josh Howard starting there and usually let G.Green run a little SF when I have to go against some of the more athletic 3s.

The third deal is from Indiana who is offering me Marquis Daniels. This deal sounds like the most likely to happen(although I haven't made a decision on either of the deals)because he can come right in and almost adjust perfectly onto the team since he was on here a few years back. If I take the Daniels deal, i'll be taking his contract which has only a year left at $6.8 mil with an option for next season. This sounds like the deal I'll be considering the most, but what do you guys think? Should I just hold on to Stack for the season, move him at the deadline or just move him right now and take the best deal?

NBA Power Rankings
1. Rockets(15-3)
2. Lakers(14-1)
3. Pistons(112-4)
4. Jazz(10-8)
5. Suns(10-8)
6. Raptors(9-7)
7. Cavs(10-7)
8. Hornets(8-7)
9. Celtics(9-9)
10. Mavs(9-7)

11/9-Grizzlies traded Hakim Warrick to Miami for Udonis Haslem
11/15-Cavs traded Delonte West to Portland for Travis Outlaw
11/15-Cavs traded Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Indiana for Mike Dunleavy
11/22-Bulls traded Ben Gordon to Toronto for Jose Calderon
11/22-Bucks traded Luke Ridnour to Utah for Matt Harpring

Injuries(Just players that are Out)
CHA C Emeka Okefor-Broken Toe(4-6 Weeks)
LAC PF Marcus Camby-Separated Shoulder(1-2 Weeks)
LAC PF Tim Thomas-Torn ACL(Out for season)
MIL SG Charlie Bell-Broken Wrist(2-4 Weeks)
SA SF Bruce Bowen-Broken Hand(2-4 Weeks)

Misc. Awards(Players of the Month, Rookies of the Month)
Nov-East: LeBron James, Derrick Rose
West: Tim Duncan, OJ Mayo

League Leaders
LeBron James-29.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.0 APG
Kobe Bryant-28.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG
Vince Carter-25.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.1 APG
Kevin Martin-24.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.9 APG
Carmelo Anthony-24.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.3 APG

Team Leaders
Dirk Nowitzki-20.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.3 APG
Josh Howard-15.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.6 APG
Jason Terry-11.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.8 APG
Antoine Wright-8.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG
Gerald Green-8.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG
Jerry Stackhouse-9.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.8 APG
Jason Kidd-6.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 8.0 APG
Erick Dampier-3.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG
Brandon Bass-5.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG
Desagna Diop-1.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG
JJ Barea-2.6 PPG, 1.4 APG
Devean George-0.9 PPG, 0.9 RPG

In Part 3 of my blog, there will be updates from my 7 game homestand, updated Power Rankings, and some new editions on the Mavs Roster possibly?
# 1 JBH3 @ Nov 20've got CPU trades on and they made 5 trades in a matter of 2 weeks...Gordon for Calderon??? Toronto would never make that move. Man...turn those trade off before they screw up your association.
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