Found February 29, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
Los Angeles Clippers
The Dallas Mavericks may have lost on two fronts Tuesday evening. The 93-92 loss to the New Jersey Nets isn't debilitating, but those 38 points the Mavs allowed center Brook Lopez might leave a mark.
Former Mavs coach Avery Johnson, now with the Nets, had told us on local radio Tuesday that his starting point guard Deron Williams has been the organization's "best recruiter" in recent weeks. That's on the heels of reports that Williams, who hails from The Colony, told folks within the Mavs organization during last season's NBA Finals that his desire was to play in Dallas. The bottom line is the Nets' best hope of retaining Williams is to somehow pair him with Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.
And like it or not, Lopez's breakout performance Tuesday against what's regarded as one of the best defensive teams in the league makes him much more attractive in a potential trade. Lopez has been an excellent player for the Nets, but everyone wanted to see how he'd return from a broken ankle this season. Well, he connected on 17 of 28 shots and dismantled the Mavs on a night when Williams was awful from the field. After that performance, you couldn't blame Mavs fans for daydreaming about Lopez in the middle instead of Howard. OK, maybe I'm getting a little carried away, but it was remarkable to see Lopez dismantle the Mavs in the paint. And when the Nets nearly coughed up the game in the closing minutes, it was Lopez who bulled his way into the lane to draw a foul and hit two clutch free throws.
You like Howard's chances of hitting those free throws with the game on the line?
Johnson has wisely given Williams the keys to his team. And he wanted to clarify some recent comments in which he said that Mavs owner Marc Cuban was a serious "threat" to land Williams in free agency.
"Anybody under the cap is a threat to get a guy who is an unbelievable point guard," Johnson told reporters at American Airlines Center. "But I said, I believe he has every intention to re-sign with us because he's involved with a lot of things in New Jersey."
While joining us on 103.3 KESN-FM on Tuesday, Johnson said Williams was even helping out with the design of the locker room in the team's new arena in Brooklyn. Unlike another local product, Chris Bosh, Williams doesn't seem to have any reservations about playing for his hometown team. He normally put up big numbers at the AAC when he was with the Jazz and he has a close relationship with Jason Kidd and some of the other Mavs.
The Mavs know the Nets are the biggest threat to trade for Howard before the March 15th trade deadline. And playing in only his third game of the season, Lopez put on a show for the Magic. You better believe that Orlando GM Otis Smith and his scouts were all over Tuesday's game in Dallas. Perhaps the Mavs' best hope is that NBA commissioner David Stern might block the trade like he did with Chris Paul to the Lakers.
Otherwise, Tuesday was the worst-case scenario for the Mavs. They provided the backdrop for one of the most stunning individual performances of the season.
Now they have to deal with the consequences. A game against the Nets coming out of the All-Star break may not have seemed monumental, but we may feel differently in a couple weeks.
If the Mavs were going to have a defensive meltdown, maybe they could've waited until after the trade deadline. For now, it looks like Lopez had one of the most important breakout games for the Nets in the past decade.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Brooklyn! LA! Dallas! Chicago! Where, oh where is Dwight Howard going to end up? If Howard’s mom had any say, it would be Orlando. During Sunday night’s All-Star game, TNT’s Craig Seger reported that Sheryl Howard told him she’d prefer her son to stay with the Magic.
Howard’s trade demand is reportedly still in tact, which should make following his status over the next...
LEAVING, STAYING, LEAVING...
The latest twist in the Dwight Howard Saga is a report that the center has asked the Magic to make a go at acquiring veteran Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash.
The two big rumors in the NBA this weekend were Rajon Rondo to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and an imminent Dwight Howard to the Lakers trade, which was denied by the Magic. Dwight Howard is the Lakers main target. So far they have offered Bynum to the Magic for him, which the Magic turned down. The Magic want both Bynum and Gasol for Howard and Hedo's poison pill contract, which...
According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, Dwight Howard has asked for the Magic to try and swing a trade for former MVP point guard and current Phoenix Sun Steve Nash.
“I’m told that Dwight Howard has asked the Magic to pursue Steve Nash. Would Nash keep Howard in Orlando for at least one more year? Maybe,” Kennedy tweeted earlier today.
The Suns made it clear last week that...
ORLANDO The Oklahoma City Thunder are what the Orlando Magic wishes it could be a small market team with a superstar who loves where he is.
The Magic, unfortunately, don't have what the Thunder do. And Dwight Howard is no Kevin Durant.
The Thunder and Durant today are flying toward the NBA Finals, sporting the best record (29-7) in the league. The Magic and Howard are headed...
The latest mind-bending report is that Dwight Howard has made it known that he’d like to team up with Steve Nash in Orlando. Wait, what?! Hoopsworld has the details: “The 38-year-old point guard is in the final year of his contract and plenty of teams will be placing calls to the Phoenix Suns in the days leading up to March 15. The Orlando Magic has made offers for Nash in the...
Ryan Anderson is having a breakout year, and Dwight Howard is still Dwight Howard the NBA's most dominant big man. But one of the best stories for the Orlando Magic this season has been the play of J.J. Redick., the sixth-year guard from Duke who is having his best year as a pro.
It didn't always look like Redick was going be a solid NBA player after the Magic drafted him...
There were a few notable headlines out of Dallas, the first of which that Kennedy was assassinated. Jumping ahead a few decades to Tuesday night, the Nets somehow managed to outplay the Mavericks, led by Brook Lopez‘s 38 points and 6 rebounds (in 36 minutes). While Lopez owners are gushing (sometimes literally, check your underpants), I would like to draw your attention to Kris...
With some key moves, the Mavericks could offer Dwight Howard and Deron Williams max deals -- that's the rumor, right? Well, Zach Lowe crunched the numbers to find the truth.