A MAV-ELOUS UPGRADE.Byline: STEVE DILBECK
EL SEGUNDO El Segundo (ĕl sēgŭn`dō), industrial city (1990 pop. 15,223), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1917. Its products include navigation and computer systems, aircraft parts, office machines, telephone apparatus, and - Just what the lost-in-the-woods Lakers needed, another good little team growing up before them.
They went through this last year with Sacramento, and it took everything they had to hold off the blossoming Kings.
Now, as the Lakers go through a painful game-by-game struggle and the Kings remain every bit as formidable as last season, the Dallas Mavericks The introduction of this article is too short.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, it should be expanded. suddenly look all grown up.
The high-flying Mavs, that odd concoction put together by the unique tandem of coach Don Nelson and owner Mark Cuban Mark Cuban (born July 31, 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American billionaire entrepreneur. He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA franchise and Chairman of HDNet, an HDTV cable network. , have graduated from the novelty ranks.
No longer just a wild scoring machine, these Mavericks actually play defense. They actually rebound. They play it tough at home, and on the road.
It's worked out to a 17-1 start, which included a 98-72 pasting of the Lakers, who were held to a record-low 30.8-percent shooting night.
For those convinced it's some kind of NBA-fabricated, hallucinogenic-inspired, freak start by a bunch of guys A Bunch of Guys (BOGs), or Group of Guys (GOGs) are terms used by counter-terrorism officials to refer to small, self-organizing terrorist cells. BOGs typically have little to no contact with global terrorist groups like al Qaeda, so they independently plan and with really bad haircuts, know this: Of the six previous teams to start 17-1, four went on to win the NBA NBA
1. National Basketball Association
2. National Boxing Association
NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (= title.
The Mavs are still putting it up. They again lead the league in scoring - by 4.3 points - at 103.9 points a game but have shown serious signs of a team now taking its overall game seriously. Of a team eager to take the next step.
``It's the maturity that comes with being a good team for a couple of years, getting disappointed at the end and deciding that you'll take the summer and improve yourself, and the next year dedicate yourself to a better season,'' said former Lakers coach Del Harris, now an assistant to Nelson.
``It's the same process most good teams have gone through, including the Lakers here, who were a good team for four years but young. You just reach a point where you see what it takes, the extra steps it takes, to become the kind of winner you want to be.
``That's pretty much the way it is in life in general, unless you happen to be born rich.''
The talent-rich Mavs thought they were good last year, when they won 57 games. But they were ousted in the Western Conference semifinals in five games by the Kings, who scored 115 of their 207 field goals on dunks and layups. The kind of in-your-face beating that stings.
``You get inspired by failure,'' Mavs guard Steve Nash Steven John Nash, OBC (born February 7, 1974), is a Canadian professional basketball player who plays point guard for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nash was brought up in a family of sportsmen and he excelled in a variety of sports. said. ``If you have a goal for yourself and you don't reach it, you can give up or you can work harder to attain it. This team, with our youth and our chemistry, we feel like we want to continue to grow and get better and try to realize our goals.''
They already could score better than anyone, which left one major area to address in their quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue
look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the improvement. And Nelson wasted no time in training camp.
``We did not put in an offensive play until after the first preseason game,'' Harris said. ``All we did was work on defense, both man-to-man and zone.''
Now they're committed to defense, in all its forms. They play one of their nine zones more than 50 percent of the game. Opponents are shooting only 41.4 percent against them, third lowest in the league.
Nelson scoffs at the notion his team's impressive start is the direct result of its improved defense, and then makes a case for it.
``Everybody creates more of everything in our business than you should,'' he said. ``We've always worked hard on our defense. We took the extra step this year and brought focus to the need to improve our defense. Now it's like we've never played any defense before.''
Not like this, anyway. With the Big Three - Dirk Nowitzki Dirk Werner Nowitzki (IPA pronuncation: [no'vɪtski]) (born June 19, 1978 in Würzburg, Germany) is a German basketball player for the United States' National Basketball Association's (NBA) Dallas Mavericks. , Michael Finley Michael Howard Finley (born March 6, 1973, in Melrose Park, Illinois) is an American professional basketball player who is a member of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.
The 6' 7" shooting guard/small forward was originally drafted out of University of Wisconsin-Madison by the and Nash - making the commitment to defense, and with 7-foot-6 center Shawn Bradley Shawn Paul Bradley (born March 22 1972) is a retired American 7 ft. 6 in. (2.29 m) basketball player who played center for the Dallas Mavericks (NBA). Born in Landstuhl, West Germany, Bradley grew up in Castle Dale, Utah, in the United States and has dual citizenship. showing his most life since appearing in ``Space Jam,'' the Mavs started 14-0. They lost at Indiana on Thanksgiving and then won three more.
``If anything, the streak has just made us long for the playoffs,'' Nash said. ``We're really unimpressed by the streak. We want the playoffs to be here so we can go after our goals.
``The regular season is so meaningless in the NBA. Being 17-1 is fun, it's great, but at the end of the day, it really doesn't mean much.''
It means the rest of the league better take note. The Mavs get another test to their growing maturity tonight when they meet the Lakers at Staples Center This article
* Its neutrality is disputed.
* It may contain original research or unverifiable claims.
* It does not cite any references or sources. . When they beat the Lakers last month, it was in Dallas with has multiple issues:Shaquille O'Neal Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal (pronounced "shak-KEEL") (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq, is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). in street clothes.
Now O'Neal is back, at least for the most part, and the Lakers are in Los Angeles, where they haven't lost to the Mavs since 1990 - a string of 23 consecutive games.
The Mavs always will have matchup problems with O'Neal, which hardly makes them unique. But a team so talented it can bring Nick Van Exel Nickey (Nick) Maxwell Van Exel (born November 27 1971 in Kenosha, Wisconsin) is a retired American professional basketball player in the NBA. Van Exel, a 6'1" left-handed point guard, was most well known for his flashy style of play and his ability to hit critical shots during and Raef Lafrentz off the bench has a new edge to it this season.
Looks a lot like what the Kings developed last year. Looks like more trouble for the Lakers.
(color) Hair aside, Steve Nash (13) and the Dallas Mavericks have improved in every facet.
LM Otero/Associated Press