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Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis pick-and-roll looks good

Oct 15, 2013, 3:38 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki AP

Dirk Nowitzki is having a really strong preseason.

Yes, it’s preseason, so we’re going to be cautious about reading too much into this, but the fact is Nowitzki looks healthy (a big change from much of last season) and sharp again.

Plus he’s developing a strong pick-and-roll chemistry with Monta Ellis.

Watching them this preseason they have a connection that’s a bit unexpected but works with Ellis attacking and Nowitzki able to roll or flair out for a jumper. There are not Synergy numbers for preseason to break down how effective this is, but ESPNDallas charted it against Orlando Monday: 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting running that play in the second quarter alone.

Nowitzki feels that connection too, he told ESPNDallas.com.

“That’s probably going to be our bread and butter all season long,” said Nowitzki, who finished with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, although he was more focused on his failure to get a single rebound in 25 minutes….

“He’s great attacking,” Nowitzki said of Ellis. “He can go both ways. He’s been shooting the ball well behind the screen as well, so we really have a lot of options there. When he comes off and really strings the big out and I’m open, I’m going to step in and take those shots when I’m there.”

Dallas also has (but not yet this preseason due to a hamstring injury) Jose Calderon, one of the smarter pick-and-roll point guards in the league. He’s another guy who can shoot over the pick if the defender goes under, drive the lane or make a smart pass. He is going to fit into this mix when he returns.

It’s preseason, would could still see Monta go Monta (step-back contested long two) at points this season, but Dallas seems to be figuring out something that will work on offense and be very hard for teams to stop.

  1. jjared1101 - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Monta is lightyears ahead of any guard play Dallas had last year from OJ Mayo or Darren Collison. Jose will only add to that when he starts playing too.

    Defense will be a struggle to say the least, but i’m glad Dirk has some guys around him that can take pressure off and do the simple things Mayo and Collison could not….like dribbling.

  2. JHathwell - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Wouldn’t say “light years”. I love watching the guy play as much as anyone, but that doesn’t mean I’d want him on my time.

    Face it, the Mavs are pretty much doomed to mediocrity, mostly because Cuban let his loyalty get in the way of good business.

    • jjared1101 - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Face what? …. you act like I just said they would win the Championship. They will be a good team and most likely make the playoffs. And teams change from year to year…Dallas has a very nice team with good depth and lot of cap room next summer…that’s good for Dallas.

      You also have it backwards. Cuban’s loyalty was what he threw out the window instead of overpaying veteran players (ie Butler, Jason Terry, Chandler). I fail to see your loyalty comment there.

      And yes…”light years” is the term i would use to describe Ellis’ ability over OJ Mayo, Darren Collison and Mike James. If you don’t think that, then you didn’t watch any Mavs games last year..which seems to be pretty apparent based on your comments.

  3. JHathwell - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Face reality, as in this is a team that at best sneaks into the playoffs, otherwise known as the last thing you want to be in the NBA. It’s a team with an over-the-hill superstar, one of the least efficient high-usage guys in the league and a bunch of spare tires.I mean, your big plan is to attract a big ticket free-agent next summer with the promise of playing next to a 37 year old Dirk and Monta Ellis.

    Sweet plan. Wonder why none of the big names went for it these last two summers.

    The loyalty comment obviously relates to Dirk. Cuban’s love for him meant that he kept him when he had far more value as a trade chip. Now you have an old star and not much else.

    • saintlaron - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Loyalty is good for sports imo, especially nice to see from owners.

      • JHathwell - Oct 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        Agreed, but it’s one of the reasons the Mavs are now also-rand and might stay that way or the foreseeable future.

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