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Mavs’ backcourt could look much differently in ’15-16

Although the backcourt was seen at as an area of strength for the Dallas Mavericks entering the 2014-15 campaign, it could take on a much different look going into next season.

Bolstered by a four-player rotation at point guard alongside leading scorer Monta Ellis, the Mavericks razed about their backcourt depth to begin training camp. However, after the five-player trade with Boston that included then starting point guard Jameer Nelson to acquire four-time All-Star floor general Rajon Rondo on Dec. 18, the Mavs admittedly struggled to find the same chemistry the rest of the way.

Now, with free agency set to impact the Mavs’ roster, the Dallas front office may have plenty of decisions to make in order to restore the backcourt heading into the ’15-16 season.

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Chandler Parsons undergoes knee surgery

The Dallas Mavericks have announced that forward Chandler Parsons underwent arthroscopic surgery today to address a cartilage injury to his right knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. T.O. Souryal at Texas Sports Medicine. A timetable for his return to basketball activities will be determined in the future.

Parsons (6-10, 230) played in 66 games (all starts) in his first season with the Mavericks and averaged of 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per game.

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Dirk Nowitzki reflects over ’14-15, looks ahead to ‘busy summer’

Although he freely admits that the 2014-15 season was one with plenty of ups and downs for the Dallas Mavericks, 13-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki heads into the summer with his head held high after seeing the team battle through several distractions.

Making his 13th All-Star appearance this season after being named as the replacement for an injured Anthony Davis, Nowitzki played in 77 games while finishing second on the team in scoring with an average of 17.3 points per outing. He increased that number during the first round of the playoffs, scoring 21.2 points a contest as the injury-riddled Mavericks fell in five games to the second-seeded Houston Rockets.

Nowitzki now heads into a longer-than-desired summer.

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After offseason surgery, Chandler Parsons preps for larger role in ’15-16

While his 2014-15 campaign didn’t end the way he had hoped, Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons says there were things he can build on following his first season with the team.

Signing a lucrative contract with the Mavericks during free agency last summer, Parsons hoped to accept a larger role in Dallas after spending his first three seasons in Houston. However, after getting off to a slow start, Parsons would take time to find his niche with the Mavs before coming on strong to close the 82-game schedule.

The 6-foot-9 forward also found himself battling nagging ankle and foot injuries, playing in 66 games while emerging as the Mavericks’ third-leading scorer. And after missing the final six regular-season matchups due to a right knee injury, Parsons would have his playoff run cut short by playing in just the first outing of the Mavs’ first-round exit at the hands of the Rockets in five games.

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Mavs encouraged by grit shown during up-and-down, injury-riddled season

It was an up-and-down 2014-15 season for the Dallas Mavericks, filled with highs and lows, but the team showed plenty of grit in the end before falling in five games at the hands of the Houston Rockets during the first round of the playoffs.

Playing the final four games of the first-round series without prized offseason signee Chandler Parsons (right knee) and mid-season acquisition Rajon Rondo (back), the Mavericks avoided a sweep but couldn’t get past MVP candidate James Harden and the Rockets a second time while falling to a 103-94 loss Tuesday night. And after injuries derailed a promising season, the Mavs now head into the summer while thinking about what might have been had they taken the court at full strength against the second-seeded Rockets.

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2015 First Round Game 5: Mavs at Rockets

After staving off elimination on their home floor to avoid a first-round sweep Sunday night, the Dallas Mavericks will look to keep the pressure on the second-seeded Houston Rockets as the series shifts back to the Toyota Center.

Looking to build on Sunday’s 121-109 win to extend their season at least one more outing, the Mavericks (1-3) will now attempt to capture Tuesday night’s Game 5 in order to force the series back to Dallas. No team in NBA history has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series, holding a 0-113 record in that situation. However, after engineering his Detroit team out of a 1-3 hole against Orlando during the first round back in 2003, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle is well aware of what it will take for his current squad to rally past the Rockets (3-1) this time around.

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Monta and the Mavs too much for Houston in Game 4

Down 3-0 and with their backs against the wall, it was going to take an energetic, complete performance for the Mavs to extend the series and push it back to Houston. That’s exactly the type of game Dallas played in Game 4, putting together one of their best games of the season, and just in time.

The Mavericks will now turn their attention to Game 5, as the club won’t have much time to think about how they extended their season. Game 5 is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. CT, less than 48 hours after Game 4 even tipped off. The best thing about not playing, though, is that we can revisit what happened in Game 4 without having to worry about defending James Harden and Dwight Howard. Let’s leave that to the pros and, while we’re at it, check out how they did it.

There’s been way too much Monta Ellis in Games 3 and 4 as far as Houston is concerned, but just enough for the Mavs’ taste. He scored a combined 65 points in the two contests on a very efficient 28-of-49 shooting, and his performance in Game 4 was one of his best of the season, as he attacked the rim all game long. His shot chart says it all: 6-of-6 at the basket is a pretty impressive feat, especially against a rim protector like Dwight Howard.

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Insertion of J.J. Barea, Al-Farouq Aminu into starting lineup sparks Mavs in Game 4 win

Although they may have never found themselves in the starting lineup had it not been for injuries to two veterans, guard J.J. Barea and high-energy forward Al-Farouq Aminu both left their mark on the Dallas Mavericks’ much-needed Game 4 win Sunday night to stave off elimination.

In a 0-3 hole entering Sunday’s fourth matchup against the second-seeded Houston Rockets, the shorthanded Mavericks (1-3) looked to extend their season at least one more game with a victory in front of their hometown crowd. However, while already playing without four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo (back) and small forward Chandler Parsons (right knee), the Mavs would then go into battle with two of their starters during Friday’s 130-128 loss at home admittedly battling through aches and pains.

With guard Raymond Felton (right hamstring) and fellow veteran swingman Richard Jefferson (right calf) both hampered by injuries, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle then turned to his two spark plugs, inserting Barea and Aminu into the starting lineup to create an early impact. The Mavs proceeded to sprint to a 121-109 victory from there, putting the pressure back on the Rockets (3-1) behind double-doubles from both the cat-quick guard and fifth-year forward.

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2015 First Round Game 4: Mavs vs. Rockets

After battling for 82 regular-season games and the first three outings of their first-round playoff series against the second-seeded Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks will now try to stave off elimination with a win Sunday night at home.

No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 0-3 hole in a playoff series, but the Mavericks aren’t conceding matters after coming up just short of a victory on their home floor Friday in a 130-128 loss. Now, the Mavs will attempt to avoid the four-game sweep, looking to extend their season with a win Sunday to send the series back to Houston.

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