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March 25, 2015 Updates

However, Ellis acknowledged in his TNT postgame interview that his health had been an issue, something he repeatedly denied publicly and privately during his extended slump. The fact that he refused to take any time off to fully heal -- which would have snapped Ellis' streak of consecutive games played that dates to the beginning of the 2012-13 season -- was a source of frustration within the organization. "I've been battling injuries all season," Ellis said on TNT. "The last few days, my body has been feeling good and tonight I'll sleep real good. I went and worked out last night for at least two and a half hours. I wanted to come in tonight and give my team a lift that they have been looking for. "Now that my body is feeling good, we'll try to make a run of it until the playoffs start." ESPN.com

March 24, 2015 Updates

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki joined ESPN's NBA Lockdown podcast this week. Here are some highlights from the interview. On Steve Nash retiring: “I wasn’t really surprised. I kind of knew what was going on since October, that his body didn’t let him compete anymore at the highest level, so I was just surprised by the timing, that it came out now. I think it was a relief for him, that he’s happy it’s over with. I told him already in October that I was proud of him that he had an amazing career. He overcame a lot in his career with his health and being short and white and slow and unathletic and to be one of the greatest ever is an unbelievable achievement.” Dallas Morning News

March 23, 2015 Updates

Former Maverick Brandan Wright has had a nice stretch of games recently, including a 16-point, eight-rebound, seven-block effort last week. He will be a free agent this summer, but he said he hasn’t given much thought to the future. The Suns are busy trying to make a playoff push in the final weeks of the season. So would he consider a return to Dallas? “That’s been a frequently-asked question,” he said. “You can ask me that right after the season. Right now, we’re just trying to get to the playoffs.” Dallas Morning News

"This is a Dallas Mavericks hard-play problem, all right?" Carlisle said after the Mavs blew a six-point lead in the final six minutes of the loss, focusing on their poor effort in the first half. "We don't play hard all the time. And that's a problem. "It's pretty clear that's where our inconsistency is, and we've got to get better. We've got to be a more together team. I believe that we can do it. We did it in the second half, but it's work. It takes effort. It takes effort in the locker room, it takes sacrifice and we've got to be willing to do those things." ESPN.com

Why can't the Mavs consistently play with the kind of effort expected of professionals, much less a playoff team? "I think that's a question you've got to ask them," Carlisle said, referring to the players. "I have my theories, but I'm not going to air them out publicly. I aired things out in there at halftime, and I've said enough for one night as far as that goes. If you've got questions about strategies and specific things, I'll answer them. But in terms of the soul of the team, you've got to ask those guys." ESPN.com

So why keep calling Ellis’ number when he’s clearly ice cold? Carlisle’s answer is evidence of just how much the Mavs rely on their mercurial leading scorer. “We’ve got to get shots. We’ve got to get shots,” Carlisle said, repeating himself for emphasis. “He’s the one guy who can get clean shots. And he’s getting good looks. I always believe he’s going to make the next one. “My responsibility as a coach is to make sure we get shots. We can’t go places where clear shots are not going to be generated, and he’s been too good in these situations all year long. Hey, he had a bad shooting night. That’s the way it goes.” ESPN.com

The two quickly became fast friends, and honed their games while often practicing on Friday and Saturday nights while their teammates were off doing other things. But with Nash being saddled with one injury after another, it was no surprise to Nowitzki that the 19-year veteran point guard announced his retirement this past Saturday. "I knew at the beginning of the season where this was headed,’’ Nowitzki said. "This wasn’t news for me. "He wanted to retire, really, in October.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Nash was an eight-time All-Star, three-time first team all-NBA selection, and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2005 and ’06. "Honestly for a whatever, 5-10, guy from a little town in Canada he had an amazing run,’’ Nowitzki said. "He was one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever been around in my 17 years in the league. "He always worked on his game, always worked on his health and his body, on his core strength and legs. He was just constantly working at it – he was an animal.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

March 22, 2015 Updates


Five players from the championship team join No. 1 Dirk Nowitzki in the illustrious list.


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