When it’s late August and the upcoming football portion of the sports calendar is on the top of everyone’s mind, it takes some creativity to find a basketball talking point. That’s probably most evident by people trying to shove videos of NBA stars just taking on random dudes in gyms in your Twitter feed’s face the last month or so.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) August 21, 2018
Some things that are never boring? Statistics and rankings, of course! Especially when they have to do with the beloved Dallas Mavericks.
Whenever people talk about the next Mavs to get their numbers retired, obvious candidates like Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Michael Finley come up. Two of them were vital cogs on the team during the year of the franchise’s only championship back in 2011. All of their places on the franchise’s all-time leaders in various categories are very high. Of course, Dirk Nowitzki’s #41 will be up in the rafters of the American Airlines Center virtually the second he hangs up his sneakers and his status is also virtually set at the top of all meaningful statistics leaders for the team except for assists and steals. Other than Dirk, not many players have been around for more than a season or two this decade. There are, however, two exceptions to this: J.J. Barea and Devin Harris.
The two guards whose beginnings with the franchise both go back to the mid-2000’s are 30-somethings who have been around the block quite a few times and have racked up better career numbers than you probably realize for men who have been just role players for the past several seasons.
Do they deserve to have their numbers retired? That’s a discussion for another day, but those of you who immediately say no might want to consider where they currently rank and possibly could end up on some of the franchise’s important statistical all-time leaders.
Oh, hello, Shawn Bradley. Seventh place on the franchise’s all-time games played list? Thankfully not for long. Barea will need just 13 games played this season to pass Bradley. It’s also very conceivable that he could move all the way up to 5th all-time this season while also passing franchise legends like Terry and Finley in the process Moving up to 5th all-time would require Barea appearing in 57 games this season and he has averaged about 64 games per year over his 12 NBA seasons. That includes him appearing in just 77 games in his first two seasons in the league combined.
Devin Harris currently sits tenth on the all-time games played list with 540. Conceivable names for him to pass include Mark Aguirre (27 games to pass) and Shawn Bradley (43). Sure, it is possible for him to get all the way past Terry (80 games), but it’s not very likely considering that he has never appeared in more than 76 games in any of his 14 seasons and has only averaged about 63 games per season since making his return to Dallas for the 2013-2014 campaign.
THREE POINT FIELD GOALS MADE
Yes, even though he tends to frustrate you a ton, Wesley Matthews is already 8th all-time in Mavs history with 516 made three-point shots. Incredibly, he has an outside chance at moving into the top five if he has a really good contract season for Dallas. To reach Derek Harper at 705, he’d need to knock down 189 treys this season. That seems like a ton because it is. However, it isn’t unfound territory for Matthews.
The sharpshooter has averaged 156 makes per year over the course of his nine seasons in the league. This includes two campaigns that have met or exceeded that 189 needed to catch Harper. He knocked down 201 for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2013-2014 and he even had 189 in his first season in Dallas (2015-2016). With his offensive role likely limited to catch and shoot opportunities after the addition of rookie Luka Doncic, it shouldn’t be too surprising if Matthews is able to catch Harper this season.
After making a career high 115 three point shots last season, compared to a career average of 62 per year, expect J.J. Barea to pass Steve Nash but probably finish this season behind Matthews and Harper.
This is a lighter note, but it’s worth noting: It was not at all ridiculous for Mark Cuban to say DeAndre Jordan will instantly become the best rebounder in Mavericks history when he plays his first game for the team. The big man gobbles up boards at an incredible clip and it is something this franchise hasn’t had a ton of in its history.
While Jordan is only signed to a one year deal, he should make a sizable imprint in his way up the team’s all-time rebounding list.
Of course he has no shot of catching Nowitzki at over 11,000 boards, but cracking the top 35 of all players who have EVER played for the Mavericks in nearly 40 years is possible for Jordan in just one season.
Jordan has averaged 925 rebounds per season since the 2013-2014 campaign. If he were to replicate that this season, it would already shoot him up to 36th all-time for the franchise lead for total rebounds. It would be just ahead of Brendan Haywood’s 908 boards in 154 games with Dallas.
When he averaged over 15 rebounds a game last season, that total amount for the year equaled 1,171 boards. If he were to match that it would probably shoot him up to about 31st or 32nd on the team’s all-time list. He’d be sandwiched somewhere between J.J Barea (30th with 1,125), Devin Harris (31st with 1,084) and Dwight Powell (32nd with 1,072).
While everyone will probably be on the look-out for Dirk to pass Wilt Chamberlain for fifth place (or maybe sixth if LeBron James catches him first) on the league’s all-time scoring list, these other players’ pursuits on climbing the team’s all-time charts are worth monitoring as well. With media day and training camp just about a month away, basketball will be here before you know it. Let the all-time leader list monitoring begin!
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