Oliver Miller's MRI was negative showing no abnormalities.  Miller hopes
to be able to play in Thursday's game in Charlotte.

I heard Rolando Blackman on the radio this morning and he said that he is
done playing professional basketball.  So, I say it's time to raise #22 to
the rafters!

The trade rumors are going strong around Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson
and will keep going until one of them is traded or the trading deadline
(Feb 20) passes - and I'm positive one of them will be traded.  The Mavs
have 3 small forwards with Mashburn, George McCloud, and Michael Finley.
McCloud and Finley can play at shooting guard and Jackson may have more
trade value than Mashburn (ie, some teams would rather have Jackson than
Mashburn and a trade is a two way street).  For those who say they should
trade McCloud, he is a free agent this summer and, thus, does not have
much trade value.  Also, keep in mind that Jackson is a free agent after
the 97-98 season and Mashburn will not be a free agent until after the 
00-01 season.

Feeding the rumor fires is the fact that Frank Zaccanelli and Mark Aguirre 
were in LA Friday.  It is believed that they were in town to talk with 
Brian Williams.  To get Brian Williams, the Mavs would have to jump 
through a lot of hoops to make a trade.  Williams is currently a free 
agent who wants $4 million plus.  No team has enough money under the cap 
to sign him for what he wants.  The Clippers have the right to re-sign him
without regard to the cap.  Williams has said that he would like to play 
for Dallas (but that was said before the Kidd trade and the trade may or 
may not have altered his position).  For the Mavs to get Williams, they 
would first have to reach a general contract agreement with Williams and 
his agent, then the Clippers sign him for that amount and length, then 
the Mavs trade a player or players to LA for Williams with the salaries on
both sides of the trade having to be within 15% of each other.  And there
is always the concern that the NBA would step in and nuke the whole deal 
as they threatened to do with the Barkley-Mutombo-Houston rumor last 
summer.  But a pre-arranged deal with Williams and the Clippers is the 
only way it can be done as Williams has said he does not want to play for 
the Clippers and he will not sign unless he knows the trade is in place.  
The Dallas Morning News spread the rumor that the Clipper deal would be 
Jackson and Eric Montross for Williams and Brent Barry.

A.C. Green was definitely happy with his trade to Dallas.  He had a 
$2,163,000 trade clause that kicked in.  Phoenix did pay the 2 mill, but 
it counts against the Mavs' cap and will be pro-rated over the rest of 
Green's contract.  Green now counts $4,851,000 against the Mavs' cap this 
season and he will earn more than $5 million in 97-98 and 98-99.

Some more notes and a couple of quotes on the Kidd trade.
The 3 Js only played together in 79 of a possible 189 games.

This has to be a first: Mavs talk dominated the radio the day before a
Cowboy game - and even a playoff game.  And the talk is 50-50 Cowboys and
Mavs on the Monday following a Cowboy game (if the Cowboys had lost, it
would be a different story).

Donald Carter: "I think it's a bold move, one geared toward getting them 
into the playoffs this season.  If they didn't do something drastic like 
this, it'd be another year of telling fans to be patient until we finally
start winning."

Derek Harper: "No offense to anybody, but I think it was obvious our
chemistry was bad.  I think this team had enough talent to win, but we
weren't getting it done.  There are lots of basketball teams in this
league with talent that don't have the chemistry to win."

Seattle Sonics at Dallas Mavericks  (December 28)

Oliver Miller did not play due to his sore lower back.

The Mavs played this game with a lot of emotion and enthusiasm and the
crowd was really in it.  The three new guys received loud applause when
they came into the game.

Both teams opened the game with 3-pointers.  The first quarter stayed
close and the Mavs led 26-25 after 1.  Derek Harper had 11 points in the

The Mavs added 4 points to the lead and led 32-27 with 8 minutes
remaining.  The Mavs then went on a 18-7 run, with 10 of those points from
Harper, to go up 50-24 with 3:12 to go.  Dallas led 60-42 at the half.
Dallas shot 56% FG and Seattle shot 47% FG.  Dallas only had 5 turnovers
in the half.  Harper had 21 points on 8-9 FG and 5-5 3-pointers.  The 3 
news guys were on the court together for a good portion of the 2nd quarter.

The Mavs opened the 3rd looking sluggish and Seattle stepped up their game
by opening the quarter with a 17-4 run to cut Dallas' lead down to 64-59
with 5:22 left.  The Mavs recovered some and built their lead back up.
Dallas led 75-63 after 3.

A jumper from Michael Finley gave Dallas an 81-67 lead with 8:14 left.
Seattle came roaring back and scored the next 15 points as the Mavs could
not find the basket.  Shawn Kemp scored 9 points during that run and
Payton's two free throws gave Seattle a 82-81 lead with 4:35 remaining.
The game was tied at 84-84 when Kemp collected his 6th foul fouling Chris
Gatling.  Gatling hit both free throws.  Seattle scored the next 4 points
to go up 88-86 with 2:05 to go.  George McCloud, who up to this point was
having a lousy game (3-10 FG), hit a 3-pointer with 1:50 to go to give 
Dallas the lead.  Hersey Hawkins then missed a layup and McCloud hit a 
20-footer to put Dallas up 93-86 with 45 seconds left.  The Mavs then put 
on a great defensive stand as the crowd cheered them on.  Seattle tried to 
set up a play for a 3-pointer, but had to call a timeout with 32 seconds 
left due to the Dallas D.  Dallas kept the tough D up following the 
timeout and Eric Snow turned the ball over trying to go to the basket as 
the shot clock was running down.  Jim Jackson hit 2 free throws to seal 
the game.  Dallas 95, Seattle 90.

The Mavs closed the game with a 9-0 run.  Dallas' bench out-scored
Seattle's 30-9.  Derek Harper had a great game with 24 points including
9-14 FG and 6-8 3-pointers, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists and Jim Jackson had
a good game with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. This was the first
game the Mavs won where Chris Gatling had a poor offensive game.  Gat had
11 points including 2-12 FG and 13 rebounds.  The 3 new guys did not have
impressive stats, but their enthusiasm helped the team.  Sam Cassell had 2
points on 1-6 FG and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes; Michael Finley had 8 points
on 4-9 FG and 2 rebounds in 20 minutes; and A.C. Green had 4 points
including 1-5 FG and 9 much needed rebounds in 28 minutes.  Gary Payton
led the way for Seattle with 28 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4

Jim Cleamons: "Derek came out with outstanding energy.  His first half was
probably as well as I've seen anyone play all year.  I think it was a 
total team effort from top to bottom this evening.  I hope we can build 
on this one."

Cleamons: "I said I didn't want to play the three [new] guys together.
But then I look up and all three guys were together in the 2nd quarter."

Cleamons: "We got a little tentative in the second half, and started 
settling for jump shots.  But we regrouped and regained our composure 
down the stretch and pulled out a big win against maybe the best team in 
the Western Conference."

Cleamons: "We knew they were going to turn up the pressure and they did.
We became very tentative with our shot selection and attacking the 
basket and lost our momentum.  Part of that is not practicing together."

Cleamons: "I don't know what to expect from the crowd now.  Usually, they
greet you by how you play at home.  What we need to do is win this crowd
over on a continuous basis."

Chris Gatling on the win: "Shoot, look at the roster.  We've got some
rebounders in here.  We've got some veterans now, guys who know how to

A.C. Green: "Even with the new faces, the bottom line is it's still

Jim Jackson: "A.C. told me, 'Thanks for getting me the win.'  I said, 'No,
thank you for helping us get a win.'"

Jackson: "Things got kind of shaky there, but we hung in there.  There was
a lot of energy and excitement out there and we stepped up to the 

Derek Harper: "The changes and everything were behind us.  I think we
gained an edge from it."

Harper: "We got a lift from all of [the new guys].  We have three new guys
who really understand the game.  Once we find the chemistry, we'll be okay
as a team."

Harper: "We were relieved because all the changes were behind us.  We 
gained an edge from it because all the speculation was over."
Harper: "I'm a young 35.  You get to a certain age in the league and 
people pen you as too old and losing a step.  But I think I understand 
the game and know how to play the game.

Harper: "[Seattle is] the best team in the West.  So finding a way to beat 
them was really important for our confidence."

George McCloud: "I was somewhat surprised and overwhelmed by the crowd's 
reaction tonight.  They gave the new guys a great reception.  I'm sure it
made the new guys feel right at home.  We fed off of that energy and 
excitement and felt it from the opening tip.  We used that emotion to jump
out on them and build up a pretty good lead.  They responded in the 2nd 
half like we knew they would, but we didn't back down from the challenge."

Sam Cassell: "That was a wonderful reception from the crowd and I felt 
very welcomed.  I thought that was very nice and it made me feel great.  
I wanted to go out there and do something positive just to give something 
back to the crowd."

Cassell: "Jason's got his own fans.  I have all the respect in the world 
for Jason.  I'm not Jason Kidd.  Jason Kidd isn't Sam Cassell.  It's going
to be fun.  Guys like Derek Harper and A.C. Green know what it takes to be
successful in this league.  I know what it takes."

George Karl: "The lack of defense in the first half, the lack of 
intensity, it was the worst half of defense we put up all year.  Any team 
that plays hard is going to have good things happen to them.  That's the 
way this league is: it rewards hard work, intensity and energy.  It seems 
that's what coach Cleamons wants."

Shawn Kemp: "We dug ourselves in a hole.  Normally we're able to come 
back, but tonight we fell a little short.  They shot the heck out of the 
ball.  We played them a few days ago and they made some adjustments we 
didn't respond very well to in the first half."

Kemp: "We should have responded a little quicker.  You can't point the 
finger at anybody but yourself."

Sea-Dal boxscore

Patricia Bender
Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself.