Redskins

Mayo, new Mavs shooting straight waiting for Dirk

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Mayo, new Mavs shooting straight waiting for Dirk

DALLAS (AP) O.J. Mayo and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks newcomers are getting into quite a groove while waiting for Dirk Nowitzki, even though they don't always know exactly what they're going to do next.

With what Mayo best described as organized street ball, the Mavericks have shot better than 60 percent from the field in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. And that came in the first two home games for Mayo and eight other first-year Mavericks.

``It's crazy, man,'' said Mayo, who marked his 25th birthday Monday night with his second consecutive 30-point game. ``We have spots that needed to be filled on the court. After that, it's pretty much where the ball goes - we react. It's constant movement, non-stop basketball. ... It's hard to scout stuff like that.''

After decisive victories over Charlotte and Portland, the Mavericks (3-1) play their third consecutive home game Wednesday night against Toronto.

Against the Raptors, the second game in a row against a team coached by a former Dallas assistant, the Mavericks will be without Nowitzki and Shawn Marion. They are the only two players left who were on the floor when Dallas won the NBA title just two years ago.

The team said Tuesday that Marion would miss at least three games with a sprained left knee ligament. The forward, who left midway through the third quarter of Monday's game, won't play against Toronto or make the trip later this week for games at New York and Charlotte. He will be re-evaluated next week.

Nowitzki, the 11-time All-Star and former MVP, is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Oct. 19, the first surgery in his 15 NBA seasons.

``Obviously, he's our franchise player,'' Mayo said. ``With him going down, we understand that all the guys have to step up and play that much harder and when he does get here, we're ready to roll.''

The newbies are doing pretty good so far.

Darren Collison, acquired in a trade from Indiana to replace departed popular point guard Jason Kidd, has consecutive double-doubles, including 14 points with 13 assists and only one turnover in a 114-91 win over the Trail Blazers on Monday night.

New 7-foot center Chris Kaman, who missed the first two games with a strained right calf, has scored 16 points in both of the home games while making 16 of 19 shots.

``We don't really have a set thing. We play off each other,'' Kaman said.

After being unable to persuade free agent Deron Williams to come home this offseason, owner Mark Cuban and the Mavs took a different approach to building their roster around Nowitzki - even if just for this season. They have a bunch of players with one-year deals while keeping financial flexibility for next summer.

Part of that money may go to some of the players they already have if they keep playing like this.

``Mark didn't just bring in new pieces. He brought in guys who can play,'' Collison said. ``O.J. had a lot of experience in Memphis. Elton Brand is an experienced veteran guy who can guy. Chris Kaman, you guys know about Chris Kaman and his experience. I had the chance to get playoff exposure in Indiana too.

``Even though me and O.J. are young, we had a lot of exposure coming into the season. We all know how to play off each other.''

In their home opener Saturday night against Charlotte, after splitting road games against the Lakers and Utah, the Mavs were 61.3 percent (49 of 80) from the field - the team's best shooting effort in three years. They bettered that against Portland, shooting 61.5 percent (48 of 78).

``I think everybody is playing unselfish, moving the ball. We have a lot of good shooters. We have some of the best pick-and-pop bigs,'' Collison said. ``It's only going to be better when Dirk gets back.''

Mayo spent the first four seasons of his career in Memphis, where as a rookie in 2008-09 he had consecutive 30-point games three different times. Before his home debut in Dallas, the third overall pick from the 2008 draft hadn't had a 30-point game since November 2009 and was 7-for-22 shooting in his first two games with the Mavericks.

At home with Dallas, he's made 22 of 35 shots (63 percent) including 13 of 18 on 3-pointers.

``I've been putting in a lot of work,'' said Mayo, who after starting every game his first two seasons became Memphis' primary sixth man. ``Just trust what I do, and do what I trust.''

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Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Stopping the run, these 3-2 Redskins in a better spot

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Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Stopping the run, these 3-2 Redskins in a better spot

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 16, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

A better 3-2

For the third straight year, the Redskins are 3-2 after five games. As you know, they did not make the playoffs after either of the last two seasons. But they are in better shape in the standings now than they were in 2016 or 2017. Last year they were in second place in the division, a game and a half behind the 5-1 Eagles. They were worse off two years ago as they were in third place behind the 3-1 Eagles and the Cowboys, who were 4-1. 

It’s still very early, but it’s better to be in first place nearly a third of the way into the season than it is to be in second or third place and being in a position where you have to chase one or two teams. 

Take it away

The Redskins had three takeaways against the Panthers—the fumble recovery on the punt, Josh Norman’s interception, and the fumble forced by Norman and recovered by Mason Foster. They did not give the ball away. The last time they got at least three takeaways without giving the ball up was on Christmas Eve, 2016 in Chicago. Perhaps not coincidentally, that is the last game in which Norman had an interception until Sunday. 

After being either even or in the positive in takeaway ratio in four of their five games this year, the Redskins are now tied for fourth in the NFL with a plus-four turnover margin. If they can stay on the even or plus side from week to week they will have a very good chance at being successful. 

Rushing D much improved

After finishing 32ndin the NFL in rushing yards allowed in 2017, the Redskins are currently sixth, giving up an average of 90.2 yards per game. The improvement has come even though they have faced premiere running backs David Johnson, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Christian McCaffrey. They have allowed no more than 104 yards on the ground in any of their five games. Last year's opponents ran for 127 yards or more 10 times. Their defense will be tested on Sunday against the Cowboys, who average 147 rushing yards per game on the ground, second in the NFL. 

Looking in the mirror

When the Redskins take a look at the Cowboys they might feel like they are watching themselves. Both teams run the ball well, although Ezekiel Elliott is more consistent than Adrian Peterson. Alex Smith has better passing stats than Dak Prescott but both teams are in the bottom third of the league in passing yards. The defenses on both teams are strong. Washington is sixth in yardage allowed per game and the Cowboys are fifth. 

And both teams have started off the season alternating wins and losses. Dallas started with a loss to the Panthers then beat the Giants, lost to the Seahawks, won over the Lions, suffered an OT loss to the Texans and then thumped the Giants. It will be an interesting match up on Sunday.

The agenda

Today: Off day, no media availability

Upcoming: Cowboys @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Giants 12; Redskins @ Eagles 48

Redskins news

 

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

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USA TODAY Sports

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.

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