Mavs Shootaround: Your All-Access Pass

"Dirk, man,'' mock-complained Caron Butler to the just-named Western Conference Player of the Week. "You stole my money, man.'' Want to know what went down at shootaround? We take you inside the Mavs workout as they prepare for tonight's tipoff with the Rockets …

'DIRK, YOU STOLE MY MONEY!': The Mavs closed their shootaround with what was a half-court-shot challenge between Caron Butler and Dirk Nowitzki … that blossomed into a team-wide challenge.

As the players gathered and chanted at midcourt – led by head cheerleader Tyson Chandler – Butler swished his 47-footer.

"Show me the money!'' he yelped.

Next up: The UberMan. One step. A flick of the wrist.


"Dirk, man,'' moaned Butler. "You stole my money, man.''

Assorted other Mavs followed up with their own single attempts. Jason Kidd took his try underhanded, and came closest, his softball pitch rimming out. (I got the distinct impression that J-Kidd has trick-shot his way through a lifetime of these games.)

But Butler learned a lesson. You don't mess with that man's Deutsche Mark.

DIRK WINS WC PLAYER AWARD: Dirk Nowitzki was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Nov. 22-28. This is the 12th time Nowitzki has garnered the honor in his career. He is the first Maverick to win the award since he claimed it on April 11, 2010.

The UberMan led the Mavericks to a perfect 4-0 week with wins over Detroit, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Miami. He averaged 31 points and 7.5 rebounds per game during that stretch while shooting .573 from the field, .533 from 3-point range and .882 from the free-throw line.

TC'S EMOTION: Tyson Chandler says he came to Dallas fully realizing the Mavs had two needs he might fill.

Defensive stopper, of course.

And emotional leader.

"I've watched this organization and watched the success,'' Chandler says. "I always felt if they had somebody to show that emotion and kind of lock down the paint area, I felt with the talent this team has always had, the sky would be the limit.''

Chandler is vaulting toward averaging a double-double. But his numbers aren't the only story.

"He fits, because he's such a great guy,'' Jason Terry tells "You should hear him at road games. He's flexing his muscles to the other team, he's telling the crowd to ‘shut up,' he's being as vocal as I've ever been. Really, I'm having to take a backseat to him. He's that vocal, a vocal leader.''

BEFORE THE GAME? NAPS AND ‘DUCK TALES': What do players do between morning shootaround and evening tipoff?

Dirk tweets that there is a "Huge game in La Liga today. Real vs. Barca. I gotta go with my two German boys, Khedira and Oezil. Too bad I have to take my pregame nap.''

Of course, I have no idea what he's talking about.

And Caron, what about you?

"I'm gonna go watch ‘Duck Tales,'' Caron said.

Yes. That's more my speed, too.

JJB FOR 3: He's trying, bless his heart.

After the shootaround, there was J.J. Barea, working his tail off, attempting half-a-hundred treys, literally, then practicing coming off a screen for mid-range jumpers (maybe 50 of those), and then back to the arc, for another half-a-hundred.

"If he can fix this – and he will – he really adds another weapon for us,'' says Mavs assistant Darrell Armstrong, who oversaw JJB's extra work. "But you can see him overthinking. You can see him pressing. When he misses a 3, he's going back on defense and muttering to himself. We're trying to get his confidence back up.''

Even during this workout, JJB was cussing himself out after a bad streak. Finally, though, he made 9-of-10, and seven in a row.

"Start from your worst spot, and get better,'' instructed D.A., so Barea moved to the left side of the arc, and did it again. And was 9-of-10 again.

"It's going to come back,'' says Armstrong, well aware that the backup point guard is shooting 36 percent from the floor and a suicidal 13 percent (5-of-37) from the arc.

INJURY UPDATE: Caron Butler reports that his eye – scratched during the Miami game and nearly closed shut from the swelling afterwards – is fine.

Meanwhile, Roddy Beaubois jogged about without fully participating in practice. ( has reported that he may be three weeks away from returning from that foot surgery). Roddy B did participated in the Half-Court Contest, but it is worth noting that while other players launched themselves in order to get enough power for the shot, Roddy B shot his without risking leaving the floor.

QUOTABLE: "We keep winning all these games in a row, big games. But it'll suddenly feel like it all means nothing if we don't beat (5-11) Houston tonight.'' – Jason Terry.

FISHELLANEOUS: Also taking (but making) 3's in games is Nowitzki. He's attempted 22 treys in the last six games, twice what he'd attempted in the first 10. "We've done a couple things to try to get him more involved with the 3-point game, but he's been aggressive, too,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "We're spacing the floor a little differently than we did last year, at times. But a lot of the 3's he's getting are in transition and you don't get those unless you get stops.'' … The Rockets opted to not have a shootaround … The last three players working on the floor? In addition to JJB, Jet and Steve Novak put in extra time. … Dallas is 12-4 and has won five straight. We have momentum and we want to keep it going," Carlisle said. "We want to keep doing the things we're doing well, we want to correct things that we need to correct and we just want to keep working." … Chandler characterized tonight's game in one cautionary word: "Trap.'' … Houston doesn't have Yao Ming, but Carlisle says the Rockets have compensated for his absence. They were prepared to play with and without (Yao), because he was going to be playing with some limitations coming into the season. So, they're very equipped to play without him. They're probably the best movement team in basketball. Their big guys really pass the ball. Their perimeter guys really shoot it and cut well. So, it's a hard-working kind of game.''

Visit the Store: Night at the Mavs on Dec. 28, two tickets and a T-shirt for $22!

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