Tag:Dallas Mavericks
Posted on: February 14, 2011 6:15 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Pretenders or Contenders? The MVP candidates

As we head into the All-Star break, who's are the pretenders and contenders for the NBA MVP award?
Posted by Matt Moore



Before we get to our list of MVP contenders and pretenders, check out Adam Aizer, Greg Urbano, and Ben Golliver as they discuss the most underrated and overrated teams in the NBA and more in our weekly CBSSports.com NBA podcast:  



This season likely features the closest MVP battle we've seen since 2006. The list of worthy candidates is phenomenally long this season, and every candidate has a strong resume and clear question marks which is why this will end up as a hotly contested race down the stretch. 

To be honest, I'm loathe to write this. Anyone whose candidate is excluded will be outraged, but not as much as those listed in the pretenders category. It seems like a direct slap in the face, as if not saying a player is among the very most elite, just the generally elite, is a huge insult. It's understandable. Everyone loves their guy. Worse will be those outraged by my inclusion of certain contenders. Just as some are passionately certain that "their guy" is the MVP, there are candidates that just rub people the wrong way. Some are Chris Paul fans who can't understand all the fuss about Derrick Rose when CP3 has been around for years. Others are livid over Amar'e Stoudemire being in the conversation when Dwight Howard is a force at both  ends of the floor.

The answer to all this? If I had my way, we'd have a ten-way split for Co-MVP. It would be like that episode of "Oprah." "You get an MVP! And you get an MVP! And you get an MVP!" only instead of screaming middle-age stay-at-home moms it would be shrugging 25-30 year old basketball players who don't understand why you're giving them a car when they make over $16 million a year in most cases. The point is that all of these players deserve tremendous respect just for being included in the conversation. And it's entirely possible that some of them really do deserve to win it, or don't deserve to be considered, were there some sort of objective measure. But there isn't. It's a purposefully vague award voted on often by people who have not seen anything close to the entire body of work of all the acceptable candidates. The following is merely meant to be a roadmap based on the likelihood of the voters, featuring the common compliments and detractions for each.

To sum up: don't shoot the messenger. We're all winners in my book.

Contenders

LeBron James: If there's a favorite, it's got to be LeBron.  The reigning two-time MVP is averaging 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. He's the best player on the second best team in the East, and has shown the abilities that still consistently cause objective observers to label him as the best overall basketball player on the planet. His candidacy continues to improve each month, as he averaged 30 points in January, and is averaging 8.6 rebounds since the start of 2011.  Furthermore, Cleveland's horrific turn lingers in many eyes, despite the injuries to Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao wreaking havoc on Byron Scott's lineups. It's hard to argue against James when his former team went from the best regular season record in the East to arguably the worst team in the league. But there are reasons why James may not get the vote. His numbers, particularly his assists, are down, despite having his superstar teammates. We expected the scoring drop when put alongside Bosh and Wade, but he's having a harder time creating for teammates despite having far superior ones. His efficiency is also down considerably, with a 26.7 PER this season down from 31.1 last year. He may also suffer from the  "Jordan effect" where writers get tired of votiing for the same guy over and over again. But the biggest reason, sigh, is of course his image. No one wants to reward James' preseason preening, and considering the enormous expectations put on the Heat, it's hard to reward James when he hasn't blown everyone away despite the All-Star teammates he shares the floor with. 

Chris Paul: Paul has been the most efficient point guard on the planet this season. While Rajon Rondo leads in Assists, Weighted Assists, and Assist percentage, Paul isn't far behind in any of those categories, and has a lower turnover ratio. He's also better offensively. His (near) return to health has taken the Hornets from a lottery team to a team looking at homecourt advantage in the first round in a tough Western Conference, and may have single-handedly pushed the attendance where it needed to be to avoid the lease agreement issue. Paul is still strongly considered by many to be the clear-cut best point guard in the league, in an era where that position is filled to the brim with outstanding talent. The knocks on Paul seem like nit-picking. He simply hasn't been dominant in closing stretches of close games. Too often he defers, and not in the "pass to the open man off the double" way. More in the "here, David West, here's the ball, I'll be in the corner, good luck" way. He seems to be struggling to regain his explosivness that he showcased in his near-MVP season in 2008, and has not trusted his floater enough. Paul has had a phenomenal season and is definitely a contender, but the voters will need more in order for him to walk away with the trophy. 

Dwight Howard: Oh, Dwight. If Howard were to play every game on the offensive end as he did Sunday against the Lakers, the award could be thrown at his feet during All-Star Weekend. Howard is an extremely divisive figure in the conversation, arguably even moreso than LeBron. LeBron's detractors don't like him, and have good reason not to like him, but finding fault with his game is pretty tough. With Howard, finding fault with his game isn't difficult, but neither is finding evidence that he's the single most impactful player on both ends of the floor. He's still the monstrous defensive presence he has been for the past three seasons, even if Kevin Love's astronomical rebound rate has stolen the top spot statistically. Howard is still the most dominant rebounding force in the league. He's able to influence play mechanics and shot selection, he rotates, blocks shots into the ninth row, has terrific awareness and is the biggest reason why the Magic are still hovering around homecourt advantage in the first round. Howard has also featured a more expanded offensive repertoire, showing off a mid-range jumpshot to go with his array of dunks. He leads all centers who play 30 minutes a night in FG% at the rim , at 75.5%. So what's the hold back? In short, if you absolutely need a bucket in the fourth quarter of a contested game, Howard is still not the best place to go. With all the improvements made to his offensive game, he's actually shooting his second worst free throw percentage of his career. That alone wouldn't take him out of the running, but with the Magic having made several trades to improve the squad and still struggling, Howard isn't supporting them enough on his own to make him the favorite in some eyes. His footwork remains inconsistent, his offensive repertoire still the basketball equivalent of the menu at a baked potato restaurant. You can get it loaded with whatever you want, it's still a baked potato. Howard may be the candidate who suffers most from perceptions rather than facts about his game, and that's saying something with LeBron James in the conversation. 

Derrick Rose: If Howard is most often punished based on feeling rather than fact, then Rose is his mirror image. The point guard who's not an elite passer, the scorer who's not the model of efficiency, but the player who "wows" voters night in and night out. Rose has shown a phenomenal ability to take over games, particularly in the fourth quarter, and with extended injuries to both Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, the Bulls' second and third best players respectively, it's been Rose that has pushed the Bulls to be in contention not only for homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference, but possibly a top-two seed. He's improved in nearly every aspect of his game, from defense, to scoring, to creating contact and getting to the line, which was a concern early this season. He's quite simply been a phenomenal basketball player, even though he's not necessarily dominant in any one area. Rose has found a way to make the necessary play more times than not when the Bulls have a chance to win the game, and his athleticism and explosiveness simply blows you away. All that said, he's a third-year player on a third-place team who's only shooting 45% from the field. Rose being considered a candidate is either a testament to the immeasurable impact his play has on the game, or a case of big-market bias combined with a sentimental affection for a outstanding highlights insteads of empirical evidence. 

Pretenders:

Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant doesn't care about this award. Could not give a flip. He cares about the sixth ring, catching Michael, cementing his legacy, sending Phil out on top (or perhaps more importantly, not failing him), and doing it his way. Which means lots and lots and lots of shots. Whether you agree or disagree that Kobe's the source of the occasional Lakers' stalling mid-flight offensively, to argue that Bryant doesn't like to shoot is beyond reason. He leads all players in FGA per 40 minutes . All players. Even the end-of-benchers who like to toss it up so as to say they made a few buckets in an NBA game before heading off to the D-League again take fewer shots than Bryant. And that's acceptable. He's the singular best offensive talent of his time. So he'll continue doing what he wants, and scoring, and winning more often than not, in part because he had the unimitigated gall to demand to play for the Lakers before the draft, and has been rewarded with teams of unfathomable talent and a Hall of Fame coach, and in part because he may very well be the second best ball player to ever lace up shoes on an NBA floor. So for Bryant to be considered a pretender should not be taken as some sort of grand insult the way so many consider his exclusion of the award from 2005 to 2007 to be. He's older, he doesn't shoot as well, he doesn't have to try as hard, and Pau Gasol is just as much a part of what makes the Lakers great. Bryant is a phenomenal player on the West's second best team, as well as the star of the defending NBA champions who many expect to repeat. None of this makes him worthy of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award, just as none fo the accomplishments of the contenders listed above make their legacies in any way comparable to what Bryant has accomplished. Bryant's past a silly regular season award. He's playing for points in the game of immortality. 

Dirk Nowitzki: If physically pains me to place Nowitzki here. Did you know that Nowitzki is shooting 51% from 16-23 feet ? Think about that.  As the number one offensive threat for a Western Conference contender, in the most difficult place to shoot from (three-pointers are often set, catch and shoot opportunities with reasonable space from a closing defender), Nowitzki makes more than he misses. That's incredible. What will really shock you, however, is Dirk's defense. He's allowing just 29% FG shooting in the post. He's certainly not defending top-level post players, but that's still incredible for a guy often criticized for his defense. Same with isolation, where he's allowing just 36.4% shooting. (Numbers courtesy of Synergy Sports.) All this and he's helped lead the Mavericks to the second best record in the Western Conference. So what's the knock on Dirk? Nowitzki suffers more than any other candidate from the "What have you done for me lately?"card. Nowitzki has already won the award, his team isn't blowing everyone away in their conference, and they're still not taken seriously as a title contender. It's impossible to find an argument with Dirk's play, it's that once again, he doesn't seem to "feel" like an MVP. 

Amar'e Stoudemire: Stoudemire energized New York in the first quarter of the season and was blasting his way through the Eastern Conference. It looked every bit like Stoudemire was going to be a legit MVP candidate this year. But the Knicks have fallen off, and as a result, Stoudemire's contributions no longer seem as sterling. Yet he's still averaging 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game, at or near career highs, and certainly is the most valuable player on a Knicks team that's a lock for the playoffs, even as homecourt slips further and further away. The biggest knock on Stoudemire? Defense. His defensive numbers are average in the post according to Synergy Sports, and there's a widely held perception that he's a terrible defender. It's probably an exaggeration, but without any signature wins over the top defensive teams outside Chicago (ironically the top defensive team), Stoudemire will be hard pressed to get the vote, even with the New York advantage. 

Kevin Garnett: Can a player average only 15 points and win MVP? Probably not, which is why Garnett will likely fail to get many, if any votes for MVP. But he deserves to at least be in the discussion. Garnett shoots 74% at the rim this season, and 46% from 16-23 feet . He's the unquestioned defensive leader of the most trusted defensive unit in the league, and his work has somehow been even better than usual this year. His explosiveness has returned after last year's recovery from a knee injury, and he has been dominant at both ends of the floor at times. If LeBron James is excused from statistical dips because of his teammates, how about Garnett who plays on the deepest team in the league? Not to mention, how many other candidates can hit someone in the testicles and not get suspended for it? Garnett means more to the best team in the East than any other player. That alone should get him in the room for this discussion. But he's still not individually brilliant enough to warrant the award. The Celtics without Garnett could conceivably still be a top three team in the East. Thats' how stacked they are. And much like Bryant, Garnett's presence isn't most felt in the regular season, but in April, when the toughest part of the season comes into play.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 9:18 pm
 

Caron Butler still eyeing a playoff return

Posted by Royce Young

Most contending teams are looking to make a deal soon that will strenghten their team for a strong push into the postseason. But the Dallas Mavericks might not even have to make a move to get that added weapon.

Caron Butler has been optimistic about returning to the floor for the Mavs for the playoffs and reiterated that point again Friday.

"I'm doing great. I'm healing up well," Butler told Galloway & Company on ESPN 103.3 in Dallas. "My target is still the playoffs. It's something that I'm totally capable of doing. ... I'm responding well and having no setbacks."

Butler of course is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season after rupturing his right patellar tendon on Jan. 1. The Mavs have come back after really struggling intially after Butler and Dirk Nowitzki's injury. They lost Thursday in Denver, but before that had ripped off 10 straight.

Part of Butler's motivation -- other than getting back to help the Mavs make a title push -- is that this is a contract year for him. If he could get back and show that he's fully healed and playing well, it could also help his pocketbook too.

Is it reasonable? Absolutely. The expected length Butler was set to be out was termed 4-6 months. The playoffs will start at the end of April. That would be right around four months since the injury and surgery.

Of course that might be rushing it a bit and certainly a risk. But it's something Butler is probably willing to do, again, with this being a contract year. As he said, his rehab is going well and he's feeling solid. There shouldn't be a reason for him not to come back. I'm sure the Mavericks would be excited to have him back just in time to play their biggest games of the season.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:39 pm
 

Mavericks G Dominique Jones suffers foot injury

Dallas Mavericks guard Dominique Jones is expected to miss significant time with a foot injury. Posted by Ben Golliver. dominique-jones

Dallas Mavericks rookie guard Dominique Jones has suffered a foot injury that will keep him out for a "significant period of time," according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Mavericks' injury situation has taken another bad turn as rookie Dominique Jones suffered a foot injury that will sideline him for a significant period of time, two sources said.
The injury occurred recently and Jones stayed behind as the team left for Sacramento on Tuesday. It's not known what the injury is, but it will take some time to recuperate from.
Jones, a first year player out of South Florida, hasn't seen much time for the Mavericks and has logged some time in the D-League for the Texas Legends. He's a big-bodied scoring guard, but hasn't been able to find minutes in Dallas' veteran-laden backcourt.

His numbers with the Mavericks: 2.3 points, 1.1 assist in 7.5 minutes per game over 18 appearances.

His numbers with the Legends: 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists in 37.5 minutes per game over 10 appearances. 

ESPNDallas.com also notes that Jones has gone done right as fellow young guard Roddy Beaubois is poised to make his return from his own foot injury.
Roddy Beaubois hit a personal milestone Tuesday as he participated in his first full practice. It was an abbreviated, 45-minute workout before the team headed to Sacramento. Beaubois will not be on the first two legs of the trip, which goes through Denver on Thursday. He could join the team in Houston for Saturday's game against the Rockets, although Beaubois won't play in that game either. The earliest Beaubois could make his season debut is Feb. 16 at home against Sacramento or Feb. 17 at Phoenix Suns, which leads into th All-Star break.
Beaubois' absence has stretched on and on for months, it's gotten past depressing and past confusing. Here's hoping Jones enjoys a quicker recovery timeline.
Posted on: February 8, 2011 1:08 am
 

Game Changer: An upsetting night

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements that help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the previous night's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what led to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: BLAZERS TOE THE LINE

You didn't think LaMarcus Aldridge was an All-Star? Well how about now?

Aldridge went for 42 against on of the league's best defensive teams as the Blazers topped the Bulls 109-103 in yet another big win for Portland. These Blazers just won't go away. With Brandon Roy coming back soon and a big momentum win over Chicago, it's becoming more and more clear that we're not finished hearing from Portland.

While Aldridge was obviously incredible, this game was maybe more about how Andre Miller controlled everything. He scored 27 points and dished 11 assists and really had the team in good offensive sets and rhythm the entire second half. Typically the Bulls lock down in the fourth quarter, but Portland exploded for 34 points and a lot of that went directly through Miller. Aldridge was big in the period but again, Miller had a big hand in getting him those looks.

The Bulls got 37 from Derrick Rose but in the key moments of the fourth, Rose wasn't able to break lose and his teammates didn't provide a boost. Chicago scored enough to win as 103 typically gets it done for them, but they just couldn't get stops. They outrebounded Portland 41-31, made nine more baskets and scored six more points on 3s.

But the Blazers went 37-40 from the free throw line compared to Chicago's 11-18. Right there, is where this game was won. Aldridge and Miller went a combined 25-27 from the line, Rudy Fernandez 8-9 and Nicolas Batum 4-4. Other than Rose, nobody for the Bulls really got to the stripe. The Blazers attacked, while Chicago settled.

The Blazers need every win they can get, but with a little help on the way, beating the Bulls makes for some good feelings heading into the All-Star break. Portland looks to be in the playoff discussion all the way through and Monday's win showed that there's no reason they won't be.

SNEAKY WOLVES

You hear it all the time, but it's true: No matter who you're playing, there aren't any easy nights in the NBA. And the Hornets were the latest example of that.

Playing at home against the lowly Wolves, a team that had won only two road games coming in, New Orleans looked to roll over Minnesota. Except the Wolves came out firing, scoring 37 in the second quarter en route to hitting 11 3s on the night and beating NOLA 104-92.

Other than the two lines -- the free throw and 3-point ones -- this game was even. New Orleans made 35 baskets to Minnesota's 34. The Wolves had 44 rebounds, the Hornets 43. Turnovers were almost even.

But the Wolves separated because they scored 15 more points from 3 and went 25-25 from the free throw line. Between those two places, Minnesota picked up an extra 24 points on the Hornets. It showed late in the fourth too as Minnesota stretched out to an 18-point lead before Chris Paul tried to bring his team back by forcing a few turnovers and getting a couple good looks for Hornet shooters.

It wasn't enough though as if only for a night, the Wolves looked like the playoff team in New Orleans. Jonny Flynn looked as good as he has this season after coming back from hip surgery with 13 points and six assists, Kevin Love was Kevin Love (27 points, 17 rebounds) and the Minnesota bench poured in 47 points. The defense was there, they selectively ran instead of recklessly doing it and definitely played their best game of the season.

Is it something to build off of? Probably not, because I think it was more of a product that the Hornets weren't prepared, but the Wolves have some talent on the roster. And they showed that they're capable on any given night you don't take them seriously.

BOSTON SLIPS TO BOB'S FORMER CATS

What did I just say about any given night in the NBA? Well, apply it here too.

The Bobcats bit the Celtics 94-89 behind a big performance from unlikely hero Shaun Livingson who had 18 points on 7-10 shooting off the bench. It was the kind of game you almost always see Boston win. A tough, defensive game where every point came at a premium. But the Cats did it all a little better in the end, hitting a number of tough, contested shots while forcing Boston into tough looks on the other end.

At the half, it looked like Charlotte would have a serious uphill climb in order to win. They led 51-50, but Stephen Jackson was tossed because he picked up back-to-back technicals. Without Jackson, things looked to be difficult for Charlotte. One of their top offensive options was gone. They needed someone to step up. And that's where Livingston came in.

He was a huge part of the offense in the fourth quarter rally where Charlotte outscored the Celtics 29-20. He moved the ball, hit jumpers and freed up others with dribble penetration.

A late questionable call on Livingston gave the Celtics life as Paul Pierce went to the line for three, making two and cutting the lead to 92-89 with three seconds left. And despite the bad foul, Livingston swore he wasn't trying to throw the game.



(Ray Allen hit two 3-pointers, putting him one shy of Reggie Miller's record. In case you were wondering.)

The Celtics aren't going to win every night, but this was pretty unexpected, especially with Jackson being absent the last 24 minutes.

CAVS BEIN' CAVS

Coming in, it didn't look there was any question as to if the Cavaliers would drop their 25th straight. They were playing in Dallas against the hit Mavericks.

But there they were, right in the game.

Cleveland got it down to three and had possession with a minute left twice. But they almost looked panicked. Antwan Jamison hurried a 3-pointer and then J.J. Hickson ran over Jason Kidd for a charge. The Cavs went into a frantic mode, hurrying everything trying to tie the game.

Jason Terry knocked down a jumper, but the Cavs responded, cutting it to 99-96. The Cavs got a stop with 15 seconds left and Anthony Parker had a decent pull-up look from 3 to tie. The ball just bounced off the rim but Jamison tapped the ball out.

But naturally, the Cavs didn't even get another tying attempt up before the buzzer sounds. It was so, so Cavs.

They battled though, going on a 7-0 run to even have a chance. But they finished the game like a team that just doesn't know how to win. This is the official record of 25 losses in a row and wouldn't you know it, they were so, so close to preventing that.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Carmelo Anthony gets the gold star of the night as he dropped 50 points on 16-24 shooting while also grabbing 11 rebounds.

LaMarcus Aldridge exploded for 42 against the Bulls.

Kevin Martin went for 37 against Denver.

Gerald Wallace went for 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Rajon Rondo notched another double-double with 10 points and 14 assists.

Kevin Love with another typical night -- 27 points, 17 rebounds and 14-14 from the line.

PARTING THOUGHT

I don't know who's harder to figure out, the Nuggets or the Rockets. Denver lost to Houston at home 108-103 despite 50 from Melo. The Rockets just don't seem to go away and the Nuggets just continue to lose puzzling games. In Denver's defense though, Nene missed the game and Chauncey Billups exited early with an injury. Still though, dropping games at home versus sub-.500 teams doesn't happen often in Denver.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 10:53 pm
 

Cavaliers tie NBA record with 23rd straight loss

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night, marking their 23rd straight loss, which ties an NBA record. Posted by Ben Golliver.
byron-scott


The Cleveland Cavaliers tied a single-season NBA record by losing their 23rd consecutive game on Friday night, a 112-105 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. While their recent play resembles a car crash the losses aren't coming by accident.

The Cavaliers tied the Vancouver Grizzlies -- who lost 23 straight games in the 1995-1996 season -- and have a chance to tie the all-time record for consecutive losses overall, set by the Cavaliers during the 1981-1982 and 1982-1983 seasons. Their last win came on Dec. 18 against the New York Knicks. Incredibly, that was the only game the team has won during a 1-33 streak dating back to Nov. 30.

Friday's loss was fairly typical for Cleveland, as the undersized, undermanned Cavaliers couldn't keep pace with a bigger, stronger, more talented opponent. The Cavs disintegrated down the stretch as they were virtually unable to score in the fourth quarter. It was a particularly demoralizing end to the night as they had played energetically through the first three quarters, trailing the Grizzlies just 84-83 entering the final period. 

The fourth quarter started ugly and stayed ugly for Cleveland, as they managed just a pair of Antawn Jamison free throws in the first 4:33 of the period while Memphis went on a 13-2 run to begin the period and push out its lead to double digits. On the evening, Cleveland played just eight players, due to the excused absence of guard Daniel Gibson, who has also been dealing with a quad injury recently, and that lack of depth showed down the stretch.

By the end of it, the Grizzlies looked fairly relieved to have escaped the FedEx Forum with the win; Dropping the game and snapping Cleveland's streak would have been another black mark on a season that already has included an in-game fight between teammates and a positive drug test for guard O.J. Mayo.

Memphis was a fairly tough opponent for the Cavaliers, as the pair of near All-Stars Zach Randolph (31 points and 13 rebounds) and Rudy Gay (26 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals, two blocks) represent big-time match-up problems for Cleveland, who couldn't hope to keep pace on the boards for four quarters. The Grizzlies, now 27-24 on the season, have also been playing solid basketball of late, winners of five in a row and eight of their last nine. 

J.J. Hickson led the way for Cleveland with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Guard Ramon Sessions added 20 points and 11 assists.

Next up for Cleveland is what would appear to be a more favorable match-up: the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Blazers are just 1/2 game behind the Grizzlies in the Western Conference, they've been dogged by injuries recently and will not possess much of a height advantage down low.  Portland is also not playing its best basketball of the season, as a 100-87 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night gave the Blazers their fourth loss in five games. 

What's more, while the Cavaliers are dead last in the league in offensive efficiency, the Blazers have struggled to score lately, unable to top 100 points since a Jan. 20 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The team has been anemic from outside and unable to provide power forward LaMarcus Aldridge with much offensive support in the paint. Portland's front court rotation, aside from Aldridge, consists of the undersized Dante Cunningham, the still-rehabbing Joel Przybilla and the ineffective Sean Marks, as center Marcus Camby is out following knee surgery and D-League call-up Chris Johnson was not retained after a 10-day contract.

Put all of that together, and the Cavaliers, having lost franchise player LeBron James last summer and Anderson Varejao to injury earlier this year, really can't ask for a much better opponent than the cold-shooting, under-manned, under-sized Blazers, who will be coming into Cleveland to play on the second half of a back-to-back. 

Should the Cavaliers lose to the Blazers, they will have the opportunity to set the NBA's all-time record for consecutive losses (regardless of whether it stretched over multiple seasons) during a Monday night game against the Mavericks in Dallas. The Mavericks, 34-15 on the year and in second place in the Southwest Division, would be the prohibitive favorites to help the Cavaliers make history.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Cuban wouldn't want to be David Stern

Posted by Royce Young

Mark Cuban has never been shy about expressing his feelings or thoughts. It why a lot love him and why a lot hate him.

The feeling has always been that Cuban is a thorn in David Stern's side and someone that butts heads with the league. But in an interview recently on Dan Patrick's radio show, Cuban gave big props to Stern and when asked if he would like to be commissioner, Cuban said no way.
"No. I don’t have the personality. I don’t have the patience. I am not a fan of compromise. David does a really good job of dealing with all of the different personalities, being able to find compromise, being able to find a happy medium, and that is just not me…

I think he does a great job actually. If someone like me came in and said something I would be like, 'Are you an idiot?' The commissioner can’t just say that. 'Oh what a great idea. Let me consider it and take it under advisement.'"
I think that is one of the best quotes I've ever read from Cuban. Especially the "I am not a fan compromise" part. It's the truth of what makes Stern so incredibly good at what he does. He hears all stories, all ideas and all opinions. He never jumps too quickly to a decision and definitely gives a voice to the owners and players.

Plus, he handles every question and every interview as well as you possibly can. Cuban would be a fun commissioner, but a horrible one. He's right about that part.

Via Sports Radio Interviews
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:42 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Cuban wouldn't need extension to move for Melo

Mark Cuban says publicly he'd take a chance on adding Carmelo Anthony without an extension, with the hopes of convincing him to re-sign. 
Posted by Matt Moore

As our own Ken Berger has reported in the past, Mark Cuban is willing to take a shot at convincing Carmelo Anthony to stay and is therefore open to trading for the Denver star without an extension in place. Without discussing Melo specifically (which would violate tampering rules), Cuban had this to say to the New York Post about acquiring an All-Star without an extension: 

"Yeah, in a heartbeat. Because then its up to me to try to convince them to stay," Cuban said. "If everybody wants to give off a great player, were always going to try to be opportunistic. But those calls typically aren't made. Those happen once every five years or so."
via Mavericks willing to rent Anthony - NYPOST.com.

Cuban is the kind of bold owner who would take it upon himself to convince the star to stick around. And with the Mavericks very much in need of a wing now that Caron Butler is out for the season, and with several expiring contracts to dangle, the Mavs could find themselves in position to make a run at Melo before the deadline.

Melo wouldn't fit perfectly on the Mavs, not with both he and Dirk mid-range players who work best shooting elbow jumpers. But Anthony could help with rebounding from the 3 spot, and it removes the need for as much depth. If they were to find a special combination, it could lead to a deep playoff run, something Anthony obviously wants. And while Dallas isn't New York by any stretch, it is a major metropolitan area with that kind of environment, and is a very East-Coast-feeling city, or as much of one as you can get in Texas. 

Cuban shook things up in Dallas last year over All-Star Weekend, trading for Butler and Brendan Haywood. Is this the year he goes for the big maneuver? 
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:12 am
 

Dirk pumps the brakes on playing in Germany

Posted by Royce Young

Dirk Nowitzki recently talked about his plans with basketball if there is a work stoppage later this year. He said he might play in Germany. Besides that probably being impossible because of his current NBA contract, Dirk has now backed off that idea a bit, calling it "speculation."

Via the Dallas Morning News:
"If it's a long lockout, we all have to check over all our options," Nowitzki said Tuesday. "You don't want to lose a whole year. But that's a long, long way away.

We don't know what's going to happen with the collective-bargaining and even then, there are a lot of other things that go into it. This was mainly just a bunch of speculation."
Actually, it's possibly just a few months away. In Dirk's head it's a long, long way away because this season has a lot left in it and Dirk isn't thinking about anything else. But once the Finals end and the draft wraps up, things will start to get dicey. That's when all of this stuff we've been hearing and reading about with start to actually get hashed out.

What Dirk said is something a lot of players are thinking about. They don't want to lose a whole year. What they are saying is they don't want to lose a whole year of basketball but what they mean is they don't want to lose a whole year of paychecks.

Again, this talk of players going overseas isn't likely to happen. To me, it's somewhat of a ploy to tell the owners that they don't need the NBA and that they can get money elsewhere. It's the greatest one because we all know where their bread is buttered.
 
 
 
 
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