Eye on the Prize: Butler Auditions

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 7, 2010 under Rumors | Be the First to Comment

Now that trade season is officially upon us, I’ll be revving up the rumor dissection and analysis. But to take it a step further, we’ll be checking in with the Mavs’ rumored targets of choice periodically to keep tabs on their recent production. So keep your eye on the prize, no matter your prize of choice.

’09-’10 hasn’t been a great year for Caron Butler, but you’d never know it based on his dismantling of the Orlando Magic on Friday night. Butler poured in a season-high 31 points against Orlando’s stable of swingmen, and colored within the lines on a game-winning play:

Butler didn’t go rogue with the game on the line, but stuck to the game plan and was rewarded with a clean look. It’s also amazing what not having Shawn Marion in your face will do for your offensive game. To go along with his tidy 31 points (on 50% shooting with eight free throw attempts), Butler rounded out the box score with nine rebounds and two assists.

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Kevin Martin’s night at the office was a bit abbreviated, but for all the wrong reasons. Phoenix absolutely ran Sacramento off the court Friday night (the Suns scored 39 in the first quarter alone), and Martin logged just 27 minutes as the starters turned in a bit earlier than usual. Not that Martin’s 27 were particularly productive — K-Mart scored just five points on 2-9 shooting. Perhaps worst of all: Martin was -31 on the night.

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Andre Iguodala is the image of versatility, and his statistical contributions typically indicate as such. That was certainly the case on Saturday night, when he led the Sixers to a 102-95 victory over the Rockets. 14 points on 37.5% shooting is hardly awe-inspiring, but 10 rebounds? Six assists? Two three-pointers? All against a team of stellar perimeter defenders? Not too shabby.

The 76ers are limited offensively, and depend heavily on Iguodala to make everything go. Teams in that vein will always be fighting an uphill battle against Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier and the Houston Rockets, making 14-10-6 a pretty impressive line. Not to mention the fact that Ariza had just nine points on 33.3% shooting.