As Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com reported last night, Caron Butler will no longer be allowed to chew straws while on the court. The NBA has decided that the practice is dangerous, and they’re not wrong. But as Skeets notes at BDL, the resonant question of the ban is not “Why?” but “Why now?” It’s not as if Butler picked up the habit on the plane from Washington to Dallas, and The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg had a feature on Butler’s habit back in 2007. That’s mainstream awareness of a dangerous habit…and here the league is taking action nearly three years later. Butler likely cares more than you or I will, but come on, league office. Come on.
@mavstats: “Mavs have allowed 91.7 pts/game since All-Star break – 2nd best in NBA (MIA 87.4).”
Kelly Dwyer on last night’s game: “Marion was fantastic. So was Dirk Nowitzki, and Jason Terry. The Mavs haven’t been a knockout offensive team this year, but for some reason I still expect those shots to go in. What got me was the defense, the defense that then allowed Dallas to run its screen and roll attack in delayed transition and put Los Angeles away. The Mavs always look like a 60-win team to me, and though I shouldn’t let my own expectations cloud an accurate appraisal of this lot, it was good to see the Mavs play this well. Beating Los Angeles, by five. At home. On the second night of a back-to-back for El Lay. Nevermind.”
My HP compatriot, Matt Moore, is rather high on the Mavs: “Jason Kidd, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Brendan Haywood. Are you serious? With Terry, Beaubois, and Dampier off the bench? Are you serious? Why is this not a bigger deal? The Mavericks have to be the most under-the-radar made-the-playoffs-every-year-for-a-decade, loaded-with-All-Stars, holy-crap-they-match-up-with-anyone, division-leading team in the league. The fact that they won that game tonight without Butler is phenomenal to me. Butler is exactly the kind of guy you want to guard Bryant. He’s not going to shut him down, no one can. But it would allow Marion to guard Odom, Dirk to guard Pau, and so on…They’ve got something considerable there. The Western Conference playoffs are going to brutal, and good. Even if LA still comes out on top, the field looks much tougher than it did at the start of the season.”
Darius, of Forum Blue and Gold: “I continue to be impressed with Jason Kidd. Has he lost a step? Yes. He is 36. But his control over a game – especially offensively – and ability to run a team remains the highest level. Combine that with his not-so-fluky-anymore improvement shooting the long ball and you’ve got a player that hurts you when you double off him and can dissect you with passes for his mates when you pay too much attention to Dirk or Terry.”
C.A. Clark of Silver Screen and Roll: “Jason Terry must have a cloaking device. He must be able to press a button and become invisible, only re-appearing when he has the ball behind the 3 point arc. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for how ridiculously open he was for most of tonight’s game. Terry took 8 three pointers, and I think 6 of them were taken without a Laker within 5 feet of him. Some of those open shots were because Derek Fisher can’t keep up with Terry around screens, but more of them were due to the Lakers simply forgetting to guard him. In this, the entire Laker back-court was accountable. Kobe let JET have open looks. So did Shannon Brown. Farmar didn’t slow him down, and Fish can’t slow anybody down. Terry ended with 30 points on 20 shots, and the Mavs took what could have been a very winnable game for the Los Angeles Lakers, 101-96″