- Rodrigue Beaubois reflecting on Game 6 of last season’s playoffs, in which Rick Carlisle opted to sit him in favor of Jason Terry and Caron Butler (via Eddie Sefko): “It’s some tough choices for coach,” he said. “If we had won, it would have been great. It’s just a coach’s decision. I just need to be ready when they call my name. For sure it was difficult. It was a very important game and we lost it. It was tough. I was feeling great. But it’s all good. That was last year. I’m focused on this year.”
- A few other notes from the same Sefko piece: Beaubois fully intends to play for the French national team next year as they attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, and though he’s no longer using crutches, he’s still in a protective boot.
- Mark Cuban, and his $100,000 donation to the city of Dallas. Cool, but as Trey Kerby noted at Ball Don’t Lie, it may not be entirely altruistic.
- Joe Crawford, whose rights the Legends selected in the D-League expansion draft, has been invited to camp with the Sacramento Kings. J.R. Giddens, who played for the Mavs’ summer league team, has also been invited. The Kings are clearly looking for a prospect to survive the intra-camp competition, as Luther Head, too, has been brought in to compete for a roster spot.
- In the latest edition of The Works, Tom Ziller and Bethlehem Shoals revisit the Z-graph, an illustrated representation of position-based skills.
- Dirk Nowitzki will do voice work for one of the worst shows on television.
- Josh Howard still dresses like Josh Howard.
- Henry Abbott of TrueHoop is killing it today with a five-part series on the traveling rule in the NBA. Still need a hook? Try this on for size: “In the conversation that follows, [Vice President of Referee Operations Joe] Borgia unravels one of the NBA’s great secrets. ‘We really don’t reference the rulebook.’”
- Did you know that Jason Kidd has recorded 10+ assists in 492 games (45.3% of his total games)? That Kidd would need to play around 630 more games to pass John Stockton as the All-Time assists leader? That Kidd is responsible for approximately 21,521 points through assists alone? More fun with numbers with Joe Schuhmann at NBA.com.
- A look at the “Los Mavs” jerseys the guys will wear tonight, for the league’s Noche Latina “celebration.”
- Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News has made it his personal mission to make Maverick fans cry: “The Mavs already have lost six games by at least 20 points, and there’s still more than a month left in the season. No good team does that. Just so you know, the Mavs lost only seven games by at least 20 points in the last three seasons combined. Last season, it happened just once.”
- The big story of late is Mark Cuban’s rather rigid stance towards the Mavs’ lack of effort. From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News: “‘The effort and energy, on both sides of the ball, by each player will decide their future with the Mavericks. If each player can’t take the personal initiative to make every game important and play like it, I don’t see them being here next season.’ Cuban, who pours his heart as well as his money into the franchise, wasn’t finished. ‘The ball won’t always bounce the way we want it to, but every player can control their level of effort,’ he said. ‘If it’s not important enough to them to lay it out every game the rest of the season, they won’t be back. I don’t care what their contract is. I would rather turn over the roster 100 percent than subject fans to another game like last night.’” Not even Dirk and JET are absolved from the criticism this time around; each played a big part in the Mavs’ no-show in OKC. Let’s hope for an energized team tonight. Also: this apparently is not breaking news to the players themselves.
- Luther Head has apparently chosen to go to the Miami Heat. Short-lived rumors, FTW! Also — Drew Gooden is heading to San Antonio as predicted, and Joe Smith is unsurprisingly Cleveland-bound.
- One of the most important things to consider when re-evaluating the Kidd-Harris deal is that the point is not that Kidd has been bad. He’s contributed in a lot of ways and some nights he’s been spectacular. The problem is that he pales in comparison to his competition, and that the Mavs just haven’t been good. From Jeff Caplan of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Yet, in a Western Conference teeming with dynamic point guards who score and dish, solid hasn’t cut it. Kidd’s disappointing head-to-head matchups against five elite counterparts who lead playoff contenders — and the Mavs’ 3-9 record this season against those teams — provide eye-opening perspective…Kidd is not winning many one-on-one clashes when going up against Parker, Utah’s Deron Williams, New Orleans’ Chris Paul, Denver’s Chauncey Billups and Phoenix’s Steve Nash. In those 12 matchups, Kidd has averaged 9.5 points on 37.1 percent shooting. His counterparts have averaged 23.7 points and 46.2 percent shooting. Kidd has outscored them twice…Since Kidd’s arrival, the Mavs are .500 (29-29) against the West and — stop rubbing your eyes — 9-23 against this season’s other eight playoff contenders…Maybe Kidd’s talents to distribute, with little pressure to score, might be a championship fit with a more athletic cast such as Portland or Denver. Or with Orlando, a team equally as dangerous inside and outside…While injuries, negligible interior scoring and a fluctuating bench are all culprits in the Mavs’ poor record against chief rivals, it seems apparent that a playoff push will require their $21.4 million quarterback to more closely match his counterparts point-for-point.
Agent Mark Bartelstein just made it unofficially official: The Nets are out of the running for his client, Luther Head.
And before you jump to conclusions, you should know this: It was only their inability to guarantee playing time that was the dealbreaker.
And no, they didn’t go cheap on you with a playoff berth at stake: “If we wanted to come, they were willing to pay,” Bartelstein believes.
But here’s your basic bottom line: “They have a three-guard rotation right now that they’re set with, and we want Luther to control his own destiny,” the agent said of his free-agent client, who was waived by Houston Saturday. “So it’s not going to be the Nets — it’s just not the right fit. It’s about minutes right now for him.”
Head will choose between Milwaukee, Miami, Dallas and San Antonio. But Charlotte is still in the picture.
If playing time is the deal-breaker, I’m not sure Dallas is an ideal locale for Head. He doesn’t have the skills to be a real back-up point, and Jason Terry has already cemented himself as the first shooting guard off the bench. Now, if the Mavs have something different altogether in mind — say, if they think Head is a better option at the starting 2 than Antoine Wright — it could work. But it would definitely require that type of creativity, in my eyes.