- Tell me if this quote sounds as weird to you as it does to me (from Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News): ‘We’ve seen this before too many times,’ coach Rick Carlisle said. ‘We screw around for two or three quarters, and then we want Jason Kidd to bail us out with a steal, hustle plays and fast-break opportunities. It’s just too much to ask.’”
- Chip Crain of 3 Shades of Blue reflects on Dirk’s interview with Five Magazine, and rips into him a bit. Give him hell, folks: “Hey Dirk, those trades had nothing to do with Dallas losing to Golden State, the #8 seed in the West. Garnett and Gasol had nothing to do with Dallas losing in the playoffs last year either. Those trades had nothing to do with your team failing to live up to the expectations of you and the Dallas faithful. That was the players fault and Dirk is supposed to be the leader on the team. When you are on top the bucks stops at your rather large feet…If Dallas was competitive in the West instead of barely qualifying for the playoffs Dirk would have a point. Maybe if Dallas had lost to Boston or LA in the playoffs last year then an arguement could be made. Since neither of these things happened I don’t see how the trades really affected Dirk and Dallas’ chances for an NBA championship. Of course, the one thing Dirk never did admit in the interview is that he had anything to do with his team’s failures.”
- A bad omen before last night’s embarassment, from Eddie Sefko of the DMN Mavs Blog: “When the door shut, the car abruptly dropped a couple of feet. According to the players, everybody remained mostly calm. But they couldn’t figure out how to get the door open again. Luckily, they were only on the second floor. After about 20 minutes, equipment manager Al Whitley, security director Jim Colleran and a hotel employee wedged open the door and starte pulling players up to second-floor level.”
- Not depressed yet? Here, let me, and Corn from Hardwood Paroxysm, help you: “The man, whose name is voluntarily joined by the words “salary” and “contract” in the first two entries on my Google search bar, finally showed his true colors. Yes, those colors are the road cone orange and electric blue of the OKC Thunder last night. Oh, this is not a joke – Malik Rose was forced got some to play last night… and he scored 7 POINTS!…Malik has only scored 10 points since THANKSGIVING. That is not a typo. The sadist in me continues to wish that Durant and Green sit out with injuries so we can get more of this wonderment. The human in me wishes we could just get back to normal. Kept that purty smile on the sidelines, Malik. We don’t want you in there battling for boards – putting those pearly whites in harm’s way.”
- Royce of Daily Thunder: “Awesome win for OKC and we all know Dallas will say it’s on them and they weren’t ready and there’s nobody to blame but themselves but the fact is, the Thunder kicked their butt. They wanted it more. Four straight offensive rebounds in the first quarter says it all. OKC scrapped and Dallas didn’t. Like I said, they were going to go ahead and play the game regardless of who the Thunder had suiting up. And evidently, Dallas didn’t get that memo.” And Royce is right. As much as the Mavs would like to make this entirely Mavs-centric, you’ve gotta appreciate just how much better OKC was on both ends of the court. I’d definitely argue that the Mavs played quite a hand in their own demise, but nights like those aren’t possible without the Thunder stepping up big-time.
- The always quotable Jason Terry chimed in after last night (via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News): “‘It’s March and we’re having a discussion about who’s not playing hard and who is playing hard – it’s unbelievable,’ said Jason Terry. ‘We got to play hard and play together, I don’t care who you’re playing.’”
About half an hour until the deadline, and not much out of Mavs-land. Considering the Mavs most expendable trade asset (Jerry Stackhouse’s contract) can actually be used over the summer (the Mavs have until August to turn down the non-guaranteed portion of his deal), I don’t think they’ll be panicking. Hell, the Blazers aren’t panicking, and that’s with Raef Lafrentz’s mammoth expiring contract. Here’s the latest chatter from around the interwebs:
- Mark Cuban, via Eddie Sefko’s piece this morning: “‘I don’t know that there’s a whole lot more that’s going to be done,’ owner Mark Cuban said. ‘Everybody’s looking to do the same thing, save money and to save cap room [for the future]. It’s hard to do both.’”
- Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: “‘It feels like Dallas has 100 different scenarios juggling in the air,’ one Western Conference executive said Thursday.”
- Eddie Sefko, DMN Mavs Blog: “You never know when a rebound will fall in your lap. And the Mavericks are still working the trade grapevine to see if anything crazy happens in the last hour. Doesn’t seem likely, but you never know with this bunch.”
- Mike Fisher, DallasBasketball.com: “‘How many trade offers have you had?’ Donnie [Nelson] was asked on Wednesday night. ‘Today? Seventy-five. Maybe 100. A lot,’ he responded. ‘I just got five in the 45 minutes I’ve been talking to you guys.’”
Here are the completed trades of the day:
- The Kings trade Bobby Brown and Shelden Williams to the Timberwolves for Rashad McCants and Calvin Booth. The motivations for this deal are largely financial, although Bobby Brown showed potential in the summer league and I’m confident Rashad McCants can be a solid rotation player. Shelden Williams may still have a few tricks up his sleeve, but Calvin Booth’s deal expires this summer.
- The Knicks trade Malik Rose and cash to the Thunder for Chris Wilcox. I don’t get this one at all. It’s a no-brainer from the Knicks perspective; both players have expiring deals, and their production levels aren’t even comparable. I doubt Wilcox will re-sign with NY, but they’ll get a free look at a much better player. If you can figure out what’s in it for OKC, please, by all means.
- The Bulls trade Larry Hughes to the Knicks for Tim Thomas, Anthony Roberson, and Jerome James. Jerome James is likely to retire after this season, meaning most if not all of his 2009-2010 salary will be covered by insurance. This could be the Knicks trying to consolidate their deals into one neat little package, or maybe D’Antoni seems some real value in Hughes. Either way, if for whatever reason the Knicks do decide to play the trade market next year, Hughes’ expiring deal will be worth more to teams than Thomas’. The Bulls can plug Thomas into Nocioni’s role, and on top of that they should save some coin if Jerome James retires as planned. Anthony Roberson’s a freebie.
- The Bulls trade Thabo Sefolosha to the Thunder for a nondescript future first rounder. More on this as it’s confirmed; I haven’t seen a release yet.
- The Kings waive Mikki Moore. The Cavs and the Celtics are the early favorites to bid for his services (each has at least part of their midlevel exception remaining).
- Three-team deal: the Magic acquire Rafer Alston, the Rockets acquire Kyle Lowry and Brian Cook, and the Grizzlies acquire Orlando’s first round pick. Rafer’s got the experience and did a surprisingly good job during that 22-game win streak last season, so why risk changing point guards with T-Mac already on the shelf? Even if Lowry is younger and a marginal upgrade, aren’t the Rockets hinging an awful lot on the shoulders of a young point guard that has shown little to no improvement in his first NBA seasons and has looked shaky as a starter. Magic fans are in for quite the headache, and the Grizz are saving up their lunch money.
- Another three-teamer: the Raptors get Patrick O’Bryant, the Kings get Will Solomon, and the Celtics get a virtually nonexistent second round pick that’s as conditional as fine print. No comment.
Fin. Done. It’s over. These are the Mavs you’ll see for the rest of the season, folks — for better or worse.