Posts Tagged ‘Brian Cardinal’

What’s Next For The Mavericks?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — With The Finals in the books (and in case you missed anything, check out our nifty recap above), it’s never too soon to start analyzing the participants. We’re not ones to wait, so here’s our quick post-Finals take on the state of the Heat and Mavs and what’s next for each of them. Here’s our look at the newly-crowned NBA champs, the Mavericks.


A quick look back: It began like a lot of other seasons with the Mavericks zooming out of the starting gate and on their way to piling up a ton of wins. If only the world had known it was a glimpse of the future when they whipped the visiting Heat 106-95 on Nov. 24 in the game most remembered for LeBron James’ bumping incident with Erik Spoelstra and Miami’s postgame meeting. They were 12-4 after that game and ran their blazing start to 24-5 with a win at Oklahoma City on Dec. 27.

That game also saw Dirk Nowitzki go down with a sprained right knee after landing awkwardly and was the start of a rough stretch that many thought might be the unraveling of the season. Nowitzki’s bad knee forced him out for nine games. But the loss of Caron Butler on Jan. 1 with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee took him out for the season and seemed to take away Dallas’ momentum.

From Dec. 28 through Jan. 20 the Mavs labored through a month of anguish, losing 10 of 13 games and sinking back into the middle of the Western Conference standings. But according to the players, it was that difficult stretch when coach Rick Carlisle drove them to make a deeper commitment to their long-term goal and actually found that inner strength that drove them through the playoffs.

The Mavs entered the playoffs as the No. 3 seed and carrying the same dose of skepticism from the outside world that had marked recent failures. Then they blew a 23-point fourth quarter lead at Portland in Game 4 of the first round and the belief was that they were the same old Mavs. But from that point on, nothing was ever the same. They won two straight to close out the Blazers, thoroughly embarrassed the two-time defending champs in sweeping the Lakers, swatted down the challenge from the young Thunder and then stood up in the face of the bombast from the Heat to claim the first championship in franchise history.


Bruised hip no excuse to Wade or Mavs

DALLAS – Dwyane Wade wasn’t going to use his bruised hip as an excuse. The Dallas Mavericks certainly weren’t going to offer it up as any alibi, either, for Wade’s or the Miami Heat’s performance in Dallas’ 112-103 victory in Game 5 of The Finals on Thursday night.

Wade suffered a left hip contusion in the first quarter, left the game with 2:58 left in the period for treatment in the Heat locker room, returned at 8:52 of the second quarter and missed the first 7:27 of the second half as well.

He played the rest of the game and, with 10 points, was the game’s high scorer in the fourth quarter. Wade led Miami with 23 points, had eight assists and was 10-of-12 from the foul line. But he logged only 34:27 minutes, and the Heat were minus-13 when he was on the court.

“You know I’m not going to [talk about the injury],” Wade told reporters after the game. “It was unfortunate I had to leave the game. But I came back and I finished it.”

It was Wade, remember, who blew off a question about Dirk Nowitzki’s injury (left middle finger) and illness (102-degree fever) between Games 4 and 5. “Everyone is injured at this time,” the Miami shooting guard had said on Wednesday. “I’m not going to get into the fun-loving story of him being sick either. Once you show up on the court, you show up on the court.”


Chandler Comes Up Big In Game 4

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki was sick and Brendan Haywood was hobbled. And because big men No. 4 and 5 on the Dallas Mavericks’ roster are named Brian Cardinal and Ian Mahinmi, it was time for Tyson Chandler to step up.

With 13 points and 16 rebounds in the Mavs’ 86-83 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals, Chandler did just that, helping his team even the series at 2-2.

Haywood had replaced Chandler with 1:14 to go in the first quarter, and the Heat immediately went on a 5-0 run. When Miami began the second on a 7-0 run to go up 28-21, with Haywood struggling, Chandler knew he couldn’t afford to sit any longer. So he didn’t even wait for Mavs coach Rick Carlisle to call his name.

“I seen that [Haywood] was just trying to battle it out,” Chandler said, “but I told coach, ‘You have to get me back out there. I will play 48 if I need to.’ ”

Chandler didn’t play 48 minutes, but he played a season-high 42:56, including all but 1:59 of the second half. And despite that, he looked to have the most energy of anyone in the fourth quarter.


The Journeyman Finals

MIAMI — Trivia: Name the two NBA teams that no current Heat or Mavs player has ever played for.

Answer below…

If you’re not a fan of the Miami Heat or the Dallas Mavericks, you probably still have an interest in the outcome of the 2011 NBA Finals.

There’s plenty of anti-Heat sentiment among fans of the league’s 28 other teams, of course. But there’s also plenty of former-player sentiment as well. There are likely Nets fans out there hoping to see Jason Kidd get a ring or Hornets fans who’d like to see Tyson Chandler win a title.

These are two veteran squads, with a total of seven guys who have played for at least five different franchises in their careers …


Cardinal’s Hard Pick Stirs Controversy

DALLAS — Mavericks forward Brian Cardinal says he was just playing good, smart basketball.

Trail Blazers guard Patty Mills and his teammates beg to differ.

Cardinal’s hard pick on the diminutive Mills (above) in the final seconds of the Mavericks’ Game 5 win Monday night has caused a stir in Portland and beyond. Mills took to Twitter to send a message of his own:

Pick on the little bro and deal with the rest of the family #balas #bigbros #uncle #morethanteammates #FANmily

Cardinal addressed the issue after the Mavericks’ film session/practice today and seemed genuinely puzzled that sticking to the fundamentals had caused such a controversy.

“I’m surprised they are so mad about it,” Cardinal said. “They pick up J.J. [Barea] full court and they’re gonna double team him. they’re playing hard. They’re playing aggressive, just like I am. They said there is no time on the clock, the game is over and yet they’re going to play hard, full court and press. I’m just doing the same, playing hard just like they are.”

Cardinal said he wouldn’t have done anything other than watch the final seconds click off the clock if Mills hadn’t picked Barea up full court and been so aggressive with the game already decided.


Butler tests/results coming Monday

The Dallas Mavericks won’t know the full extent of the knee injury to Caron Butler until Monday at the earliest. The initial concern is a torn patella tendon in his right knee, but further tests to determine the injury’s severity won’t be performed until Butler meets with the team’s medical staff for an MRI exam on Monday. Butler has already flown back to Dallas. first reported the possibility of Butler suffering a patella tear, according to league sources, after the Mavericks lost Saturday night at Milwaukee. Dallas is at Cleveland tonight.

Asked if the team knew anything more about Butler’s injury today, Dallas general manager Donnie Nelson told “No, not yet.” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle also said he didn’t have any additional information. The team didn’t want to speculate on the nature of the injury before further tests are done.

Butler, averaging 15.0 points and 4.1 rebounds, was injured in the first quarter of the 99-87 loss to the Bucks. Losing the Mavs’ third-leading scorer is potentially a crippling blow for a team that began the season with championship aspirations and looked every bit the title contender through the first two months.

The Mavericks, though, have lost three in a row coinciding with Dirk Nowitzki‘s knee sprain last week. Without their MVP candidate in the lineup, the Mavs (24-8) dropped games to Toronto, San Antonio and Milwaukee. Dallas was also without Shawn Marion (bruised thigh) last night. The injuries to Nowitzki and Marion aren’t considered serious.

Butler was one the players Carlisle was counting on to pick up the slack in Nowitzki’s absence. Butler scored 30 in the Spurs loss, and is a proven scorer who averaged more than 19 points per game from 2007-09. The 30-year-old Butler is in his ninth season and on the last year of his contract.

Marion is the most likely candidate to fill Butler’s spot in the starting lineup, a move that considerably weakens Dallas’ bench. In addition to playing behind Butler, Marion is also the primary backup power forward to Nowitzki. Brian Cardinal has started the last two games in Nowitzki’s place.

Expect sixth man Jason Terry, the Mavs’ second-leading scorer who’s been mired in a shooting slump, to take on more responsibility. Dallas also hopes to get a boost from rookie guard Dominique Jones, who was recalled from the D-League today after averaging 18.7 points in 10 games for the Texas Legends. The Mavs are also waiting on second-year guard Roddy Beaubois, a dynamic scorer who’s currently rehabbing from a broken foot suffered this past offseason.

The Mavs could apply for a disabled-player exception worth approximately $5.3 million, which is half of Butler’s $10.6 million salary, if it’s determined that Butler is lost for the season. Dallas could sign or trade for a player to fit into that salary spot without giving up anything in return.

Mavs high on Brian Cardinal

The Mavericks are moving quickly to fill the unexpected vacancy left by Tim Thomas, with veteran Brian Cardinal emerging as the early favorite to sign a free-agent contract, league sources told A deal, however, has not been reached as Dallas continues to consider other options.

Those possibilities include Bobby Simmons and Steve Novak. Cardinal appears to have the edge in discussions within team circles based on his experience, shooting range and work ethic.

Cardinal, a 10-year veteran, spent the last two years in Minnesota. The 6-foot-8 forward out of Purdue failed to live up to the six-year, $45 million deal he signed  in 2004 with Memphis. Still, Cardinal could give the Mavericks some much-needed depth behind All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki.

The front office thought it had ample insurance with Thomas, who missed most of last season to care for his ill wife Tricia. Thomas signed a new one-year contract with Dallas this offseason after it appeared his wife had recovered to the point where he could play again.

Earlier this week that situation changed. Thomas informed the team that he would again need to tend to his wife this season. The Mavs have contacted the league seeking to void Thomas’ contract.

Cardinal, 33, has career averages of 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds over 356 games. His best season was 2003-04 in Golden State when he averaged 9.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 76 games. He signed the monster deal with the Grizzlies that summer.

Simmons, 30, exploded onto the scene with the Clippers during the 2004-05 season, averaging 16.4 points and 5.9 boards and won Most Improved Player honors in 2005. He cashed in with $47 million, five-year contract with Milwaukee that offseason, but has been a non-factor for several seasons.

Novak, 27, is a four-year vet having played his first two seasons in Houston and his last two with the Los Angeles Clippers. He owns career averages of 4.1 points and 1.1 rebounds.

Darko Goes First Again


Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have been passed up again.

It happened at the 2003 draft, when Darko Milicic was taken with the second pick by Detroit after LeBron James. Now Milicic gets his free-agent contract agreement done before Wade and Bosh, a staggeringly generous four-year, $20 million deal from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

You’ve probably heard Timberwolves GM David Kahn talking about Milicic like he was a young Bill Walton or something, talk that seemed crazy at the time but even crazier now that they’ve ponied up this kind of cash for Milicic and made clear their desire to move Al Jefferson, who is a legitimate 20-10 guy.

I don’t want to hear any more whining about legitimate stars signing max deals they don’t deserve. These are the sort of deals (Brian Cardinal‘s $39 million, Jerome James and his $30 million, etc.) that truly make the skin crawl.