Posts Tagged ‘Delonte West’

Mavs’ Curry To Get Shot As Starter Against Howard, Lakers

DALLASEddy Curry was all smiles Monday after the Dallas Mavericks mercifully put a wrap on their final preseason practice before Tuesday’s opener against Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers.

And why shouldn’t the slimmed-down Curry be smiling? After playing just 24 games over the last four seasons — that’s 24 total games, not an average per season — suddenly Curry will almost assuredly start at center opposite Howard at Staples Center just days after being waived by the Spurs and then signed by the desperate, injury depleted Mavs.

“That’s awesome, man,” Curry said of facing Howard in his L.A. debut. “Couldn’t ask for a better matchup, I think, just to really test me and see where I am.”

Curry’s personal good fortune, however, underscores just how miserably things have gone for Dallas this preseason. An adjustment period was coming anyway with a radically different roster from the one that claimed the franchise’s only NBA championship just 16 months ago, and even from the semi-dismantled one that feebly attempted to defend the title.

Yet, no one could have predicted that when the Mavs take the floor Tuesday night, forward Shawn Marion would be the lone starter from either of those two teams. It’s been one mess of a preseason, with injury and atypical turmoil producing one gut punch after another.

The big blow was Dirk Nowitzki’s bothersome right knee requiring arthroscopic surgery that will sideline him for at least another two to four weeks. Chris Kaman, the 7-foot and chronically injured center the Mavs crossed their fingers would start in the opener, can’t stay healthy. He wrenched his back during the very first practice and is now into his second week of a calf stain. The baffling Delonte West, the Mavs’ best option at backup point guard, was waived Monday after twice being suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.

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Storms Brewing In Dallas?


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS –
The good news first.

That O.J. Mayo acquisition is looking pretty good so far for the Dallas Mavericks. The dynamic Mayo (above) is showing off the talent and skills that made him a difference-maker the past three seasons in Memphis. If you don’t believe it, just take a good look at the work he put in against the Rockets last night.

Now that we’ve gotten the good stuff out of the way, we need to turn our attention to a few issues the Mavericks are dealing with, the first of which involving the face of the franchise, Dirk Nowitzki.

He’s got a sore knee that could very well require surgery, which would cause the Mavericks’ 11-time All-Star to miss the start of the regular season. He’s already had the knee drained twice in the past month. Without any improvement, surgery is an option (per The Associated Press):

“I guess that it’s obvious that I don’t want (surgery) done,” Nowitzki said. “If it’s going to keep swelling up on me, that’s not a way to go through an 82-game season and hopefully a long playoff run.”

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Mavs welcome camp on the fly





DALLAS – The Mavericks won’t be having your average training camp. Not with an international trip to Berlin and Barcelona mixed right in the middle.

Yet it is still far preferable to coach Rick Carlisle than last season when the Mavs had to defend their 2011 championship practically on the run in the wake of the labor lockout.

“Well, it’s a big advantage over last year,” Carlisle said. “Let’s make that clear. Last year we were integrating three guys who were going to be rotation guys. When we acquired (Lamar) Odom the trade didn’t happen until the day camp started, or the night before. He was behind anyway; then it was (Vince) Carter and (Delonte) West. But those guys were experienced pros and adapted well.

“Here we’ve got a lot more time. It’s going to be a completely different deal from last year, which is good.

“This is not going to be normal. But the trip is well-planned in terms of scheduling. I like the way it’s laid out. It’ll give us a chance to spend some time together as a team, which I think is good. It extends our training camp with a bunch of new guys, which helps.”

A year ago it was all about a lack of time with just a two-week mini-camp to try to pull a team together before the season opener on Christmas Day. Even team leader Dirk Nowitzki wasn’t in shape and had to be pulled from the lineup for four games in January and the Mavs never developed a rhythm.
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Greene Grinding His Way Back




HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Orien Greene lights up when talking about his high school and college glory days. He battled Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem while starring at Gainesville High and then joined forces with Haslem and fellow NBA stars David Lee and Matt Bonner during his first two college seasons playing for the hometown Florida Gators, all of them destined for long and fruitful careers on basketball’s biggest stage.

But unlike his former teammates, Greene’s path to the league has been littered with detours that he never imagined would be a part of his experience. And both Haslem and Bonner had scrap and claw their way into the league before becoming mainstays for contenders, Bonner in San Antonio.

So when Greene tells you he’s cherishing every minute of his latest attempt to make it back to the NBA, you know it’s coming from the right place.

“It’s definitely gone by in a blur. I can remember playing against Udonis in high school like it was yesterday,” Greene, 30, said of the hoops odyssey he’s been on for the better part of the last decade. “The time goes by just like that.”

Greene has had his taste of the league. The Boston Celtics selected him with the 53rd overall pick in the 2005 Draft, he finished his college career at Louisiana Lafayette, and spent his first season in the NBA as a backup point guard to Delonte West. But poor decision-making off the court cost him his spot on a young Celtics team, one that would be broken up later by the assembly of the famed Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

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Mavs Could Still Look To West

HANG TIME, Texas – They were not able to reel in their No. 1 free agent target Deron Williams and they watched future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd escape to New York.

But the Mavericks, with spaces to fill on their roster, are still hoping to fill one of them with guard Delonte West.

Despite a finger injury that forced him to miss one-third of the 66-game post-lockout schedule and that bizarre delivering of a “wet willie” to Utah’s Gordon Hayward back in April, West was a far more solid addition to the Dallas lineup last season than, say, Lamar Odom and could help while Darren Collison and rookie Jared Cunningham learn the offense.

“We’ve got 15 spots and 13 players are under contract,’’ general manager Donnie Nelson told fishbowlradionetwork.com on Monday. “We’ve got a little work to do yet, hopefully Delonte will slide into one of those spots.

“If that’s the case that’ll be great.’’

And if that’s not the case?

“There’s also an argument for keeping that last roster spot open, because sometimes you get lucky towards the end of the summer,’’ Nelson said. “That’s probably how we’ll play it up, unless something really good presents itself.

“We’re still in negotiations with his agent and we’re hopeful that we can work something out,’’ Nelson said. “Obviously he’s got options and he’s got to sort through those.

“Some of those are timing issues there. We’ve just got to continue to negotiate and talk and see if there’s a fit there.’’ (more…)

Report: Kidd Spurns Mavs For Knicks




On Wednesday night, most everyone believed that Mavericks free agent Jason Kidd would be coming back to Dallas next season for what league sources believed would be a three-year, $9.5 million deal. But on Thursday, according to a source, Kidd changed his mind and accepted a similar deal to play with the Knicks next season, leaving Dallas in the lurch for a starting point guard for next season.

Kidd, second on the NBA’s all-time list in assists and steals, will bring veteran poise and leadership to the Knicks next season, whether he is starting or coming off the bench. New York struggled to find consistent, quality point guard play for most of the season, other than when Jeremy Lin captivated the nation in February with a sterling stretch of play. The Knicks are likely to match any offer for Lin, a restricted free agent who met with the Rockets Wednesday, and who Knicks coach Mike Woodson called his unequivocal starter for next season.

Kidd only averaged 6.2 points and 5.5 assists for Dallas last season, the lowest averages of his career in those stats, and he is not the defensive force he was when he starred with the New Jersey Nets. But he’s still an outstanding passer, a much improved perimeter shooter compared to earlier in his career and a proven leader.

A full season of a Lin-Kidd tandem at the point, along with a return to health of guard Iman Shumpert–who tore knee ligaments during the Knicks’ first-round loss to Miami–could make New York a formidable challenger in the east next season.

The 39-year-old Kidd may have been influenced by Dallas’ inability to secure the services of free agents despite clearing significant cap room last season by not bringing back key components of the team that won the NBA title in 2011. The Mavericks let starting center Tyson Chandler go to New York, and didn’t make substantial offers for guard J.J. Barea, who signed with Minnesota. Instead, the Mavericks hoped they’d be able to convince free agent Deron Williams to come.

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Mavericks’ West Will Play In Game 1

OKLAHOMA CITY – Whatever it was that forced Mavericks guard Delonte West to get extra familiar with the restroom at the team hotel her overnight will not keep West from playing in tonight’s series opener against the Thunder.

West, who said oysters consumed before Thursday’s game in Atlanta might have been what caused the stomach issues that made him sick all day Friday and forced him to miss the Mavericks’ morning shootaround, said he wasn’t sure what his energy level would be. But he made it clear that he intended to give it whatever he could as the primary defender for Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.

“When that tip ball comes I’m going to give it 100 percent, whatever I’ve got,” West said as he was putting his socks on to head to the floor for some pregame shooting work. He spent “I’m prepared and ready to go. Not sure what my energy level is going to be like yet. I’ll know better after I get out here and shoot around a little bit.”

West admitted he wasn’t quiet that optimistic Friday evening and into the night. He needed fluids pumped back into his body to help him recover. Still, he said he never seriously considered the possibility of having to miss the game. Well, almost …

“Of course, when I was lying on the bathroom floor I was thinking that,” he said. “But, no … I [am] not missing a playoff game. You’re going to have to drag me off the floor.”

That works for Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “We need him, we need his minutes,” Carlisle said. “So him being out there is good.”

Rosen’s Report: Thunder at Celtics

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Along with most NBA watchers, the Oklahoma City Thunder are convinced that their sprightly legs and extraordinary team-wide talent will enable them to trump the difficulties of the shortened season and eventually run their way to the championship.  As if the Thunder need any further motivation, beating the Celtics in Boston would provide immediate evidence that elderly tortoises are no match for young hares.

Conversely, the Celtics understand that this is the last go-round for their rapidly aging core of KG, PP and Ray-Ray.  Here is a golden-age opportunity to demonstrate that they’re not quite ready for the glue factory.

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‘Who’s Who?’ Mavs Get Back To Even

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A couple of bearded interlopers showed up on the Dallas Mavericks’ bench Tuesday night in Detroit, which was surprising mostly because someone was able to differentiate them from the strangers usually there already.

Sean Williams? Yi Jianlian? Delonte West? When you think about some of those guys who are or have been on Dallas’ bench in place of players no longer around – Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson – is it really such a stretch that Paying Customer and Drinking Customer – as one giant sports network dubbed them – might show up wedged between West and Vince Carter.

Just seemed to us at the HTB hideout like a couple more guys who wouldn’t be welcomed at the White House.

The Mavericks climbed finally to .500 Tuesday with their 100-86 victory over the Pistons, getting 9-of-10 shooting from Dirk Nowitzki and, with Jason Kidd out again (strained back), 10 assists, five steals and six points from West. Carter dished five assists too, as Dallas got Detroit down (23-9 lead) and kept Detroit down (16 straight points in the third quarter). At 5-5, the Mavs reached even for the first time since they got their rings.

Just winning away from home, after an 0-3 road start, was promising, given last season’s success (28-13) and the Mavs’ game at Boston Wednesday. “Momentum has been elusive for us,” coach Rick Carlisle said, “so we respect how tough it is competitively in this league right now, but our goal is to build on this.”

Carter, West, Brandan Wright and fresh-from-the-NBA-D-League Yi (Williams was farmed out) aren’t exactly guys wearing funny nose-and-glasses. But they do embody the fact that the Mavericks might be the most altered defending champions, in personnel terms, since Michael Jordan-Phil Jackson gang in Chicago broke up in 1998-99. Curiously, that one came in the wake of a lengthy lockout too.

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Blogtable: Winner Of The Offseason?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Which non-L.A. team has improved the most since June?

Steve Aschburner: Indiana. I like what the Pacers have done in adding David West, in making Frank Vogel the permanent head coach (in NBA terms, anyway) with an upgraded staff and in challenging their core to improve from within. Even Danny Granger, an All-Star, is being nudged to grow his game, which sets a standard for the other guys. If George Hill and Tyler Hansbrough are on the second unit, that’s a pretty solid rotation. The key remains Roy Hibbert, who will put it all together one of these seasons. Unless he doesn’t.

Fran Blinebury: Putting Tyson Chandler in the middle of the lineup with the big guns of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Baron Davis should enable the Knicks to finally move up and out of the Borough of Mediocrity where they’ve been cozily living like it’s a rent-controlled apartment for years.  Note that I said should.

Scott Howard-Cooper: The Pacers, beating out the Knicks. Indiana turned a mid-first pick in a bad draft into George Hill and later signed David West at the low risk of a two-year commitment. Not only two proven starters, but at very good prices.

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