Rick Carlisle believes

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Rick Carlisle believes. Most experts don’t — the conventional wisdom is that after this trade the Mavericks are on par with the Nuggets but still can’t get past a healthy Lakers team — but  Carlisle said in a radio interview he believes the Mavericks are now contenders.

“I do. I felt that we were a team before this trade that had enough pieces. We weren’t playing particularly well, but we had had some upheaval and some of our guys were just coming back. Believe it or not, when you get guys back from injury and start playing them again a lot of people assume hey you’re gonna start playing good. Usually you play bad for a couple of weeks before you start playing good. …  It’s gonna be my job to integrate these new guys from this deal as quickly as possible and then we’re going full bore guns a blazing. It ain’t easy in the West but like I said you gotta love the challenge.”

Carlisle believes because he has to. Mark Cuban, to his credit, went for it. Again. He made the big move, he took on some more salary ($30 million over the next couple of years) to improve his team. They were one of the best teams in the West to start the season, but injuries and more have weighed them down in recent weeks. They are 4-6 in their last 10.

This should change that. This should make the Mavericks a good team. A contender? Well, Carlisle believes.

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
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LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.

Derrick Rose’s eye still swollen, will rejoin Bulls Monday

Derrick Rose
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Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.

Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.