Tim Thomas not expected back for remainder of the season

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If you’re only scraping the surface of the events that have unfolded between Tim Thomas and the Dallas Mavericks this year, you probably think you’ve seen this all before.

The Mavs added Thomas in the off-season, taking a chance on a veteran and a shot-maker, as so many teams have before. Thomas put on his happy face and went to work, winning over fans with his versatile offensive game, as he’s done so many times before. He enjoyed a relative level of success considering his standing on the team, as Thomas has done so many times before. Then, he disappeared. He wasn’t traveling with the team, he wasn’t at practice, and certainly wasn’t playing in games.

It had to be the same old Tim Thomas, right? His act would inevitably wear down in a matter of time, and the same act that’s forced his divorce from so many franchises in the past would grind on Rick Carlisle and the Dallas Mavericks, until ultimately, they told him to just go home.

Any other season and you’d probably be right; Thomas hasn’t been without hardship in his career, and most of it was self-inflicted. He has all the talent in the world and struggles most to rein in that force between his temples, and that’s the very reason he’s had nine tours with seven different NBA teams. He could never quite figure it out.

But this season, Thomas was anything but a problem. There wasn’t a peep from within the Mavericks organization indicating that there was trouble brewing. He was doing a terrific job as a deep reserve for a veteran Dallas team, hitting big shots (like a game-tying three against Houston in December to force overtime) and putting up impressive point totals on occasion (22 vs. Houston in a different game, 23 vs. Cleveland).

It looked more and more like Thomas’ destructive tendencies had vanished, and though he lacked the star potential he once had, he was an able contributor and a perfect fit for his role with Dallas.

Then trouble hit, but a different kind of trouble than anything Thomas has brought on himself during his career. Thomas’ wife, Tricia, is very ill, and his mysterious disappearance from the team was nothing more than a man answering the call for his family.

Not exactly a predictable event when considering the Tim Thomas canon, but perhaps a gentle reminder that some of these guys deserve the benefit of the doubt, even when they haven’t necessarily earned it.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.