Tim Thomas not expected back for remainder of the season

Leave a comment

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.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

Leave a comment

Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.