Rick Carlisle defends choice not to play Beaubois, because everyone else was so good

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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle went with what he trusted over what had worked for key stretches of game six against the Spurs, and for the series. Rodrigue Beaubois sat for five games, and when he did get meaningful minutes in game six — and played well — he still sat in the fourth quarter. It didn’t work. Dallas is fishing, or golfing, or whatever summer analogy you wish to go with.

When things go wrong, the coach gets second guessed. But let’s give the man some credit — Carlisle went on ESPN Radio in Dallas, took the criticism and defended his decisions.

Look, when you lose, there are no right decisions and that’s something that I accept with this position and being the head coach of this team.  The decision to go with Jason Terry to me was the right decision because here is a guy that has been a fourth quarter producer in a big way for this franchise for a long time.  I believe he earned the right to be out there.  In game four, he scored 13 points in the fourth quarter which kept us in the game and got us to within two.  He got in there, we played fairly well, and stayed right there.  Then when it slipped away a little bit it was late in the quarter and that’s when I went with Roddy.  Look, looking back, when you lose, it’s not gonna be the right decision and I accept that…

“He was our third point guard on the depth chart behind (Jason) Kidd and (J.J.) Barea.  Barea had been by far the most effective point guard.  Don’t forget in games three and four, Barea played at a high level.  Scored 14 points in game three and was an impact player and by the way was a guy that probably won the series for us last year against those guys.  Roddy is the third two guard behind Butler and (Jason) Terry.  You had to find the right situation to play him and I had told him ‘hey, be ready.’  If we need a spark, if we need some energy, dah dah dah dah dah dah, that’s exactly what happened.  It’s an easy argument to make, but you have some veteran guys who have carried the weight for your team and have proven they can do it in the playoffs through the years.  That’s kinda where it’s at.  There are finite number of minutes and only a certain number of players.  Now, his performance last night may well change the thinking of the club going forward, but at present the dynamics of the team and the roster are such that I’m telling you what my thinking was and making a point that it’s easier said than done.  I’m agreeing that the second guess can easily be made.

Check out the whole interview. Carlisle defends the play of Kidd, the play of Nowitzki (who doesn’t really need defending, he was the least of Dallas’ problems).

You get the feeling next year, the allotted minutes among Dallas guards will be different.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

Minnesota Timberwolves Zach LaVine slam dunks the ball during the NBA all-star skills competition in Toronto on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Associated Press
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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect. Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates:

Splash Brothers showtime: Klay Thompson beats Stephen Curry to win Three-Point Contest

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TORONTO — It came down to the Splash Brothers. Because of course it did. Just like last season.

In the final round of the NBA All-Star Saturday Three-Point Shootout, defending champ Stephen Curry hit his first eight shots and set the bar high with 23 points — the best score of the night.

His backcourt teammate Klay Thompson responded by draining his last seven shots, which included the entire money rack, and put up 27 points — tying the event record.

That gave Thompson the upset win and the Three-Point Contest title.

Although, is it an upset if the second best shooter in the game beats the best?

“It was like déjà vu last year,” Thompson said. “Not gonna lie, I got nervous when he hit his first eight, and I didn’t think he was going to miss. But it was exciting, just coming back to Oakland [with the title], you know. Back-to-back years for Splash Brothers, it’s pretty cool.”

So does Thompson have bragging rights?

“(For) about 364 days, and then — but that’s a daily thing we do,” Thompson said. “We love to shoot against each other. You know, I’ve never been on a team with someone who shoots it better than me, so it’s a privilege to work with him every day. He makes me that much better.”

The Final round was two you expected — the Splash Brothers — plus one few did, Suns rookie Devin Booker.

Getting there was not simple. In the first round, Thompson set a high bar going first and putting up 22. Curry got hot in the middle, then hit the last two money balls to reach 21. James Harden and J.J. Redick ( who stayed behind the line this year) scored very solid 20s. Later 19-year-old rookie Booker put up a 20 to tie those two veterans. Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton (13 points) Portland’s C.J. McCollum (14) and home-town crowd favorite Raptor Kyle Lowry (15) got bounced. .

That left Harden, Redick, and McCollum in a tiebreaker, and the rookie calmly put up a 12 in 30 seconds to advance.

Booker took a step back in the final round with a 16.

Not that it mattered with the Splash Brothers in the building.