Caron Butler went down with the scariest of all injuries last night, clutching his knee before he even landed. An MRI Sunday will reveal what exactly Butler suffered, but the truth is, these things very rarely work out well. A calf like Kevin Garnett and you know it immediately. A shoulder can be bad, but can also be nothing. Same for the elbow, same for the foot. But the knee? You don’t have to be a doctor, just a patient observer to know that the knee usually only goes one of two ways: a tweak or a tear. And the tear is almost always severe.
Art Garcia of NBA.com reports that the fear from the Mavericks is that Butler sustained a torn patella tendon. Goodnight, nurse. That’s a long-term injury, though it’ll take test results to determine how long-term and whether that means season or regular-season.
The worst part? His wife and family were in attendance for the game in Milwaukee (Butler is from Racine, Wisconsin). That’s got to be terrible to go through that pain and have your family watch it happen in front of them.
Losing Butler hurts the Mavericks’ versatility, which had been one of their biggest strengths. It means that Shawn Marion, no spring chicken himself, has to take over more of the small forward load and that Dominique Jones will be recalled from the Texas Legends to fill in. Jones has shown some ability but has all the issues you’d expect from a rookie.
Heading into the week, the Mavericks looked like one of if not the best team in basketball. It would appear that injury is intent on robbing them of that title. The Mavericks have lost three straight.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.