The Mavericks have been keeping this under wraps officially, but it was expected.
Caron Butler underwent season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair a ruptured right patellar tendon, according to Art Garcia of NBA.com. It’s a sad thing to see happen to one of the better people in the NBA.
And it’s going to be tough for the Mavericks to overcome.
“We will ask other guys to step up,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban told NBA.com.
We’ve said before that this will mean more Shawn Marion — although he is not the spot-up shooter within the Mavericks offense that Butler is — and more Jason Terry.
What’s more, neither of them brings the balance at both ends of the floor Butler does. As Mike Prada pointed out at SBNation, look at the plus/minus data and the Mavericks are better at both ends of the floor when Butler is on the floor. He makes the Mavericks +7.4 point per 100 possessions better than what the Mavericks are when he sits.
That’s a big drop off. In three weeks or a month when Rodrigue Beaubois returns it will bring a different energy to the table for Dallas. Something that may help fill the gaps of what Butler left behind — a very different style of play, but something that can work well.
Dallas may also seek a disabled player exception, which would allow them for 45 days to sign or trade a player for half of Butlers’ salary. So about $2.7 million. Not a lot but it might provide some options.
Tuesday night the Mavericks will again have to get against the Blazers without Butler or Dirk Nowitzki, who remains out with a sprained knee.
Everyone else thinks Dwight Howard is getting out of Houston this summer.
Jason Terry isn’t convinced.
Dwight Howard has a player option this summer, which he is expected to exercise and become a free agent. For one thing, he’d do it for the pay raise — he wants a max contract, starting at about $30 million. The other reason is he and James Harden have not blended in Houston, and Howard wants a fresh start.
But Jason Terry isn’t convinced yet. Terry was on SiriusXM NBA Radio and told Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson Howard may stay put. Here is the quote, via Hoopshype.
“I wouldn’t rule (a return) out. He has yet to opt out. Again, it’s just going to depend on if you get the right coach in there. At this point in his career, he’s not going to be the focal point offensively. They’ve made that clear. He’s gonna have to, if he remains in Houston, buy into the role fully, commit himself to setting screens, rebounding, running the floor, blocking shots and working on his free throws, obviously.”
In theory, a coach could come in and convince Howard to stay. In theory, I could capture Bigfoot and prove his existence to the world. Those have about the same odds of happening.
Forgetting the whole “Howard wants another max contract” thing, what Terry said about Howard accepting a role is the issue. Howard said he went directly to Rockets GM Daryl Morey and asked for a bigger role — and he was shot down. Howard does not want to accept a lesser role where his primary job is rebounding and defense, just like he never wanted to accept running more pick-and-roll and working less from the post even though he was much better at the former than the latter. Howard wants what Howard wants.
And I’d be shocked if he doesn’t want out of Houston.
A good rule of thumb: If LeBron James is getting few breakaway dunks, the other team is in trouble.
Enter the Toronto Raptors, who got to watch a dunking clinic by LeBron as he had multiple breakaways during the Cavaliers’ 38-point win on Wednesday night. LeBron played well, and the Cavaliers got a balanced attack from their stars — 25 points from Kevin Love, 23 each from LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
Watch LeBron’s night above. Toronto needs to find a way to keep him from having another game like this Friday.
After a beatdown at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 — a loss where he was just 5-of-12 shooting, a loss that has the Raptors on the brink of playoff elimination — Kyle Lowry did what he had to do and went in front of the media to answer questions and try to explain that loss.
But really, his face when he walked into the interview room and saw the box score summed up the Raptors night perfectly.
Lowry and the Raptors need to turn it around and win at home Friday night to keep their playoff dream alive another day.
The Memphis Grizzlies have found their man — Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale has been offered the head coaching job in Memphis. He’s a smart coach who earned the trust of elite players and was a key part of the staff that helped Miami to a couple of rings.
It’s a good hire. Don’t just take my word for it, check out what a couple Heat players from that era had to say.
Mario Chalmers had a first-hand view — he was traded from Miami to Memphis in the middle of last season. The point guard who went the other way in that deal, Beno Udrih, also helped push the deal along.
Fizdale is going to be a popular hire with the players. That said, if the Grizzlies can’t keep Mike Conley in free agency the team is going to have struggles this season, regardless of who coaches them.