For the first time since the 1999-00 season, when Michael Finley did it, Dirk Nowitzki didn’t lead the Mavericks in win shares. As Nowitzki missed a large of the 2012-13 season due to injury, Vince Carter, Darren Collison and Shawn Marion passed him in the all-in-one stat.
If the Mavericks have their way, Nowitzki won’t be their top player again. Rick Carlisle on KESN-FM 103.3, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News:
On if the Mavs’ goal is to make Dirk Nowitzki their second best player:
“It’s definitely a goal. I think it’s a great goal for any team to have a new best player and have their present best player become their second best player. That’s something logical. I think any team would want to have that goal. Is it possible? Yeah, it’s possible. Now, how likely is that? I can’t tell you for sure. But you know Mark (Cuban), you know Donnie (Nelson), and I’m an aggressive guy to and we’re going to do everything possible to facilitate that happening. I can’t name any names, but we’re going to be into this, and we’re going to be aggressive.”
In his last healthy 82-game season Nowitzki posted 11.1 win shares. Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Marc Gasol and Stephen Curry bested that total this season. Nowitzki has certainly declined since his 11.1 season, when he led the Mavericks to an NBA title, so the pool of players who could relegate him to No. 2 is bigger than those seven players. But it’s still a fairly small group.
The Mavericks clearly believe they can no longer build a team around Nowitzki and surround him with complementary players, and if their sole goal is a championship, they are correct. Look for more superstar chasing by Dallas this summer.
Sixers big man Nerlens Noel — who has looked much improved this season once Ish Smith was feeding him the rock on offense — sat out the Sixers game Wednesday night due to tendonitis in his right knee. After he missed his rookie season with knee issues, you can understand why the Sixers want him to be cautious.
Noel is going to sit out All-Star Weekend as well — he had been scheduled to play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night, but he is going to sit that out and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns will take his place, the league has announced (Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic broke that story).
Booker has been one of the few bright spots for the Suns this season, averaging 10.6 points a game and shooting 40.3 percent from three.
He will play for the USA in the World vs. USA format of the Rising Stars Challenge (the former rookie/sophomore game, featuring first and second year players).
Out: Defending champion Patrick Beverley.
In: Emmanuel Mudiay Emmanuel Mudiay.
The NBA confirmed the Rockets guard would miss the Skills Challenge and that Mudiay would replace him. The league also release the bracket:
- Isaiah Thomas over C.J. McCollum
- Anthony Davis over Draymond Green
- Isaiah Thomas over Anthony Davis
Hassan Whiteside lost his cool and elbowed Boban Marjanovic in the head Tuesday.
The Heat center received a flagrant 2 and an ejection, and now he’s getting the rest of his punishment.
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has been suspended one game without pay for throwing an elbow and making contact with the head of San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Whiteside was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected, occurred with 9:35 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ 119-101 win over the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena on Feb. 9.
Whiteside will serve his suspension when Miami plays the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 19 at Philips Arena.
The suspension will cost Whiteside $8,921. As a result, the Heat – in line to become the first team in NBA history to pay the repeater luxury-tax rate – trim their impending tax bill by $24,534.
More importantly for Whiteside, this will be a strike against him for teams considering offering him a big contract in free agency this summer.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s shoulder injury?
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s shoulder injury?
Kidd-Gilchrist tore his labrum in the preseason, and the injury was expected to sideline him for the year. But he returned a couple weeks ago and helped Charlotte go 5-2.
Now, another setback. This is just awful news for Kidd-Gilchrist and the Hornets. He had worked so hard to get back.
Hopefully, this injury isn’t as severe and Kidd-Gilchrist can play again this season.