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Mark Cuban has spirited defense of Calderon signing


I liked the Jose Calderon signing by Dallas.

They get a quality point guard — 11.6 points and 6.6 assists a game, plays smart, had a PER of 18.2 and shot 52 percent from three last year — for a reasonable price (four years, $29 million). Remember last season with the failed Darren Collison experiment in Dallas? They had to bring in Derek Fisher at one point. The position was a mess for Dallas. Now with Calderon, Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis they are in the playoff conversation.

But not everybody loved it. But Cuban went on ESPN Radio in Dallas this week and defended the move (as transcribed by the Dallas Morning News).

Now, we’ve added someone who can run a pick and roll with (Nowitzki) and know how to run it that knows how to use a screen. I’ll tell you something else, I was shocked when people thought we signed a bad deal with Jose Calderon because hey, the guy shot 50 percent from three. The market for guys who can catch and shoot threes and do nothing else was higher than what we paid for Jose. He knows how to play point guard. He knows how to get Dirk the ball. He knows the game. Never turns it over. Literally, I was like what are people thinking. He may not be the best defender, but it’s not like he was replacing a great defender. I was really surprised by the response to Jose. I think he’s going to make us a much better team.

He’s right about Calderon.

I think in the short term this season Dallas is one of those teams in the middle — they will finish somewhere between the 7 and 10 seeds. They will not be bad, the West is deep, but they are not special. The question is in future years how they lure a free agent or make a trade to get a guy who can dramatically improve them.

But Calderon will fit with any of those guys. People who haven’t watched him the last couple years underestimate him. He’ll play well for Dallas.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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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.