DeJuan Blair

DeJuan Blair, Mavericks enforcer? It’s what Carlisle wants


Rick Carlisle wants the Dallas Mavericks to be tougher this season.

The man for the job is… DeJuan Blair?

Coach Rick Carlisle says so, speaking at Blair’s introductory press conference, as reported by

“DeJuan was a really important acquisition for us because Elton Brand didn’t return,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “We need that physical (butt)-kicker to put out there and be an enforcer for us.”

Make no mistake, Blair is physical and plays tough inside. I’m not sure I’d go with enforcer, but he’ll bring a physical presence. He and Samuel Dalembert will have to be the tough guys in the paint.

Dallas is counting on Blair to grab boards — which he does well, on his career he has a rebound rate 17.8 percent (percent of rebounds he grabs when on the court) — and play defense. Blair is a good if somewhat undersized defender.

With a team that has Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, plus guys like Monta Ellis and Vince Carter not exactly known for their defense, it’s going to take some big play inside to balance that out.

We’ll see if Blair can live up to that standard.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.