Samuel Dalembert

Rick Carlisle slams Dalembert for lack of conditioning


If Dallas is going to creep up into one of those final couple playoff spots in the West, they are going to need Samuel Dalembert. Not his offense — he doesn’t have much and the team has more than enough guys who want the rock in their hands anyway (can’t wait for the Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis fireworks with Jose Calderon stuck in the middle).

Rather, with the backcourt they assembled the Mavericks are going to need a rim-protector in the frontcourt. They are going to need a lot of Samuel Dalembert.

Dallas played its first preseason game Monday night and after it Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle pulled no punches in how disappointed he was in Dalembert’s conditioning, as reported at

“I just told him in front of the whole team that he’s got to keep working,” said Carlisle, who mentioned Dalembert’s conditioning issues to the media without a question being asked about the center. “We need his minutes. They’re going to be very important to us. He’s a factor. When he’s in shape, he’s a factor as a rim protector and rebounder, and he gives you a big, active, athletic body in there.”

Not shockingly, Dalembert sees things differently. The veteran says he is battling injuries.

“It’s not that,” said Dalembert, who was fighting a relatively serious case of the sniffles. “The main thing that happened to me is I got hurt. I got hurt in the first practice of camp. Stupid me, my pride takes over and I wanted to practice. I didn’t want to take off, so that kind of slowed me down a little bit.”

Dalembert struggled in his rim protector role in Milwaukee last season (the Bucks allowed 5.4 more points per 100 possessions when he was on the court, according to but again injuries were a key issue — he played in just 47 games.

Which is to say Dalembert needs to get healthy, he needs to get in shape or Dallas is toing to have to resort to the Don Nelson days of just outscoring everyone to win.

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.