Samuel Dalembert, Steve Nash, Chris Kaman

Samuel Dalembert benched for oversleeping and missing practice

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Samuel Dalembert has a knack for making good plays, even though he can be unreliable on and off the court. That’s why the Mavericks could sign him to a two-year deal that pays fewer than $4 million per season and isn’t even fully guaranteed for the second year, a huge bargain for a starting center.

So, Dallas has to deal with Dalembert coming into camp out of shape and oversleeping and missing Monday’s shootaround. That’s just the cost of having Dalembert.

If it’s any consolation to the Mavericks, Dalembert showed real remorse.

Dalembert, via Tim MacMahon of

“I’m very disappointed in myself,” said Dalembert, who had two points, two blocks, three rebounds and three fouls in 18 minutes off the bench. “I don’t have an excuse. It shouldn’t happen. I’m still trying to get over it. I’m very upset.”

“Just saying it frustrates me. It pisses me off. I shouldn’t put myself in that situation.”

Dalembert has been playing with bruised ribs, but his injury had nothing to do with missing the shootaround. He appeared to be visibly upset while discussing the situation with the media.

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DeJuan Blair started in Dalembert’s place in a 110-96 loss to the Nuggets, and Bernard James entered the game before Dalembert, too.


When Rick Carlisle was asked whether Dalembert would return to the starting lineup Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors, the coach said, “We’ll see.”

If the Mavericks want to put themselves in the best position long-term, they should keep Dalembert out of the starting lineup for a while and hopes he learns a lesson. If the Mavericks want to win as much as possible in the short term, they should start Dalembert because he’s their best option at center. After all, that’s why he was starting until Monday.

Or they could try to convince themselves that a one-game benching was enough to make Dalembert realize the error of his ways. But after 11 years of Dalembert building his reputation, I don’t think a one-game benching is quite enough to do that.

Personally, I’d put him back in the starting lineup, live with his shortcomings, count the money I saved by looking past them and watch my team contend for a playoff berth.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Don’t expect more wins in Toronto

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After winning the Atlantic Division then getting thumped in the playoff two years running, the powers that be in Toronto decided it was time for a change.

The added DeMarre Carroll and made shifts to make this a more defensive-minded team, all because of dreams of playoff success (which for the Raptors would be making the second round). What this changeover is not going to mean is an improvement off the 49 regular season wins the Raptors had last season — they sacrificed some scoring to get this defense, and there is a trade-off.

That said, I still expect the Raptors to win the Atlantic. Maybe they make the second round of the playoffs (way too early to make that call).

How many regular season wins they get — and if they win a postseason series — for me is going to come down to if Jonas Valanciunas takes a step forward. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will be strong, Carroll is an upgrade, but the big man in the middle will be the hinge for everything.

Mike Budenholzer smirks at lawyer calling Thabo Sefolosha ‘NBA superstar’

Mike Budenholzer, Thabo Sefolosha
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The funny part, via Robert Silverman:

The substantive part:

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who was arrested outside a New York City nightclub in April following a confrontation with police officer, has a character “of the highest order,” his head coach, Mike Budenholzer, testified Thursday.

Taking the stand as the final defense witness in Sefolosha’s trial, Budenholzer described the Atlanta Hawks guard-forward as “highly intelligent” and a “hard worker.”

When asked by defense attorney Alex Spiro to describe his character, he said it was, “of the highest order.”

“Thabo is of the highest character,” he said during brief testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The Swiss national is charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub early in the morning on April 8. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officers testified this week that Sefolosha and former teammate Pero Antic repeatedly disobeyed their orders to move off the block and away from a crime scene that had been established following the earlier stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland, and two women.

One of the officers also said Sefolosha lunged at an officer with his arm extended but was intercepted before making contact, eventually taken to the ground and arrested.

Sefolosha has testified that he was complying with orders and moving up the block as a particularly aggressive officer screamed profanities at him.

His attorney has argued that his client was singled out by the officer, who is white, because Sefolosha is black.

Sefolosha testified Thursday that he was trying to give money to a panhandler before entering an awaiting car when he was grabbed by police. He said his leg was kicked in the scuffle and he was taken to the ground, handcuffed and hauled to a police precinct. He suffered a fractured right leg, which forced him to miss the playoffs.

The case is the second one involving high-profile athletes accusing New York Police Department officers of wrongdoing this year. On Wednesday, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct substantiated claims by former tennis star James Blake that an officer used excessive force when he took him to the ground last month after mistkaing Blake for a fraud suspect.