Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors

Samuel Dalembert is fading from Mavericks’ rotation

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Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Samuel Dalembert picked up a DNP-Coaches Decision.

The guy the Mavericks signed this off-season to be a rim protecting big man has already been bumped from the starting lineup back on Dec. 4 (after starting the team’s first 17 games) but now he is fading out of the rotation completely, reports the Dallas Morning News.

On this night, at least, Samuel Dalembert dropped to fourth-team center, behind starter DeJuan Blair, second-teamer Brandan Wright and late third-quarter sub Bernard James…

“He’s shown his moments,” said Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. “I just don’t think he’s been in a position where he’s been expected to perform to help a team win since his first or second years.”

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was diplomatic as well.

“He’s been good with all that kind of stuff, and we need him,” Carlisle said. “He’s our guy with the most length who can impact the game defensively the best. We’ve got to have him ready to play.”

The Mavs signed Dalembert to a very reasonable contract — he makes $3.7 million this season and could make $3.9 million next season but there is a $1.8 million buyout. Dallas can essentially see if they can figure out how to use him this season and bring him around, if not they see how the market shakes out next year then they could buy him out or keep him. Either way.

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Blair has had a strong season for Dallas in the paint and pairs well with Dirk Nowitzki, but together neither brings the kind of rim protection Dallas needs (what they had with Tyson Chandler during their title run). Simply put, if Dalembert can no longer provide that Dallas will need to look elsewhere.

76ers increase Joel Embiid’s minute limit to 28

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, tries to get around Cleveland Cavaliers' DeAndre Liggins, center, and Kevin Love during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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Take comfort, chairs and staffers.

The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.

Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.

The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.

This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.

James Johnson dunks on Rudy Gobert in crunch time (video)

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Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.

But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.

Nicolas Batum bounces assist through Dwight Powell’s legs (video)

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The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.

Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson floors Malcolm Brogdon with crossover (video)

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To be fair, Malcolm Brogdon was already off-balance before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began his crossover.

To be real, DID YOU SEE BROGDON FALL OVER?