Tuesday, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said the team was going to be cautious with the sore Achilles of 38-year-old Dirk Nowitzki and he wasn’t going to play Wednesday against the Spurs the back-to-back in Charlotte Thursday.
Now you can rule out Nowitzki playing Saturday against Chicago, either.
Nowitzki has played in just two of the Mavericks’ 16 games this season, most due to resting the Achilles but a couple due to illness. Without him, the Mavericks are off to their worst start in more than 20 years (3-13) with the third worst offense and the third worst net rating in the league.
Mark Cuban said Dallas is not going to tank for a pick this season, which means when they can get Nowitzki back on the court they will. But at this point, how much do they need to try to tank to end up with a good pick?
Since Jrue Holiday returned to the Pelicans lineup — bringing a stabilizing force to set up the offense plus another much-needed playmaker besides Anthony Davis — New Orleans has won five-of-seven games. Despite their horrid 0-8 start you wonder if this team could climb back into the playoff race in the West.
What will happen when they add another playmaker to the mix?
That could happen Friday with Tyreke Evans, according to the announcing crew of the team during the win over the Lakers Tuesday. Here is what Pelicans sideline reporter Jennifer Hale wrote a couple weeks ago.
Evans’ minute limit could work out — he should be the sixth man on this team anyway. He’s an old-school volume scorer who creates shots mostly for himself, so put Evans out there with the second unit, throw him the ball and say “go to work.” He can score some buckets, keep things close, and let the big guns get some rest.
Evans is going to be motivated this season, it’s a contract year for him. Health issues will limit the size of the offers that come in, but if he bounces back with a good rest of the season, it will be interesting to see what offers come in.
If you want to know what a lay-up line looks line in an NBA game, watch the video above.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo tied his career high of 34 points to lead the Bucks to the upset of the Cavaliers on Tuesday, and he did it getting to the bucket at will — 15 of his 19 shots were at the rim (he made 15 of them). Credit him for attacking, but there is a book on how to defend Antetokounmpo and it starts by making him a jump shooter. Instead, the Cavaliers gave him a path to the rim and he made them pay. Check out this shot chart.
This is how to use the D-League.
Nerlens Noel has missed the start of the season in Philadelphia rehabbing his left knee, and now that he is close to returning he is going to get his first run with the Sixers’ D-League affiliate in Delaware before coming up to the big club, according to a report from Marc Spears of ESPN. His co-worker Marc Stein added this.
The Sixers confirmed the move later on Wednesday.
This kind of rehab assignment is common in baseball and makes sense here. The challenge for coach Brett Brown is going to be getting enough run for Noel in a crowded frontcourt rotation in Philly with Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric, and Ersan Ilyasova. Why not at least get Noel right with the Deleware 87ers then send him up to the big club when it’s time.
Brown needs to get Noel some run to showcase him — the Sixers are looking to trade someone from their frontcourt and Noel wants to be the guy out the door. That likely happens before the February trade deadline.
The Utah Jazz defense stifled a lot of what the Houston Rockets wanted to do Tuesday night, which is why the Jazz won.
But Utah could not stop this falling, sprawling circus shot from Trevor Ariza. And yes, he called bank.