Author: Kurt Helin

Dallas Mavericks Host Season Ticket Holders at Six Flags Over Texas

Chandler Parsons out for rest of playoffs, likely will need knee surgery

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Murphy’s Law is hitting the Dallas Mavericks hard.

They are down 0-2 to the Houston Rockets in their first round playoff matchup. Rajon Rondo is now out indefinitely because he is a terrible fit with their team has a back injury and is seeking a second medical opinion on it.

Now this: Chandler Parsons is out for the rest of the playoffs with a right knee injury and is exploring surgical options, the team has announced.

There is no timetable on Parsons or word if he can return by the start of next season.

Parsons was the big free agent the Mavericks poached from the Rockets last summer. Also, he was key for them in this series — he’s the guy who could spend time guarding James Harden and, more importantly, make Harden expend energy on the defensive end. Parsons played 36 minutes in the series opener and had 10 points, but wasn’t the factor Dallas needed him to be.

It feels like the end is coming for Dallas sooner rather than later in this first round series.

Report: Mavericks rule out Rajon Rondo indefinitely with “back injury”

Rajon Rondo
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We may have seen the last of Rajon Rondo in a Dallas Mavericks uniform.

Mavs’ coach Rick Carlisle yanked Rondo :36 seconds into the second half of Tuesday’s Game 2 loss to the Rockets, when Rondo picked up two fouls and a technical in just more than half a minute. Dallas was better off without him — he has played 37 minutes against the Rockets in two games and is a -35 on the court.

Now he is done, likely for the playoffs, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Reports have come out saying Rondo was playing through a sore back in the playoffs, then some contact he took during Game 2 aggravated the issue. Let’s say I’m skeptical it’s that bad, but this is the report.

Back injury or no, this is the smart play by Dallas. It says everything you need to know about how bad things have gotten with Rondo and the Mavericks that Dallas is just better when Raymond Felton is on the court instead of Rondo.

This also is almost certainly the end of Rondo in a Dallas uniform.

Dallas traded for Rondo back in December, giving up a quality young defensive big in Brandan Wright, for the chance to improve their perimeter defense. But from the start Rondo was a bad fit in Dallas. He and coach Rick Carlisle clashed over control of the offense. Plus Rondo’s lack of shooting — and his not being surrounded the quality of shooters he had when at his peak in Boston — allowed teams to pack it in and dare Rondo to shoot jumpers. Rondo still hasn’t developed a jumper.

Rondo will be moving on this summer. He’s not getting a max, and it will be interesting to see how many years a team would give him right now.

Rockets’ Jason Terry fined $5,000 for flop against Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game Two
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Congratulations to Houston’s Jason Terry — you’ve picked up the first flopping fine of the postseason.

Terry was fined $5,000 by the league for a flop on Tuesday night in Houston. The first offense in the playoffs gets a fine (there are no warnings, like in the regular season).

Midway through the third quarter Terry was out high guarding Dallas’ J.J. Barea, when Barea went to his right to use a Dirk Nowitzki pick. Terry ran into the pick and fell like he was hit with a taser. The officials were not buying it, no foul was called and one of referees even motioned for Terry to get up and keep on playing.

It was certainly a flop, although I’ve seem more egregious ones not called.

Houston went on to win the game thanks to the exploits of Josh Smith and Dwight Howard. Houston now has a 2-0 series lead, and with that Terry isn’t going to be too worried about this fine.

 

Playoff Rondo didn’t make the trip to Dallas, but it’s not like Rondo is sticking around

Portland Trailblazers v Dallas Mavericks
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In the first half of Dallas’ Game 2 loss to Houston Tuesday, Rajon Rondo so nonchalantly walked the ball up the court — under no pressure from a defender — that he got an eight-second backcourt violation.

That lack of awareness and effort seems to sum up Rajon Rondo’s playoff effort in Dallas.

Playoff Rondo, who was a thing in Boston, did not make the flight to Texas.

Rondo has struggled to fit in with the Mavericks since coming to Dallas in a December blockbuster trade. He has clashed with coach Rick Carlisle, mainly about offensive freedom and control, with both sides having said they worked through it and that it was all good now. But the playoffs have a way of stripping away the latest coat of varnish and exposing things as they truly are — and it is clear Rondo is not a fit with what Dallas does. He makes them worse.

Rondo has played 37 minutes total in the first two playoff games this season and Dallas has been outscored by 35 points in that time.

Rondo picked up two fouls and a technical in the first :36 seconds of the second half Tuesday night. Carlisle promptly benched him, and Rondo didn’t see the court the rest of the game — because J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton were simply better. Carlisle and the Mavericks need to find a way to beat the Rockets (Dallas trails 0-2 in the series), and Rondo does not help that cause.

After the game, Rondo avoided the media while Carlisle largely dodged the Rondo question.

“You have to ask him (whether he cared about being benched),” Carlisle said in a postgame press conference broadcast on NBA TV. “All I know right now is that we need everybody at their competitive best. This isn’t about one guy who did or didn’t play. This is about everybody pulling in the same direction for the organization. That’s what it’s about.”

The other thing that has become clear: Rondo is gone from Dallas this summer.

He is an unrestricted free agent, and there will be no shortage of suitors — expect the Lakers among others to reach out. But it will be interesting to see if any GM still will offer him the max deal Danny Ainge had said Rondo deserves. Not likely, not even in this “market max” year where some guys will get overpaid. Rondo’s playoff performance likely ensured that. Maybe more interesting, how many years will Rondo be offered? He seems to have lost some of his explosiveness following years of injuries (including a bad ACL one), which hurts both his offensive penetration and his defense. Combine that with a lack of outside shooting and Rondo destroys offensive spacing.

That’s what has him on the bench in Dallas, and he may not see the court much at all the rest of this series. Dallas doesn’t want to be one-and-done in the playoffs.

But Rondo wants to be one-and-done in Dallas. And it shows.

 

PBT Extra matchup to watch: Brooklyn needs to keep eye on Kyle Korver

Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks- Game One
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Lionel Hollins and I see things differently.

Hollins, the coach of the Brooklyn Nets, said “It’s not like we’re talking (Stephen) Curry” and the Nets were working to slow Korver as a shooter but it’s not like he was creating his shots off the dribble and breaking down their defense.

Hollins is right if you’re viewing Atlanta’s offense like a more traditional, old-school one. And Korver was “only” 5-of-11 from three (plus he had an assist as defenders scrambled to get out to him at the arc and left their man open at the rim).

But Korver had a team-high 21 points for the Hawks and his constant motion off the ball — his curls off handoffs or picks — either gets him open looks or draws defenders to him and opens up looks for teammates as the Hawks whip the ball around in a Spursian way.

In Game 1, it looked to me like the Nets were lucky Korver only had 21, that he could have done more damage. Hollins may not see it that way, he’s right to think the Hawks have other options that need attention. But if the Nets don’t do a better job stopping Korver his Game 1 performance could be just the start of the Nets’ troubles.