Feb 22, 2010, 11:57 AM EDT
Integrating players acquired at the trade deadline really does come with its own unique set of challenges, and the Dallas Mavericks are finding ways to cope despite fighting through some pretty unfortunate scheduling last week. The Mavs went 3-1 in playing four games in five nights, and showed steady improvements in each of their contests.
Against the Thunder, the Mavs were simply out-worked and beaten by OKC’s unique combination of energy and athleticism. Against the Suns, Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler eased further into a comfort zone as they took advantage of a porous Phoenix defense. Against the Magic, the Mavs as a collective put together an impressive comeback victory, and impressed with their defense just as frequently as with their offense. And finally in Miami, the Mavs overcame a disappointing first half to overtake the lead in the second, relying heavily on the collaborative efforts of Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, and Caron Butler while again turning to their defense for big stop after big stop.
Oh, and according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, they did it all without the benefit of a single, full practice. The schedule just didn’t allow for it, and yet the Mavs tackled the challenge head-on and came out victorious. Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood have already been impressive during their short time with Dallas, and they’re set to only get better; right now each is relying heavily on skill and basketball instinct to get by, rather than familiarity with teammates or a system. Once the latter two come into play (through more on-court time together and most importantly, more practice), it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see the Mavs make a run at the #2 seed.
- Report: Mike Krzyzewski to return, coach Team USA in 2016 Olympics 0
- Lakers GM Kupchak denies he, Howard talked about D’Antoni 7
- Kevin Love and Flip Saunders hitting it off 5
- Three things about Game 2: Tony Parker is that good but Randolph, Grizzlies figuring it out 5
- Spurs need overtime in Game 2 to beat Grizzlies, take a 2-0 series lead 2
- Report: Dwight Howard will consider multiple teams in free agency, is said to be most intrigued by the Rockets (121)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (88)
- Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen says LeBron would “kick Jordan’s ass” (75)
- Bradley Beal said he’d lose respect for a teammate who acted like Derrick Rose (67)
- Seattle group releases statement; forced to wait, hope for expansion (64)
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement
- Posnanski on Golf: Sergio shows disdain for Tiger
- OlyTalk: Coach K will lead Team USA in Rio Games
- PFT: Crabtree reportedly tears achilles, out for year
- HBT: Soriano calls out Harper after blown save
- PHT: Sharks take Game 4, pull even with Kings