Caron Butler's Injury Doesn't End the Mavs' Season, But it Alters Expectations

Caron Butler2.jpg
When Tony Romo broke his collarbone on October 25, the Dallas Cowboys' season was kaput. When Caron Butler tore a tendon in his knee on January 1, it may not have ended the Dallas Mavericks' season but certainly the bar has been lowered.

What ended as such a promising 2010 has now given way -- despite last night's gritty win over Portland -- to a grim 2011.

Says Mavs' GM Donnie Nelson of losing Dallas' second-best player for the season: "It's a blow. Those are some big shoes to fill."

Though owner Mark Cuban says there won't be a pity party - "Don't quit us on yet," he says this morning, "we're not the same old Mavs" - his team has to do something if they want to be a legit contender for a championship. Andre Iguodala? Carmelo Anthony?

The Mavs still have a mid-level salary exception and a $4 million trade exception, so they can acquire a player if they want. To get Carmelo would probably take a third team, however.

The Mavs can get Dirk Nowitzki back and Roddy Beaubois back and still win 50+ games and get a middle seed in the NBA's Western Conference playoffs, but without Butler they've lost that identity, that toughness and that chemistry that made them different, and potentially better than in disappointing years past.

With Butler here and Roddy coming, the Mavs were a real threat. Now, the Mavs are a real ... entertaining team that makes news by trading barbs -- but not jabs -- with the Lakers.

After Lakers' coach Phil Jackson talked of how Butler's injury will doom the Mavs, Cuban poked his long-time sparring partner last night.

"I love that Jeanie Buss' boy toy had something to say about us," Cuban said of Jackson, who has had a long-time relationship with the daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss. "I don't know if it was his thought or Jeanie's thought, but it's nice to know that she lets him speak in public about other teams."

Countered the 65-year-old Jackson, "I consider myself an old man. I'm a boy toy? That's terrific."


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10 comments
Jay in Athens
Jay in Athens

very well then. i'm thinking of starting a sportsradio blog in which i divulge ratings along with host accuracy.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

RW, how can this team go from the best in the NBA to a mid level contender? wtw? Unless they get Melo, book another first round exit. Expectations for Roddy can't be too high since he just started jumping again. I guess you don't have to worry about his shot since he goes to the rim all the time, but still....

Judge_Softy
Judge_Softy

Loved Cuban's comment jab at Phil Jackson, who I pretty much hate more than any living human. He can take his effing asterisk and shove it up his diseased prostate.

Jay in Athens
Jay in Athens

serious off topic question to richie:

are you no longer allowed to talk about sportsradio ratings?i recall serious celebration on this here blog and on air in november, but curious silence ever since.

it seems barry horn no longer pays attn as he and his paper are on the way out

Guest
Guest

Without Romo, the cowboys had no shot. Without Butler, the mavs have no shot and of course without me, the rangers might as well start planning what they are going to be doing next october in their off season. i took the kids to the philly art museum today, i love that philly has so many great museums unlike the crap that dfw has to offer, and did i mention how hot it gets down there over the summer?

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

I'm worried about this team without Butler. With Butler they were championship contenders but without him…not so much. He brought the "street cred" to the Mavs. Now they are back to the preppy, loafer wearing Mavs of old.

Ghost of scott
Ghost of scott

Hope you weren't really expecting a response from Richie. He's too big time to have some back 'n forth with us.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

You care to voice those concerns to Deshawn Stevenson and Tyson Chandler?

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