Dallas Mavericks: Byron Mullens
|ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
It’s not like there are a lot of options available in free agency, either. In fact, there aren’t any starting centers left other than restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic, and Minnesota will likely match any offer he receives.
Some other options: Samuel Dalembert, Chris Andersen, Byron Mullens, Jermaine O'Neal, Elton Brand and Brandan Wright.
The Mavs might end up with one or two of those other options, but they aren’t targeting them as starters. They’ve been in touch with O’Neal and Brand, but those former All-Stars are low-cost backup bangers at this point of their careers. They have Wright’s Early Bird rights and would like to keep him, but they see him as a 20-minute-per-game spark, not a starter.
Can Dalembert be a stopgap starter at 32 years old? Perhaps. His per-36-minute numbers for Milwaukee last season were pretty solid (14.7 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks), but he averaged only 16.3 minutes and appeared in only 47 games.
Houston’s Omer Asik and Phoenix’s Marcin Gortat could be available in the trade market. What assets do the Mavs have that would tempt their current teams?
Maybe Houston would be interested in Shawn Marion, who could provide the Rockets some veteran savvy and perimeter defense currently missing from their roster. Of course, then there’s a huge hole at small forward. Perhaps the Mavs could orchestrate a multi-team deal to get Asik or Gortat.
Or maybe the Mavs head into the season with a three-headed monster featuring, oh, say, O’Neal, Wright and James.
Yep, Bynum has some leverage, bad knees and all.
The Mavericks led by as many as 15 in the second half before the Bobcats rallied for a 101-97 win.
Dallas had a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter, but Brendan Haywood scored underneath and drew a foul. After missing the free throw, Charlotte got the offensive rebound and Ramon Sessions tied the score with 2.8 seconds left on a driving layup. Vince Carter misfired at the buzzer and the game went to overtime.
In the extra period, Haywood again scored and was fouled and again would miss the free throw, only to see Charlotte get the offensive rebound, which would turn into an easy dunk for Byron Mullens that gave the Bobcats a 95-93 lead. It would turn out to be a lead they would not relinquish. The Mavericks, very sloppy with their offensive execution for the second straight night, committed 19 turnovers. Dallas was led by O.J. Mayo with 22 points and Vince Carter with 19.
Kemba Walker had 26 points for the Bobcats, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 25.
What it means: The Mavericks lost to the Bobcats for the first time in franchise history. They had been 16-0 all time since Charlotte entered the league in 2004.
Play of the game: With Charlotte protecting a two-point lead, Walker looked like he was back in his UConn days as he sliced and diced his way through the Mavericks defense and threw in an acrobatic right-handed layup, giving the Bobcats a four-point lead in overtime.
Stat of the night: The Mavericks have had the lead at halftime in all seven games they have played this season. Charlotte scored 100 points for the first time in 17 tries against Dallas.
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