Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cruel and Unusual

Caron Butler grasped his right knee as he held it close to his chest. The pain was obvious. The man known as 'Tuffjuice' looked like someone shot him in the leg. When Butler was able to get up and walk off to the locker room on his own will, he probably fooled a lot of us during the game. Maybe it isn't that bad, maybe he'll come back soon, maybe it's just Dirk all over again.

Judging from the postgame comments in the Mavs ugly loss to the Bucks, Butler might not be around for quite a bit. Combined with the worrisome Shawn Marion injury (his thigh and hammy nagged him quite a bit last year) and Roddy Beaubois' seemingly amputated foot (seriously, he broke his foot in early August. All was said that three months at the latest. It's been four going on five now with absolutely no timetable whatsoever) the Mavs are in serious trouble.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is Dirk's injury is not serious and he is supposed to be back when the Mavs come back to Dallas after today's game with the Cavs. But combined with a three game losing streak, it's obvious that this is the lowest of the low for the Mavericks right now. A team that looked just as poised to beat any other team in this league less than a week ago now looks like it will limp into the playoffs for another first round embarrassment.

Needless to say, this is about as stinko as it gets. Dallas has been free of the injury bug for a majority of the Dirk era, save for a few ankle sprains and broken faces. The only time I can remember injury potentially hurting a Maverick team like this one was when Dirk went down with a brutal sprained knee injury in the 2003 Western Finals against San Antonio. Hope shouldn't be lost just yet, however. Butler still hasn't been diagnosed and Mark Cuban is not one to let his team rot away if the injuries to Marion and Butler due turn out to be incredibly serious. But what to do? With Butler's injury, it will be almost impossible to move him. That leaves Brendan Haywood and JJ Barea or dumping one of the French Towers.

An interesting possibility would be Kevin Martin, the awkward, yet silky smooth (if that makes sense) shooting guard for the Houston Rockets. Being able to package Haywood and JJB to acquire him of course is a pipe dream - one that I've been wishing for since Josh Howard was put on the trading block. Martin looks even more salivating this season, with the 20 plus points and the very interesting record he's on the verge of completing. Would Houston be dumb enough to take on Haywood? I'm not too sure, unless they are that desperate for a center with Yao Ming on the cusp of retirement.

If Butler is done for the year and the Mavericks make no move to replace him, it'd be hard to be excited for the year. A lineup of Kidd, Stevenson, Marion, Dirk and Chandler is all well and good, but that vaunted Dallas depth would be nixed especially is Jason Terry keeps trying to build himself a second mansion with all the bricks he's collected over the last week or so. Don't get me wrong, I've ripped Butler a fair number of times on Twitter and over here. But losing 'Tuffjuice' for the season would be hard to swallow.


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  1. Life is cruel and unusual. I'm now convinced more than ever you may have to blow this thing up in a year or two.

  2. The above picture makes my stomach turn. If it was Dirk in the picture I would be vomiting every time I saw it.