Big deal for Spurs rival, plus awards and all star thoughts

The Dallas Mavericks made a big move to boost their roster over the weekend sending Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton to Washington for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson.

The Mavericks add a 17 point a game scorer in Butler and Haywood, who is averaging 9 points and 10 rebounds.  The move also let’s them get rid of Josh Howard, who is having the worst season since his rookie season and had fallen out of favor with coach Jim Carlisle.

Coming into the 2nd half of the season Dallas has been struggling, going 10-11 since a Dec. 27 win over Denver put them at 23-9.  They do hold a 1 and 1/2 game lead over the Spurs for the Southwest Division lead but sit only 4th in the Western Conference.

When I first heard about this trade, I wasn’t sure it would actually help Dallas out that much.  However, after looking at the numbers it gives them two quality players and will make them a much harder opponent for the Spurs.  On the season Dallas has already won 2 of 3 from San Antonio.  This is important to keep in mind because it’s entirely possible that the two teams could end up tied at the end of the season.  The Southwest Division has been the NBA’s most competitive group so far this season and even with this move I think that trend will continue.

All Star thoughts

Sunday night was a quiet night for Spurs fans as Tim Duncan played 13 minutes, only scoring 3 points.  The weekend however, was not.  Rookie DeJuan Blair made a big impact, scoring 22 points and grabbing 23 rebounds, helping the rookie team beat a team full of 2nd year players as part of the All Star festivities Friday night.

As a whole I thought the All Star festivities went off pretty well, though it may be time to retire the dunk contest again.  The display Saturday night wasn’t very impressive or fun to watch.  With most big names not competing in it either, it’s just become a platform for Nate Robinson to showcase his skills.

For the most part the game itself went off without a hitch.  There were some technical glitches on TNT’s end, including Craig Sager starting an interview and almost finishing his question before stopping and starting all over again.  These kind of errors are all too common in live sports coverage, just watch a night of the Winter Olympics for further evidence.    I was very impressed with how Cowboy Stadium looked, it reminded me of when the Spurs would play playoff games in the Alamodome.

Awards for the first half of the season for the 2nd last week

With my time at AirAlamo not even a week old, I decided it would not be totally fair for me to give awards that cover a whole half of the NBA season, so just as prestigiously, I will award players for their performance during my time.  Having that in mind, here’s my picks for the best from Wednesday to Monday.

NBA MVP of Wednesday to Monday – Charles Barkley

On a week where little basketball was actually played, Charles carried TNT’s broadcasts from Thursday until the end of the All Star weekend.  He’s a former player too, so it still counts.

NBA and Spurs Rookie of Wednesday to Monday – DeJuan Blair

I know Tyreke Evans was MVP of the game Friday, but Blair had the more impressive regular season game during the judging period with 17 points to Evans’ 13.

Brightest Shoes of Wednesday to Monday – J.R. Smith’s golden sneakers

I’m fairly certain these could win any day of the week.  What makes them stand out even more is that everyone else on the Nuggets wear some variant of the classic white basketball shoe.

Best Broadcast of Wednesday to Monday – ESPN Classic airing old All Star games

It was an absolute blast watching the old All Star games and the choice of games were entertaining and showcased the evolution of the NBA.  My favorite was probably the 1982 game if only for Kelly Tripucka’s hilariously high shorts.  His shorts were so high that they almost covered up the 44 on his back.

Join me at this blog again tomorrow for a 2nd half preview.

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