Quantcast 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend: 2010 NBA All-Star Recap

 

An Eventful February in Dallas

 

Well, it was a fun and enjoyable All-Star weekend in Dallas, but the real treat came for the city and its hometown team a few days later when the Mavericks acquired Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson from the Washington Wizards. Sent to the Wizards were Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton, and Quinton Ross. I hate to break it to them, but they won't be missed. Butler is a former All-Star who is capable of averaging 20 points for a season, and Haywood is a legitimate big man who can protect the paint. That paint presence is something that the Mavs have been missing for multiple seasons now. Additionally, Stevenson is a solid player who can play a significant number of minutes and hit big shots when called upon. He can be a bit of a hothead and may not have the best attitude, but I believe Rick Carlisle can do a good job straightening that out.

 

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Now, that was the analysis prior to any games being played by the new-look Dallas Mavericks. Since the trade went down, the Mavs are 4-1, losing their very first game with the new studs to an amazingly red-hot Oklahoma City Thunder team. Also, Dallas did not get a chance to practice with the new guys prior to the game. Since then, the Mavs have won four straight games over the Suns, Magic (in Orlando by ten), Heat, and Pacers. The win against the Magic is the most notable game of the bunch and a game in which Butler posted 16 points, 7 rebounds, and two steals. Haywood added 15 points, 9 rebounds, and two blocks in the big win. Speaking of Haywood, he already has two double-doubles as a member of the Mavs, including the most recent game against Indiana in which he grabbed 20 boards (in addition to 13 points). As for DeShawn Stevenson, he did not play much in his first four games with the new uniform, but he went for almost 23 minutes against Indiana and provided a solid seven points off the bench.

The Mavericks have been enjoying a very successful season thus far. Jason Kidd is still playing great basketball at his age and doing all of the intangibles for the team. Dirk Nowitzki has seemingly been better than ever, and guys like Marion, Terry, and Dampier continue to be solid contributors. This trade makes this Dallas team a whole lot scarier for the top teams in the West. Don't believe me? Well, their next three games against the Lakers (2/24), Hawks (2/26), and Hornets (2/28) are all on ESPN. Riding a four-game winning streak, the Mavericks are going to be very fun to watch this week and for the rest of the season. The balance of power has shifted a bit thanks to this trade for Butler and Haywood, and it has cemented the fact that the Dallas Mavericks will be a scary team for any opposing team in the playoffs. For me, it means they are the second-best team in the Western Conference, and the odds of a trip to the Conference Finals just got extremely higher.

 

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By: Steven Barile
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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