On the TNT late night postgame show Thursday night, analyst Kenny Smith sent out a stern message to Western Conference point guards Stephen Curry, Mike Conley Jr., Damian Lillard, Patrick Beverley, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Jrue Holiday, Eric Bledsoe and Russell Westbrook.
After the Dallas Mavericks acquired Rajon Rondo form the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Smith talked about how difficult life will be for opposing point guards.
"There’s no night off when you come into Dallas, meaning you don’t have an advantage,’’ Smith said. "You have to create an advantage when you play against Rondo.
"I think that those other guys may have thought that when they went into Dallas before, well, we have an advantage and they get a little bit more aggressive. But now they’re going to be on their heels, because not only does Rondo defends, but he pushes the ball obviously at you and gets you on your heels.’’
Smith gave opposing point guard some sage advice.
"You’re going to go to bed at 10 o’clock when you get to Dallas,’’ he said. "There’s no late night movie when you go to Dallas any more.’’
Shaquille O’Neal, another TNT analyst, chimed in and said: "Dallas, 10 o’clock. I don’t think so.’’
Smith shot back with: "We’re not talking about Shaq going against Shawn Bradley. We’re talking about going against Rajon Rondo and you’re CP3 or you’re Westbrook or anybody else.
"You’re going to get some rest, baby.’’
O’Neal agreed that Rondo raises the bar at point guard for the Mavericks.
"Rondo has championship experience,’’ O’Neal said. "The last time he played with dangerous weapons he won a championship.
"It’ll probably take him a week or two to get into the offense, but once they get stops and put the ball in his hands there is no practice for that. He’s already mastered that and is an expert of getting guys the ball.’’
Grant Hill, another TNT analyst, doesn’t believe there’s another starting five in the NBA better than Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons and Rondo.
"I like this move right here -- they’ve got the pieces,’’ Hill said. "Their starting five, I’d put up against anybody.
"Certainly, Tyson Candler, a defensive-minded center. Dirk, Chandler Parsons, Monta, they’ve got to be in the conversation. I don’t know one, two, three, where it’s at, but they’ve got to be a team that has a chance to contend.’’
The only drawback to the trade, according to Hill, is the loss of Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder.
"I’m not 100 percent about their bench,’’ Hill said. "They gave up a few players.
"I thought Brandan Wright was playing well. But that starting five is as good as any starting five, and certainly can will a team to the Finals.’’
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760