Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks believes the Dallas Mavericks enhanced their chances of a deep playoff run with the acquisitions of point guard Rajon Rondo and center/forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
“They’ve got two veteran players that know how to play and they’re going to continue to evolve as the season winds down,” Brooks said. “I’m sure it gives them a lot of options when you have veteran players.
“They know how to play, you’re not teaching them how to play, you don’t have to go over the reps with them as much. You can just tell them what you want, and I think that’s an advantage that they have.”
The Mavs acquired Rondo in a trade with Boston on Dec. 18 and signed Stoudemire to a free agent contract on Feb. 18. The two players give Dallas an added dimension, Brooks said.
“Rondo is one of the best guards in the league,” Brooks said. “And Stoudemire, when healthy, he’s as good as any big man.”
Mavericks forward Richard Jefferson said he can’t discuss a TMZ Sports report that said his former business manager, Ted Kritza, withdrew $2 million from his bank credit line without his permission.
“There’s zero to talk about, with all due respect,” Jefferson told the Star-Telegram on Monday. “I can’t comment on impending investigations in any way possible.”
According to the story, Jefferson reported the alleged crime to the FBI and then secretly recorded a phone conversation he had with Kritza. In the phone call, Jefferson said, Kritza “confesses to wrongdoing,” according to the story, and the recorded conversation is now in the hands of the FBI.
Defense by committee
Rick Carlisle has discovered a common denominator to defending Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul and Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook.
“In the West, guys like Paul and Westbrook, you’ve got to have a lot of numbers of guys to throw at them,” Carlisle said. “One guy isn’t going to stop them.”
The Mavs held Paul to 11 points during their 129-99 win over the Clippers on Friday. Westbrook had 24 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds Monday at Dallas, but he went only 7 of 17 from the field, had seven turnovers and fouled out — and the Thunder lost.
Illness sidelines Harris
Backup guard Devin Harris left Monday’s game with 7:59 remaining in the first half and did not return due to an illness.
Harris played only eight minutes, had no points and no assists and missed his lone field-goal attempt.
▪ The Mavs host Orlando at 7 p.m. Wednesday, then finish this five-game homestand at 7:30 p.m Friday against Memphis.
▪ Forward Al-Farouq Aminu listed himself as “day-to-day” with a strained left shoulder. Aminu has missed the past three games.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760