Two moves the Mavericks made last summer are paying off in the stretch run, with free agent signee J.J. Barea and Justin Anderson, the 21st pick in the 2015 draft, delivering in prominent roles of late, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com examines. The NBA just named Barea the Western Conference Player of the Week. “Barea’s been here before,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s been heavily relied upon, and he’s had to fill in in big situations. So he knows what this is about. Anderson has learned gradually, and his teammates have been a big part of his development. He’s been an attentive learner, and he’s a really big part of what we’re doing right now.”
See more from the Southwest Division:
- San Antonio’s success this year has come at a tangible cost, and part of that is a $750K bonus that Tim Duncan earned when the Spurs won their 62nd game of the season last week against Memphis, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. It means San Antonio is in line for an extra $1.5MM in projected tax penalties, which go on top of the $750K the Spurs have to shell out to Duncan. The win also inflated the cap figure for Duncan’s player option for next season to $6,393,750, since the league considers it likely he’d trigger the bonus against next season.
- The Grizzlies appear to be exploring the feasibility of carrying more than 15 players on their playoff roster, though it seems unlikely the NBA would allow it, writes Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal in his Pick-and-Pop column. Memphis is at 17 players, including Xavier Munford, whose second 10-day contract runs out after Tuesday’s game. His minutes and production have increased, and he’s making a case for a deal that would keep him around for the rest of the season and the playoffs, as Herrington details. Such a move would likely necessitate offloading someone already signed through season’s end, and Herrington speculates that Ryan Hollins and P.J. Hairston are candidates to be cut.
- A freewheeling offense and a lack of emphasis on defense provide the right environment for Michael Beasley to succeed with the Rockets, observes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The former No. 2 pick has put up strong numbers since Houston signed him a month ago, having averaged 14.1 points in just 19.8 minutes per game across 15 appearances.