Mavericks center Andrew Bogut, who has been sidelined since December 5th with a bone bruise on his right knee, could be back on the court this week, tweets Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. Coach Rick Carlisle announced the news today on Bogut, who started 16 games before the injury. The 32-year-old, who was acquired in a trade from Golden State to sure up the Mavericks’ interior defense, is averaging 3.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per night. He was considered a prime candidate to be traded again when Dallas was at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, but Mavericks may consider keeping him as they inch back toward playoff contention. The way he and the team play between now and the February 23rd trade deadline could determine how long he stays in Dallas.
There’s more basketball news out of Texas:
- Carlisle also indicated good news might be coming about J.J. Barea, according to Sneed (Twitter link). The backup guard, who has been out with a muscle strain in his left leg, still has no timetable to return, but his coach says it’s “on the shorter end of things.” Barea has only been available for 11 games this season.
- The Rockets‘ plan for veteran center Nene involves more games and fewer minutes, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. With starting center Clint Capela out a month or more with a fracture in his left fibula, Houston needs Nene to play in back-to-back games. The Rockets play the Suns tonight and the Mavericks on Tuesday, and coach Mike D’Antoni plans to limit him to fewer than 20 minutes in the second game. “I think it’s working out,” D’Antoni said. “I talked to him [Monday]. He said he’s feeling great. I would like to avoid some back-to-backs, but we can’t right now. The sooner we get Clint back the better.”
- Tyler Ennis hasn’t played much since coming to Houston in a September trade, but he is hoping to be part of the Canadian National Team, Feigen relays in a separate story. Ennis met tonight with Suns assistant Jay Triano, who serves as Canada’s coach, to discuss his future role with the squad. “I’ve always played for the national team,” Ennis said. “With the Canadian guys we have in the NBA now, there’s more interest in playing. Hopefully, one summer, we’ll get everybody to come and play. We’re all pretty young.”