Hokus Pokus: Mavs' Rick Carlisle Makes a 7-Foot Center Disappear

By Richie Whitt
|  Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013  |  Updated 3:49 PM CDT
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Wait, where’s Samuel Dalembert?

I contend that the Mavs, ultimately, cannot get to where they think they’re going without him as a center who blocks shots, who rebounds, who patrols the paint and who … at least plays.

Couple things at work here in the wake of Dallas’ shocking and unsettling blowout loss to lowly Sacramento Monday night. One is the fickle nature of Rick Carlisle’s rotations. One day Gal Mekel is the backup point guard, the next day it’s Shane Larkin and one of these days you get the feeling both will be banished to Frisco and the D League in favor of Devin Harris.

Secondly, Dalembert recently overslept and missed a shootaround, rolling out the red carpet for his trip to the doghouse.

But against the Kings, Dalembert not only didn’t start in favor of DeJuan Blair, he was subjected to garbage-time minutes behind Bernard James in Dallas’ big-man rotation. Without Dallas’ starting center, Sacramento post man DeMarcus Cousins dominated with 32 points and 19 rebounds in the short-handed King’ romp.

There is no rhyme. Is there a reason?

Carlisle has been on Dalembert since the preseason really, when he volunteered early on that his center was out of shape. Now the cantankerous coach claims matchups are at the heart of his lineup juggling. Maybe it’s simply a message to Dalembert. I hope the center is reading it loud and clear.

Because the rest of us sure aren’t. 

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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