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Dallas Mavericks: Samuel Dalembert Has Been Beyond Frustrating

Sleepy Big Man's Inconsistencies Are Hurting Mavs

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | I think the Lamar Odom saga taught us that Rick Carlisle can only handle so much.


This isn't an attempt to compare what happened with Odom to what's going on with Samuel Dalembert. The 7-footer isn't marrying reality TV stars and crying waterfalls that he's in Dallas and not the glitz and glamor of Los Angeles.

But just like Odom was, Dalembert has become a headache that 10 bottles of Tylenol couldn't fix. Again, he's not as bad. He's not checking into rehab mid-season, so there's a win.

Dalembert is addicted to sleep, though. Which would normally be a good thing. But the Dallas Mavericks' starting center has overslept twice already, and been late to practice because of it, recently as early January.

The first step to knowing you have a problem is admitting you have one. After not playing in the Mavs' 92-80 loss to the New York Knicks on Jan. 5, Dalembert said he felt ashamed for oversleeping for the second time, saying he has trouble sleeping at night.

That's like a college student missing class because he/she overslept from partying the night before.

The complicated issue for Dallas is that Dalembert needs help, and the Mavs are willing to offer that help because they need him. Unless Andrew Bynum decides he's coming to Texas, Dalembert is the only center taller than 6-foot-10 on the roster.

You need that size, especially if Bernard James isn't getting any minutes.

It would help Dalembert's cause if he played like he had something to prove. Playing on five teams in five years should've been a wakeup call. But now the Mavs know why he can't find a permanent home.

Dalembert's minutes have been inconsistent since late December, mainly due to his antics and DeJuan Blair's re-emergence as a quality low post player. If Dallas is going to do anything this year, the Dalembert that's averaged seven rebounds per game the last three needs to keep showing up.

The Mavs aren't asking him to be Dwight Howard, the guy they missed out on over the summer. And they know Dalembert isn't going to play consistent defense against the best big men in the league. Look no further than DeAndre Jordan scoring 25 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in Dallas' Jan. 3 loss to the Clippers.

Make your own case if Jordan is a top-tier center, for the sake of my sanity.

Speaking of the heavyweight battle between Dalembert and Jordan that ended with a first-round knockout, they meet again Wednesday. Start the over/under at 20 points for the Los Angeles big man.

What the Mavs need is consistent, dedicated production. As long as Dalembert can hold his own underneath the basket, Dallas' offense is capable of doing enough to win games.

That might not be the recipe in the playoffs, but that'll be enough to get there. This stretch of playing New Orleans twice and Orlando doesn't say much, but hopefully it's enough to get his confidence going. He needs it, and so do the Mavs.

Just as long as he doesn't marry a reality TV star, cries waterfalls about not playing in Los Angeles and going to rehab (and maybe invest in some sleeping pills), then he's OK with me.

Danny Webster is a Yahoo Contributor for the Dallas Mavericks. You can reach him by going on Twitter by following @DannyWebster21.

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