The official word comes from Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who said on his weekly Friday radio show that there is is "zero" chance that Dallas Mavericks swingman Caron Butler will play in Round 2 against Los Angeles Lakers.
"He is not going to play in this series," Carlisle told GAC.
"No mix-ups,'' Caron tweets. "I will not be playing in this playoff series.''
If you read this space (bless you), you already kind of knew this. If you read other assorted spaces ... well, you asked for it and the pusher-man supplied it.
It is one thing for Caron himself to keep his positive vibe going. Butler sustained a ruptured right patellar tendon Jan. 1. He required surgery. The Mavericks were rather hush-hush about what it all meant, but medical experts insisted to us that returning this season was highly unlikely.
On Thursday after Dallas' closeout win in Portland, Caron was apparently asked by ESPN if he would return for Round 2.
"I hope so," said Butler, who has to his credit worked furiously to attempt the unlikely. "We've got to get back and see."
Of course, "I hope so'' hardly merits screaming headlines. Indeed, we've argued that the comeback story merits no headlines at all.
And here's why:
Check out DallasBasketball.com's exclusive video from April 5, just a few weeks ago:
It's encouraging, in the sense that Caron is up and moving and even leaving his feet a tiny bit on leisurely jumpshots.
But he was NOT practicing. Just casual jumpshooting.
Now check out DallasBasketball.com's exclusive video from February 16, about seven weeks prior, at a Mavs shootaround:
What do we see? The "progress'' made in what Caron is allowed to do on the court from February 16 to April 5 is not at all substantial.
He was not practicing on February 16. He was essentially exercising with a basketball in his hands. Seven weeks later, on April 5? Same thing?
Saturday, when Dallas resumes workouts in preparation for Monday's Game 1 against the Lakers? Wanna bet it's the same thing?
Around here, we're pulling for the Mavs. And we're pulling for Caron.
So I guess we're the pullin'-man.
But on this Story That Never Was, we're not going to be the pusher-man.
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