Dallas Mavericks Dedicating Playoff Run to Caron Butler

by May 30, 2011

The Mavs say they’re playing for the injured Butler, whom despite being a very long shot, head coach Rick Carlisle still hasn’t completely ruled out of returning this season. From ESPN: “The Dallas Mavericks understood that however hard he worked, forward Caron Butler probably would not be joining this team of ring-less veterans on its pursuit of an NBA title. So they dedicated the journey to him. ‘We all said when the playoffs started we wanted to do it for him,’ guard Jason Terry said. ‘And if you ask him, I’m one of the guys that told him, ‘Hey, we’re doing this for you this time, big boy.’ I told you we’d do it and it’s here now.’ … Mavs coach Rick Carlisle reiterated that Butler is a long shot to play during the Finals, but he refuses to shut the door on a possible return. Butler has yet to practice with the team and Carlisle continues to be vague about a potential timeline even though he said Butler’s recovery is well ahead of schedule. Butler was away from the team Saturday to attend to a family situation. He is expected to fly with the team to Miami on Sunday. ‘He gets closer all the time. Really, I don’t want to close the door on it because with him, he’s never a guy you want to bet against,’ Carlisle said. ‘He’s just one of those special guys. He’s a month-and-a-half, two months ahead of the normal rehab schedule for a normal human being. It just shows the kind of work he’s put into it, the sort of single-minded compulsiveness of his approach and how diligent he’s been. It’s been an inspiration to have him around. I just don’t think it’s the right thing to close the door even though I think it’s unlikely [he’ll play].'”