Earlier in the season when Jerry Stackhouse registered a DNP-Coach's Decision, he wasn't happy about it and could read the writing on the wall. His minutes were being reduced, his role becoming diminished. But, Sunday's stint on the inactive list seemed to crystallize everything. The Mavs want their veteran swingman, a hugely important player in the franchise to accept playing more of a spot role and mentor younger wings like Antoine Wright and Gerald Green.
That's a hard pill to swallow for a prideful player like Stackhouse, who's put together some great scoring years, then proved critics wrong that he could come to Dallas and accept a role off the bench. He perfected the role and was a Sixth Man of the Year candidate nearly ever season.
Coach Rick Carlisle has basis for his decisions to scale Stackhouse back. He has had an awful start to his 14th season. His shot just isn't falling. He's scored more than four points in a game just twice and is shooting 29.8 percent and 18.8 percent from 3-point land.
Now the difficult part. Stackhouse believes he still can contribute a high level. He's not interested in retiring, let alone slowing down. He's been in constant contact with Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson, Carlisle and his agent about where they go from here.
Will Stackhouse want to be traded if his role isn't expanded? Will his role be expanded if he starts hitting shots again? Actually, Stackhouse averaged 20 minutes a game in the four games preceeding Sunday's game at New York when he was inactive.
-- Jeff Caplan