When Steve Novak found out he’d made the
Mavericks’ opening-day roster, he celebrated the only way he could think
He went back to the hotel room he’s been in for the
“I got a little one, so there’s not much
partying going on,’’ he said.
With a 14-week old son, Mack, in tow, getting sleep is more
important than going out on the town.
Besides, Novak and Brian Cardinal have work to do. Now that
they have made the Mavericks’ regular-season roster, they have to figure
out how to make an impact. And with both making veteran-minimum salaries, they
and the Mavericks know that any contribution that helps win a game could be
enough to justify their contracts.
“Both Novak and Cardinal bring specific ingredients to
our team that we feel can help us,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said.
“Cardinal’s a good all-around basketball player, can play good
defense, and he can make open shots. Novak’s as good a shooter as there
is on the planet right now.’’
“Both of those guys proved in the first seven games
that they bring something to the table that’s useful for
While Ray Allen and Mike Miller might contest
Carlisle’s claim about Novak’s shooting, his play in the preseason
was unquestionably good enough that he deserves a chance to help the Mavericks
when the games count. Ditto for Cardinal, who is spending Friday in Indiana
with his wife as they await the birth of their third child.
Keeping the pair was the right thing to do. Of course, it’s
easy for us to spend Mark Cuban’s money.
“I can never stress enough how important it is to have
an owner like Mark that’s willing to keep a couple of guys, stretch it
(the roster) to 15,’’ Carlisle said. “A lot of owners
aren’t willing to do that right now.’’