If we can rewind the tape to shootaround on Monday morning
in Oklahoma City, acting head coach Dwane Casey was talking about how he
didn’t envision changing much from the system that coach Rick Carlisle
has set in place.
So being the intrepid reporter that I am, I asked if that
meant we weren’t going to see 30 minutes of playing time for Steve Novak
or Alexis Ajinca.
“No, as much as I love Steve and Lex, we’re not
going to try to keep things the same,’’ Casey said.
So the game rolls around, Brian Cardinal is out with a
stomach ailment and Dirk Nowitzki goes down in the second quarter against the
Guess who comes rolling into the game when Tyson Chandler
gets into foul trouble?
Ajinca, the 7-footer from France who plays more like a
6-footer, comes in and while he puts in only a few minutes of work, he cans a
huge 3-pointer from the left corner in the final minute of the quarter. That
cut a four-point OKC lead to 80-79.
“I thought it was a total team effort,’’
Casey said. “Lex came in and that 3-pointer was huge for