Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, left, reaches for
the ball against Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo
(9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Dallas.
The Dallas Mavericks suspended Rajon Rondo for their game
Wednesday night in Atlanta for conduct detrimental to the
team, a day after the point guard had a heated exchange on
the court with coach Rick Carlisle and was benched.
said he must communicate better with Rondo.
incident last night was born in large part from poor
communication between him and I," Carlisle said before
Dallas' 104-87 loss. "That's on both of us. We had a
long talk about the situation today and we both agreed we
need to communicate more frequently and we need to work on
the solution of making his stint as a Dallas Maverick the
most successful one possible."
out with 8:10 left in the third quarter of Dallas' 99-92
home victory over Toronto. He was bringing the ball up the
court when Carlisle angrily shouted for a timeout and
exchanged words with Rondo from several feet away as the
player headed to the bench.
Mavericks were trailing by nine when Rondo was pulled and
rallied with backups Devin Harris and J.J. Barea running the
offense along with leading scorer Monta Ellis, who sometimes
handles the ball.
said Rondo will return as a starter for the Mavericks' next
game against Brooklyn on Saturday.
one game. He'll serve it tonight," Carlisle said.
"We'll be off tomorrow. He'll practice Friday and he'll
be back in the starting lineup on Saturday. The events of
last night are now in the past and we've got to move
need to say this very clearly: He's an extremely important
part of our team. Our efforts to get to the highest possible
level largely hinge on ... playing well with him. He needs
to play well with us and we need to play well with him. It's
a two-way street."
said the suspension was "an organizational
suspension left the Mavericks with only 11 players against
the Hawks. Center Tyson Chandler was held out with a hip
contusion and forward Amare Stoudemire was rested with the
team playing on back-to-back days. Forward Chandler Parsons
was held out with a left ankle injury.
a trade with Boston in December to try to improve the
playoff outlook for the Mavericks in the difficult Western
Conference, Rondo hasn't had an easy transition.
four-time All-Star who won a title with the Celtics in 2008
was on the bench in the final minutes of a four-point loss
to Chicago about a month after the trade and said afterward
he didn't have a problem with Carlisle's decision. Dallas'
offense has sunk from the top of the league to fourth in
points per game since he arrived.
us to get where we want to get ... his abilities have to be
utilized by us the best possible way," Carlisle said.
"That's in large part my responsibility and I do not
dodge that. And a lot of that starts with great
communication with him. I'm always working on being a better
communicator and we talked about it today. He admitted that
he's got to do the same. So that's where we are and we'll go
forward from here."
brought in to improve the Mavericks' perimeter defense with
a long list of strong guards in the West, Rondo had some
success against Houston's James Harden and Oklahoma City's
Russell Westbrook before breaking a bone near his left eye
at Orlando and missing six games.
first game back after the All-Star break, Rondo couldn't
slow Westbrook in a blowout loss to the Thunder. He bounced
back with a solid outing in a win over Harden and the
Mavericks made the move for Rondo after offseason pickup
Jameer Nelson struggled at the point. Dallas gave up Nelson,
swingman Jae Crowder, forward Brandan Wright and two draft
picks for Rondo and forward Dwight Powell, who has played
over Toronto gave the Mavericks a sweep of a three-game
homestand and pulled them within half a game of Houston for
third place in the tightly packed West. There are four teams
separated by just a game and a half in the battle for two
spots with home-court advantage in the first round.