UPDATE: According to multiple reports, Stoudemire's 16th technical foul was rescinded by the league office.
DALLAS -- Concern about Amar'e Stoudemire's availability for Sunday's game against the Pacers lasted for about five minutes during the blowout loss to the Mavericks on Thursday night. Once he and Brendan Haywood were seen laughing with referee Bennett Salvatore during the first timeout after the veteran official hit both players with a double-technical, it seemed a given the calls would be rescinded and Stoudemire's tech tally will return to 15. By league rules, a 16th technical foul results in a $5,000 fine and a one-game suspension.
"[He] pretty much agreed it wasn't really that bad," Stoudemire said of Salvatore, who can tell the league that the call was an overreaction. The NBA reviews all technical fouls and Stoudemire feels confident he'll get a favorable review. The league has already previously rescinded two other technicals called on Stoudemire this season.
"It really wasn't that bad," Stoudemire said. "Me and Brendan are good friends and we showed on the court that there really wasn't nothing from a controversy standpoint from that play. I think it will, hopefully, get rescinded."
Mike D'Antoni was so annoyed with the call -- and likely what it could mean for his team in the next game -- that he, himself, earned a tech 20 seconds later when play resumed. It was D'Antoni's second technical of the season, but it was noteworthy that he took up for his star player.
"I'm not worried about him," D'Antoni said. "We'll see what happens and see where it goes. Whatever happens, happens and we've got to just keep going forward."
Stoudemire isn't the only one who has to be mindful of his manners on the court. The Knicks' two other stars are among the top six on the tech list this season, with Carmelo Anthony close behind with 12. Chauncey Billups has 10.
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* - This was a stinker from the start as the Knicks were easy prey for an ornery Mavericks team that was called "soft" by coach Rick Carlisle after blowing a late lead in their loss to the Hornets the night before. Dallas started out cold but suddenly hit everything they threw at the rim, including seven of their first 13 three-pointers. The Knicks, meanwhile, were brutal from the field (4-for-18 to start the game) and their defense was too frantic as the constant chasing and running-out allowed the Mavericks' bigs to get easy position on the offensive glass. The Knicks gave up nine offensive boards in the first half and a total of 17 in the game. Tyson Chandler was mired in foul trouble for most of the game, but Haywood had one of his best games of the season with 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 29:43.
D'Antoni immediately chalked it up as a schedule loss, with this being the team's fourth game in five nights. The Mavericks were also playing their fourth-in-five, but this was also the seven game in 10 days for the Knicks. The legs didn't look so weary in the second half, as the Knicks managed to close the gap to 11 at one point.
* - Corey Brewer certainly played with notable motivation in his game -- seven points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals in 16:50 -- for what seems to be two reasons. First, he hasn't seen much run yet with the Mavericks and wants to prove himself, but also to stick it to the Knicks, who allegedly wouldn't commit to making him a rotation player. But D'Antoni seemed determined to set the record straight on why the Knicks didn't keep Brewer, who was claimed by Dallas off waivers and immediately signed a three-year, $7 million extension. And his explanation is interesting:
"As long as everybody knows the story and the story is, Corey's good and I hope he finds a home," D'Antoni said. "We let him go here because he got a two or three-year contract and some money and [his agent, Happy Walters] asked us for him to go. I thought we did the right thing as an organization, that we couldn't promise him what he can have [in Dallas]. I think you have to take your hat off to the organiaztion and to Donnie for doing the classy thing and let him do it. It's not a question of can he or can he not play. He can play."
So the way D'Antoni explains it, Walters knew the Mavericks were interested enough to lock up Brewer, a pending free agent, with an extension. So this wasn't as much about playing time as it was finances.
* - Carmelo Anthony was flattered by UConn star Kemba Walker's dream to join him on the Knicks. Anthony smiled and said, "That's good if he wants to do that, I never knew he was a fan of mine." Anthony didn't watch Walker's buzzer-beater over Pitt, nor did he see his beloved Syracuse knock off St. John's in the quarterfinals on Thursday. He was taking his usual pre-game nap. Melo before the game in Dallas said he thought about going to Friday's semifinal matchup between UConn and Syracuse, but said afterward that he'll probably wait to see if Syracuse makes it to the Big East championship game on Saturday and attend that.
As for Syracuse big man Fab Melo, yes, Carmelo has heard of him (Nene had previously spoke of his fellow Brazilian with the coincidental name). I suggested it would have made a good rap name if he ever wanted to break into the hip hop world.
He laughed at that, but the smile wasn't there when we talked about people such as Charles Barkley and Mark Cuban, who both have said the Nuggets got the better of the trade with the Knicks.
Carmelo called the talk "nonsense" and of Cuban's remark he shot back, "I'm pretty sure if I'd have came here [to Dallas], he'd have got the better end of the deal."
* - Just wanted to send a Fixer shout out to St. John's senior guard D.J. Kennedy, who learned he tore his ACL in Thursday's quarterfinal. That injury prematurely ended my very modest Division II college career, and that was back in the days when the only remedy to that type of injury was to take you out back and shoot you. Things are so much different now, so I don't expect this to mean the end of D.J.'s playing career. We wish him the best in his recovery and expect to read his name in a boxscore again somewhere in the basketball world.