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Mavs suspend G West for 2nd time in 10 days

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Mavs suspend G West for 2nd time in 10 days

DALLAS (AP) Mavericks guard Delonte West was suspended Thursday for the second time in as many weeks for conduct detrimental to the team, putting his future in Dallas in doubt.

The first suspension lasted about a day, but a series of tweets by West soon after the team announced the latest suspension raised questions about whether he would return this time.

``Just dont kick me ... on the way out the door,'' West tweeted. ``I didn't do anything to deserve that.''

The last of several tweets in just a few minutes said, ``I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes.''

West has bipolar disorder and addressed that topic in another tweet, saying ``no I'm not off my meds.''

After practice Thursday, coach Rick Carlisle refused to elaborate on West, referring to the release from the team announcing the suspension but disclosing no specifics about his conduct.

Donnie Nelson, the team's president of basketball operations, said only that the suspension was effective immediately and no other statements would be issued. The reason for the suspension was the same as the first one that came following an outburst in the locker room after a preseason game Oct. 15.

Carlisle informed players of the latest suspension before practice.

``We're losing a competitor. That's plain and simple. He's a competitor,'' veteran forward Vince Carter said.

When reached by ESPNDallas.com on Thursday, West said he was being blamed for an argument between teammates after the Mavs' 88-76 preseason loss to the Oklahoma City on Wednesday night in Wichita, Kan. He said he got a text Thursday morning telling him not to come to practice.

``There was an argument between two teammates in the locker room last night that didn't involve me,'' West told ESPNDallas. ``Somehow I'm being blamed for it. I had nothing to do with it. I don't know what's going on.''

Carter wasn't with the team for Wednesday night's game. He didn't know about the suspension until he got to practice and hadn't spoken to West.

``It's just a sensitive situation right now. It's not much I can say, I wasn't around to even know what's going on. It's unfortunate,'' Carter said. ``He's my friend, so I want the best for him, and you hope they work the situation out.''

Asked if the situation with West could be resolved quickly like the first one, Carlisle again said he wasn't commenting about the guard.

Players wouldn't go into detail about how the situation was explained to them by Carlisle.

``He said what he needed to say and it is what it is. ... Things happen we have no control over,'' said Shawn Marion, who like Carter remained in Dallas instead of playing in Wednesday's game. ``I like Delonte. He's got stuff he needs to work out with them (team management). ... We've still got to go on and focus on our task at hand.''

West's latest suspension came five days before the Mavericks open the regular season Tuesday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

The Mavs will start the season without Dirk Nowitzki, their 11-time All-Star who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Chris Kaman, their other 7-footer, is dealing with a strained right calf that makes him questionable for the opener.

``All these things happen, these are part of everyday life in the NBA,'' Carlisle said. ``We've got a lot of veterans that have been through situations where there have been injuries and all kinds of different things. You've got to just. The bus keeps going, got to keep soldiering on.''

Instead of lamenting the players not available, Carlisle said his team was going to push forward with the ones they have.

West was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2010-11 season after pleading guilty to weapons charges in Maryland. Authorities say he was carrying three loaded guns and a knife when he was stopped for speeding on a three-wheel motorcycle in 2009.

West was a valuable role player for Dallas last season, even starting 33 games as the backcourt struggled with injuries before he was sidelined himself by a broken finger.

The Mavericks' backcourt grew crowded in the offseason, though. Darren Collison was acquired from Indiana and is expected to start at point guard. O.J. Mayo, a shooting guard, signed as a free agent from Memphis and could be counted on heavily for scoring while waiting for Nowitzki's return.

West played in all seven preseason games, averaging 5 points and 2 assists while playing nearly 18 minutes a game. The eighth-year pro was close to his career averages with the Mavericks last year, at 9.6 points and 3.2 assists.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

It doesn't take an expert to tell you players like Alex Ovechkin or Marc-Andre Fleury will play a big role in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights will need their best players to be at their best to take home the Cup. But who will be the unexpected heroes? Who are the players no one is talking about who will have a big hand in their team's success or defeat in this series?

Here are five players you should be watching in the Stanley Cup:

1. Devante Smith-Pelly: Smith-Pelly had seven goals in 79 games in the regular season. Now he has four goals in just 19 playoff games.

Smith-Pelly has been one of those unlikely playoff heroes for the Caps this postseason with very timely performances such as scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 6 against the Columbus Blue and scoring the goal that put the game away in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The physical play has really stood out as well for him, which fits well on the fourth line role he has settled back into now that the team is healthy again. Barry Trotz tried moving him to the top line in the absence of Tom Wilson and the results weren't great. He is best suited for the role he currently has and that will allow him to thrive.

2. James Neal: Neal came up just short of the Stanley Cup last season as a member of the Nashville Predators. He totaled nine points in 22 games during that run, a number he has already matched in just 15 games this postseason.

There are very few players on either team that boast the kind of postseason experience Neal has. He will be leaned upon this series for his leadership.

Vegas is a young team and their unprecedented success in the playoffs may make this feel like the first run of many for the Golden Knights, but not for Neal who is on the last year of his contract and came tantalizingly close to the Cup last season. He will play like there is no tomorrow because, for him, there may not be in Vegas.

3. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky was one of the heroes of Game 7 with two goals to put away the Tampa Bay Lightning. That marked just the latest peak in a career full of peaks and valleys for the young winger. Just two games before, Burakovsky was a healthy scratch and spoke to the media about his plans to speak with a sports psychologist in the offseason.

The talent is there and it certainly appears that the injury that kept him out earlier in the playoffs is largely behind him. Burakovsky’s issues have always been mainly between the ears. In a series against a fast team with strong depth, he can be an absolutely critical piece for the Caps. Hopefully, his Game 7 performance gave him the confidence he needs to continue to be effective.

4. Ryan Reaves: Vegas acquired both Reaves and Tomas Tatar around the trade deadline. If I were to tell you that through three rounds of the playoffs, both players were healthy, had played the same number of games (6) and had the same number of points (1), you’d think I was crazy. Yet, here we are.

Reaves was largely an afterthought in a complicated trade between Vegas, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, but he has carved a nice role for himself on the Golden Knights’ fourth line and even scored the goal that sent Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final against the Winnipeg Jets.

Reaves is also an agitator on the ice, but what do the Caps do against a player like that when their normal fighter plays on the top line? We may see Reaves and Wilson come to blows this series, but it won't be very often because that is a bad tradeoff for the Caps.

5. Brooks Orpik: The elder statesman of the blue line, Orpik is the only player on the Caps with a Stanley Cup to his name and is the only one who has any idea what this experience is going to be like for the team.

Orpik is very diligent about keeping in shape which has allowed him to play in 81 games this season and all 19 playoff games despite being 37 years old, but you do have to wonder how much is left in the tank. Despite being the favorite whipping boy for the proponents of analytics, his physical play has been effective this postseason. The focus he placed on the skating in the offseason has paid dividends so far in matchups against the speedy Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Golden Knights will be the fastest team they have played yet. There is no denying Orpik is much more suited towards a physical style of game. Wil he continue to be effective or will Vegas exploit the Caps' third defensive pairing?

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Tim Frazier's season...

Player: Tim Frazier

Position: Point guard

Age: 27

2017-18 salary: $2 million

2017-18 stats: 59 G, 14.2 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 76.7 FT%, 44.5 eFG%, 105 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 1/27 at Hawks - 4 points, 14 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2-for-5 FG

Season review: The Wizards tabbed Tim Frazier to be their backup point guard nearly a year ago when they sent a second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans on the eve of draft night. They viewed Frazier as the solution to their years-long search for a capable backup behind John Wall. Frazier had thrived as a replacement starter in New Orleans and the Wizards saw him as worth a draft pick, even though he had just one year left on his contract.

Frazier began the season as the primary backup point guard, but ultimately lost the job to Tomas Satoransky once Wall went out with a left knee injury. Frazier became the starter and Satoransky the backup, but through two weeks Satoransky outplayed him and became No. 2 on the depth chart once Wall returned. Then, when Wall went down for months late in the season, Satoransky started and Frazier backed him up.

Frazier never found consistency as he moved back and forth between roles. His minutes, points and assists averages were all career-lows.

The Wizards added competition to their roster for Frazier and Satoransky midseason, first by signing Ramon Sessions in March and then adding Ty Lawson just before the playoffs began. That led to Frazier being inactive for four of the Wizards' six postseason games.

All in all, it was a frustrating year for Frazier. He even had to deal with a broken nose and surgery to repair it after getting inadvertently kneed in the face by Bobby Portis in a game against the Bulls in February.

Frazier has been part of small group of Wizards players continuing to work out at the team facility this summer. He has been there along with Wall, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith. That said, it does seem likely Frazier returns given how the Wizards used him this season. He was completely out of the rotation for extended periods of time.

Helping his cause in that regard is that the Wizards have his Bird rights, meaning they can re-sign him while going above the salary cap. They currently have five open roster spots and not much money to spend. Frazier could represent a cheap option and help them fill out their roster.

Potential to improve: Shooting, on-ball defense, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

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