In their first game with the Dallas Mavericks last night, Brendan Haywood and particularly Caron Butler didn't put up strong performances in a 99-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Haywood, who posted decent numbers -- seven points and six rebounds -- in 15 minutes off the bench, also posted a +/- of -16. Butler, however, played worse despite being placed in the starting lineup and getting 31 minutes. Butler scored 13 points on 4-16 shooting and turned the ball over four times while grabbing six rebounds and recording one assist, one steal, and one block.
Not to be left out, DeShawn Stevenson posted similarly awful numbers to his time with the Wizards this season (2.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 28.2 field goal percentage). In five minutes, Stevenson missed his only field goal attempt and also had a turnover. Not that it necessarily contributed much to the loss, but does it really make any sense for a solid team like the Mavericks to give Stevenson any minutes at all?
It's just one game, of course, and the Mavericks must adjust to how both Butler and Haywood play and interact with Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Shawn Marion, etc. Also, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle must become familiar with the fact that Stevenson just isn't very good and shouldn't see the court unless five or six Mavericks happen to foul out of the game.