The Mavericks are off to a strong start without Dirk Nowitzki. (Matt Strasen / Associated…)
Lights! Camera! Mavericks!
There were no Hollywood endings for Dallas' new core four during their time in L.A.
O.J. Mayo helped put USC on probation by accepting improper benefits. Darren Collison went 0 for 3 with UCLA in the Final Four. Elton Brand and Chris Kaman played for the Clippers before that was a good thing.
Now they are collaborating on quite a script in Dallas.
The remade Mavericks won four of their first six games even with star Dirk Nowitzki sidelined by arthroscopic knee surgery.
Mayo has added plenty of zest, scoring at least 30 points in consecutive games while resembling an All-Star.
Collison has been a more than capable replacement for departed point guard Jason Kidd, regularly reaching double digits in assists.
Kaman was like a sharpshooter from the field after returning from a strained right calf and Brand nearly logged a double-double in a season-opening victory over the hated Lakers.
Mayo appears to be getting back the mojo he misplaced while coming off the bench for most of his final two seasons in Memphis.
"I had it before in my rookie year — the good years," Mayo told reporters. "I'm just trying to get it back."
Waiting for Andrew
It could be worse for the Lakers.
They could still have Andrew Bynum.
Or, rather, still not have the center who remains sidelined by a right knee injury.
Bynum was originally expected to be ready for the Philadelphia's opener before the team announced there was no timetable for his return.
The Lakers know what it's like to play without the 7-footer. He appeared in all 82 games only once in his seven seasons with the team before heading to the 76ers as part of the four-team Dwight Howard trade.
Philadelphia is also without center Kwame Brown, who is out indefinitely with a bone bruise in his right knee, leaving Spencer Hawes as its only available big man of note.
"We're pretty good without him," 76ers President Rod Thorn said of Bynum. "And we'll be real good with him. He's doing stuff on the court. But he hasn't really done five-on-five type stuff. When will that be? We don't know. We'll see how it goes."
Truly mad men
You would think with all the ad agencies nearby that MSG Network could do better. Way better.
The network that broadcasts New York Knicks games recently ran poster ads in the New York area that poked fun at the Broadway show "Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark," in which actors have been injured in falls.
"It's Friday night," said the ad, which was removed this week. "You can either see a Broadway harness malfunctioning or you can watch real men fly."
Another problem with the ad: It featured a photo of Amare Stoudemire, who could be out until January after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.