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Mike Dunleavy Defines Toughness

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bruno has his Scouting Report up early for tomorrow's game against the Mavericks. The report focuses on Mike Dunleavy's effort, fighting through all kinds of bumps, bruises, and strains to play in every game this year and exceed all production expectations.

At the start of the year, I never thought I'd see a quote like this one from O'B, let alone be able to confirm the veracity of the quote.
When he was smacked in the mouth by Milwaukee's Michael Redd on March 2, he needed to go to the locker room for stitches in his lower lip (which, coincidentally, gave him a scar to balance the one on his upper lip from earlier in the season). Not only did he return to the game, he racked up 36 points to spark a victory over the Bucks. Against Seattle Tuesday, he limped to the locker room in the second quarter after spraining his left ankle but came back to score 18 of his 32 in the second half -- during which he took an elbow to the face -- to lead another victory.

"Being 6-9 and thin, he's not going to be a banger but anybody in their right mind can't question his toughness," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "He's started in every game, he's sprained his ankle, his face has been split open a number of times, he takes charges, he gets walloped taking the basketball to the basket. There's no question about his passion for the game of basketball and how hard he plays and how tough he plays. It's evident."