Practice Report: Monta EllisMavs G Monta Ellis talks about reducing his turnovers, how Devin Harris' return has impacted the team and more.
DALLAS — Although it was just the start of what the Dallas Mavericks hope to accomplish on their current four-game homestand, Sunday’s 116-106 victory over Detroit may have also provided a blueprint for how the team hopes to ultimately play.
Led by 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki’s 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting, the Mavericks (26-20) finished Sunday’s win with five scorers in double figures. The Mavs also shot 58.1 percent from the field, getting a lift from reserve guard Devin Harris and the Dallas bench en route to the win. And with Harris growing more and more comfortable in his role after missing the first 41 games of the season following offseason toe surgery, the Mavericks hope to keep trending in the right direction as they continue their homestand.
“I think we just need to get more consistent,” starting 2-guard Monta Ellis said after the Mavs bounced back from a 1-2 road trip. “We always run off a couple of wins and then give a couple away, but overall I think everybody is tied in. Everybody wants to win, and then we’ve got Devin back, who is a great piece to us and what we want to do — running, attacking, finding guys and hitting baskets. So, I think right now we’re headed in the right direction and we’ve just got to be more consistent.”
“I’m still trying to get my legs underneath me,” Harris added. “Obviously it’s only my fifth game back and I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I’m just building on each game and trying to get better. I know my minutes will be sporadic as we go forward. And just the more time I get on the floor, the more effective I try to be.”
Practice Report: Rick CarlisleMavs head coach Rick Carlisle talks about having Devin Harris back in the lineup, Jose Calderon's improvement on the defensive end and much more.
With Harris becoming fully integrated in the lineup, life has been made easier for Ellis and point guard Jose Calderon in the backcourt over the past five games. That has especially been the case in the last two outings, when Harris totaled 28 points and 11 assists in 40 combined minutes off the bench.
As Ellis struggled through an eight-turnover night Sunday, Harris came in and quickly aided Calderon in the backcourt, finishing with 14 points and seven assists in 24 minutes of work. And with the cat-quick combo guard looking to make up for lost time, the Mavericks figure to have a much more solidified backcourt rotation to use at coach Rick Carlisle’s disposal.
“We signed [Harris] this summer with the idea that he was going to be on the team, and then unexpectedly he had the surgery,” Carlisle explained. “This is where we expected to be — to have an experienced NBA player, who has been both a starter and an effective off-the-bench guy. And he’s been an All-Star once, so he’s kind of run the gamut of experiencing everything in this league and he’s watched our team enough now to know what’s needed. And he’s going to try to give it to us.”
“I’m just making the most of my experiences on the floor, and trying to get used to playing with different guys in different situations,” Harris modestly said. “I’m using this kind of like my training camp. I didn’t get a lot of court time with any of these guys, so I’m just trying to figure out what they like and how to use them.”
Note: Playing the second outing of their four-game homestand, the Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets. The Mavs lead the season series 2-1. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.