Practice Report: Dirk NowitzkiMavs F Dirk Nowitzki looks ahead to the matchup against the 76ers Friday night, the importance of the upcoming road trip, his TV watching habits and more.
DALLAS – Attempting to erase the last game completely from their memory bank, the Dallas Mavericks quickly turned their attention to a three-game road trip on the East Coast with a chance to make up ground in the standings.
Spitting out the sour taste of Tuesday’s 117-106 home defeat at the hands of the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, the Mavericks (32-23) shifted their focus to the next three games on the road against teams that are all below .500. And while trying to battle their way out of the eighth position in the Western Conference playoff picture, the Mavs hope to begin their pivotal road trip with a win in Philadelphia against an athletic 76ers team.
“Well, I think the teams that really give us problems sometimes are young, athletic and quick teams that just run up and down, junk up the game and switch a lot. And that’s exactly what we’ve got going (in Philadelphia),” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said following the Mavs’ Thursday practice. “It’s not the greatest matchup for us, but we know that coming in. We’ve got to play our best game. This is a big trip for us, especially coming off a loss and being only one game up on the ninth seed all of a sudden again with one loss. It’s a big trip for us, and we’d love to start off with a win.
“Hopefully we can keep going against three teams that we’re supposed to beat but are very dangerous. … We just showed in Charlotte that we’re not good enough to show up and make a couple of shots. You know, we’ve got to compete. We’ve got to be solid defensively and rebound, and then I like our chances on this trip against anybody.”
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The Mavericks were pushed for the better part of four quarters the last time they faced the 76ers (15-40), sneaking off the American Airlines Center home hardwood with a 97-94 win back on Nov. 18. They’ll try to take care of matters in an easier fashion Friday night, looking to send the Sixers to a 10th straight loss.
But, while the Mavs opted to stand pat at the trade deadline, the 76ers reportedly wheeled and dealed in a bevy of moves. However, the moves could create an advantage for Dallas Friday night inside, according to coach Rick Carlisle, as the Mavericks try to dominate the interior.
With that said, the Mavs will still in all likelihood have their hands full against rookie sensation Michael Carter-Williams and the Sixers’ small-ball lineups as they try to get back in the win column.
“Well, the way I view it is it’s probably going to be a harder game, because they’re going to throw smaller guys out there and they’re going to try to rat it up and make it a windshield-wiper, chaotic-type game,” Carlisle explained. “You know, we’ve got be prepared for that. We’ve got to be efficient with the ball, because a high-turnover game is going to be a big problem, and we’ve just got to find a way.”
Note: The Mavs will now embark on a three-game road trip, touching down in Philadelphia for Friday’s matchup against the 76ers. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 97-94 home win back on Nov. 18. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6 p.m. CT.
The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center next Wednesday night, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. Dallas leads the season series 3-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
Practice Report – Rick CarlisleMavs head coach Rick Carlisle talks to the media after practice about the trade deadline, the upcoming road trip and much more.