Practice Report: Rick Carlisle
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle updates Brandan Wright's injury status, what the team can use against the Bucks from the last time they played this season and more.
DALLAS — After giving a glimpse into what Dallas Mavericks fans can expect to see from him this season with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the preseason opener against New Orleans back on Oct. 7, big man Brandan Wright could finally make his long-awaited return to the court Saturday night.
Dazzling Mavericks fans with his above-the-rim theatrics during his first two campaigns with the team, Wright then received the vote of approval from the front office while resigning with the club this offseason. However, after sustaining a small, non-displaced fracture in his left shoulder during the practice following his lone exhibition outing, the 26-year-old former North Carolina standout has had to wait to pick back up where he left off at last season.
That could all change Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, however, as Wright looks to make a return to game action when the Mavs begin a three-game homestand.
“It’s the perfect opportunity,” Wright said Friday after returning to full-contact drills one week prior. “Three games at home in eight days and a lot of practice time, so I think this will be a good chance for me to get going.”
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He added: “I mean, you know, overall I really didn’t lose any strength. I mean, the shoulder obviously lost strength, but we’ve been working hard for the last five or six weeks to try to get that back and build it up, and we’ve got to continue building it throughout the whole season. … I feel good. Everything feels good, and I should be ready to go. I should be ready to go, if all goes well. I’m not 100 precent sure, but I should be good.”
The 6-fooot-10 big man came on strong to close last season, averaging 8.5 points on 59.7 percent shooting, grabbing down 4.1 rebounds and registering 1.2 blocked shots in his 18.0 minutes per game. He’s now expected to add depth to Dallas’ frontline, providing the Mavericks with an athletic presence inside that has sorely been missed.
Perhaps more importantly, the Mavs may receive just the spark they’ve needed after dropping back-to-back games to Sacramento and Golden State to conclude a 2-2 road stretch.
“I just want to go out there and help this team win and do what I do best,” Wright said while looking towards his possible debut. “That’s what it comes down to, and then it will help our paint scoring out, getting myself playing above the rim and just getting another piece that can help this team elevate.
“That’s the baseline,” he added as he looked back to what he accomplished last season. “I’d say that’s the minimum standard. I think I can go well beyond that. I really can do some great things this year. You know, late start, but I’m ready to go.”
Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Saturday against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.
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Mavs PG Jose Calderon comments on the tough road trip, being back home in Dallas, how the team's flow game works in the fourth quarter and more.