If NBA coaches aren’t wearing suit jackets or a sports coat on the sidelines during games this season, it’s by design.
The NBA sent a memo to the coaches earlier this week informing them that while masks will be mandatory to wear during games, suit jackets and sports coats will not be required. Business attire, such as socks, shoes, pants and dress shirts, will be required.
“It’s something that we’re going to talk about a little more today as an association,” Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said following Wednesday’s practice. “There’s a wide range there.
“You’re talking about dressing up in suits with ties, or going with short sleeve polos and slacks. We’ll talk more about it, and as an association we’ll come to what we feel is a good plan, for lack of a better word.”
The new rules will go into effect when the NBA preseason starts on Friday. And with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic a problem, the wearing of masks by the coaches keeps safety in mind.
Coaching attire was relaxed during games in the bubble when the 22 teams played in Orlando this summer as many coaches wore short-sleeve polo shirts. But those rules won’t be that relaxed this time.
“I think categorically, if everything is normal, I fall on the side of suits,” Carlisle said. “But things aren’t normal. There are things to consider here. Now, everyone travels a lot of assistant coaches and we’re just looking for the simplest solution that looks good – team-to-team.
“There’s not really a problem. It’s just that we want to be together on this whole thing. I think it’s healthy for teams to have a slightly different look, but we’ve got to talk about how different we want to look. We’ll talk through it and I think we’ll come to a good conclusion.”
The Powell effect: Thanks in large part to center Dwight Powell, the intensity level in the Mavs’ practice sessions have increased significantly. And Wednesday’s practice session went to the next level.
“Practice was very intense today, very competitive,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is one of the things about having Dwight Powell back in practice.
“He’s just going to bring an extra level of edginess to it. Luka (Doncic) is super competitive, (Tim) Hardaway (Jr.).”
Powell missed the remainder of last season after having surgery on Jan. 28 to repair his torn right Achilles tendon. But he’s back and has been working with the starting unit for most of the Mavs’ five training camp sessions, and there isn’t expected to be any limitations placed on him when the Mavs open preseason play in Milwaukee on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any minutes limitations, although we won’t go crazy,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “The exhibition games will be a good opportunity for him to get his feet wet in the flow of real NBA competition with another different team.
“So far things have gone very well in training camp. During his rehab period, which was several months obviously, he spent time continuing to work on his shooting, so I think he’s made progress there too.”
Powell has consistently been one of the Mavs’ high energy players. That trend, Carlisle insists, should continue.
Carlisle said: “It’s hard to quantify what he brings to our team just in terms of intensity, intangibles, as one of those really elite team guys that impacts winning in so many ways – on both ends of the floor.”
As far as Wednesday’s high intensity practice, Carlisle was impressed that his team was able to dial things up from a physical standpoint.
“Our white team and our blue team went toe-to-toe in a scrimmage at the end of practice, and it was extremely competitive,” Carlisle said. “Practice have been intense, the scrimmages have been very good.
“Today was, I think, a crescendo day for us of the five practices and we’ll look to build on it tomorrow.”
Brunson looking slender: Guard Jalen Brunson is back in a groove after undergoing surgery on March 13 to address an injury to the labrum of his right shoulder.
Brunson missed the final 18 games of the regular season – including eight inside the Orlando bubble – plus the six playoff games against the Los Angeles Clippers. Meanwhile, a slimmer and more fine-tuned Brunson has picked up where he left off before the injury.
“He’s doing real well, really looks like he never missed a day,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s worked on his body. He’s more slender. He looks quicker to me just watching him. Some of this happens to players when they get into their second and third year and they just get a better knack for the pace of the NBA game and how their game fits into it. They anticipate better, so they get to places quicker.
“Whether it’s an actual increase in quickness or just sort of that feel — regardless, he’s playing great. He’s shooting the ball well, driving it well. Defensively, he’s always been a good system defender.”
The Mavs acquired guard Trey Burke before entering the bubble to replace Brunson. But they’ve since traded guard Seth Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers, which frees up more possible playing time for Brunson and Burke.
“Without (Brunson playing in the bubble), we missed a lot of depth,” Carlisle said. “We made up for it somewhat (because) we were able to sign Trey Burke in the bubble.
“But now with Seth being gone to Philadelphia, Brunson and Burke are going to be two key guys likely coming off the bench. But nothing’s been determined there either.”