WASHINGTON – It’s not always Rick Carlisle’s job to be a fountain of information.
But every so often, we get some nice drips of knowledge, like on Friday in regard to Luka Doncic.
The Mavericks coach divulged that Doncic remains on the mend back in Dallas and that there appears to be a decent chance that the All-Star point guard will play next week in one of the two home games before the break.
“He is doing well,” Carlisle said. “He’s progressing on his rehab and recovery. It’s our hope he’ll be able to play at least one game before the All-Star break. That’s not definite or 100 percent. But that is our hope.”
Doncic suffered a sprained right ankle for the second time this season and Saturday’s visit to Charlotte will be the sixth consecutive game he will miss with this particular injury. He missed four games in Decmember.
That Doncic has injured the same ankle twice in a relatively short amount of time isn’t necessarily cause for concern. But it does raise the antenna of the athletic training staff.
The ankle won’t necessarily require preventive maintenance, if there’s such a thing. But it might end up being a situation like Dirk Nowitzki’s ankles, which were always a source of concern with the Mavericks’ medical staff.
“I’m not the right person to ask that question,” Carlisle said. “The hope is he’ll be fully recovered and be able to play. Full recovery means 100 percent.
“Anytime you have any body part that’s been injured a couple times, the training staff is going to watch it very closely. I do know it was slightly different than the first one, which may be good. I don’t know.”
Trade deadline reaction: The Mavericks decided to dance with who brung ‘em as the trade deadline came and went.
As president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said: “We like our boys in blue.”
Carlisle said it was an interesting day or two leading up to the Thursday deadline with so many deals made by contenders and rebuilding teams alike.
“There was a lot of interesting activity,” Carlisle said. “Houston’s moves are being talked about a lot. This is one of the great things about the NBA. There’s always plenty to talk about.
“We didn’t do anything, which was what I felt would happen two nights ago. We like the guys we have. And we’ll obviously going to go forward with these guys.”
After making moves at or just before the last three deadlines, the Mavericks’ decision to stand pat was a good sign that they believe this roster has staying power.
“We like the roster,” Carlisle said. “We’ve liked it from the beginning of the year.
“The important thing now is to work on our health going into the break with Luka. And do everything we can to win some games.”
Briefly: The Mavericks started Courtney Lee against the Wizards on Friday. It was just his fourth start of the season and first since Nov. 8. It’s worth noting, though, that the 11-year veteran guard started both games this season against the Wizards . . . The Mavericks took a whopping 18 3-pointers in the first quarter against the Wizards. That pace slowed considerably when they took just seven in the second quarter . . . The Mavericks were set to jet out of the nation’s capital after the game and take a quick flight to Charlotte, where they play the Hornets Saturday night in the last road game before the All-Star break . . . The Hornets have been resting at home since Tuesday.