Guard Jalen Brunson and forward Dorian Finney-Smith are both listed as day-to-day after sitting out Saturday’s practice session with respective injuries.
“Brunson, he’s got a sore hamstring,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We do not believe it’s serious.
“Finney-Smith’s got a hip flexor. It’s bothering him a little bit.”
Both of the players’ injures were something that occurred before Friday’s 118-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the preseason home opener.
“Brunson had a little bit of a thing last week,” Carlisle said. “It just was tightness (in his hamstring) and he just felt it again.
“The hope is it’s just a little tightness that can be worked out.”
Brunson only played in the second half against the Bucks, and he was spectacular. The 6-1 guard finished with 12 points and four assists in only 12 minutes, and he was 5-of-7 from the field.
“He played well,” Carlisle said. “He just continues to work and improve and get better really in all areas. It’s good to see.”
The performance by Brunson is a continuation of his solid play during the second half of his rookie year last season.
“I just go out whenever my name is called,” Brunson said. “I go out there and play as hard as I can. There’s no reason to get ready if you stay ready. So I just mentally prepare myself for anything.”
And that includes maybe not getting as many minutes on some nights that he would like to receive. Still, Brunson used the offseason to prepare himself to take the next leap in his sophomore NBA season.
“The only thing that’s changed is the experience I’ve had,” he said. “With that said, everything — my approach, my work ethic — all stayed the same.”
As far as Finney-Smith goes, Carlisle said: “Look, Dorian is guarding a lot of great players. He guarded (Oklahoma City’s Danilo) Gallinari and (Detroit’s Blake) Griffin back-to-back (nights), and he had to guard (Milwaukee’s Giannis) Antetokounmpo (Friday).
“I’d be sore, too. I’d have a sore hip flexor and I’d have a sore other hip flexor, by the way.”
DONCIC NEARLY PERFECT FROM THE LINE
A bone of contention with guard Luka Doncic last year during his rookie season was his free throw shooting.
The NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year made just 71.3 percent of his free throws last season, which is not exactly a high enough percentage for someone who has the ball a lot. Thus, that was an area of his game which Doncic paid special attention to during the offseason.
After converting 5-of-10 free throws during his preseason opening game Wednesday’s game at Detroit, Doncic was a splendid 10-of-11 from the stripe Friday against Milwaukee.
“I know it was a focus of his to work on free throw shooting, and to work on the 3-point shooting,” Carlisle said. “He gets to the line a lot.
“Before it’s all said and done this year there will be a lot of nights he’s going to shoot 10-plus free throws. And to be able to score when the clock stops is a really important thing to take advantage of.”
MAVS WAIVE BABA
Not long after Saturday’s practice had ended, the Mavs decided to waive Japanese guard Yudai Baba.
Baba averaged 2.3 points and one steal in 7.5 minutes in the Mavs’ three preseason games. He also averaged four points and 2.3 rebounds in 12 minutes per game while playing on the Mavs’ summer league team this past July.
The move trimmed their training camp roster down to 19. There appears to be a solid chance that Baba ends up with the Texas Legends in the G League.
HARRIS IN THE HOUSE
Former Mavs guard Devin Harris was a spectator at the team’s practice session Saturday at the Lympo practice facilities.
Harris, who turns 37 on Feb. 27, is currently hopeful an NBA team will sign him to a contract. The 6-3 guard has spent nine-and-a-half seasons of his 15-year career — in three different stints — with the Mavs, and is very popular within the organization.
“He’s good,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s always welcomed.”