Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle jumped on ESPN Radio on Friday with Dennis and Cowlishaw to talk about the Mavericks winning two of the last 3 games, going with a small line-up, the production of Harrison Barnes, and if Dirk will return next week.

Listen below for the full audio, with some of the highlights to follow.

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On playing without the veterans: We’re slugging through this, and we’re dealing with mother nature on health. We’ve got to try to get that right, but we’ve got to do it the right way and make sure guys like Dirk and Deron Williams are ready to come back and stay back. We don’t wanna be yo-yo-ing this guys in an out. So there are plenty of challenges. But in the meantime, some other guys are stepping up and, while we don’t have a great record, some guys are getting some valuable experience.

On Dirk’s recovery from his sore Achilles: I don’t know that he’s out for sure those games. He was not at practice today for personal reasons, so he’ll be at practice (Saturday). That will go a long way toward determining what the possibility is for playing this week. We’ve just got to be sure that it’s the right thing. Right now, rushing him back and then having him go back on the shelf for two games, that wouldn’t be good, and it’d just be another maddening variable to throw into this thing.

On Harrison Barnes’ growth: This is a situation where he needs to take on more responsibility with Dirk being out. Dirk’s been the leading scorer here every year for I don’t know how many years. I think maybe Monta Ellis led the team in scoring by half a point one year or something like that. … But this opportunity for Harrison has really allowed him to see what this is all about, being this type of a guy with this kind of responsibility. He’s jumping on it. He’s doing a lot of great things. I see a lot of real leadership qualities in him. But we’re going day to day. I’m just impressed with how hard he works and his approach and commitment, and how great a value he puts on winning.

Listen to DAC on 103.3 FM weekdays from 3-6 p.m. Carlisle appears on the Rick Carlisle Show every Friday at 4:45.

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