On second thought, the Dallas Mavericks decided to place Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on the inactive list for Wednesday’s game against Sacramento.
After Tuesday’s practice, coach Rick Carlisle indicated that Kidd-Gilchrist could be activated for the game against the Kings, and he was contemplating how many minutes he would play. But 24 hours later, things changed.
“He needs to get some work in before being activated,” Carlisle said before the game. “He worked out this morning, did some simulated scrimmaging with our interns, and we’ll get him going after the (All-Star) break.
“It just was not the time tonight.”
The Mavs signed Kidd-Gilchrist to a contract on Tuesday after he was waived last Saturday by the Charlotte Hornets. The nine-year veteran only played 12 games this season for the Hornets, which is why he said he agrees with Carlisle’s desire to get his conditioning where he wants it to be before playing him in a game.
“I haven’t played all year really, so that’s our plan and I’m good to go with it,” Kidd-Gilchrist told Mavs.com.
The Mavs will resume practice next Wednesday – three days after the All-Star game. Meanwhile, Kidd-Gilchrist vows to be ready to play by the time the Mavs play their next game on Feb. 21 in Orlando.
“I’m pretty sure I will be ready,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “I’m a hard worker, so I’ll push myself.”
Kidd-Gilchrist was the No. 2 overall pick by the Hornets in the 2012 NBA Draft. It’s the only team he’s played for before he signed with the Mavs.
“It’s a little emotional, because I’ve been in Charlotte since I was 18,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “That’s eight years.
“Now I’m 26 with two kids and a wife. It’s a great change, and in any change I can’t ask for a better place to be than here in Dallas with the Dallas Mavericks. I just want to add to the culture, whether it’s here with the team or even in the community.”
Carlisle acknowledged that Kidd-Gilchrist is a “terrific competitor” who the Mavs can use in various ways.
“Ultimately, we’re going to work with him to become as good a three-and-D guy as he can,” Carlisle said. “He’s gotten much better. He’s become a 40-percent shooter out of the corners.
“The arc, he hasn’t shot as many up there, but that’s something we’ll be working on with him as time goes along. But he’s going to be playing (power forward) and (center) on offense, but with the ability to guard any position on the floor. And that’s a big part of our attraction to him.”
DONCIC WINS AWARD
Point guard Luka Doncic was presented with the European Player of the Year Award before Wednesday’s game. It’s an award Mavericks’ legend Dirk Nowitzki won six times during his illustrious 21-year career.
More importantly, Doncic was back on the court after missing the previous seven games with a right ankle sprain. And he didn’t miss a beat as he finished with 33 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in 31 minutes in the Mavs’ 130-111 victory over the Kings.
Also, coach Rick Carlisle said Doncic will participate in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, and will start n Sunday’s All-Star game in Chicago.
“When you get introduced as a starter at the All-Star Game, that’s a pretty big deal,” Carlisle said. “That will be a moment I’m sure that he will remember forever. You do it once with the hope to duplicate it and continue to get back there.
“The hope is that from a health standpoint he’s going to be feeling good. He’s feeling good right now, which is great. But it’s an exciting time for him.”
BARNES ON HIS FACIAL HAIR
If it looks like Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes has an excess amount of facial hair, it’s because he does.
Barnes vows to continue growing his facial hair until the Kings reach the .500 mark. After Wednesday’s loss to the Mavs, the Kings are sporting a dismal 21-33 record.
“Yeah, it’s a little rough,” Barnes said. “But all we’ve got go to do is string together 10 in a row or so.”
Barnes, who played for the Mavs from 2016 until they traded him to the Kings on Feb. 6, 2019, said his wife, Brittany, is “tolerant” of his facial hair.
By the way, Barnes said in a text to his teammates in mid-December that he wouldn’t shave again until the Kings reached the .500 plateau. At the time, the Kings were 12-15, but have since gone 9-18.
Barnes noted that the worst-case scenario is that he won’t be able to shave again until the season ends, “When,” he said, “we’ll be 0-0.”