SAN ANTONIO — Counting their departure out of San Antonio to Los Angeles late Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks will have now been on an airplane for seven consecutive days.
Last Tuesday the Mavs left Dallas and flew to Atlanta to play the Hawks. Following that Wednesday night game the Mavs immediately flew to Toronto, where they arrived on Thursday at 2:15 a.m.
The Mavs then played in Toronto last Friday and flew back home right after the game and landed in Dallas on Saturday at 1:57 a.m. And this past Sunday the Mavs hosted Utah and flew to San Antonio right after that game at 10:09 p.m.
So does all that air(plane) time affect the player’s mind?
“We just got to avoid thinking about those things and thinking about how hard it is,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is a very difficult stretch for sure, and the (Oct. 1-9) China trip was challenging.”
In China, the Mavs played a pair of preseason games against the Philadelphia 76ers before making the nearly 14-hour flight back to Dallas.
“One of the things we did as a team going into the China trip was we made the collective decision that we were going to be very positive about that experience,” Carlisle said. “We knew that the adjustments, particularly coming back, was going to be challenging, but nobody complained.
“Everybody worked to get back on a schedule and we were still able to get off to a 2-1 start. We’ve dropped a couple since, which has been disappointing, but during a stretch like this if you get distracted by those kinds of thoughts it’s not going to help you.”