Following Sunday’s practice at the Lympo practice facilities, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wanted to make one thing perfectly clear to everyone within listening distance.
“I don’t like to lose any of these games,” Carlisle said. “But the thing is you’ve got to watch the game closely and then make the adjustments that you need to make, changes, address issues and address if there’s a lack of force, address if there’s not good spacing and those kinds of things.”
Those are issues Carlisle will again be watching when the Mavs (0-3) host the Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0) on Monday night at 7:30 at American Airlines Center. It all comes after the Mavs opened preseason play with three games in four days, ending with Friday’s 118-111 loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“This is a challenging portion of training camp with three games in four days and really two consecutive practices, then a game, Carlisle said. “So we went two days in a row (with a practice session) after the game, which is not necessarily always normal.
“But yesterday was more of a lighter and technique type practice. Today we went live and had a good session.”
Still, the Mavs would like to glance at the preseason standings and see that number in the win column change.
“You want to create a winning mentality,” forward Maxi Kleber said. “I feel like whenever you compete you want to win.
“Obviously some games you do more of an experiment than in other games, especially in preseason. That’s the time when you can try different things, so we have to use that time now so if some things don’t work, that’s how it is. But the best way to figure it out is now and not during the season, so I think that’s what we want to keep trying to do.”
BAREA AS A MAVS’ LEADER
Now that Dirk Nowitzki has retired while awaiting his Hall of Fame induction, the oldest player on the Dallas Mavericks’ team is guard J.J. Barea.
And just because Barea is 35 years old doesn’t mean he’s ready to be put out to pasture. On the contrary.
“He’s one of our leaders,” Carlisle said. “He’s the last guy remaining from the (2011) championship team, and that’s significant, but that’s not the only reason he’s here.
“He’s here because he’s a helluva player and he’s worked extremely hard and had a very good training camp.”
Barea entered training camp two weeks ago after undergoing surgery on Jan. 14 to repair his ruptured right Achilles tendon. He worked diligently to get back on the court for the start of training camp, and that hard work has paid off.
“He’ll play some significant minutes (Monday), certainly with (Jalen) Brunson being out,” Carlisle said. “It’s an important game for him just to keep getting his rhythm and keep getting his conditioning and his rhythm and his feel, his NBA game feel.”
Carlisle said center Dwight Powell (hamstring), forward Dorian Finney-Smith (hip flexor) and Brunson (hamstring) will all miss the game against the Thunder due to injuries.
As far as Nowitzki goes, he retired at the end of last season after spending his entire 21-year career with the Mavs. In the 41-year old’s honor, the Mavs had logos of him placed on American Airlines Center court shooting his patented fallaway jump shot.
“I just think it’s a fitting tribute to a guy that stood for all the right things in the organization and the city,” Carlisle said. “It’s a symbol.
“It’s an enduring symbol of greatness and integrity and humility, and that’s a great message for people in our city and organization in what we stand for, and it’s nice for him too.”
CARLISLE PRAISES BOUCEK
Coach Rick Carlisle paid homage on Sunday to Jenny Boucek, who is entering her second season as one of the Mavs’ assistant coaches.
Boucek is one of 11 female coaches in the NBA who are either on the bench or among support personnel behind the bench.
“She has a lot of experience,” Carlisle said. “She was a very good player. And she’s been a professional coach at the women’s level for 20 years, and a two-time head coach.
“Her teams were always elite teams offensively, she has a very creative mind offensively and a lot of experience dealing with the defensive end as well. It’s given me another different type of mind to tap into, but she’s been great. She’s great on the floor with guys, they respect her, they know how hard she works at the game and she speaks the language of NBA basketball.”
Boucek was an assistant coach with Seattle when the Storm captured WNBA titles in 2004 and ’10. She also was the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs (2007-’09) and Storm (‘15-’17).