The Mavericks will not have Dwight Powell for the remainder of the preseason, coach Rick Carlisle said Friday.
Powell, the 6-10 center/forward, suffered a strained left hamstring in practice on Oct. 5. The Mavericks have two more exhibition games, then five days off before the regular season opens on Oct. 23.
“Dwight is progressing in his rehab,” Carlisle said before the Mavericks played Milwaukee. “He will not play any of these next three games. And we’ll (have) another update probably next Saturday.
“There’s no exact timetable for when he’ll return. He’s progressing and as you can imagine working very diligently at it. We need him back, but not until he’s really ready to come back.”
Carlisle has not committed to any starting lineup or playing rotation with training camp only half done. But going into the season, Powell was believed to be in line to be the starting center alongside Kristaps Porzingis on the front line.
During the first three preseason games, Dorian Finney-Smith, Justin Jackson and Maxi Kleber have gotten starts at the center/forward slot. Powell is coming off his most productive season. As he enters his sixth year in the league, he averaged 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds after the All-Star break last season.
“It’s a setback because we don’t have him in practice or games right now,” Carlisle said. “But as far as evaluating, I don’t see it as any kind of hindrance to what we would know if he’d be playing.”
FRESH LOOK FOR ROBY
It was almost like the Mavericks had a new player when media members went into the pregame locker room and saw the new haircut rookie Isaiah Roby was sporting.
He was tough to recognize after his afro-like hair was trimmed down to a tight buzz cut.
He did it Thursday night, and it was not immediately well-received.
“My mom didn’t like it at first,” he said after he face-timed with her. “And my girlfriend wasn’t sure about it. But she’s coming around.”
NEW TEAM FOR MATTHEWS
Former Maverick Wesley Matthews signed as a free agent this summer with the Bucks.
The 6-5 shooting guard did not play Friday night in his return to American Airlines Center, but he figures to be a major contributor for a Bucks’ team that was a couple of unlucky bounces away from going to the NBA finals last season.
“It’s still pretty early,” Bucks’ coach Mike Budenholzer said of what role Matthews will have. “We got a lot of great wings, but what he brings to the table defensively, his ability to guard elite players, the toughness he brings, he’s been in a lot of big games.
“How our wings shake out is to be determined. But he was a great ‘get’ for us this summer. We feel like he’s going to have a big role for us and be really, really helpful, but we got a lot of guys that are kind of in similar position and playing really well, too.”
DEFENSE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS
Through the first two preseason games, the Mavericks had surrendered 52.4-percent shooting and 121.5 points per game.
The Thunder and Pistons combined to shoot 43.8-percent from the 3-point arc in those two games.
Clearly, the Mavericks have some work to do on that end of the court.
“If you look at the numbers, it’s not good,” Carlisle said. “As a staff we looked at it closely and we were able to spend some time with the players on it. There’s a level of concern there. But we have some time to fix things.”
Rick Carlisle had not any coach’s challenges during the first two preseason games.
The NBA is granting one coach’s challenge per game to each coach.
“It’s certainly in the thought process,” Carlisle said. “I would like to use one, just to give it a run-through. But I’m not going to take one for the heck of it. That’s kind of cheesy.”