While some fans may look at preseason games as a meaningless exercise, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle amplified the fact that that’s obviously not the approach his team is taking.
“We’re going to try and win them,” Carlisle said following Saturday’s practice at the Lympo practice facilities. “It’s important to have that kind of mentality.
“When I was a rookie in Boston back in 1984, (teammate) M. L. Carr used to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to be here three hours, we might as well win.’ “
The Mavs open preseason play on Tuesday in Tulsa, Okla., at 7 p.m. against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They then will fly to Detroit and play the Pistons on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
They return for the preseason home opener Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Milwaukee Bucks. Thus, the Mavs are opening preseason action three games in four days.
“We’ll make it productive the best way we can,” Carlisle said. “I’m not going to get into who’s playing what game and all that.
“Look, there’s going to be three (games) in four nights plenty of times during the regular season. Preseason games aren’t exactly the same as that, but we’ve got a lot of depth, we’ve got a lot of guys that have earned the opportunity to play in some NBA games in the preseason, so there’s going to be a lot of opportunity there.”
Carlisle added that: “There’s going to be situations in the game that are end-of-game type of things” that his team wants to explore.
DELON WRIGHT GOES THROUGH PRACTICE
Guard Delon Wright was able to go through a full practice session for the first time Saturday since training camp started earlier this week.
Wright has been hampered by a hamstring injury.
“Delon practiced today and did fine,” Carlisle said, “so that’s a very positive sign.”
Asked if Wright went through all of the drills, Carlisle said: “Pretty much. I don’t remember that he was held out of anything.”
BRUNSON ON THE BILLBOARD
Guard Jalen Brunson forgot to call his mom about a very important thing that has happened to him.
Brunson is one of the players featured on one of the Mavs’ billboards in downtown Dallas. From his perspective, Brunson said: “That’s pretty cool. I saw it and I was like, ‘Alright. It’s cool.’
“And then I get a call from my mom and she’s like, ‘Jalen, you’re on a couple of billboards down there?’ I said, ‘Yeah, and it’s cool.’ She was like, ‘You didn’t think to tell me?’ I was like, ‘I didn’t really think much of it.’ My family is excited about that, but for me I’m just focused on the season.”
By the way, Brunson was highlighted on more than his share of billboards while he was leading Villanova to two NCAA titles in a three-year span from 2016-’18.
KEVIN SULLIVAN ATTENDS PRACTICE
Former Mavs public relations director Kevin Sullivan was at the Mavs’ practice facilities on Saturday. Now a consultant for Kevin Sullivan Communications Inc., Sullivan was the Mavs’ PR director from the franchise’s inception in 1980 through 1998.
Sullivan, who used to also work on the George W. Bush administration, applauded the work of the Mavs’ current PR staff of Sarah Melton, Scott Tomlin and Alan Rakowski.
“The thing you’ve got to know is I had 18 years, but Sarah’s got 21 (with the Mavs). The baton has long been passed.
“She is the definitive Mavericks’ PR and she’s awesome, and so is Tomlin and Rakowski. I work with a lot of teams and this PR crew here, there’s no better in the NBA than Sarah, Tomlin and Rakowski.”
MARJANOVIC DUNKS – WITHOUT JUMPING
The fact that center Boban Marjanovic is dunking a basketball isn’t any news bulletin. He’s 7-3!
But what Marjanovic did on Saturday caught the Mavs by surprise.
“I swear we were playing and Boban dunked the ball,” guard Jalen Brunson said. “I swear to God he dunked, and then jumped. That was the craziest thing I’ve seen.
“I was looking around and everyone had the same face. They were like, ‘What was that?’ That was nuts.”
And that’s not all.
“When he lays the ball up, his elbows are above the rim,” Brunson said. “He’s crazy. That’s an easy assist.”