Practice report: Carter, Kaman held out of practice; Mavs prepare for homestand
Practice report (02/05/12)
Carter, Kaman held out of practice; Mavs prepare for homestand
DALLAS — Just a day after returning from a seven-day, four-game road trip with just a 1-3 record, the Dallas Mavericks stepped back onto their own practice court hoping to put their recent disappointment behind them as they prepare to make up ground with a four-game homestand.
With a favorable home schedule on deck heading into the All-Star break, the Mavericks (20-28) will immediately try to rebound from their road trip, which culminated with Monday night’s 112-91 loss in Oklahoma City. They’ll also try to keep their playoff hopes alive, looking to close the 5 1/2-game gap between themselves and the eighth position in the Western Conference playoff picture.
“We didn’t get some wins, but honestly I thought we played well. We let two winnable games slip away and we’ve got a nice homestand now and we need to gain some ground,” leading scorer O.J. Mayo said.
“When you get slapped around like we did last night, you’ve got to bounce back and have pride,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle added. “No game’s been easy all year, and we don’t expect them to. And we don’t want them to be easy. But when you get hit like we did last night, you’ve got to respond.”
But before welcoming in the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night to begin their home-heavy stretch, the Mavs hit the practice court without two of their top veteran contributors, as sixth man Vince Carter visited a doctor to treat the sickness that kept home out of Monday’s loss while center Chris Kaman rejoined the team but was held out of practice while he continues to work his way back from a concussion suffered last Monday.
Kaman has yet to pass the NBA’s concussion test, keeping the team without the 7-footer’s offensive production in the last five games. And although the big man is anxiously awaiting his own return, he also knows that his long-term health is more important as the team hopes to welcome him back once the symptoms of the concussion have fully subsided.
“I’m still having a little headache. Hopefully, it’ll progress. Take that test, pass it and hopefully be able to play sooner or later. I’m tired of sitting around,” Kaman told reporters after being reduced to light cardio work and free-throw shooting at Tuesday’s practice.
He added: “I’d rather be playing, but at the same time I understand there’s a proper way to do things medically to keep people safe. I’m hearing a lot of stories about players in the football leagues not being able to think straight for the next 10 years of their life and taking a lot of different medications to recover what they lost, and I don’t want that to be anybody. That’s not cool, that’s not fun for anybody. But part of the deal is guys also want to play. And so, there’s a balance there and sometimes the balance isn’t met always, screening the way they do it.”
Note: The Mavericks will return to action when they welcome in the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. The two teams are tied at 1-1 in the season series. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.