Preview: Fisher makes debut with hungry Pistons in town
Earl K. Sneed previews the Dallas Mavericks' Saturday night showdown against Detroit, as veteran point guard Derek Fisher hopes his season debut becomes a much-needed home win.
Preview: Pistons (5-12) at Mavericks (7-9)
Fisher makes debut with hungry Pistons in town
With just one practice under his belt, the 38-year-old Fisher will likely assume the starting point guard duties immediately as Darren Collison, 25, adjusts to a reserve role. The Mavericks (7-9) also hope to have both lead guards available Saturday night, after Collison missed Wednesday’s 101-78 loss in Chicago due to a sprained right middle finger.
“He’s a guy that’s gonna help us,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Fisher’s addition. “He’s going to be involved. He’s probably going to be our starting point guard, and we’ve got a great situation with him and Collison, ’cause we’ve got two really good players there and I see a real possibility that those guys could play together some, too.”
“I’ve been really training hard and keeping myself ready for this moment, not knowing where it would be,” Fisher added after his initial practice with the team Friday before returning to game action for the first time since the champion Miami Heat knocked off his Oklahoma City squad in Game 5 of the Finals. “But to be back out here with a group of guys that, you know, everybody is working hard and trying to win games, it felt really good to be back out on the court.”
Meanwhile, Fisher will try to showcase his championship experience and veteran leadership — wearing the No. 6 to represent his pursuit of a sixth championship — as he learns his new teammates on the fly, hoping to continue a trend of four straight home wins when the Pistons (5-12) travel to Big D. And with Detroit just 1-9 on the road this season and entering the Mavs’ unfriendly confines after Friday night’s 90-78 loss to Memphis, making it 27 defeats in the last 28 road games against Western Conference opponents, the home team could be primed for a victory before beginning a stretch of six out of the next seven on the road.
“Well, winning home games is important. It really is the foundation of building a winning, championship-type team,” Fisher explained. “You have to be the type of team that when teams come in your building they now they have to play supernatural basketball in order to have a chance to win. And so, we have to protect our home court, in particular because we’re going out on the road so many times over the next month and winning our home games is gonna be ultra important. We have an opportunity to win one against a Pistons team that’s playing better the last couple of weeks.”
“We’ve gotta stick together. We’ve gotta show a collective caring for one another and a collective toughness. We’re entering a really difficult stretch in terms of the schedule. Nothing is going to be easy, and we’ve gotta embrace that challenge. That’s where we’re at. I believe in this group of guys. I like them. They’re all good guys. They all bring some good things to the table for our team. We’ve just gotta keep going,” Carlisle added.
Note: Derek Fisher is expected to make his Dallas debut when the Mavs return home to host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 8 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.