Shootaround report: Carter expected to play as Mavs prepare for Aldridge, Blazers
Shootaround report: Trail Blazers (25-23) at Mavericks (20-28)
Carter expected to play as Mavs prepare for Aldridge, Blazers
DALLAS — In his last eight games against the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 27.3 points on 51.7 percent shooting to go along with 10 rebounds.
Those numbers include five double-doubles and two game-winning shots at the final buzzer, culminating last Tuesday night in Portland with his turnaround jumper to complete a 29-point, 13-rebound night in a last-second 106-104 win over the Mavericks. Wednesday night, however, the Mavs will finally try to contain the Seagoville native as they look to move to 2-1 this season against the visiting Blazers.
“Well, you’ve got to take away his open looks and you’ve got to keep him off he boards,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said when asked how he plans to limit Aldridge when the Mavs begin their four-game stretch at home leading into the All-Star break. “Once or twice there was a dribble penetration that took a body off of him, which allowed him to get the rebound, so doing a better job on the perimeter helps those things. Situations where we have to help on [Damian] Lillard on pick-and-rolls, we’ve got to get to Aldridge quick and make sure he doesn’t have open looks, 'cause he’s pretty automatic when he’s open.
With the defensive focus centered around containing Aldridge, the Mavs will again look for balanced play while likely welcoming sixth man Vince Carter back to the lineup, after the versatile swingman participated in the team’s Wednesday morning shootaround.
Carter missed Monday’s 112-91 loss in Oklahoma City due to a sickness, sitting out Tuesday’s practice as well while visiting the doctor’s office. But with the Mavs sorely in need of his production off the bench against a Blazers team that averages the least amount of scoring from its reserves in the league, the eight-time All-Star could play a major role in helping the Mavs kick-start their home stand with a win.
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.