Shootaround report: Carter returns to Air Canada Centre, Mavs try to correct turnovers
Earl K. Sneed reports from the Dallas Mavericks' Friday morning shootaround in Toronto, where eight-time All-Star Vince Carter gets set to face his former team.
Shootaround report: Mavericks (11-11) at Raptors (4-19)
Carter returns to Air Canada Centre, Mavs try to correct turnovers
As he re-entered the Air Canada Centre for the Dallas Mavericks’ Friday morning shootaround, eight-time All-Star Vince Carter looked up to the rafters and saw a banner hanging to commemorate the Toronto Raptors’ inaugural game on Feb. 20, 1999.
He remembers that day well, because it was also the start of his own NBA journey.
Fourteen seasons later, Carter is still playing at a high level, averaging 12.5 points off the bench for the Mavericks (11-11) and serving as a mentor to the team’s younger stars. And with his team looking to rebounding from a 117-115 double-overtime loss in Boston on Wednesday night, Carter hopes to make his return to play his former team memorable.
“It’s always different coming back here than it would be if we were going back to New Jersey or Orlando. I mean, Orlando is home and I’ve got family there, but I still get excited and want to go out here and showcase my talent and just really reminisce,” Carter said as he addressed the Toronto media.
“Every time I walk in here I always look up and it started right there,” he continued as he gazed up to the banner. “Feb. 20, 1999, where I was able to make the first shot in Raptors’ history, for some of you guys that are new here. Look it up. But that’s something I will never forget, and from that moment everything evolved to me being here today still being able to still walk on the basketball court to play and come back here to play and it’s 2000-something.”
But while Carter tries to subside his emotions in the building that made him a star, his team will try to correct its mistakes after committing 28 turnovers in the loss at Boston.
And with the Raptors (4-19) entering the night having lost six straight and 12 of their last 13 games, the Mavs should be in a good position to get back on track with a win if they’re about to take better care of the ball in the first half of a back-to-back before traveling to Minnesota.
“(Twenty-eight turnovers) is too many and they know it,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of his players. “We studied some of it and some things we could do to help facilitate it being better in that area, but we’ve just got to keep working on it. … We talked about it as a team and it’s not just one guy. When something like that happens, we all own it, especially the coaches and the head coach. So, I’ve got to do a better job of putting these guys in a stronger position and we’ve got to improve on it. So, that’s where it’s at.”
Note The Mavericks will continue their road trip by traveling north of the border for Friday night’s contest in Toronto against the Raptors. The Mavs collected a 109-104 home win over the Raptors on Nov. 7. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6 p.m. CT.