Shootaround report: Mavs await Morrow's arrival, prepare for Hornets' home-court advantage
Shootaround report: Mavericks (24-29) at Hornets (19-36)
Mavs await Morrow's arrival, prepare for Hornets' home-court advantage
NEW ORLEANS — Less than 24 hours after making a trade for one of the top perimeter shooters in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks will return to action looking to conquer a building they’ve struggled in recently.
Making an unexpected splash Thursday at the trade deadline when they exchanged veteran defensive specialist Dahntay Jones for four-year swingman Anthony Morrow from Atlanta, the Mavericks admittedly substituted defense for offense. Now, with the addition of the 42.5-percent career shooter from behind the arc, the Mavs hope to better space the floor for 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and leading scorer O.J. Mayo to operate.
“It’s a trade I think that both teams like based on their current needs, so I’m sure it will be good,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after his team’s morning shootaround. “We like him as a shooter, we like him as a guy that can play backup minutes at the 2 and 3, and I feel that he’s going to get the opportunity to play some. I can’t tell you exactly how much … but we’ll see. You can never have too many good shooters in this league. I learned that many, many years ago.”
“He’s one of the best spread guys in the league,” Nowitzki said with high praise for his new teammate. “I remember he had great shooting games against us before in Golden State. I mean, he can shoot on the move and he can spot up, so we’ll see once he gets here. I agree with Coach and [Mavs president of basketball operations and GM Donnie Nelson]. I mean, you can never have enough shooters on the team. If you go through the top teams now, I mean, the Spurs are the prime example. They have the best record in the league. I mean, they’ve got like six or seven dead-on shooters. That’s where the league is going — spread the floor, pick-and-rolls, less post-ups, more pick-and-roll game, get in there, draw and kick, and then shoot the 3-ball. I mean, that’s where the league is going.”
But, with it unknown when Morrow while be available for game action after he underwent his physical Friday back in Dallas, the Mavs entered New Orleans Arena looking to prepare for a Hornets team that has won nine of the last 10 meetings between the two squads at home. And with the Mavs also looking to avenge a 99-96 home loss to the Hornets back on Jan. 5, the visiting Dallas team won’t have time to wait on Morrow’s arrival if it hopes to continue to line up wins during the final 29 games of the regular season.
“Well, it’s been a hard place to play,” Carlisle said. “I don’t know all the reasons, I wasn’t here for all of those games, but it’s never been easy here. We expect it to be difficult tonight, and at this point, you know, we need to have it difficult to really challenge ourselves to meet that and get better.”
Note: The Mavs venture back out on the road for one game, returning to action Friday night in New Orleans for the first of three matchups against the Hornets in the final 29 games of the regular season. The Hornets lead the season series between the two teams 1-0 after a 99-96 win in Dallas back on Jan. 5. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.
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