Shootaround report: Mavs' bigs prepare for matchup with Bogut inside
Shootaround report: Mavericks (19-26) at Warriors (28-17)
Mavs' bigs prepare for matchup with Bogut inside
SAN FRANCISCO — Without the services of one of their big bodies on the inside, the Dallas Mavericks will in all likelihood need a collective effort Thursday night to match power with Golden State Warriors big man Andrew Bogut.
After watching the Warriors sprint to a short-handed 108-95 win in Cleveland on Tuesday without point guard Stephen Curry, who turned his surgically-repaired right ankle the night prior, the Mavs hope that the sharpshooter will not be available yet again after Curry posted 31 points during Golden State’s 105-101 overtime win in Dallas back on Nov. 19.
“[Bogut] is a terrific player and played well in the game he did play in Toronto,” Carlisle said. “You know, he’s big and strong and it’s a challenge. We don’t have that kind of a big 7-foot guy, especially with Kaman unavailable, so we’ll have to do it by committee and we’ll have to do it on a team basis.”
“You know, he’s a crafty guy,” veteran big man Elton Brand said of Bogut. “He finishes with the left hand, the right hand and passes very well. He handles and passes very well.”
Much of the responsibility of limiting Bogut to start the night will fall on the broad shoulders of second-round draft acquisition Bernard James, who has assumed the starting center responsibilities in the last two games. After finding himself in and out of Carlisle’s rotation much of his first season in the NBA, James has showcased an ability to perform when called upon, scoring a career-best 10 points albeit in a 106-104 loss to Portland on Tuesday night.
Now, the 27-year-old big man and former Air Force staff sergeant prepares for yet another challenge as he tests his strength against one of the top centers in the league.
“Same as I always do, just give it everything I’ve got,” James said of his approach entering Thursday’s nationally-televised matchup. “You know, try to keep [Bogut] outside the lane as much as possible. The guy’s a load and he has a really good touch, but I think I’d rather have him shooting jump shots than jump hooks.”
Note: The Mavericks will now continue their road trip by making a stop in Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. The Warriors lead the season series 1-0, after handing the Mavs a 105-101 overtime home loss back on Nov. 19. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on TNT at 9:30 p.m. CT.