Shootaround report: Mavs start road trip focused on task at hand
Shootaround report: Mavericks (27-33) at Pistons (23-40)
Mavs start road trip focused on task at hand
AUBURN HILLS, MI — Coming off Wednesday’s 112-108 home win over Houston to avenge a 33-point throttling at the hands of the Rockets on Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks will admittedly have to guard against overlooking their next opponent as they begin a four-game road trip in Detroit against the Pistons.
Looking to replicate a 92-77 runaway win over the Pistons back on Dec. 1, the Mavericks will try to build off Wednesday’s performance while also continuing their dominance over Detroit, after winning seven of the previous eight meetings between the two teams. And with stops in Minnesota, Milwaukee and San Antonio still to come, the Mavs will be keyed in on the task at hand while looking to make up ground in the playoff race.
“I think we can gain ground if we take care of business,” sixth man and eight-time All-Star Vince Carter said following Friday morning’s walkthrough. “I think we beat a very good team and of course a playoff team that handled us pretty well on their home floor. I just hope we come tonight ready to play and don’t really [pass] this game away. I don’t know how else to say it. I mean, I think this is a game that we need. I mean, every game we need, but I think we can’t have a successful road trip if we don’t start the first game off right. I’m one of those guys that I try not to look ahead, because it’s easy to look over this game worried about the rest of the trip. And I feel like we can accomplish a lot of things on this trip, but we have to take care of business night in and night out. So I’m hoping that everybody is locked in on really taking care of business with this game.”
“We need any win and we can’t have any slippage,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle added. “We’ve got to be really focused and concentrated on our opponent and what we need to do. That’s what we’re going to have to do tonight. You know, the game the other night was great for us, but that one’s over and we’ve got to move on to the next one.”
Meanwhile, after employing his 19th different starting lineup in Wednesday’s win, Carlisle could feature yet another change as the Mavs attempt to send the Pistons to a fifth straight home loss. And after sliding 37-year-old point guard Mike James and big man Brandan Wright into the first unit, Carlisle confesses that another change could be on the horizon as the coach searches for the right rotation to use during the stretch run.
“Listen, I’m tired of hearing about 19 starting lineups being a lot. I had 31 one year,” Carlisle said.
He added: “As you can tell this year, nothing is permanent. Nothing is basically going to be set in stone. One of the characteristics of this team is that there’s a wide-ranging array of different pieces that we have, and sometimes we’re going to have to do things based on matchups. Sometimes we’re going to have to do things based on performance, sometimes we’re going to have to do things based on situations, but I like our guys and we’re going to keep scrambling through this thing.”
Note: The Mavericks head back out on the road for a four-game trip, touching down in Detroit for Friday’s matchup against the Pistons. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 92-77 home win on Dec. 1. The game will air locally at 6:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest.
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