The last game before the All-Star break can be a dicey situation for some teams. A lot of times, it's an after-thought kind of game while players have spent the day getting ready to hop planes to wherever it is they are vacationing during the break.
The Mavericks won't have that problem tonight.
There is no overlooking the defending champion. Boston will get a silver-bullet effort from the Mavericks. And that's what it will take to get a win. On Wednesday night, the Celtics held New Orleans to 77 points. The Mavericks know it won't be easy scoring because the Celtics just don't give up many points.
"They don't,'' coach Rick Carlisle said after shootaround. "And it's not only hard to score, it's hard to get shots (against them).''
Added Carlisle about the C's: "We're going to have to play hard and play well and get our fans into the game. It's a great challenge. But this is what it's about. This is why you play and why you coach.''
And as for not being completely attentive in tonight's 8:30 start, Carlisle isn't much worried about that.
"I don't think we're looking past anybody,'' he said. "I really don't. As a team, we looked at these last seven games before the break as a real important stretch and so far we've approached it like it's an end-of-season playoff run and we're going to have to continue that tonight. Playing a team of Boston's caliber, you're going to have to bring your best.''