After the way the regular-season opener went, it was no
secret that Tyson Chandler will be the starter again tonight against Memphis.
Rick Carlisle confirmed that at shootaround and he added that the center
position will continue to be fluid with Brendan Haywood also perhaps a starter
With fouls, injuries and the fact that being on the court at
crunch time is usually more important to most players than starting, it makes
no sense to create any kind of “situation’’ with the centers.
“Out of respect to both guys, the thing to do is to go
day to day and we’re always evaluating,’’ Carlisle said. “Brendan’s
a top center in this league and so is Tyson. We feel that combination gives our
team a plus. I don’t want to diminish anybody’s importance whether
they start or don’t start.’’
Meanwhile, the Mavericks will play a Memphis team tonight
that will be missing Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies’ top two
inside players. All that means is that the visitors will rely heavily on the
outside trio of Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay, all of whom are the kind
of quick players that seem to nag the Mavericks.
“They’re all explosive and capable of getting
30-point nights,’’ Carlisle said. “We’re going to have
to contain and contest shots and only give them one opportunity. Even though
they’re not going to have some of their longer guys, they’re still
very active going to the offensive boards.’’
By the way, the Mavericks seemed to have a very businesslike
approach at shootaround this morning. Carlisle said Dirk Nowitzki, who had a
monster season opener, is largely responsible for cultivating the serious
approach to the start of the season.
“His camp was good and his concentration was good,’’
Carlisle said of Nowitzki, who had28 points and 13 rebounds against Charlotte. “But
like most great players, he cycles toward the regular season. He was great in
the first game and obviously we want to continue that. The best players are
always going to set the tone. Him, J-Kidd, Jet, those three guys kind of set
the tone for the entire club.’’