ORLANDO _ Meaningful preseason game is an oxymoron.
But as these exhibitions go, the Mavericks will have one
tonight at the new Amway Center arena that should get their pulse running
closer to a regular-season rate.
The Orlando Magic are 6-0 in the preseason and possess the
best center in the league in Dwight Howard.
“These guys are playing way better than anybody in the
entire league right now,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “They
have a 25-point differential (average winning margin) and they haven’t lost
a game in three years in the preseason. They’re a 60-win team so
they’re one of the top four teams in the league, for sure. It’s a
good time to play a team of that caliber.’’
A couple of regulars may sit tonight to keep them fresh for
the regular season, which starts a week from today.
“We’re going to continue to look at some
different stuff and different lineups,’’ Carlisle said. “Tonight’s
another step in the process.’’
The Mavericks will bring in Rashad McCants for the final
days of training camp and the last preseason game to see if the former
first-round draft pick can earn a spot on the final roster.
“He’s a talented young player who can do a lot
of things,’’ president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said.
McCants, who turned 26 last month, has averaged 10 points in
four NBA seasons. He averaged 14 points in 2007-08 with Minnesota. He did not
play in the NBA last season and has had an unfortunate run of problems that
have helped keep his career from getting back on track.
The 6-4 guard, who won a national championship while at
North Carolina, arrives on a non-guaranteed contract after sitting out last
season, when the Mavericks, among others, considered bringing him into camp. He
was offered a spot on Cleveland’s summer league team, but an illness to
his mother reportedly kept him out of action.
Roddy Beaubois, the Mavericks’ injured guard, remained
in a protective walking boot at the Mavericks’ corporate golf outing
Monday afternoon and it’s safe to say now that he’s going to miss
the start of the regular season.
The Mavericks have been careful not
to have any timetable for Beaubois’ return, but he’s clearly not
going to play in the last two preseason games. It could be a couple more weeks
before he gets on the floor. He’s been recovering from left foot surgery
in early August and the Mavericks have been adamant that they will be cautious
with the second-year player’s recuperation.
Beaubois had what president Donnie
Nelson termed “a very productive meeting’’ with team
physician Dr. T.O. Souryal on Monday.
“We will continue to take a
conservative approach and keep the long-term interests for Roddy in
mind,’’ Nelson said.
By the way, the band put on one outrageous show Sunday on
the final day of the State Fair. For 90 minutes, they rocked the place. Almost
made me forget about having to shell out 22 coupons for a corny dog and a beer.