DALLAS _ Rick Carlisle said the five-day break the Dallas Mavericks have between their last game this past Tuesday at Orlando and their next game Monday at Oklahoma City reminds him when teams pause for the midseason NBA All-Star game.
"This is an unusual break for this time of the year and we’re trying to get the most out of it in terms of an opportunity to rest and spend time with family on the one hand, and on the other hand have a hard practice day and just try to keep the edge,'' Carlisle, the Mavs' coach, said. "We studied this quite a ways ahead of time to try to figure out what the best scenario would be, and (Friday) this was a good, long competitive practice.
"It’s been like an All-Star break, really. An All-Star break with a practice in the middle of it.''
After arriving from Orlando early Wednesday morning, the Mavs were off Wednesday and Thursday, practice today, will be off Christmas, and will practice briefly Sunday before boarding their plane to fly to Oklahoma City. The Mavs just don't want to do anything out of the ordinary to tinker with the impressive 23-5 record they've pieced together.
"First you’ve got the first two (days) to let your legs rest, then today we got after it,'' guard Jason Terry said. "We stayed competitive and we did a lot of scrimmaging, so it worked out.
"When you’re on a good streak sometimes it’s good to get away from it and then to get back into it a little later, and now you’re still hungry. You still have that same fire and that same burst of energy, and I think that’s what this break has done for us.''
Most of the players hadn't seen each other since they hopped off the plane after arriving from Orlando. So they were more than happy to crack a sweat.
"Today was phenomenal,'' Terry said. "We haven't had a good practice like this for about a month-and-a-half, and I think it was good for us.
"You could see the guys really hungry. By the time we play Oklahoma (City) we’re going to be ready for a game, because we’re going to be tired of seeing each other.''
-- Dwain Price