DALLAS – Starting with tonight’s home game against the San Antonio Spurs, 15 of the last 21 regular season games the Dallas Mavericks play are against teams that would be in the playoffs if the postseason started today.
While that may not exactly be encouraging news for the Mavs, they see this stretch of games as a way to prepare them for the playoffs' rough road.
“For us, everybody’s a playoff team,’’ guard Jason Terry said. “You look at Minnesota right now.
“If we were to say we’re going to play them and they’re not a good team, well they beat us twice already. So we can’t overlook any opponent.
“Every game for us is very important.’’
The importance is magnified by the fact that the Mavs will be without center Brendan Haywood for at least five games with a sprain right knee. Plus, guard Delonte West has been sidelined since Feb. 15 with a fractured right ring finger, and the Mavs aren’t sure when he’ll return.
“We’ve got to just keep going on,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “Getting in a flow for us has more to do with how we’re defending and moving the ball.
“We can’t blame inconsistencies on some upheaval with lineup stuff because it’s happening
to everybody in the league. We just have to be able to adjust well.’’
The Mavs must adjust, because they won’t be any pitty parties held for the defending NBA champions.
“That’s our goal and we know that’s what we’re going to have to do,’’ Carlisle said, referring to his team making adjustments. “We can’t be belly-aching because we have a guy out here and there.
“The whole league is going through that. It’s a challenging stretch for us, but something we’ve got to look forward to.”
-- Dwain Price
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