DALLAS --Eddy Curry went through a 75-minute shootaround for the Dallas Mavericks this morning at American Airlines Center.
The 7-footer must have been impressive, because he's going to start tonight at 7:30 when the Mavs host the Charlotte Bobcats.
"I'm just going to out there and play,'' Curry said. "I know what I can do, they’re giving me the opportunity to do it and I'm just going to make the best of it.''
Curry played for the Miami Heat last season. And although he has a championship ring from last seaosn, he didn't play in any of the Heat's playoff games.
In fact, Curry has played in 10 NBA seasons and has never played in a playoff game.
"It was still a heckuva experience,'' Curry said, referring to the Heat's championship. "Something a lot
of players don’t get to do.
"I just want to have an input this time. Leave my imprint on the game.''
Injuries to Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and Brandan Wright forced the Mavs to look elsewhere for help inside. It also forced coach Rick Carlisle in a unique situation where he all but has to play Curry in tonight's preseason finale just to see what he can do before the real season starts Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
"I'm looking forward to seeing him,'' Carlisle said. "He did a nice job this morning in shootaround.''
The Mavs will be without Kaman (calf) and Wright (ankle) tonight, so Curry will get as much time as he needs to showcase his talents. Meanwhile, the Mavs are expecting Melvin Ely and Chris Douglas-Roberts in town later today, and they also could be in uniform tonight.
Curry played five games with the San Antonio Spurs in preseason and averaged 8.4 points and 3.4 rebounds 15.4 minutes before they waived him this past Tuesday.
"He’s done a good job in exhibition when he played with San Antonio,'' Carlisle said. "So this is an opportunity for us to take a look at him, and he’s going to get an opportunity to play tonight because we’re down big guys, so we’ll see.
"He’s been in two really good oprograms the last year and a half. He’s been with Miami for a year, and he was with San Antonio for the last month, so it doesn't get any better than that. I think that bodes well for him.''
The game notes listed Curry's weight at 295, but when asked how much he weighs, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2001 draft said: "Uh, man, I don't know. I ain't weighed myself today so I can't really tell you that.''
Carlisle, however was pleased with the way Curry's conditioning.
"He was in good shape, he's healthy,'' Carlisle said. "He's always been a force around the basket when he’s been healthy, and he's always been a guy that has very soft hands, very skilled.
"His health issues have been an obstacle, but he's still really young.''
Curry, who turns 30 on Dec. 5, has career averages of 13 points and 5.2 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game. He also revealed this morning that the Mavs tried to acquire him this past summer, and wasn't surprised that they reached out to him once the Spurs waived him.
"I talked to them this summer, so I knew there was some interest there,'' Curry said. "Once (the Spurs)
waived me, I kind of new this was going to be a situation for me.
"I'm just glad it all worked out.''
-- Dwain Price
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