HOUSTON -- Rick Carlisle sounded like a worried man.
After Sunday's practice at the University of Houston, Carlisle didn't sound like a man believing his team is ready to open the regular season. Too many injuries and too much inconsistency by some of his players has left Carlisle to admit that he still has a few loose ends to tie up.
"At this point we’ve got nine new guys,'' Carlisle, the Dallas Mavericks' coach, said. "We’ve got to get these guys together as much as possible before the season starts.
"We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re still a work in progress. We’re not a finished product yet.''
Carlisle has had his opening-day starting point guard on the court for just one game. Because of a strained left hamstring that forced him to miss the first four preseason games, Jose Calderon didn't make his Mavs debut until Saturday when he produced 13 points and five assists and didn't turn the ball over in 21 minutes during an 89-83 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
"He did well,'' Carlisle said of Calderon. "He had a good rhythm, his conditioning seemed good.
"At this point we’ll bring him along gradually as we can.''
The Mavs also have yet to see starters Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Samuel Dalembert, Monta Ellis and Calderon on the court together. But that could occur Monday at 7 when the Mavs (3-2) square off against the Houston Rockets (3-1) at the Toyota Center.
"We’re getting close to the bell ringing,'' Carlisle said, referring to the Oct. 30 regular season opener against Atlanta. "So we’re going to have to step it up.''
-- Dwain Price
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