DALLAS -- The show will go on for the Dallas Mavericks after they finished preseason play Friday with a 98-77 home loss to the Indiana Pacers.
But the regular season show for the Mavs likely won't get very far if center Samuel Dalembert is unable to stay out of foul trouble.
The Mavs were doing very well against the Pacers when Dalembert registred just one foul in the first half of a game Dallas led, 41-39. But by the time the game reached the 7:55 mark of the third period, Dalembert had picked up three more fouls.
To the bench Dalembert went -- with the Mavs leading by six points -- and the game started unraveling from there as Dalembert's replacement, 6-6 DeJuan Blair, had no chance against Pacers 7-2 center Roy Hibbert.
The Mavs were an incredible minus-29 when Blair was on the court as they finished preseason with a 4-4 record.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Dalembert knows he has to stay out of foul trouble in order for the Mavs to be effective. The problem is getting that to sink into Dalembert's head.
"We talked about it after the game last night, we talked about it today,'' Carlisle said after Saturday's practice at American Airlines Center. "The challenge is he’s got to be aggressive and yet he’s got to be vigilant about not taking bad fouls.''
Dalembert said Blair is always in his ear offering encouragement and reminding him to stay out of foul trouble.
"He’s good at that,'' Dalembert said. "He always keeps on all of us and gets our confidence up, and I always say if you don’t hear from “B'', that means something is up.
"But when you hear him talking that means he’s into it and he keeps everybody positive.''
In order for the positive vibes to get flowing for the Mavs once the regular season starts, they need a foul-free Dalembert on the court.
"We keep showing him situations, we keep talking to him, we keep talking to our team about helping keeping him out of some of those compromising situations where he gets fouls,'' Carlisle said. "And we've just got to stay the course and keep working at it.''
-- Dwain Price
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