DALLAS -- Forward Vince Carter said it's never difficult to get mentally prepared to play a team when that team doesn't bring its best players to the table.
That was the case for the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night when five members of the Atlanta Hawks' rotation -- Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague, Lou Williams and Paul Millsap -- either didn't play or didn't even bother to pack their bags and make the trip to Dallas for an assortment of reasons.
However, Carter acknowledged that the absence of the Hawks' top players mattered not to what the Mavs were trying to accomplish.
"It's never difficult, because we're trying to get ourselves better,'' Carter said after Thursday's practice at American Airlines Center. "It's all about right now what we can do to get better and how we can prepare ourselves for opening night.
"So, whether they had their starting unit or their second unit, it doesn't matter for us.''
The Mavs, by the way, defeated the Hawks, 98-88. They'll also open the regular season against the Hawks next Wednesday.
-- Dwain Price
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