DALLAS -- If Jose Calderon can't play tonight against Charlotte, the bulk of the Dallas Mavericks' point guard load will rest on the lofty shoulders of rookies Gal Mekel and Shane Larkin.
Coach Rick Carlisle steadfastly believes his two rookies are more than ready for what promises to be a strong test from one of the NBA's toughest defenses.
"They've both got, I think, enough games under their belt to know what this is about,'' Carlisle said. "It's going to be a new opponent, at least for Larkin. Gal played against these guys in preseason, but they didn't have everybody.
"It starts with hard play and playing within the system. And from there we just want them to do what they do.''
Calderon is a game-time decision with a bone bruise to his right ankle. He sat out Saturday's game against Minnesota and said he went through shootatound this morning without any issues.
So far, both Mekel and Larkin have been inconsistent, and their ineffectivness has helped bottle up the Mavs' offense. But Carlisle is optimistic they'll be up for the challenge tonight.
"All the guys are aware of what's expected of them,'' Carlisle said. "We been through that with them the last couple of days, just individually -- what their role within the team is.
"They'll be ready and so will everybody else.''
-- Dwain Price
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