*Sasha won the traditional Shootaround Goof-Around Half-Court Launching Contest.
*Peja, on the other hand, airballed one of his shots badly and his Mavs teammates playfully booed. Maybe it's his knee, which has him unavailable to play tonight. Nah, it's not his knee. His knee is fine. But Peja will be inactive. It's just going to take a little time to get him geared up to play.
Here's a look at Peja in press-conference action:
"I had irritation,'' Peja said. "I guess it caused some swelling and stayed a little longer than expected, but as I talked to the doctors, it's nothing major. It's just something that every athlete my age has. It just depends how you manage it. Right now, I'm going in the right direction and hopefully I'll be 100 percent soon.''
*We've no doubt Haywood is doing the work. But he was out of there before the press got in, the first Mav to leave the AAC floor by far. He's doing the work, sure. He's "engaged''? Maybe. But Big Wood is obviously in an emotional funk.
*DoJo did something (playful) to annoy Tyson Chander enough to the point that T.Y. chased the rookie, trying to throw a ball at him.
*Caron was in the house, off crutches, and in really high spirits. He was throwing balls, shooting, and messing with DeShawn while he shot.
All in all, the fellas seem in high spirits.
Meanwhile, there were the Clippers. They might still get Eric Gordon (wrist) flying in late to play despite an injury, though that seems unlikely. And no matter what, LAC –
winners of seven of their last 10 – will have their drawing card, Rookie-of-the-Year leader Blake Griffin.
"A human highlight reel,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle calls him.
Want a look and listen to Blake's self-evaluation?