ITEM: I posed the question to both coach Dallas Mavericks Rick Carlisle and to team spokesmodel Jason Terry: "Is George Karl's expressed desire to oppose Dallas in the first round of the playoffs the stuff og ‘bulletin-board material' or meaningless ‘high-school Harry' stuff?
""It can be, yeah,'' said the coach, before claiming he was unaware of Karl's quote. "I didn't see it, so I don't know anything about it."
Jet, your thoughts?
"Hey, we want to play somebody, too!'' Terry replied to my one-on-one question. "That's what you tell George Karl. We want to play somebody, too.''
And then Jet – maybe realizing he was onto a clever theme that needed to go mainstream, and/or reasoning that he might want to soften the implications of his quote – yelled at Eddie Sefko and Tim MacMahon, to make sure Eddie also had wind of this.
"Hey, tell George this: We want to play somebody, too! Anybody! We want to play anybody!''
ITEM: Meanwhile, Carlisle insists that Dallas is trying to "lock in the third seed.'' That may or may not cease speculation about the Mavs wishing to manipulate the standings in order to earn a cushier draw. But he made his point emphatically.
"We're trying to win, so that's what we're doing,'' said Rick, whose Mavs are in the No. 3 slot, one game ahead of No. 4 OKC. "We're trying to win as many games as we can, we're trying to lock in the third seed and so whoever is available we expect to go out there and put us in a position to win.''
ITEM: "Tyson's back!'' Jason Terry hollered as TY was conducting his group interview. "We can get us a win now."
TY is indeed returning to the floor for the Clippers after having missed the loss to Denver earlier this week while nursing a sore back (which apparently includes a tailbone bruise).
"I'd rather be out there and try to help them,'' Chandler said. "It's not that I could hurt it or anything like that, it's just the pain and what I can do out there. I'll get out there and hopefully it warms up and hopefully I can give them something good."
Carlisle would not detail other plans regarding rest breaks for players, including Jason Kidd – except to suggest that if there is a "dress-rehearsal'' game, this one could be it. However, Kidd apparently did not fully participate in the shootaround, again, not due to injury but rather to rest his 38-year-old body.
KIDD UPDATE: Carlisle said this afternoon on his weekly ESPN Radio show that Kidd will sit out tonight.
MAVSELLANEOUS: The last guy off the floor was the fastest guy off the floor: Roddy B zipped by the media, full-speed, sprinting wildly and grinning widely … Rick might not want to be fourth. But that doesn't mean he cannot accept the possibility. "At this point, the sixth position is very much up for grabs,'' he said. "It appears Denver is locked into (No. 5). Hey, if we somehow drop to No. 4, Denver would be a terrific matchup." … Rick on the jostling for position: "All the speculation about who we're going to play, who we want to play, to me is premature at this point. What's more important to us is to get a win, get out of this losing streak. That's a priority to us."