Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is juggling a lot of balls right now, getting his guys ready for the final five games of the regular season and then the playoffs ... but the general focus of his media availability involves the health of his team ...
“Our training staff is busy,'' Rick said. "Our doctors have been busy. We’re trying to facilitate Mother Nature being a little nice to us.''
Richard Jefferson, who has a jammed toe, did not work. And Rajon Rondo (left knee) and Chandler Parsons (right knee) spent the workout riding a stationary bike -- though DB.com stayed at the AAC long enough to see Rondo emerge, well after the regular practice, to get in some court work under the supervision of a pair of staffers, a good thing.
Carlisle expressed some hope that Rondo might return to practice today.
“I don’t know if Parsons will be able to practice (Tuesday) or not,” Carlisle said. “I don’t know that he won’t but I can’t say that he will. We’re more optimistic about Rondo practicing ... And then Richard Jefferson … we’re hoping that he can get on the court (Tuesday).”
Some have argued that the 46-31 could benefit, in the area of "chemistry,'' by having everyone on the floor together during games. It seems to us, though, that chemistry and cohesiveness can happen on the practice court -- and with all the banged up guys, keeps you from actually losing games that drain your confidence.
“It’s better than having three games in four days and having guys miss games,” Carlisle said of the three-game break that exists before Dallas plays host to Phoenix on Wednesday. “Any time you miss anybody, we’re missing one of the tools in the toolbox. And these guys are all important. We are deep. We’ll absorb it the best that we can. It hurts today not to have these guys for practice, but then again, it’s important to use this time to get them healed and try to get them ready for Wednesday. That’s where we are.
Rick said "We want to win games,'' but he tipped his hand a bit in the debate over whether "winning and momentum'' is more important than health when he noted, “We’ve got 10 days or so or whatever it is until we’re looking right at the playoffs. Big picture-wise, health is of the utmost importance.”
Dirk Nowitzki was the last guy on the floor for the regular practice and then made a fan presentation later in the day in which he addressed the Livingston crotch grab from Saturday's Warriors game. (See "Grabbing Twigs And Berries.'')
"We talked a bit afterwards,'' Dirk said of a conversation with the junk-grabbing Livingston, "and he said for a white guy, he was impressed."