On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks practiced without Richard Jefferson (jammed toe), Chandler Parsons (swollen right knee) and Rajon Rondo (hyper-extended left knee). Center Tyson Chandler discussed the overall health of the team and post-season scheduling after the workout, closing with a resounding statement about his faith in his club.
Asked about whether a postseason foe might prefer to oppose Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, TY answered, "Be careful what you ask for.''
Any confident talk, of course, is tempered by injuries.
"Any time you miss anybody, we’re missing one of the tools in the toolbox, and these guys are all important,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said of Rondo, Chandler and Jefferson. "We’ll absorb it the best that we can. ... We're trying to facilitate Mother Nature being a little nice to us.''
The Mavs are 46-31 and have lost 11 of their last 18 games. They are attempting to juggle a return to full health with a desire to add to the win column -- the former seemingly more important because they are essentially locked into the No. 7 playoff slot in the West.
"We need to get back in the win column after dropping a couple of tough ones,’’ Carlisle said. "We’ve got to follow the process to put ourselves in a position to do that. Part of the process is the healing of guys that are injured, and part of it is to continue to work to get better as a team with the guys that are available. Big picture-wise, health is of the utmost importance.’’
Dirk Nowitzki received a phone call over the weekend from an NBA investigator seeking information about Shaun Livingston's crotch-grab of him in Saturday’s Mavs-Warriors game. I'm not sure what the NBA needed to know about it, but Dirk was matter-of-fact about the unseemly incident on Monday.
"There’s been some incidents where guys got hit in their private parts and it’s been pretty much an automatic suspension whether it was by accident or not,’’ Nowitzki said. "It is what it is. The NBA obviously does an investigation on every flagrant foul and they called me and I just told them what I saw and I didn’t think it was intentional. But it was a one-game suspension (handed down to Livingston) regardless and I think everybody moved on from there.’’
The last guy on the practice court on Monday? Oh, it was Dirk ...
But later in the day, long after the actual practice was over, a good sign: Rajon Rondo took to the court, under the supervision of two staffers, and got his work in. The knee is bothersome enough to keep him out of a full workout ... but somehow, he's still working.
Tuesday is apparently National Beer Day. Dirk is happy to celebrate ... but maybe just by talking about it.
“I usually drink some when I’m home (in Germany),” he said. “During the season I actually don’t drink at all anymore. It just slows you down and as you get older, the recovery takes a long time. In the summer sometimes, I get it in. In Germany, we have a lot of local breweries. Every little village has their own beer. That’s the fun thing about it. You get to different spots and try their beers. We’ve had our own in Wurzburg and it’s pretty good.”