Rockets present different challenge
That doesn't seem logical, considering the red-hot Mavs have won five in a row, including wins over a few healthy teams expected to make some playoff noise. But it would fit the trend the Mavs established last season, when they lost a handful of games to teams missing their stars.
Heck, the Warriors walked out of the AAC with a win last year despite having only six available players. The Rockets, minus Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks, are capable of beating the Mavs if the home team goes through the motions.
Coach Rick Carlisle is well aware of that, but he doesn’t have a rah-rah speech ready to make sure his team is properly motivated.
“Those guys have heard every speech there is to hear about focusing and staying hungry,” Carlisle said. “We’ve worked hard to get ourselves on a bit of a roll here, and we’ll see how we respond tonight. I can’t guarantee that we aren’t going to go out there and struggle.”
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Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
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Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.