Vince Carter likely in; Delonte West could be out
If the veteran swingman does play -- and coach Rick Carlisle called it "a good chance" -- he could slide right into the starting lineup because shooting guard Delonte West is also a game-time decision because of a right hamstring strain sustained in Wednesday night's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Mavs, looking to bounce back after having their franchise-record streak of holding opponents below 100 points for 15 consecutive games, will need all the bodies they can muster. Dirk Nowitzki remains out for a fourth consecutive game with the sore right knee. He said Thursday that he remains hopeful of making his return Sunday against the Spurs.
Carter's return will supply a little extra scoring kick for a team that has averaged 88.6 points in three games without Nowitzki and 89.8 in the five in which Carter has sat out. He sprained his foot on after making a move to his right and getting off a last-ditch 3-point attempt in the 73-70 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 16.
The eight-time All-Star is the team's second-leading scorer off the bench and has been its most accurate 3-point shooter.
"It gives us another experienced guy that can score," Carlisle said. "He's been a real good system player for us defensively, so getting him back into the fray is a positive thing for us. We'll see where we are tonight."
West played 18 minutes Wednesday and had three points. Afterward, he walking gingerly in the locker room.
"It's not serious," Carlisle said. "But, we just don't know right now."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
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.