W2W4: Mavs on alert for consistent effort
DALLAS -- Consistency. Can the Dallas Mavericks capture it?
With the right effort they certainly should tonight against a Portland Trail Blazers team that has no concept of the word. A supposed championship contender at the start of the season, Portland instead fired coach Nate McMillan and unloaded players such as Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline.
|Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle discusses Friday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Rodrigue Beaubois' play of late and whether he's ever had a player try to get him fired. |
This game has little do with the Blazers and everything to do with the Mavs putting forth the effort of a champion in a game they must have against a lottery-bound team on their home floor on the first night of a back-to-back (at Memphis on Saturday).
"The focus has got to be on game plan and playing at full capacity," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "That's what we're shooting for tonight, tomorrow night and going forward. Look, we've had a lot of good efforts, Monday (against the Clippers) was not a good effort, so tonight we've got to put two in a row together."
That's something Dallas has done just four times going back to mid-February.
Records: Blazers (26-29); Mavs (31-24)
Where: American Airlines Center
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: Defense. Can the Mavs bring it from the tip in the finale of this three-game homestand? In the first two games they could not. The Clippers and Grizzlies outscored the Mavs 98-80 in the first halves and combined to shoot 53 percent from the floor (44-of-83).
Key matchup: LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Brendan Haywood
The Seagoville native knows he'll see a variety of defenders on him tonight including Brandan Wright, Ian Mahinmi and probably even Shawn Marion, especially if things are tight late. But, Haywood will have first crack at the first-time All-Star, who has put up some fine numbers against his hometown team. Aldridge averaged 27.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in the regular-season series last year against Dallas and in the only meeting earlier this season, he had 33 points on 14-of-26 shooting and 12 rebounds.
Injuries: Blazers -- F Shawne Williams (left foot) is out; G Elliot Williams (left shoulder) is out. Mavs -- G Jason Kidd (strained right groin) is out.
Up next: Mavs at Memphis Grizzlies, 7 p.m. Saturday
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.