DALLAS -- The Mavericks insist they won't be going on vacation for the next week until the playoffs start.
"We want to be playing good basketball heading into the playoffs so we're working toward that," coach Rick Carlisle said after Friday morning's shootaround. "That's the biggest thing. We'll watch the minutes, but the emphasis is going to be on hard play, continuing to trend the right way coming off a good win against Houston and, again, we just want to be very fixated on our process of being a good basketball team and being a team that can be successful in the playoffs."
Tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors, a severely depleted squad that has lost 13 of 15, should amount for an easy night for the home team that will allow for minutes to be spread up and down the roster. Consider the Warriors' probable starting five for tonight: Charles Jenkins, Klay Thompson, Mickell Gladness, Jeremy Tyler and Dorell Wright.
That should leave a well-rested Mavs team for an interesting game Saturday night at the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls are locked in a battle with the Miami Heat for the No. 1 seed in the East, the difference between opening the playoffs against the surging New York Knicks or the spiraling Philadelphia 76ers.
Jason Kidd said the Mavs can't afford to take a laissez-faire approach into the final three games.
"That can sometimes hurt if you if you go in thinking we don’t care about these three games," Kidd said. "We want to make sure that we’re firing on all cylinders going into the playoffs, offensively and defensively, so these three games are for us to get better and that’s the way we’re going to approach it."
Records: Warriors (22-39); Mavs (35-28)
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: American Airlines Center
TV: ESPN, FSSW
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: This is the type of game that Brandan Wright should see a heavy workload and that means the alley-oop watch will be on full alert. The 6-foot-10 center leads the Mavs in dunks this season and considering the Warriors' depleted roster and the likely up-and-down tone this game should take, watch out below.
Key matchup: Klay Thompson vs. Shawn Marion
Who knows how many minutes the Matrix will play tonight? If the defensive player of the year candidate sticks with the opponent's most dangerous scorer, than Thompson's it. The Mavs got a taste of that last time at Golden State. He leads all rookies in 3-point percentage and in 23 games since taking over as the starting shooting guard, Thompson has averaged 18.3 points, 3.0 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 33.7 minutes.
Injuries: Warriors -- C Andrew Bogut (fractured left ankle) is out; G Stephen Curry (right ankle sprain) is out; F David Lee (strained groin/stress fracture) is out; C Andris Biedrins (mild concussion) is questionable; G Nate Robinson (right hamstring strain) is questionable. Mavs – None.
Up next: Mavs at Chicago Bulls, 7 p.m., Saturday