- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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As per his policy, coach Rick Carlisle declined to discuss the starting lineup before the game against the Washington Wizards, but Kaman said he’ll make his second start of the season, indicating that he would replace Brandan Wright.
Kaman is averaging 14.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 26.5 minutes this season. He had 22 points and eight rebounds in his lone start. He’s struggled the last two games, going just 7-of-20 from the floor.
“I probably feel a little bit more comfortable starting the game, but I’ve got to bring the energy right away,” said Kaman, whose other start occurred when Elton Brand missed the win over the Raptors due to the birth of his daughter. “I can’t wait and get started late. It’s got to come early. Otherwise, coach is the kind of coach who will take you out and put someone in who is ready to go.”
The Mavs have gotten off to slow starts in each game during their three-game losing streak, so Carlisle is changing his starting lineup. He wants the Mavs to set the tone with strong defense and rebounding from the opening tip.
"I think the bottom line is that if guys aren’t playing with a collective toughness and a collective will, all these lineups are going to be horse(bleep) really," Carlisle said. "I can’t put it any more succinctly."