Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Finally, will all Mavs hands be on deck?
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- Peja Stojakovic is still shaking off a stiff neck, but he did practice Tuesday. So did Shawn Marion, whose sprained right wrist (along with some still-tender left ribs) kept him out of Sunday's game.
If the Dallas Mavericks can avoid something going wrong during Wednesday's practice, they should finally field a full roster heading into the final 12 regular season games starting Thursday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"That's the hope," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "I don't remember the last game we had everybody available, do you? Some of this is mother nature and some it you can't control."
The last time the Mavs fielded a fully healthy squad was 11 games ago at the Philadelphia 76ers on March 1. That's when Tyson Chandler sprained his right ankle and missed the next three games. The game Chandler returned, Peja Stojakovic missed with a stiff neck and he sat out six games total. During that game at the New Orleans Hornets on March 8, Shawn Marion missed the second half with bruised ribs. Then he sprained his right wrist Friday against the San Antonio Spurs and missed Sunday's game against Golden State.
Since Dirk Nowitzki went down with a sprained knee on Dec. 27, followed by Caron Butler's knee injury on Jan. 1, it seems one minor injury after another has kept Dallas from the rotation stability and defined roles it enjoyed earlier in the season.
"There's instability when you have injuries," Carlisle said. "The hope is that we can get healthier here these next couple of days and carry that into Thursday and carry it into the [six-game road] trip. But, you can only go day-to-day with that."