Friday, January 27, 2012
Vince Carter likely in; Delonte West could be out
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- Having missed the last five games with a sprained left foot, Vince Carter participated in Friday morning's shootaround and is a game-time decision tonight against the Utah Jazz.
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."