Although they enjoyed a 32-point win over the Bucks on Saturday, the Mavericks have struggled to find their rhythm early on this season, going 3-14 through their first 17 games and finding themselves in last place in the Western Conference.
Despite the rough start, however, head coach Rick Carlisle is not going to let his star rookie Dennis Smith Jr. pick up any losing habits. According to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, Carlisle and Smith spend a lot of time together, one-on-one, going over film, both before and after games.
“He’s an important part of our team,” Carlisle said. “It’s gotten to the point where our winning is largely dependent on him playing well, which is a great compliment to him and what he’s been able to establish.”
There’s more from Dallas:
- Saturday was a bittersweet night for the Mavericks. While they beat the Bucks handily, they were also reminded of what they missed out on after passing on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. As Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News highlights, it was owner Mark Cuban who ultimately made the decision not to select Antetokounmpo.
- According to Carlisle, Seth Curry is not expected to be back on the court this week, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. There is no timetable for Curry’s return.
- Despite having “a forklift full of centers,” the Mavericks are aware that the position is somewhat of a roulette wheel at the moment, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “It’s a bit of a by-committee position,” Carlisle said. “The guys got to roll with it and understand the things they do may only fit in certain stretches.”