Mavericks hope to shake rust, sharpen focus after All-Star break

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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It has been a week since the Dallas Mavericks played a basketball game.

The Mavs just hope that long time off doesn’t interfere with the rhythm they’ve established in winning three of four games on a five-game homestand.

“This is something we do every year,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “The important thing I think is that I’ll be ready to sub early and get guys back right back into it.

“Whatever rust there is we’ve got to shake it off as quickly as possible.”

The Mavs (23-29) host the Orlando Magic (15-37) at 7:30 tonight at American Airlines Center. The last time these teams played, Jan. 20 in Orlando, the Mavs scrambled back to pull out a 111-105 victory.

“We’re looking to get a good start,” Carlisle said. “We got off to a very poor start the last tine we played these guys.

“We were down 18-4, our concentration wasn’t good, we were making some mistakes and then we were fortunate to be able to get back into it. When you get yourself in a hole like that it’s not a healthy thing, so we want to get off to a much better start.”

Guard O.J. Mayo said it’s time for the Mavs to hold each other accountable, get off to a fast start and not let games slip away.

Mayo said the Mavs need to “just mentally be tougher than our opponent and understand that we need to get stops, and when we do get stops, come down and get the shot that we want.”

More than anything, the Mavs need to rebound better and be effective in their transition defense.

“We’ve had a couple of good days here of work,” Carlisle said. “The idea is you’ve got to get enough work, you’ve got to open up the lungs, but we don’t want to take away our legs for.

“We’ll find out where we are [Wednesday, but it’s time to play.”

Mayo knows the Mavs must execute better in late-game situations. Dallas is 1-8 in overtime games, which has cost them in the standings.

“We have to approach every game with a positive attitude and understand that whatever it takes we got to make sure we get that win,” Mayo said. “I thought we had two good practice days, we got a lot of shots, we got up and down the floor, played a little bit.

“Hopefully it won’t be too bad to start the game off, but find a way to win the game.”

Carlisle recalls Jerry Buss

Rick Carlisle paid homage to Jerry Buss, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Lakers who died Monday after a long bout with cancer.

“[He’s] one of the all-time legendary owners in the history of this game,” Carlisle said. “I got a chance to meet him once a couple of years ago and he’s a class guy and is legacy is heavy with winning and success and championships.

“I was fortunate that I got to work for Bill Davison [in Detroit] who was the longest-tenured owner in the league at the time of his passing, and if Mr. Buss was not the longest-tenured, he was certainly close. He’s universally respected and he’ll be missed.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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