Can Shane Larkin be the Mavericks’ new J.J. Barea?

Posted Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle delivered his message loud and clear earlier this week to rookie point guard Shane Larkin.

Carlisle knows Larkin has an abundance of speed and is a pick-and-roll fanatic. So, as Larkin prepares for the upcoming summer league, Carlisle wants the University of Miami product to use his primary assets to his advantage.

“We want him to get experience in our system,” Carlisle said. “I want him to be a guy that can manufacture speed in a game.

“We want him to get to the rim. If some opponents back up on him, we want him to attack and shoot pull-up jump shots.”

Larkin will start the process of showcasing his skills at 5 p.m. Saturday at Cox Pavilion when the Mavs open the Las Vegas Summer League against the Sacramento Kings. The game will be televised on NBA TV.

Each of the 22 teams in the summer league are guaranteed to play at least five games. And for the first time a championship game will take place — at 8 p.m. July 22.

The summer league is the ideal place for players such as Larkin to show they can play in the NBA.

Carlisle said that Larkin, who is 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds, has some traits J.J. Barea displayed during the Mavs’ 2011 championship season.

“I think he can do some of the things that Barea did for us here a couple of years ago,” Carlisle said. “I don’t think that they’re exactly alike. But we need that quick guy that can penetrate and make things happen.”

Canales makes debut

Saturday’s summer league opener against Sacramento will be the first game for new Mavs lead assistant coach Kaleb Canales.

A UT Arlington graduate with a degree in kinesiology, Canales was hired about two months ago to replace Jim O’Brien, who announced his retirement.

Canales, who grew up in Laredo and later coached in high school there, started his NBA career as a video intern with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2005.

After serving a season as an assistant coach at UTA, Canales was an assistant coach with Portland from 2008 through this past season. He lost out last summer in a bid to be the Blazers’ head coach to former Mavs assistant coach Terry Stotts.

Canales also posted an 8-15 record as the Blazers’ interim head coach after he took over the helm on March 15, 2012, after the firing of Nate McMillan.

At the time, Canales was 33 years old and the youngest active head coach in the NBA.

“We are fired up to have Kaleb on the staff,” owner Mark Cuban said via e-mail. “We actually tried to hire him in the past, but couldn’t.

“He has a great basketball pedigree, including having been a head coach in the NBA. The fact that he is a UTA grad is just icing on the cake.”

Monte Mathis is the Mavs’ summer league head coach, with Darrell Armstrong, Mike Sheed, Mike Weinar, and Canales serving as his assistant coaches.

Games start today

Summer league action in Las Vegas starts with four games on tap Friday.

The New York Knicks will play the New Orleans Pelicans at 3 p.m., the Atlanta Hawks meet the Los Angeles Clippers at 5 p.m., the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Los Angeles Lakers at 7 p.m., and the Charlotte Bobcats square off against the San Antonio Spurs at 9 p.m.

All of today’s games will be at Cox Pavilion.

Summer schedule

The Mavs’ second game in summer-league play is against Charlotte at 5 p.m. Sunday, and they play the D-League Select team at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

From there, the Mavs and the other 21 teams in the field will be seeded in a double-elimination tournament.

Tipoff times and matchups for those games will hinge on what happens in the team’s first three games.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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