DALLAS — When the Dallas Mavericks went shopping for a point guard over the off-season, they wanted to make sure they got someone who was more efficient at handling the ball than Darren Collison, Mike James and Rodrigue Beaubois — three point guards on last year’s roster who are not on this season’s roster.The Mavericks believe they found that man in Jose Calderon, who protected the ball as well as anyone last season when he was second in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio at four assists for every turnover he committed.“We feel like we’re going to be good offensively,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And Jose’s history is that he doesn’t turn it over very much, so that’s good.”In addition to Calderon, the Mavericks will occasionally run their offense through shooting guard Monta Ellis, through backup point guard Gal Mekel, and through small forward Vince Carter. And whenever point guards Devin Harris (toe) and rookie Shane Larkin (ankle) return from off-season surgery, they’ll get their turn at directing traffic.“It’s not just one guy,” Carlisle said. “We have a lot of guys handling the ball in our offense.“We do a lot of freelance and flow type stuff. Everybody’s got to take care of it.”Serious healthOn paper, forward Dirk Nowitzki might be in the twilight of his career. But owner Mark Cuban is hopeful the 35-year old 11-time All-Star can play until he’s 40 years old. “Dirk is [serious] about his health — he’s disciplined,” Cuban said. “He won’t eat fried foods during the season, he won’t drink during the season.“He’s disciplined enough that I think he sees guys like [38-year-old Miami Heat guard] Ray Allen and others who are going later and later and later. So who knows? I won’t put a limit on him.”Cuban said because Nowitzki is conscious about exercise and watching his caloric intake, his career could extend a few more years.“I don’t think people realize the level of discipline that he has in terms of diet, workout, routine,” Cuban said of Nowitzki, who is entering his 16th season. “The guy is a machine.”Nowitzki is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $22.7 million this season. He has said he plans to retire one day as a member of the Mavericks.Sellout streak It’s going down to the wire whether the Mavericks will be able to extend pro sports’ longest active sellout streak.Less than 48 hours before the Mavericks’ regular-season home opener Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks, approximately 1,000 tickets remain unsold. The Mavericks own the longest active sellout streak in all of the four major sports. Dating to Dec. 15, 2001, the Mavericks have sold out 477 consecutive regular-season home games.Against the Hawks, the Mavericks have tickets available upstairs and in the lower bowl and platinum level from $17-$130. Tickets can be purchased at mavs.com, the American Airlines Center box office or by calling 214-747-MAVS.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice