Mavericks brace for one-two punch

Posted Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Rick Carlisle would not be drawn into a debate on whether or not Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are the best 1-2 duo in the NBA.

“I’d put them up at the very top of the list with whoever else is a good one-two punch,” the Mavericks coach said. “But the last thing I want to do is [tick] anybody off by saying one one-two punch is better than another.

“We don’t need that. We’ve got enough challenges as is it.”

Carlisle and the Mavericks face the challenge of slowing down Durant and Westbrook when the Mavs (39-27) face the Thunder (48-17) at 6 p.m. Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Durant leads the NBA in scoring at 31.8 points per game, and also averages 7.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Westbrook is averaging 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

“They’re two great players; that’s undeniable,” Carlisle said. “But they come at you with an unusual dynamic, athleticism and skill set.”

Forward Shawn Marion will likely split time guarding Durant and Westbrook.

Jae Crowder, who went through a full practice session Saturday for the first time after missing the past two games with a mild abdominal strain, could also see some playing time guarding Durant.

“We’ve got to try to take the ball out of Westbrook’s and Durant’s hands as much as possible,” Marion said.

Point guard Jose Calderon knows it’s going to be extra challenging for the Mavs to try and keep pace with Westbrook.

“It’s a challenge every day you step on the court in the NBA,” Calderon said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Westbrook or [Golden State’s] Stephen Curry or [Portland’s] Damian Lillard.

“But Westbrook, he’s been great. Since he returned from his injury he’s been playing with a lot of confidence, he’s fast and he can do a lot of things.”

Westbrook’s exceptional speed and Durant’s uncanny ability to use his superior height are reasons why the Mavs will give this dynamic duo different looks defensively throughout the game.

“But like I always said, it’s going to be always about the team,” Calderon said.

Larkin up, Mekel down

The Mavericks recalled rookie point guard Shane Larkin from the D-League’s Texas Legends on Saturday, then shipped rookie point guard Gal Mekel down to play for the Frisco-based team.

Larkin, in his fourth stint for the Legends this season, contributed 22 points and 11 assists during Friday’s victory over the Maine Red Claws.

In four games for the Legends this year, Larkin is averaging 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 35.8 minutes per game.

Mekel, meanwhile, has averaged 9.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 27.7 minutes in three games for the Legends.

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

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Tuesday, November 25Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, November 25Full Scoreboard
Atlanta131st Qtr 7:02 | Box
Washington6TV: SPSO, CSN-DC
Golden State 11/25 7:30 PM ET
Miami TV: CSN-BA, Sun Sports
Detroit 11/25 8:00 PM ET
Milwaukee TV: FSN-DET, FSN-WI
Sacramento 11/25 8:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: CSN-CA, FSN-NO
Chicago 11/25 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: CSN-CHI, Altitude
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Chicago 12:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Seattle 8:30 PM ET
San Francisco TV: NBC
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Monday
Miami 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, November 25Full Scoreboard
Winnipeg11st Prd 13:25 | Box
Columbus1TV: TSN3, FSN-OH
Ottawa 11/25 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: RDS, TSN5, FSN-MW
Los Angeles 11/25 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: FSN-W, FSN-TN
Edmonton 11/25 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: SN-W, FSN-SW
Colorado 11/25 9:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: TVA, Altitude2, FSN-AZ
New Jersey 11/25 10:00 PM ET
Vancouver TV: MSG+, SN-PAC
Calgary 11/25 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim TV: SN-W, Flames, FSN-PT
Full Scoreboard