DALLAS -- Pregame ceremonies are among the things the Dallas Mavericks are discussing before Sunday's 1:30 p.m. season-opening tip-off against the Miami Heat.
There's the matter of the Mavericks finally getting the opportunity to raise their NBA championship banner into the American Airlines Center rafters.
Emotions are bound to run high during such a memorable event for this franchise.
Then there's the matter of playing the opener against -- of all teams -- the Heat, the team the Mavericks bounced in six games to win last season's title.
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"It's pretty well documented that on nights when teams celebrate championships from the year before, you can have letdowns," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We're talking about it and we're gearing ourselves for the fact that we can't allow that to happen.
"We're aware of it and we're not going to allow it to affect us."
The Mavericks were supposed to have raised the banner in a Nov. 1 game against the Chicago Bulls, but the lockout pushed everything back.
Fifty-five days will have passed since the Mavericks' banner-raising ceremony should have taken place.
"I've always said that the banner-raising is probably one of the best days of my life," forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "Working for something so long and being there with my teammates and coaches, and obviously the fans there, it's going to be something special.
"But also we don't want to get too emotional about this thing, because we've got an important game to play against probably the heavy favorites for this year. But it already starts now where you have to think about that the game is more important than the other things."
Guard Jason Terry said Sunday's game is just another day at the office for him, but not for the fans.
"For me it's not emotional," Terry said. "It's emotional for our fans and for the city, yes, because they haven't seen us since obviously the parade.
"But for us, we're ready to get the season started, I'm ready to play some basketball and get after it. The banner, that's fun, but again it's all about going out here and putting together a good performance in game one.''
The banner raising is at 1:13 p.m., according to the Mavs' website.
Despite being the defending NBA champions, the Mavericks have five new players on their roster.
They are Lamar Odom, Vince Carter, Delonte West, Brandan Wright and Sean Williams.
Odom, Carter and West will likely have large roles in the regular rotation, which could mean a slow start for the Mavericks because they only had two weeks of training camp to learn the fine details.
"We've got to do it on the fly," Jason Terry said. "Obviously two weeks wasn't enough time to get everybody on an even keel, chemistry-wise.
"But I think when you have guys that have been in this league awhile like Vince and Lamar and Delonte, they know how to play the game. And the way we play the game is how everybody should, and that's move the ball offensively, and defensively communicate and guard the basket."
Rick Carlisle worked one-on-one with new center Sean Williams on some offensive moves at the end of Friday's practice.
Sunday's game will mark the 300th consecutive time the Mavericks have sold out a regular-season game, the longest current streak in the NBA.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760