Jose Calderon was re-introduced to the Dallas Mavericks’ way of basketball Tuesday when the veteran point guard went through an extended workout for the first time since straining his left hamstring Oct. 2.
However, Calderon still isn’t ready to play and will sit out his fourth consecutive preseason game Wednesday night when the Mavs (1-2) face the Indiana Pacers (0-3) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Calderon is slated to make his debut Saturday night in Greensboro, N.C., when Dallas plays the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Mavs signed Calderon to a four-year, $29 million contract over the summer so he could quarterback their offense. But the hamstring injury — which occurred on the second day of training camp — stalled any chances the Mavs had of getting Calderon accustomed to playing with his new teammates.
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“He’s going to be fine,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Tuesday’s practice. “The fact that he’s on the court is pleasing to me.
“He went through about half of our stuff, half of the things that we did today. We started introducing him back into some real practice, pulled him out just for precautionary [reasons]. He’ll work at shoot-around and before the game, and then as we go along here we’ll get him more and more into it.”
Calderon said he was a bit sore early on, but added that he has no limitations as he tries to knock off the rust of a two-week layoff.
“I’m really happy to join my teammates,” Calderon said. “We were talking about taking some time off to make sure everything was right, and everything is right.
“I was excited the last couple of days. I was feeling great. I was just waiting to be part of practice.”
Calderon will only have four preseason games to log playing time with the Mavs. While that might not be enough to establish some continuity with his teammates prior to the Oct. 30 regular-season opener against Atlanta, the timetable simply isn’t working in the Mavs’ favor.
“He should do fine,” Carlisle said. “He’s done what he’s needed to do to get himself back feeling great, and now he’s got to get back into the hard work on the court.
“He’s been doing a lot of hard work on the court, underwater treadmill and things like that. Now he’s got to pick it up, and we’re on track.”
Rookie guard Ricky Ledo hasn’t made the big splash on the court everyone thought he might this preseason.
In the first three games, Ledo has scored just nine points, grabbed four rebounds, handed out two assists and turned the ball over five times in 11.7 minutes per contest. He also is just 4 of 16 from the field, including 1 of 4 from 3-point range.
Ledo admits it’s been “really tough” trying to get his bearings. Especially since the last time he played organized basketball — other than on the Mavs’ summer league squad — was in high school in the spring of 2012.
“The NBA is what I expected,” Ledo said. “I just expect to be playing a little better.
“This is my first time playing in a long time, so I’m just happy to be playing.”
Ledo enrolled at Providence but didn’t play his freshman season last year when the NCAA ruled he was academically ineligible. When asked how long it’s going to take before he regains his high school form when he averaged 24 points, the former prep All-America said:
“Probably the last couple games of preseason I’ll get back to how it felt like when I was playing before.”