DALLAS – Contrary to what was said by his coach less than 24 hours ago, Dallas Mavericks point guard Deron Williams said he does not have a strained right adductor.
After Thursday’s practice, coach Rick Carlisle said Williams was having a problem with his right adductor and that he would be "questionable at best’’ for Friday night’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers. After Friday morning’s shootaround at American Airlines Center, Williams, seemingly stunned by the news regarding his "injury,’’ took the time to correct his "injury’’ status.
"I’m great,’’ Williams said. "I was never in doubt of playing (against Portland).
"I wish coach would have talked to me before he says these things to the media.’’
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Told of what Williams said, Carlisle expressed relief that he was going to have one of his best players available tonight at 7:30 at AAC as the Mavs (0-4) face Portland (2-3) while trying to win their first game of the season.
"I’m glad to hear he’s doing fine,’’ Carlisle said. "He said he’s fine, I think he’s going to play, yes, which is great.
"I’m glad it’s good news. Thank you for that.’’
Carlisle, meanwhile, said he has to watch Dirk Nowitzki’s minutes going forward as he tries to work through a conditioning issue.
"Dirk, he’s working through this,’’ Carlisle said. "He’s not feeling super great, but he’s going to play (Friday night).
"I think he just has to work through this period of getting his legs back and getting back to feeling himself.’’
Carlisle said guard J. J. Barea (knee) is improving and should play against the Blazers.
"He appears to be doing a little better each day,’’ Carlisle said. "So we’re hopeful that things keep trending the right way.’’
The Mavs have never started a season 0-5. And the only other time they were 0-4 was during the 2006-’07 season when they promptly won 67 of their last 78 games and finished with the NBA’s best record at 67-15 and were eliminate din the first round of the playoffs by the Golden state Warriors in six games.
"We just got to get a win,’’ Williams said. "We just got to come out and get it, man.
"We can talk about it, we can watch all the film we want. We just got to come out with a lot more energy and a lot more fight for 48 minutes.’’
Williams believes some of the Mavs’ problems would be solved if he comes right out of the gate in attack mode.
"I definitely think I need to be more aggressive offensively,’’ Williams said. "I definitely think that can help us take some pressure off of Dirk right now while he gets into the swing of things and gets his legs back.
"It’ll help other guys knowing that, not only scoring the ball, but just getting in the lane and making things happen and creating problems. It will allow other guys to get open and get some more easy shots.’’
The Mavs put up a good defensive front in Utah on Wednesday, holding the Jazz to just 15 points after the first quarter. Unfortunately, the Mavs completely sputtered on offense when they scored just 14 point sin the opening quarter.
"We just couldn’t get the ball in the basket,’’ Williams said. "I think we’ve been struggling at times to get shots – not even good shots – just to get shots up.
"So we’ve just got to have some more ball movement, some more penetration. It’ll just make things easier -- simplify things a little bit.’’
Williams also thinks things will be simplified if someone would have simply asked him if he was injured. That way he wouldn’t have had to read or listen for nearly the last 24 hours about being "questionable at best’’ for Friday’s game against the Blazers.
"Guys, I’m playing,’’ Williams said. "I was always playing.
"I feel great. I feel wonderful.’’