One of the things the Dallas Mavericks wanted to make certain of entering the playoffs is that centers Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire entered the postseason healthy.
With one regular-season game remaining, so far so good.
“They’re both healthy,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s the major thing. And they both do different things, which is a good situation to have.”
Chandler averages 10.1 points and 11.5 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game, and has registered 30 double-doubles. In 21 games since joining the Mavs on Feb. 18, Stoudemire is averaging 10.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in just 16.2 minutes per game.
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With Chandler and Stoudemire offering a one-two punch in the middle, the Mavs feel comfortable with either one of them controlling the paint.
“We just got to keep managing the minutes to keep those guys playing at a high level,” Carlisle said. “They’re extremely important to us headed into the playoffs.”
Carlisle praises Felton
Carlisle praised how veteran guard Raymond Felton has managed to stay mentally ready to play whenever he put him in a game.
Felton hit the game-winning basket last Friday in Denver, and followed that with 15 points in 18 minutes during Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
“He’s been a total professional this year,” Carlisle said. “During periods where we needed a few minutes he was able to step in and play effectively.
“The Denver game was a great opportunity for him. And you’re talking about a guy taking full advantage it ... unbelievable.”
Just like last year, the Mavs have gone down to the final game of the regular season with a chance to win 50 games.
Dallas takes a 49-32 record into Wednesday’s regular season and home finale against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Last year the Mavs took a 49-32 record into the final game of the regular season at Memphis. The winner of that game earned the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed, while the loser entered the playoffs as the No. 8 seed.
The Mavs wound up losing that game to the Grizzlies 106-105 in overtime, and then lost to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games in the opening round of the playoffs.
Parsons seeks groove
Chandler Parsons (right knee swelling/pain) hasn’t played since the April 2 game against Houston.
And he has just one chance left to play — Wednesday at home against Portland — before the playoffs commence.
“I like to see him at least get one, but he’s young enough,” owner Mark Cuban said. “It’s not like he’s got to work hard to get back in the groove. Obviously the more game time he can get, the better.”
Three starters out
Three of the Mavs’ starters didn’t even come close to playing in Monday night’s game against the Utah Jazz.
Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis flew to Dallas from Los Angeles on Cuban’s private plane following Sunday’s 120-106 victory over the Lakers. That way the Mavs had no chance of changing their minds and playing the trio against the Jazz.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760