If the Dallas Mavericks are planning to have a dress rehearsal game when they play host to the Portland Trail Blazers at 7 p.m. Wednesday at American Airlines Center, they’ll do so without forward Chandler Parsons and guard Devin Harris.
Injuries will keep both players out of the game.
Parsons had a setback during pregame warmups Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers as he continues to try to overcome swelling and pain in his right knee. Harris suffered an injury to his great left toe when he accidentally stepped on the foot of Utah’s Jeremy Evans in the first half of Monday’s 109-92 loss to the Jazz.
“It’s still pretty sore,” Harris said after the game. “But it should be ready to go by at least the weekend.”
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Parsons, however, is concerned that he may not even be ready to play when the Mavericks open the playoffs on Saturday or Sunday against San Antonio, Houston or the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Right now I think if I played, not only do I think I would further the injury, I know I’m not as good as I could be, and I’d probably hurt more than I would help,” Parsons said before Monday’s game. “I could play, but it would almost be selfish to rush back and play and not be able to help my team.
“I’m not going to be immature and ignorant just to play. I’m dying to play, I really want to play, but at the same time I’m not going to be selfish and rush back and not be a contributor and hurt our team.”
Point guard Rajon Rondo said opposing teams don’t particularly care when key injuries throw a wrench into an opponent’s playoff plans. But he does have a solid solution in place in this regular-season finale as the Mavericks (49-32) try to win their 50th game on Fan Appreciation Night.
“The next guy has to step up,” Rondo said. “It’s pretty simple. You can’t lick your wounds and feel sorry for yourself. You just got to get it done.”
Richard Jefferson has started the past five games since Parsons was injured. In the first four games, he averaged 15 points and converted 18 of 38 field goals and 8 of 18 shots from 3-point range.
But Jefferson struggled when he went scoreless in Monday’s game against Utah.
“RJ has been playing great, except [Monday night],” Rondo said. “He’s been playing really well filling in for Parsons, doing the little things, not turning the ball over, running hard, a great defensive player.
“So other guys have to step up and that’s what I think they’ve been doing for the most part.”
Rondo knows what he wants to see from his teammates against the Blazers.
“I just want to see rhythm, ball movement,” Rondo said. “I think our defensive communication, I would like for that to be better [Wednesday]. Myself, Tyson [Chandler], if he plays, we’ll be talking a lot.”
Still, beyond Wednesday’s game, Rondo and the Mavericks are concerned about Parsons’ availability going into this weekend’s playoffs. But not to the point where they’re crying a river about it.
“It’s the NBA,” Rondo said. “The best thing you can hope for in training camp is to be healthy going into the postseason. Some teams are, some teams aren’t, but that’s no excuses. You’ve just got to get it done.”
Fan Appreciation Night
Wednesday is Fan Appreciation Night. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. All fans in attendance will be able to grab a Mavs Hat at the entrances, courtesy of Sprite, and 5,000 Mavs Playoff Yard Signs, courtesy of AT&T, will be handed out on AT&T South Plaza and North Entrances after the game, while supplies last. There will be a special halftime performance from Naughty By Nature, presented by Bud Light.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760