Dallas Mavericks point guard Devin Harris believes he’ll be playing basketball again before Christmas. He just doesn’t know exactly when.
“We’ve got an idea,” Harris said. “But right now, we just want to see how it responds to explosive cuts, running, change of directions and make sure there are no problems there, and then we can wrap it up even more.”
Harris underwent toe surgery on his left foot this past summer and has yet to play this season. But he knows when the Mavs have a three-game homestand on Dec. 14, 18 and 20 against Milwaukee, Memphis and Toronto, respectively, he could find himself making his season debut in one of those games.
“Devin hasn’t participated in live practices, but he’s going through five-on-0 stuff,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’d say he’s getting to the point where he’s moving. He’s doing some running. His progress is really good.”
Mekel staying ready
After gobbling up most of the minutes at backup point guard for the first 11 games, Israeli rookie Gal Mekel didn’t play the previous three games against Houston, Utah and Denver.
Mekel has struggled with his shot and with hanging onto the ball and is averaging 3.9 and 2.5 assists in 12.9 minutes per game after being catapulted into the backup role because of injuries to Harris and Shane Larkin.
“I’m not sure what everybody’s expectations were of a guy who’s a good European player coming to the NBA,” Carlisle said. “But he … did a solid job when he was out there. He’s proven to me that he’s a guy who’s going to be ready.”
Owner Mark Cuban said he’s gotten over the grudge he had against former Mavs point guard Jason Kidd, is getting over the grudge he had against ex-Mavs owner Ross Perot Jr. and has gotten over the grudge he had against former Mavs coach Don Nelson.
Cuban said recent his court case with the Securities and Exchange Commission over insider trading charges changed his stance on holding grudges.
“That’s like there’s no point to it any more,” Cuban said. “When the government has a meaningless grudge against you, ‘grudge’ just takes on a whole new meaning.”
Center Samuel Dalembert explained that the reason he’s gone on a successful rebounding stretch lately is because of the way he’s viewing the situation.
“Before when I was playing, I was just boxing out and making sure [the defender] didn’t get the ball,” Dalembert said. “But we were struggling a little bit and I saw that the ball … so now I have to go and go get it. I can’t be assuming somebody is going to go get it. I just have to go get it.”
Dalembert collected a season-high 14 rebounds Monday against Philadelphia, added 10 on Wednesday against Houston and picked up another 12 on Friday against Utah.