Dallas Mavericks point guard Devin Harris plans to go through his first full practice of the season during the second week of January.
Harris has yet to play this season after undergoing surgery on a toe on his left foot this past summer. On Saturday, Harris said he won’t have to see a doctor again before testing the foot in practice.
“Pain is my guide,” Harris said before the Mavs ran over the Chicago Bulls 105-83. “And there’s no pain right now.
“I’m confident that we’ve figured out the problem, but we just want to test it when it’s right. It’s more important to be 100 percent right than anything else.”
Rookies Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel have been holding down the fort until Harris can return to back up starting point guard Jose Calderon. But neither player has the savvy that Harris brings to the court.
“They’re doing better and better, getting good experience,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “They’ve experienced some of the ups and downs with an NBA season, but that’s part of the learning curve.
“I really like both guys. They both bring something different.”
While that may be true, Harris brings more experience than either Larkin or Mekel.
“We’d love to have him back coming off the bench,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “I think he’s a great defender in this league.
“He’s quick still, so hopefully he can give us some presence on the guard defensively.”
Mavs mum on Bynum
Despite their interest in Andrew Bynum this past summer, it’s not a given that the Mavs will make another pitch to try to secure the wayward center.
Bynum signed an incentive-laced, two-year, $24 million free-agent contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the summer. The Cavs, however, suspended Bynum indefinitely on Saturday and are reportedly trying to trade him.
Before signing with the Cavs, Bynum and his representatives met with the Mavs in Dallas on July 10. The Mavs, though, didn’t present him with a formal contract offer.
Although the Mavs are having issues with rebounds and defense, it is not known if they have any interest in Bynum, who is only 26 years old. Owner Mark Cuban reiterated that, per NBA rules, he is not allowed to discuss players on opposing teams.
With a plethora of NBA superstars currently injured, including Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose, Carlisle wasn’t sure if this is one of those rare seasons where injuries are catching up with the league’s best players.
Carlisle said: “I do know that when some of the more name-type guys get hurt, it brings more attention to it.”
A member of the NBA’s competition committee, Carlisle said the league is mindful of the frequency of games with back-to-backs. But he doesn’t believe they will be eliminated.
“I just don’t think it’s going to happen, because you have a finite number of days to get in the  games,” Carlisle said. “But I do know that the health of the players is always very high on the list of things as a priority.”