If any of the 30 NBA teams need an extended break, it’s the Dallas Mavericks.
By the time the Mavericks’ 121-119 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz was in the books Tuesday, no team had played more than the 55 games Dallas has played, including eight that went into overtime.
Now, the Mavericks will have a lot of time to rest. They won’t play another game until Feb. 19 at Orlando.
The NBA All-Star game is Sunday in Toronto. The next time the Mavericks will gather as a unit will be for an afternoon practice Feb. 17. And with just 27 games remaining and with 14 back-to-backs already done, the break comes at a most opportune time for the Mavericks, who are 29-26 overall.
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With our schedule that we’ve had, guys are exhausted, guys are banged up. This will give us some time to get 100 percent.
Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons
No Mavericks were selected to the All-Star game. Reserve forward Dwight Powell will participate in the Rising Stars Challenge.
“I think it’s needed,” small forward Chandler Parsons said of the extended break. “With our schedule that we’ve had, guys are exhausted, guys are banged up.
“This will give us some time to get 100 percent.”
NBA players participating in the All-Star Game and the accompanying festivities had complained about the shortness of the All-Star break. The league listened. This is the longest All-Star break in NBA history.
“At 37, I don’t think there is a break that’s too long,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “We paid for it here in January and early February with the schedule — I’ve never seen anything like it.”
We paid for it here in January and early February with the schedule — I’ve never seen anything like it.
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki
The Mavericks had 18 games in January, and opened February with five games in seven days. Since Jan. 1, the Mavericks are only 10-13.
The long break, however, can lead to poor conditioning.
Coach Rick Carlisle said the time off “presents some challenges because of the length. But we have veteran guys that are experienced and are invested in our team’s success, so I expect guys to do enough to stay in shape and be ready to go when they come back.
“We have two days of practice coming off the break, so it’s going to be upon us to structure those two days correctly to prepare for the game coming out of it.”
I like that everybody gets to heal. I dislike that everybody comes back a little rusty. But it’s a worthy trade-off.’
Mavs owner Mark Cuban
The break will allow some players, including Mavs guard Devin Harris, to heal. He has missed the past nine games with a sprained great left toe.
“I like that everybody gets to heal,” owner Mark Cuban said. “I dislike that everybody comes back a little rusty.
“But it’s a worthy trade-off. There is no happy medium.”
Rookie forward Justin Anderson is cautious about the way he’ll spend his free time, although he will return to Virginia.
“I think it’s very important what you do with your time ... Coming out of college, coming from not much money ... I think with a lot of idle time it can lead to trouble,” Anderson said.
“And I think one thing that I’m doing is planning my entire break so I know exactly what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be doing it and when I’ll be doing it, and I think that’s going to help out a lot.”