When Raymond Felton finally gets to play his first game for the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night , owner Mark Cuban is hoping to see full-court pressure from his point guards becoming a regular occurrence.
Indiana will be the foe at American Airlines Center as Felton joins a solid trio of point guards on the Mavs’ roster: starter Jameer Nelson and reserves Devin Harris and J.J. Barea.
Cuban anticipated the Mavs using their wealth of talent at the position to change the complexion of games by guarding opposing point guards in the backcourt while they bring the ball up the floor.
“I’m hoping [the full-court press] becomes part of our identity — using the depth that we have at point guard to always put pressure,” Cuban said. “It’s kind of become the standard where point guards walk the ball up, they get to think.
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“You’re like, ‘OK, I’m getting into my sets, I know where my guys are going to be,’ because teams call so many plays. So hopefully with pressure you can’t think about what the play is going to be, you have to think about the guy in front of you, so we’ll see what we’ll do.”
Felton sat out the last four games while serving a suspension handed down by the NBA. The suspension came after Felton pleaded guilty to a gun charge related to an incident in February in New York while he was playing for the Knicks.
A 10-year veteran, Felton was slated to serve the suspension at the beginning of the season. But he suffered a high right ankle sprain in an Oct. 10 preseason game against Oklahoma City and was placed on the Mavs’ inactive list until the Nov. 17 contest at Charlotte.
“I’m just happy to be off the injured reserve and get a chance to play,” Felton said. “Where my minutes and where I fit in at, that’s where it comes down, so I’m not really worried about it.”
Praise for Parsons
Clyde Drexler threw a bouquet in the direction of forward Chandler Parsons, who struggled mightily during Saturday’s 95-92 road loss to the Houston Rockets.
Drexler, however, doesn’t believe Parsons is the type of player ready to be a team’s go-to player at this stage of his career.
“Chandler is good as a third scorer,” Drexler, an analyst on the Rockets’ TV broadcast, said Saturday. “With Dirk [Nowitzki] and Monta Ellis, that’s a good position for Chandler.”
Drexler, a 10-time All-Star who won an NBA title with the Rockets in 1995, got a firsthand look at Parsons while he played for Houston the previous three seasons.
He views Parsons’ development as something that’s going to take shape with time.
“I think Chandler is a good player and he’s going to continue to grow as a player, and that’s something that all young players need,” Drexler said. “If he continues to work on his game and improve, I think the sky’s the limit.”
Parsons was totally out of sync against the Rockets, scoring eight points on just 3-of-9 shooting. In the Mavs’ other three losses, Parsons scored five points against San Antonio, four against Miami, and 11 against Portland.