Dallas Mavericks fans will have to wait another night to see how well point guard Jose Calderon and shooting guard Monta Ellis work together.
The Mavs spent nearly $60 million over the summer in signing Calderon and Ellis. While Ellis was able to flourish in Friday’s Blue-White scrimmage at American Airlines Center — the Blue prevailed 31-15 — Calderon didn’t play because of a sore left hamstring.
Calderon has been limited the past three days. Coach Rick Carlisle hopes to have Calderon back for Sunday morning’s practice, a day before the Mavs open preseason play at home at 7:30 p.m. Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
“He’s doing well,” Carlisle said of Calderon. “Today is going to be an off day, and then hopefully on Sunday he’ll be ready to go.”
Besides Calderon, the Mavs also were without injured point guards Devin Harris and Shane Larkin. That left the door open for rookie Gal Mekel.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for any guy coming to a new situation with some guys banged up,” Carlisle said. ““Gal, he’s picking things up as he goes along. We need him and we need him to play.”
Wright recalls Price
What the Texas Rangers saw against Tampa Bay pitcher David Price in this past Monday’s wild card play-in game was something Mavs center/forward Brandan Wright had been seeing for years.
But in a different sport.
Wright and Price competed against each other on the basketball court as high schoolers in Tennessee. Wright was Tennessee’s Division II Mr. Basketball in 2004, ’05, and ’06 and led his school to four consecutive state titles. Price was the Rutherford County (Tenn.) Most Valuable Player as a pitcher in 2003 and ’04, and also was a standout basketball player.
“We played in a couple of tournaments together,” Wright said. “We never played on the same team, but we played tournaments against each other. He was a local star and we all kind of know each other around there.”
Wish comes true
Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Mavs made the wish of 17-year old Jalen Houchins come true Friday.
Houchins, a senior at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, Md., 20 miles from Washington, D.C., is a huge Mavs fan.
Rick Carlisle introduced him to the crowd before Friday’s game, let him coach some during the game, and also plans to get Houchins some tickets when the Mavs play in Washington, D.C., on New Year’s Day against the Washington Wizards.
Asked how he became a Mavericks fan while living in D.C., Houchins said: “I like the Cowboys, so I guess they’re the closest team to them.”
Asked how he became a Cowboys fan while living in D.C., Houchins said: “My father likes the Cowboys, but my mom likes the Redskins, so they always fight about that.”