Dallas Mavericks

Hot-shooting Rockets will give Mavericks a progress test

The Dallas Mavericks will get a good look at not only how their players have come through training camp, but also how well coach Rick Carlisle’s floor combinations and rotations fit in with a Western Conference rival on Wednesday.

The Mavericks (2-3) close out the preseason and training camp by hosting Houston at American Airlines Center then going to Denver on Friday.

The regular season begins Oct. 26 with a trip to Indiana that is followed by a weekend, home-and-home series against the Rockets on Oct. 28 and 30. The Oct. 28 game will be the Mavericks’ home opener.

“We just have to play better for one thing, we’ve been inconsistent,” Carlisle said. “Our starters need to keep playing together and develop some chemistry.

“Houston is a tough challenge, with their speed and pace. They attack the basket and have a great offense. The priority for us is the guys in the rotation and Houston presents some real tough challenges on defense as we play them a couple of times early in the year.”

The Rockets (4-1) have averaged 125 points per game in the preseason with James Harden leading the way at 19.6 points per game.

“One of the byproducts of the NBA schedule is, you get these clusters of games against certain teams and we just got to get prepared,” Carlisle said.

Guard Deron Williams said the most important thing is learning each other’s tendencies.

“Getting familiar with the guys is important,” Williams said. “ I already have a good feel for what Wes (Matthews) and Dirk (Nowitzki) are going to do, but with the new guys it’s about building some chemistry.”

The Mavericks went 2-2 against Houston last season.

“It’s always good to see a team early and get a feel for what they’re trying to do,” Williams said. “Last year, they got some new guys that made them a little more dangerous, especially on the offensive end.

“They’re scoring at a high clip right now, so its definitely good to play against them now if we’re seeing them this many times early.”

Rockets at Mavericks

7:30 p.m. today, KTXA/21

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