Although he was able to practice some on Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks still don’t know when center Andrew Bogut will be able to play in a game again.
Bogut has missed the past six games with a strained right hamstring. The 12-year veteran’s absence has forced the Mavericks to go small more times they wanted to, and also means the Mavericks are void of their top rim protector.
“He anchored our defense back when we were playing small, and he’s another rebounding component, too,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “A lot of these teams are a lot bigger than us.
“We’ve had some difficulties on rebounding, so he can help us with that.”
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He’s getting closer and closer. These workouts have been good for him.
Melvin Hunt, Mavericks assistant coach on center Andrew Bogut
Assistant coach Melvin Hunt said he didn’t know if Bogut will play in Wednesday’s game against the New York Knicks, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center.
“He’s getting closer and closer,” Hunt said after Tuesday’s practice. “These workouts have been good for him.
“He’s really put in a lot of time working on his conditioning, so he’s progressing along just like we want him to.”
Rumored to be on the trading block, the 7-foot Bogut has averaged three points and a team-high 9.1 rebounds during an injury-plagued season that has seen him play only 22 games.
“He’s just anxious to get back on the court,” said Barnes, who also was Bogut’s teammates the previous four seasons with the Golden State Warriors. “He was going live with us today, getting up and down.
“It’s been a rough go just in terms of him getting injured multiple times, but he’s ready to get back.”
NBA players were allowed to vote for the All-Star Game starters this season for the first time. Needless to say, many of the players didn’t take the process seriously.
Of the 324 players who voted, 154 of them left Golden State forward Kevin Durant off their ballot and 128 of them left Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James off their ballot, though both still led their respective conferences.
“That’s ridiculous,” Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes said. “We have to do a better job ... if we’re going to take it seriously.”
“Those guys are on two of the best teams in the league. I don’t see how they missed the ballot.”
Obviously, the players’ credibility comes into question when so many of them left two of the top three players in the world off their ballot. Fortunately, thanks to voting by the fans and the media – and definitely no thanks to the players – James and Durant are penciled in as All-Star starters.
“It’s the All-Star voting, so some people may take it as a joke,” said Barnes, who said he voted for James and Durant. “You have guys on the best teams in the league leading their teams.
“I don’t see how you’d have an All-Star Game when they’re not on there (as starters) as well.”
Several dozen role players received votes to start the All-Star Game, meaning they either voted for themselves, or teammates or friends on other teams voted for them.
Coach Rick Carlisle missed Tuesday’s practice and will also miss Wednesday’s shootaround to attend the funeral of Michael H. Goldberg.
The former executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association, Goldberg died Saturday at the age of 73.
Assistant coach Melvin Hunt ran Tuesday’s practice, declaring it a “regular” practice.
“If you didn’t know any better, at times, (Carlisle) lets us all stand in front of the team and go in front of them,” Hunt said. “He treats us all like, I want to say, head coaches.
“He gives us all a little role and lets us work.”
Carlisle will be back when the Mavs host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.