As Harrison Barnes finishes his first season as the go-to guy for the Dallas Mavericks, he’s learned a lot from the team’s former go-to player — Dirk Nowitzki.
For starters, as Barnes kept receiving a steady diet of the plays the Mavs are known to run for Nowitzki, he got this look from the 13-time All-Star.
“At the beginning of the season I didn’t know how happy he was about it — he was a little upset,” Barnes said of Nowitzki with a laugh. “But now that we’ve worked through a season together I think he gets it.
“He understands that he’s been a great mentor to me and I think that I wouldn’t have been able to make the strides I’ve made this season without him just being patient and him just being open about helping me out.”
Barnes and Nowitzki have become close friends, and are often engaged in some very competitive shot-making after practice.
“His work ethic speaks for itself,” Barnes said of Nowitzki, “so it’s been great to kind of have somebody like that in your ear, in your corner throughout this process.”
The Mavs will miss the playoffs for the second time in the past six seasons and Barnes said, “A lot of that falls on my shoulders.”
But he’s had to adjust to being a go-to player for the first time in his five-year career.
“It wasn’t easy and it’s one that I’m still working at to get better at it every single day, every single game,” Barnes said of the role. “But it’s something that I embrace.”
Harris fined $25,000
The NBA fined Mavs guard Devin Harris $25,000 on Friday for aggressively pursuing a game official and not leaving the court in a timely fashion.
The incident occurred with 9:08 remaining in the first half Wednesday at New Orleans. Harris received two technical fouls and the automatic ejection from referee Ben Taylor.
Harris thought three calls that went against him should have worked in his favor. By the third call, Mavs players had to restrain Harris from going after Taylor.
“Tempers run in my family, but I do a very good job of hiding mine,” Harris said. “The last time I got tossed was at a summer league game and I was a junior in high school.
“I remember because they only had one ref — the other ref didn’t show up and he was behind the play and a guy just whacked the hell out of me. And we were playing a rival school and I tossed the ball like three-fourths down (the court).”
Carlisle wants to look at Uthoff
With seven games left in the regular season, coach Rick Carlisle hopes to get an honest look at rookie forward Jarrod Uthoff.
“He just has an interesting skill set for a guy that’s 6-9, 6-10,” Carlisle said. “Where we can get him some minutes, we will.
“This is an important time for us to look at these guys. I’d rather look at them playing against guys like (Memphis guard Mike) Conley and (Memphis forward Zach) Randolph instead of undrafted free agents in the summer time.”
Signed to a multiyear contract last week, Uthoff has appeared in just three games and averages 0.7 points and one rebound in 2.5 minutes per contest.