Harrison Barnes is unlikely to play Saturday in the Dallas Mavericks’ home opener, coach Rick Carlisle said, as the team plays it safe with the right hamstring of their leading scorer the past two seasons.
Barnes participated in a full practice Friday morning and ran on a treadmill afterward. Carlisle said that the forward has made steady progress in returning from the strain, but also noted the caution needed with a hamstring at the beginning of an 82-game season.
“He did very well,” Carlisle said. “He’s doing much better. I would say it’s probably unlikely, just to err on the side of caution, but not impossible. A lot of this depends on how a guy feels the next day. His progression’s been very good. We’re getting closer.”
Veteran guard Devin Harris won’t be available for at least a few games, if not more, after straining his left hamstring Wednesday in the first half of the 121-100 season-opening loss to the Phoenix Suns.
The injury isn’t thought to be severe, Carlisle said, but the same caution being shown with Barnes will be shown with Harris.
“I would say probably longer, but I don’t know that,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle’s sharp words
Carlisle didn’t spare any feelings when discussions how the Mavs played in their season opener, saying “all I know is our team played like s---.”
He wasn’t pleased with anything, but in particular he was displeased with the defense and energy, saying the team lacked compassion against the Suns and that the defense was “horrible.”
“Part of everything sucked,” Carlisle said. “It was a big disappointment, but we’ve got to turn the page and get better.”
The video session and practice Friday aimed to address that ahead of Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“We took some steps to turn that around,” Carlisle said. “But it was very disappointing. Our guys are disappointed, too.”
Reserve forward Dwight Powell said that the practice was spirited.
“First game of the season and losing by 20, that’s going to sting for a little while,” Powell said. “We didn’t defend well enough. We addressed that today in practice and really got after it. Once we regain our focus on that, it’ll be a lot better.”