DALLAS – For the third time in the past week, the Dallas Mavericks saw one of the key players in their rotation sustain an injury.
Also, after Friday’s 118-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, coach Rick Carlisle said small forward Chandler Parsons needs to lose some weight.
Late in the first quarter of Friday’s game, point guard Raymond Felton suffered a sprained right ankle and had to be helped off the court. Felton’s injury was so severe that coach Rick Carlisle said he doesn’t anticipate the nine-year veteran playing in Sunday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
"I don’t know the severity of (the injury),’’ Carlisle said after his team dropped to 0-2 in preseason play. "I know it was a little bit unusual the way it happened because he got his foot stepped on at a kind of a weird angle.
"We hope it’s not serious. I don’t anticipate him playing on Sunday, so we’ll update you on Monday.’’
The Mavs were already playing the Thunder without forward Dirk Nowitzki and shooting guard Monta Ellis. Carlisle expects Nowitzki to play against the Pacers after sitting out the first two preseason games with a right hip contusion.
Ellis sprained his left knee in Thursday’s practice, missed Friday’s contest and will also sit out the game against the Pacers.
The Mavs could have used their walking wounded against an OKC squad which got 21 points from former Mavs guard Anthony Morrow, and 10 points apiece from Steven Adams and Jeremy Lamb.
Jae Crowder and Al-Farouq Aminu led the Mavs with 14 points each and Richardson Jefferson tallied 13. Parsons, meanwhile, struggled with his shooting as he finished with just nine points on 4-of-12 shots, although he added six rebounds and six assists.
"Parsons looked tired out there out there tonight – his shot was short,’’ Carlisle said. "He’s working on losing some weight he’s a little bit heavier than he’s been.
"He’s up over 230 and we’d love to see him get down to at least 225, so that’s a work in progress. Tonight’s one of those nights where I think the extra weight was a hindrance.’’
Parsons didn’t seem concern that he’ll be able to reach his ideal weigh.
"Usually after training camp my weight fluctuates, so I’ll get it down,’’ he said. "Last year I played at probably 220-225.
"Training camp was tough and I don’t have a lot of legs right now.’’
That was certainly apparent Friday night to Carlisle.
"He’s gotten stronger, but he’s been playing at 215 (pounds) for his first three years,’’ Carlisle said. "An increase of 18-20 pounds is just too much, and we talked about it today, we talked about it a lot.
"He’ll get there, but he looked tired out there and a little heavy-legged, and the extra seven or eight pounds aren’t helping.’’
Elsewhere for the Mavs, second-year guard Ricky Ledo started in Ellis’ spot and seemed to have his legs. Ledo finished with eight points, and also buried a pair of 3-pointers in the opening period.
"I thought he did some good things,’’ Carlisle said. "He’s still young and there are some mistakes he’s got to filter out of his game.
"He’s come light years over the last year and several months since we signed him. The only way for him to really learn is to get out there against good teams and have this kind of opportunity.’’
Turnovers were again a bugaboo for the Mavs, who turned it over 20 times after coughing the ball up 24 times during last Tuesday’s 111-108 loss to the Houston Rockets.
"Everything needs to improve,’’ Carlisle said. "The catastrophic turnovers are still a problem.
"You eliminate those you may eliminate five or six points and you may eliminate some of their runs, so there’s a connection to the offense. We just got to keep working on it defensively – that’s a great offensive team.
It’s one of the top two or three in the game, offensive teams, and it’s good to be playing teams like this right now.’’
The Mavs led by nine points Friday, but got outscored 35-25 in the fourth period.
"I just wanted to improve and I think we improved form the first game,’’ guard Devin Harris said. "I thought we moved the ball a little bit better.
"Defensively we’re still growing and still making mistakes, but we’re moving in the right direction.’’
Now, if Parsons can just get to the weight level he and Carlisle wants him at, perhaps things would be a bit different.
"I don’t mean to call (Parsons) out in public or anything, it’s just a fact,’’ Carlisle said. "He’s an important guy for us.
"We need him to get to his right conditioning and weight level so he can play his best because we’re going to need him to play a lot of minutes over the course of 82 games.’’