Friday can’t get here fast enough for Dirk Nowitzki.
The Dallas Mavericks’ 12-time All-Star knows time is wasting, and the Oct. 28 regular-season opener against the San Antonio Spurs is right around the corner.
That’s why he’s eager to play the Cavaliers on Friday night in Cleveland in the Mavericks’ fourth preseason game.
Not that Nowitzki has circled this game against his former teammate, Shawn Marion — not to mention the incomparable LeBron James. Instead, this will be the first time in the preseason that all five Mavericks starters will be on the court at the same time.
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Nowitzki missed the first two preseason games with a right hip contusion, and guard Monta Ellis sat out the last two with a sprained left knee. But Ellis was back at practice Monday, affording the Mavericks (1-2) the opportunity to accelerate their game plan for the contest against the Cavaliers.
“I’m not going to play in a back-to-back situation, so that’s already two games I’m going to sit out again,” Nowitzki said between golf shots Tuesday at the Mavs Masters at Hackberry Creek Country Club. “We only have a couple or handful of games left here that we play together.
“I think this is one of the games we’re going to approach, playing-wise, like we would do in a real game. It’s already time for the new season and we’ve got some sets to put in and some defensive calls to put in.”
After playing Cleveland on Friday, the Mavericks square off against the Pacers on Saturday in Indiana. Then they’ll host Memphis on Monday before ending preseason play with another back-to-back — Oct. 23 in Shreveport, La., against New Orleans and Oct. 24 in Orlando.
Getting everyone on the same page is crucial for the Mavericks before they open the season in San Antonio.
“We obviously have a lot of new parts to this team, a lot of new guys,” forward Chandler Parsons said. “Our starting five has yet to play together, so the more we play together, the more comfortable we are with each other, and I think the better we’ll be.
“Monta obviously had that knee injury, but I’m glad to see him back. And it’ll be fun to get out there with everybody.”
Forward Chandler Parsons was part of a humorous skit shown Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Besides Parsons, the skit involved Los Angeles Clippers players Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes, and New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert. The four players were sitting around in a room — book club-style — and sharing their critique of the book The Best Of Me.
“Basically the moral of the whole thing was we were supposed to act like we were these preppy guys in this book club and we were excited about this meeting we had at Blake’s house, and we talked about love,” Parsons said. “I was the one that didn’t buy into it, and then [screenwriter] Nicholas Sparks came out, so it was hilarious.”
A client of Relativity Sports, Parsons flew to Los Angeles prior to the start of the Sept. 30 training camp to tape the skit.
“Shumpert is a Relativity Sports client, but Blake and Matt aren’t,” Parsons said. “But they’re just my friends and they were there, so I asked them to do it with me.
“I’m cool with Blake, so I was out there and it was something fun to do while we were all out there together.”
Nowitzki had some free time Monday night, so he decided to attend the Paul McCartney concert at American Airlines Center.
“I showed respect to one of the greatest in the game,” Nowitzki said. “He was actually really, really good, so I’m glad I went.”