Dallas Mavericks

Felton ready to play tonight against the Pacers


DALLAS –Now that Raymond Felton’s four-game suspension has ended, the Dallas Mavericks have a huge logjam at point guard.

In addition to Felton, the Mavs have Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris and J.J. Barea who are all capable point guards who have the capacity to run an NBA offense. Getting minutes for all four, though, could present a major problem.

After Monday morning’s shootaround at American Airlines Center, coach Rick Carlisle said: "Are there enough minutes for all of them? No. But they’re all professionals and they’re all going to stay ready.

"So we’re very fortunate. I think it’s a very good position to be in.’’

The NBA suspended Felton for four games because he pleaded guilty to a gun charge stemming from an incident last February in New York while he was splaying for the Knicks. The suspension was slated to start at the beginning of the season.

But Felton suffered a right high ankle sprain in the Oct. 10 preseason game against Oklahoma City and wasn’t completely healthy to place on the Mavs’ active list until the Nov. 17 game at Charlotte.

That was four games ago. Now Felton is chomping at the bit to get in his first game with the Mavs, who host the Indiana Pacers tonight at 7:30 at AAC.

"Now it’s time to get back on the court and start business now,’’ Felton said. "I worked hard in training camp, I worked hard ever since I’ve been here.

"The biggest thing is whatever coach and the staff needs me to do, that’s what I’m willing to do.’’

Felton, who the Mavs acquired from the Knicks on June 25 in a trade which also involved the return of center Tyson Chandler, sounded like the Dallas offense is tailor-made for his game.

"I love the offense,’’ Felton said. "The offense is really wide open, a lot of screen and roll, a lot of just moving the ball and penetrating and making things happen, which is what I’m trained at.

"So I definitely fit in with the offense, for sure.’’

Again, the problem is playing time to keep everyone happy. Carlisle, meanwhile, noted there’s nothing etched in stone in regards to the rotation at this time.

"We’ve got a lot of point guards and we’ve got to give them all a lot of love,’’ Carlisle said. "It’s really a great situation for us.

"You look around the league, Indiana’s got two point guards out. We’re very fortunate.’’

As far as Felton’s in jury goes, there are no qualms.

"I’ve been able to jump off of it, move laterally, do a lot of cuts with the ball,’’ he said. "It’s going to be soreness no matter what.

"It’s one of the things where it’s an ankle injury, so you’re going to have soreness. But the fact that I won’t reinjure it no matter what I do, that’s all I wanted to hear from the doctors and my trainers and my training staff. Once they told me that, now I’m good.’’