The Mavericks have another team coming into American Airlines Center tonight that will be playing the second night of back-to-back games. In those situations, the Mavericks have been very good, going 11-2. So that means they need to take care of business and jump on the Orlando Magic quickly tonight, since they were whipped Tuesday night at home by Charlotte. Getting off to a fast start clearly is not a given for the Mavericks. “We’ve struggled all year with starting games,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “In fact, we’re the worst team in the league in the first six minutes of the game. It’s a challenge we got to take on.” Carlisle said the Mavericks have the biggest negative point differential in the NBA after the first six minutes of games. Strangely enough, they have recovered to earn a break-even mark at the end of first quarters through the season. Like their opponents, the Mavericks average 25.4 points after one period. But that doesn’t make it any easier starting out in a hole. “Playing from behind is really difficult in this league,” Carlisle said. “And it’s been all year. But now’s the time we got to take that challenge on. We got to defend without fouling and we got to rebound. And it’s efficiency with the ball, too.” As for the Magic coming in on the second night of consecutive games, he added: “We got to take advantage of the fact that they played last night. We got to try to place a physical toll on them. The advantage they have is they have a game under their belt after the break.” Meanwhile, Chris Kaman continues to do non-contact work and when he starts doing contact drills, he’ll be close to getting back into games, Carlisle said.
Slow-starting Dallas Mavericks can’t afford to dawdle anymore
Dallas Morning News | Feb 20