After Jason Kidd played 37 minutes, Dirk Nowitzki logged 38 minutes and Jason Terry 35 in Friday's disappointing loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decided there is rest for the weary.
Despite a light week ahead and the Golden State Warriors on tap Sunday night at the American Airlines Center, Carlisle gave his team Saturday off, perhaps as much to re-energize physically as mentally as Dallas has lost five of its last eight games.
And with Sunday's early 6:30 p.m. tip, the Mavs won't hold their usual morning shootaround (the Warriors will). So after Friday's disheartening defeat, the Mavs won't hit the court again until 4:15 p.m. Sunday for a rare afternoon shootaround prior to the game.
Carlisle will then use next week to get in two solid practices on Tuesday and Wednesday (Monday will be an off-day) before Dallas plays again on Thursday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. That will be the last home game until April 6. On Friday, the Mavs leave for a six-day road trip that includes a third and final visit to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31.
"We have work to do we know that," Carlisle said. "We've got a critical week coming up because we have some spacing. We have an opportunity for two quality practice days and we have to shore some things up and get some detailed work in. Its’ been a while since we’ve been able to have a good practice because of the frequency of games. Right now this stretch of games is very tough, the travel, a lot of different kinds of teams, it's going to challenge us in a lot of different ways and that’s good for us right now.
"We've got to win as many as we can."