DALLAS – If you’re concerned about the Mavs developing rust during this long layoff, take comfort in coach Rick Carlisle’s experience.
Carlisle’s 2004 Indiana team swept the Celtics in the first round, finishing that series on April 25. They waited until May 6 to start the East semifinals against the Heat, a series the Pacers won in six games.
A layoff that could last as long as nine days after sweeping the Lakers is not a concern.
"This is what we’re dealt, so we’ll make the best of it," Carlisle said. "The schedule ain’t going to change."
The Mavs’ plan while watching and waiting for the winner of the Oklahoma City-Memphis series won’t be much different than the one the Pacers used seven years ago. That means trying to simulate game situations in practice and competitive scrimmaging with rewards for winning and consequences for losing.
"We know what’s gotten us to this point," Carlisle said. "The important thing is to keep the mental edge."
Resting the Mavs’ veterans, especially 38-year-old Jason Kidd, is clearly a priority. But all the healthy Mavs, including Kidd, were full participants in Wednesday’s intense practice. That’s the kind of work the Mavs need to maintain that edge.
"In moderation," Jason Terry said. "Today was like a game. I know a lot of guys right now are winded. We’re going to get off our feet and rest. The key is staying healthy and staying sharp."