<
>

Is Rick Carlisle ready to pick a starting point guard?

DALLAS – How much does Rick Carlisle miss Derek Fisher?

Well, he brought up the dearly departed 38-year-old point guard’s name without any prompting Wednesday afternoon, mentioning how important Fisher was to the Mavs. Carlisle then told a heart-tugging tale about the fuel tank in his SUV and Fisher’s brief tenure in Dallas.

“I filled it up with diesel the day he arrived and the day he left I had to go back to the gas station,” Carlisle said. "He lasted one tank of fuel in my vehicle. So, it was three weeks. And diesels get better mileage.

“It was metaphorically prophetic that as that needle was going down in my gas gauge, so was the time that he was going to be here. So that was a big loss.”

You won’t hear Carlisle say this, but his confidence in the point guards remaining on the Mavs’ roster is on E.

Of course, that was made obvious when the Mavs recruited Fisher off the couch. At this point, the Mavs’ starting point guard is a mystery.

Pressed on the issue, Carlisle sarcastically asked for my opinion Wednesday. The suggestion of Delonte West didn’t seem to go over too well.

“That’s not on the table,” Carlisle said.

Darren Collison and Dominique Jones are on the table. Rodrigue Beaubois is a wild card, or perhaps a joker.

“Look, we’ve got three guys that have all done good things,” Carlisle said, trying to put a positive spin on the situation. “We just need to keep going forward and keep getting those guys better, and I think Dirk being back on the floor certainly enhances everybody’s opportunity to play better.”

Collison and Jones have both started one game since Fisher’s sudden exit – and they both performed better coming off the bench. Carlisle indicated that he’s ready to pick one or the other to start on a regular basis, but he declined to give any hints on which one it would be.

“I would say that at this point – how many games have we played? – I’m starting to get a feel as to who the guy is probably going to be,” Carlisle said. “I’m going to give myself one more night to sleep on it.”

UPDATE: Collison started against the Thunder.