Dallas Mavericks prepare for Lakers: “It’s time to play somebody else.”

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

“We’ve got to deal with LeBron, we’ve got to deal with Anthony Davis and we’ve got to deal with the Lakers,” said Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle.

After a four-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is back. “We’ve been waiting for it for some time now,” said Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. after Wednesday’s practice. “I know the guys are eager and ready to get going.

“I’m just ready to get back to playing the game that we love most. I’m excited, they’re excited. All hands on deck at this point.”

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The Dallas Mavericks will tip-off their scrimmage schedule against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in a scrimmage that will be televised on NBA TV.

“We usually say this about the first exhibition game — it’s time to play somebody else,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Wednesday’s practice. The Lakers are a great team. They’ve got the second-best record in the league at 49-14.

“We’ve got to deal with LeBron James, we’ve got to deal with Anthony Davis and we’ve got to deal with a big physical team and a lot of skills,”  Carlisle continued. “We’ve got our hands full, but it’s time to see where we are.”

Players won’t play their usual amount of minutes before the season was suspended; so that means Luka Doncic won’t even sniff 30 plus minutes of playing time – especially since Bubble scrimmages are just 40  minutes, not the normal 48 minutes in an NBA game.

“In terms of the minutes, I don’t expect to play guys their full minutes,” Carlisle said. “I do want to get a chance to look at everybody who is available, so this is a good opportunity to do that.”

Ready for the Lakers

The No. 7 Mavs (40-27) are ready for battle against the NBA’s top team.

“That’s the No. 1 team in our conference, so just playing against them we can definitely test to see where we’re at as a ball club right now and see what we can work on offensively and defensively,” Hardaway said. “So I’m happy, I’m excited and I’m happy to play against one of my former teammates, J.R. Smith. I’m happy that he’s back in the league.”

No fans in the stands won’t be a problem, he believes.

“The only pictures I’ve seen of the arena is on social media, so I don’t really know how it will be without the fans,” he said. “But I do know that they will be watching at home.

“The atmosphere will be more so of an open gym feel when we’re in the summer — us ballplayers in the summertime hooping with our peers. I’m pretty sure us guys ought to be used to it.”

On Sunday, July 26th the Dallas Mavericks will face Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers at 3 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on NBA TV and streamed live on Mavs.com. Dallas wraps up its scrimmages against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. The game will be shown live on Fox Sports Southwest. ESPN 103.3 FM will air all three.

The Mavericks will resume the 2019-20 regular season against James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Friday, July 31, at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be shown live on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN.

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