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Mavericks Shootaround Notes For Game Against Minnesota Timberwolves

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Dallas (13-4) looks to extend it's winning streak to seven games as they face the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-13) tonight at the AAC.  Dallas has won the last 15 of 16 meetings with Minnesota.  The Mavericks have won the last 8 of 9 meetings at home against the Wolves.  Dirk Nowitzki averaged 21.8 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists against Minnesota last year.  Jason Terry averaged 19.3 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in last year's series.  The Mavericks understand though that Minnesota is good enough to beat you on any given night.

There is a connection with Terry and the Wolves, Timberwolves guard Martell Webster is Terry's cousin and both hail from Seattle.  If the Mavericks win tonight, it will mark the 400th career coaching victory for Rick Carlisle.  Carlisle is 13-7 all-time against the Timberwolves in his career.  Since taking over in Dallas in 2008-2009, Carlisle has led the Mavericks to a 118-63 (65.2%) record.  He currently sits at 399-274 (59.3%) all-time as an NBA head coach.

The Mavericks will face a test in the form of Kevin Love, the forward leads the league in rebounds at 14.9 rebounds/game.  "He's a top priority...he's a specialist," said Carlisle on the mindset with Love tonight.  The Mavericks will have to deal with Love but there is additional length in Minnesota with Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic as the front-line running mates with Kevin Love.  "They lead the league in possessions before you even factor in offensive rebounds," said Carlisle.  "They lead the league in offensive rebounds, that's the reason they lead the league in shots taken, they're tough to guard."

Rebounding will be the story of the night for the Mavericks if they want to extend their winning streak to 7 games.  Dallas ranks 20th in the league in terms of offensive rebounds allowed, Minnesota ranks first in recording offensive rebounds.  "We're going to have to get the ball when it's in the air, that's the big thing," said Carlisle.

When addressing the potential pitfall of looking ahead to the tough road game on Friday Carlisle said, "We're not looking ahead (to Utah)...(Minnesota) shot the ball extremely well in this building.  They played us extremely tough so we're not taking anything for granted."

One player looking to help in terms of toughness and providing additional help to the Maverick bigs is DeShawn Stevenson, or Threevenson as we like to call him here.  DeShawn clearly understands what his role is with the team and he accepts the challenge, ""I just have to go out there and just play my role, play lock-up defense and hit open shots and that's what I am trying to do."  Stevenson is shooting 46.7% from the field and 50% from the 3-point line.  What exactly is leading to the turnaround?  "I dropped like 10 pounds, my back feels better and I had a full training camp," said Stevenson.  "Coming here last year (after the trade), they wanted to win right at the start...there wasn't a lot of minutes.  I got an opportunity this year and I'm just trying to advantage of it."  Stevenson also attributes a lot of credit towards Rick Carlisle working with him in practice and after practice to help with his shooting mechanics.

Roddy Beaubois is still on the right track in returning before the end of the 2010 year and Stevenson doesn't see Beaubois in terms of a player is a teammate, not a rival for minutes, "With this team, we've got great players that just want to win," said the shooting guard.  "Roddy is a great player, if he comes back and gets all of the minutes, he deserves that.  I just want to go out there and win, it's not a battle between me or anybody else."

Tip-off is at 7:30 pm CST

Enter the DoJo

Carlisle was in Frisco to watch the Texas Legends for their home opener on Tuesday Night and he saw Dominique Jones lead the team with 25 points.  "(Jones) did well, I like the way he played," said Carlisle.  "I very much like that team and how they put it together.  Nancy (Lieberman) is doing a great job coaching it.  It's a great venue, the place was packed with people so it was exciting to be there."