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Wes Matthews says he'll play on Mavericks opening night

Matthews talked with Mavs Moneyball about his rehab process and his fit in Dallas.

Wesley Matthews speaks with a girl at Academy who is taking part in his back-to-school shopping spree.
Wesley Matthews speaks with a girl at Academy who is taking part in his back-to-school shopping spree.

Wesley Matthews said Sunday that he will be ready to play on Mavericks opening night despite tearing his Achilles in March when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I'm getting stronger every single day, doing more every single day," Matthews told Mavs Moneyball, saying that he's currently shooting and dribbling on the court. He's also taking pull-up jumpers off the bounce, but the next thing that he will be cleared to do is just "more basketball activity using more force, more explosion."

The 28-year-old Matthews was signed to a maximum four-year contract by the Dallas Mavericks this offseason and spent Sunday afternoon at Academy helping 30 kids with a back-to-school shopping spree through the Drive2Greatness foundation.

"I'm gonna say I'll be ready by opening night," Matthews said. Later on, when asked if would put that prediction in stone, he said yes.

"Anybody that knows me in this league knows that I'm going to give 150 percent," Matthews said. "You're going to have to kill me to stop me from going. Only thing that I can do is how I attack my rehab."

Achilles injuries are one of the toughest in the NBA to come back from. Last month, Mavs Moneyball spoke with a doctor who treats the injury about why it's so hard to come back from them. Matthews chose the Mavericks over several other teams who pursued him aggressively, including Toronto and Sacramento.

"[Dallas'] training staff was obviously a big part of it," Matthews said. "They're known throughout the league as one of the top medical staffs in the NBA and it was just a perfect fit."

Just proving he's a fully adjusted Texan, Matthews immediately complained about the weather. He's also excited about his fit in the backcourt with Deron Williams.

"We already have chemistry [by] playing together, we've been teammates before and remain close friends," Matthews said. "I came from a similar system with [former Mavericks assistant Terry] Stotts, so the fit's going to be like a glove."