Harrison Barnes may not play inthe Dallas Mavericks’ season opener. Barnes hasn’t seen significant participation in practice and won’t get playing time until he does head coach Rick Carlisle said after Wednesday’s practice, The Athletics’ Tim Cato reports.
In late September, the Mavericks announced that Barnes injured his hamstring during practice with no timetable to return. The injury caused him to miss the first three preseason games and will also hold him out of the fourth and final one on Friday.
Barnes isn’t the only Maverick who may miss the first game of the season against the Phoenix Suns. Teammate Dirk Nowitzki, who is dealing with the lingering effects of surgery to remove bone spurs in his left ankle, is unlikely to suit up.
“So, I’ve had some foot problems,” Nowitzki told reporters while in China for two preseason games. “I had surgery in April and it healed okay. I was working out in August, and I think I did a little too much. I had a little setback, but we will see how long it takes. Right now, it’s not great.”
Last season, Barnes appeared in 77 games and logged 2,634 minutes, the most of any player. In his two seasons with Dallas, the team has relied heavily on his durability and production as it struggled through difficult years.
If Barnes is unable to play for any amount of time to start the regular season, expect Dorian Finney-Smith to step into a starting role as he has done in preseason.