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Chatting with the team at Saturday’s Mavericks practice

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Rick, Dirk and Dennis all had interesting things to say at practice as the Mavericks attempted to move on from the loss to the Suns.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s Mavericks practice was a busy one filled with many players working on individual drills left and right, including a long post-practice shoot around with Dirk Nowitzki and his longtime mentor and coach Holger Geschwindner.

Here’s what the Mavericks had to say as they get ready to play the Kings at home tonight:

Rick Carlisle

How are Barea and Dennis doing?

“I don’t know how they’re going to be listed. I think they’ll both probably be listed as questionable but that will be updated tomorrow. They’re both doing slightly better so we’ll see.”

What are some of the problems with facing a team like Sacramento?

“Well they’re playing incredibly fast. Fox is the guy who’s really the driving force behind the speed. They’re the number one or number two three-point shooting team by percentage and that’s a big problem.

“The addition of [Nemanja] Bjelica gives them a real legitimate stretch four. He can shoot from 32 feet and he’s been doing that successfully. Their spacing is different than it’s been in past years, the pace is different and we’re going to have to be ready. We’re going to have to take the turnovers out of the game which we were unable to do against Phoenix.”

Dennis Smith Jr.

How is your wrist?

“It’s not 100 percent, I’ve still got some soreness in there and we’ll see how it heals tomorrow. I came back the Phoenix game and fell on it a couple of times during that game. I went through practice today, full practice no restrictions.”

Does it impact shooting the most?

“Yeah. It’s OK on the dunk. Two hands for safety.”

Do you remember the first time you heard about Luka?

“Yeah it was probably towards the end of last year when the season was ready to be over with and everybody was looking at the draft picks and things like that. I watched all of them and really just the top 10 guys.

“Of course he was one of those guys. I said I would like to play with him. He can ball.”

Do you think Fox is one of the few guys in the league who’s as fast as you?

“Oh it’s not even close and you can tell him I said it. Tell him I said that, he knows. He’s fast now, make no mistake about it but he can’t run with me.

“Me and Fox have known each other since high school I think probably 9th grade. He’s a guy that competes, I’m a guy that competes. We’ve been playing together and playing against each other for a long time.

“I’m excited for how the way he’s been playing and leading that team. It’s been great to see.”

Dirk Nowitzki