As the Mavericks began mandatory workouts on Wednesday, Coach Rick Carlisle took the time to provide updates (via Zoom) on various topics.
The first thing Carlisle mentioned was the optimism him and the team had on the bubble. He mentioned the team was excited, rather than fearful, about the remainder of the season. Carlisle also called the bubble “one of the safest places to be”. The team is expecting everyone to be available for workouts except for injured players (Brunson, Lee, Powell) and Willie Cauley-Stein, who opted out of the bubble last week.
Carlisle mentioned that he has been tested for COVID-19 5 times. He, along with everyone else in the organization, has not received a positive test. Testing is one of the many protocols the team is taking to ensure player safety. Mandatory workouts that began today will only be one-on-one with assistant coaches.
As noted by Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, there will not be team workouts of any kind (including one-on-ones) until the Mavericks are in the bubble. Once in Orlando and in the bubble, there will be team workouts and scrimmages (opponents not set) before the seeding games begin. Until then, only 8 players will be allowed in the Dallas gym at once.
Rick Carlisle says workouts even now are individual, no team practices until Mavs get to Orlando.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) July 1, 2020
Carlisle says Mavs will scrimmage other teams, as many as 3, before the seeding games in Orlando.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) July 1, 2020
As for injuries, it appears Dwight Powell has been in the facility doing some light work. Despite the workouts, Powell will not be playing in Orlando.
Bobby Karalla mentioned that Jalen Brunson was back on the court following shoulder surgery in early March. Carlisle noted that Brunson’s practicing was not an indication of him preparing to play in the bubble, but rather ensuring he is ready for next season.
Rick Carlisle said Jalen Brunson is doing "pretty much everything" on the floor, but said it will still be a couple months before he's back to 100%. Brunson won't play in Orlando, but if that timeline holds he should be ready well in time for next season.— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) July 1, 2020
The lack of size from losing Cauley-Stein, which has been a common worry among fans, was noted by Carlisle. Despite this his focus remained on the addition of Trey Burke, who is not officially with the team yet but is expected to sign this week. Donnie Nelson said that Burke’s playmaking ability and scoring threat off the bench was a bigger need than size down low.
As president of the coaches association, Carlisle also announced the creation of NBA Coaches For Racial Justice. Dorothy J. Gentry noted that Carlisle would support players voicing their opinions through a protest. Coach Carlisle, among other members of the Mavericks organization, have been some of the NBA’s leading voices in the fight against racial injustice.
"We support our players 100 percent in terms of their ability to express themselves individually or as a group if they wish." Rick Carlisle #Mavs on any anthem protests— Dorothy J. Gentry (@DorothyJGentry) July 1, 2020
Donnie Nelson also projected a Starting 5 for the Mavericks in Orlando: Doncic, Hardaway Jr, Curry, Finney-Smith, and Porzingis. The team will likely need to look for alternatives down low and will likely run smaller lineups for a majority of the game.
Members of the Mavericks organization will be allowed to come and go from Orlando. They will be mandated to maintain social distancing with any player or coach who is in the bubble. Assistant GM Keith Grant is currently the only member of the front office who is expected to stay entirely in the bubble.