Thursday, November 29, 2007

New lineup destined to change ... again

Avery Johnson sent his starters home after the entire team watched film Thursday. If you’re not sure who those starters are, you’re not alone.

The Mavericks coach employed his eighth starting lineup in just 15 games during Wednesday’s 109-103 victory over Minnesota, snapping a three-game losing skid. The “new” lineup had a definite “old” feel as Jason Terry and Erick Dampier joined Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard and Devin Harris for the opening tip.

For the record: The above-mentioned five didn’t go through practice Thursday, along with veteran Jerry Stackhouse. The break for the high-minute guys was a result of six games in nine days leading up to Minnesota.

“They saw some of the areas that we’re still working on,” Johnson said of those given early release. “I haven’t really given them any rest here recently. We came out of four games in five nights and practiced, and played a game, and practiced.

“I just thought it was a good time to give those guys a little break just to try to get their legs back under them and hopefully that will help us.”

Everyone else worked out, including 14-game starter Gana Diop. Dallas (10-5) finishes up a three-game homestand Friday night against Portland before traveling to New Orleans for another game the following night.

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