Thursday, July 10, 2008

Looking for that diamond

Fellow assistants Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts presided over the last workout in Dallas. It’s been an intense week of practice, as the new coaching staff takes the first steps in implementing a new system. Teaching has dominated the proceedings, but there’s also been plenty of time to scrimmage and work up a sweat during a few three-hour sessions and two-a-days.

The week began Monday with 17 players, with 15 making the trip. Pops Mensah-Bonsu stayed in Dallas, but he hopes to join the team in the next few days. Yaroslav Korolev, another NBA vet, is expected to leave the team before the Rocky Mountain Revue (July 18-25) in Salt Lake City.

At the end of it, several could be invited back for training camp in October. The Mavs hit on free agent Brandon Bass last summer. They’re hoping lightning strikes again.

“Trying to find that diamond in the rough,” Casey said, “that’s what summer league is all about. Not only guys on our team, but also the guys on the other teams.”

So what about going undefeated? Rick Carlisle likely won’t be too disappointed if this version of the Mavs drops a game or two along the way.

“Of course you want to win,” Casey said, “but it’s about scouting talent, players improving and making sure you put guys in proper situations where we can make sure we see what they can do.”

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