Chris Kaman is healthy. Roddy B may be less so. And jet lag took a few days and almost four quarters to overcome as the Mavs’ game in Germany resulted in an 89-84 preseason win over Alba Berlin. Some notes from Dirk’s Homecoming:
* Kaman, like Dirk a member of the German National Team, scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. The success allows the Mavs to shake off concerns about Kaman’s back, which was sprained on the first day of training camp a week ago. We saw Kaman taking a few swings at the team’s golf tournament a few days ago, a sign that he was going to be OK. He is.
“Kaman got off to a slow start in the game, struggled with some turnovers,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We got him out, and then when he went back in he worked his way back into the game. In the second half he was really dominant at the offensive end.”
* Nowitzki and the Mavs were instructed to “power through” the time change and the jet lag by staying busy and awake during their early time in Germany. They did so – with PR events and sightseeing in addition to practice – and The UberMan looked tired once this game started. Dirk, playing in his first game in Germany as a member of the Mavericks, scored just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting. Dirk pledged that the Alba Berlin players would want to beat him and wouldn’t be seeking autographs. He was right.
* Shawn Marion, maybe the best-conditioned Mav, did have his usual pep in his step. Trix posted a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and three steals, his offensive rebound and put-back sealing the outcome with 23 seconds left.
* Rodrigue Beaubois sprained his left ankle in the third quarter, the only problem coming out of the Berlin visit. Is it a normal ankle sprain? Probably. But because it’s Roddy B – with that troublesome left foot – it’s a red flag for now.
* Vince Carter played a prominent role in 21 minutes, scoring 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the arc.
* As promised, new point guard Darren Collison accelerated the Mavs pace while scoring 14 points, with nine assists and two steals.
“We’ve got to do better,” Carlisle said, “We are going to have to be a true team to be as successful as we want to be.”
The Mavs will continue to work towards being a “true team” with the bonding that should result from this trip. The team is now flying to Barcelona and will attend the Real Madrid-FC Barcelona “El Classico” soccer match before closing this trip with a Tuesday (2 p.m. CT) meeting with FC Barcelona Regal.