Mavs’ Harrison Barnes will make season debut vs. Raptors
Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes is set to make his season debut tonight against the Toronto Raptors, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic. Barnes will play limited minutes on Friday as he gears into regular-season shape.
“We’re going to watch the minutes,” head coach Rick Carlisle said after Friday morning’s shootaround, according to Dwain Price of Mavs.com. “I expect him to play a little shorter stretches than normal to make sure he doesn’t get super winded, because he hasn’t played in an exhibition game or a [regular season] game.
“That said, he’s in great shape. He had a hard workout yesterday, he did a simulated game-type thing and he did very well. He feels good, so he’s set to go.”
Barnes missed the team’s four previous games as well as the entire preseason slate after tweaking his hamstring early in training camp. He will take Dorian Finney-Smith’s spot at power forward, as Carlisle opts for a modern spread-out lineup, surrounding center DeAndre Jordan with four willing outside shooters.
The Mavs are 2-2 on the season and could use Barnes’ firepower after the seventh-year wing led the team in scoring and rebounding with 18.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Dallas won’t need his rebounding as much this season, possessing a monster on the boards in Jordan, but they will use his ability to close out on the perimeter as well as his willingness to defend bigger players on the post.