Rick Carlisle reacts to Mavs’ first game without Dwight Powell
The Dallas Mavericks played their first game after losing big man Dwight Powell to a torn Achilles injury, able to hold off the Portland Trail Blazers despite 47 points from Damian Lillard. Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle is cognizant his team will be without Powell for the remainder of the season and has asked his team to step up in his absence.
“We have a new reality without Dwight, and it’s going to require a togetherness and a real understanding of who we’ve got to be, and that is an attacking team that’s skilled, but defensively we’ve got to do it collectively,” said Carlisle after the 133-125 win, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.
Luckily for Dallas, they traded for a 7-foot-3 big man last season that can give them some rim protection, making use of Kristaps Porzingis at center in certain lineups.
“Well, we’re running out of big men,” admitted Carlisle. “We’re going to be smaller in a lot of situations. This is an adjustment that we needed to make tonight so that we had space to attack the paint. Him being on the floor creates problems for the other team.”
Maxi Kleber saw a good dose of minutes at power forward while Justin Jackson saw playing time at both forward positions.
The Mavs will have to employ this makeshift rotation until they’re able to find a big man on the trade market or as a free-agent/buyout candidate, given their frontcourt depth is now all the more thinner without Powell.