sportsMavericks

With individual workouts complete, Mavs prepare to travel to NBA’s restart in Florida, adapt to new circumstances

The team’s 35-person travel party will leave Wednesday morning for the NBA’s restart near Orlando.

The Mavericks have finished playing basketball in Dallas for the 2019-20 season.

Tuesday marked the Mavericks’ fifth and final mandatory individual workout at the practice facility as the team’s 35-person travel party will leave Wednesday morning for the NBA’s restart near Orlando.

What the Mavericks hope to come soon: eight seeding games, starting later this month, before their first playoff appearance since 2016.

What they also expect: weeks more of what coach Rick Carlisle said will be “adapting, reacting and doing what’s best based on circumstances” as the NBA attempts to resume the season amid the coronavirus pandemic that forced its mid-March shutdown.

“We move into this with a high degree of respect for the virus,” Carlisle said Tuesday on a Zoom video call with reporters, “a high degree of humility that every day, we’ve got to really pay attention to detail to as much as possible [to] keep ourselves and our teams out of harm’s way.”

Carlisle declined to comment on whether the Mavericks’ full travel party — 17 players and 18 staff members — would make the flight Wednesday, but he said the group “will get to Orlando safely.”

The Mavericks have all been tested for COVID-19 each of the last three days, he said.

Once the Mavericks make Wednesday’s flight — in masks — and arrive at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort hotel — in masks — they’ll start a mandatory quarantine of at least 36 to 48 hours in which they must test negative for COVID-19 twice, at least 24 hours apart.

Should the Mavericks pass protocol, their first full-team gatherings since the hiatus can begin.

Carlisle has worked closely with Casey Smith, the Mavericks’ director of player health and performance, and Smith’s staff to develop a re-acclimation plan. Rather than going “full-bore” on the first day of workouts in Florida — as the Mavericks would do during a traditional training camp — Carlisle said the players will ease into full-speed basketball.

“I feel really good about where we’re at in terms of our overall conditioning right now,” Carlisle said. “But this is a different situation, it’s a different time, it’s a different set of circumstances, and like so many other things involved in this endeavor, there’s going to be a level of fluidity.”

Carlisle has sensed his players’ eagerness to resume the season in the last two weeks he’s been permitted to enter the facility.

But a local example — the MLS on Monday withdrawing FC Dallas from its tournament because of several positive cases after the team’s arrival in Orlando — has offered another reminder for caution.

“The virus is unpredictable on many levels, but the one thing that’s very predictable is the level of contagiousness that is involved with it,” Carlisle said. “The NBA’s done a really, really, really great job of communicating the safety protocols.”

To prepare, the Mavericks’ travel group participated in a mandatory Zoom call with league officials last Wednesday, the first day of mandatory individual workouts, to review procedures for arrival.

Carlisle and his staff, along with the NBA’s other head and assistant coaches, also met Monday on Zoom with NBA leaders. They discussed the spike in positive COVID-19 cases in Florida and the league’s strict sanitization protocol as the next phase of the hopeful resumption approaches.

“Every place we go, every room we go in, every situation we’re in, everything is going to be sanitized, and once we leave it will be re-sanitized,” Carlisle said. “Everything from practice floors to meeting rooms to any kind of situation where players or coaches are going to be.

“So, even though the cases are high in Florida, our protected area in Florida should be one of the safest places to be if you factor in the amount of testing and the amount of care that’s gone into the planning.”

Find more Mavericks stories from The Dallas Morning News here.

In This Story

Dallas Mavericks

Executive Leadership

  • Owner: Mark Cuban
  • Head Coach: Rick Carlisle
  • CEO: Cynthia Marshall

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Callie Caplan, Staff Writer. Callie Caplan covers the Dallas Mavericks, high school football and Olympic sports. She has also written for The Washington Post, USA Today and The Baltimore Sun and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2017.

callie.caplan@dallasnews.com @CallieCaplan
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