At 3:30 p.m. CT Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks’ road in the NBA Playoffs will begin with a matchup against a familiar opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle recognizes the challenge and pressure ahead.
"Hell yeah. there's pressure to advance,'' he said. "That's what it's all about."
Last season in the ‘bubble,' Dallas fell to the same Clippers team in six games. This series was highlighted by Luka Doncic's buzzer-beater three-pointer which evened the series 2-2.
The Mavs are facing some uncertainty surrounding the team’s health. Maxi Kleber and JJ Redick have been battling injuries that will present challenges heading into the playoffs.
In addition, big man Kristaps Porzingis has had his fair share of injuries, missing a total of 29 games.
Now let's hear Mavs talk:
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Carlisle on Kleber:
"He went through parts of the contact portion of practice ... and did well to my knowledge. ... We're hoping he's going to be OK."
Porzingis on possibly winning the series:
"That would be huge. That would be a huge step forward for us, especially against an experienced team like the Clippers."
Porzingis on Doncic and Marcus Morris when things got chippy in Game 1:
"We already know who they are. We have to control our emotions."
Dwight Powell on what it would mean to win a playoff series:
Powell on the Mavericks not winning a playoff series in 10 years:
"That's a simple fact of history regardless of what's happened." He says that the team is approaching the playoffs with the intention of "competing at the highest level possible."
Again, Game 1 is set to tip off on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. CT. DallasBasketball.com will have full coverage.
CONTINUE READING: How Mavs Win: 3 Dallas Keys Vs. Clippers In NBA Playoffs