DALLAS - Ready or not, the Dallas Mavericks have landed in Orlando and entered the NBA ‘bubble’ for the restart of the 2020 season.
The accommodations for the Mavs at Walt Disney World are not too shabby. The team and the 35 members of Dallas’ support staff will reside in the "Lavish" Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
They, along with the other 21 teams competing for the 2020 NBA crown, will isolate in their rooms until they produce two negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart.
Pending testing, the Mavs’ first practice in Orlando will be early Friday evening. It will be their first (likely) full-speed team team practice since the NBA postponement on March 11.
Players are not permitted to enter each other’s hotel rooms due to infection concerns. If a player leaves the Orlando 'bubble' without permission, that player will face a 10-to-14 day quarantine, more testing and reduced compensation for games missed.
“Even though the cases are high in Florida, our protected area should be one of the safest places to be if you factor in the amount of testing and the amount of care that’s going into the planning," said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. "As we move forward, we move into this with a high degree of respect for the virus, a high degree of humility that every day we’ve got to really pay attention to detail to as much as possible keep our ourselves and our team out of harm’s way.”
Staying healthy isn't the only goal for Dallas.
Sitting at seventh place in the Western Conference standings, the eight 'seeding games' are crucial for the Mavs before their playoff push begins. The Mavs face the Houston Rockets on July 31.
"I can feel we all got a little more extra juice now when we're working out, because we know what's coming,'' Kristaps Porzingis said last week following a training camp workout. “We are a dangerous team. I think we can surprise people.'