LOS ANGELES — Andrew Bogut said he’s willing to try anything to help the Mavericks climb out of the massive hole they’ve dug — including becoming a sixth man.
Bogut talked to Rick Carlisle when the team arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday night to talk about the possibility of coming off the bench. It would allow Dirk Nowitzki to start at center.
“Two bigs, against most teams, doesn’t work,” Bogut said. “Dirk at the four, he ends up guarding (Trevor) Ariza and those kind of guys. If they want to get a mismatch with Dirk at the five and if I have to come off the bench … last game we started traditionally and had to change the lineup within a minute. There’s no reason to go to those lengths just to appease me to start.
“We’ll see how it goes. If it works, it works. If not, we’re back to the drawing board and we might start five bigs. If I start playing more and playing better, then coach will have a decision, but I don’t think it’s a huge deal at this point in the season.”
When you are 9-23 and last in the Western Conference standings, you try anything.
Carlisle said it’s a blessing to have a situation like this with a selfless veteran.
“He offered to come off the bench, if that’s a better situation for us,” Carlisle said. “You don’t often get a player of his stature offering to come off the bench for the betterment of the team. But because of his suggestion and this situation, we have that as an option.”
Of course, it would be easier if he knew exactly what he had to work with.
Nowitzki, along with Salah Mejri, missed the Mavericks’ shootaround at Staples Center with the illness that has been making the rounds on the team.
Both are listed as questionable for tonight’s game.
“Tonight, I don’t know what’s going to happen, because I don’t know who’s going to be available,” Carlisle said. “There’s a chance the guys who missed shootaround could play.
“But in a year that’s been difficult, you really live for and work for situations where a veteran like that comes to you with a sacrifice to help the team to try to get something going. That was a great thing.”
The Mavericks play the Lakers at 9:30 p.m., Dallas time, on TNT. They finish their only four-game, five-night stretch of the season Friday at Golden State.