The Dallas Mavericks are concerned about the low shooting percentage of Charlie Villanueva.
The 11-year veteran is shooting just 38.1 percent from the field — 25 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Coach Rick Carlisle thinks part of the problem is that Villanueva believes his time on the court is limited, so he’s trying to get up as many shots as possible.
“It’s important that he just continues to work hard on his preparation to play,” Carlisle said. “At times, I’ve mentioned to him that he forces shots because I think he feels like sometimes it’s going to be short minutes and he’s got to score.
People guard him because he’s a threat. He’s just got to make sure that he’s moving in the right places, getting to open shots and taking shots that are open and not contested.
-Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Charlie Villanueva
“He has impact on the game even if he’s not shooting the ball. People guard him because he’s a threat. He’s just got to make sure that he’s moving in the right places, getting to open shots and taking shots that are open and not contested. And if he plays that way, he’s going to play well.”
Brutal stretch ends
Saturday marked the end of a brutal stretch in which the Mavs played 22 games in 37 days.
It wasn’t exactly a baseball schedule, but by NBA standards it was pretty darn hectic and included six back-to-backs.
“Everybody’s got busy stretches,” Carlisle said. “It’s not just us. When you get into these you’ve got to engage, immerse; collectively, you’ve got to come together. It’s very difficult but you’ve got to love the challenge of the difficulty.”
The Mavs finished the stretch 10-12, starting with a 106-82 loss in Miami on Jan. 1.
Carter still has it
Even at the age of 39, Vince Carter has been able to produce for the Memphis Grizzlies this season.
In the three games heading into Saturday night’s contest against the Mavs, Carter had scored 35 points on 14-of-22 shooting. But none of it surprises Carlisle, who coached Carter in Dallas from 2011-14.
“He’s established unbelievable longevity,” Carlisle said. “He’s been a great role player now with two different clubs — us and Memphis. And he’s a guy we always talk about and prepare for, because his ability to rise up, score, make plays, and he’s an underrated defender.”
Belief in Parsons
Carlisle reiterated Saturday that he has no problem with Chandler Parsons, despite sitting the forward for most of the late stages of Wednesday’s loss to Miami.
Here’s what I really think about it — that somebody sat there and kept asking him and going around in circles until they got him to say something controversial.
-Carlisle on the situation with Parsons
“Here’s what I really think about it — that somebody sat there and kept asking him and going around in circles until they got him to say something controversial,” Carlisle said. “That’s my belief on what the bottom line is.
“If anybody has had strong belief in this kid, it’s been me. And I made it clear two or three weeks ago in here that until he’s 100 percent back, there’s nobody marked in pen as an automatic closer.”
Parsons underwent hybrid microfracture surgery on his right knee May 1. Carlisle said he didn’t think Parsons would be completely healthy until after the All-Star break.
▪ Owner Mark Cuban missed Saturday’s game because he was in San Francisco hosting a Super Bowl party that featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
▪ The Mavs have just one game remaining before the All-Star break — Tuesday in Dallas against the Utah Jazz.
Credit: Dwain Pricie, Star-Telegram