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The Dallas Mavericks are readying for the 5 p.m. (Dallas time) visit at Boston with part of their preparation centered on a potential absence from Monta Ellis, who is nursing a hamstring injury sustained in the fourth quarter of Friday's win over Utah.
The Mavericks are calling this a "game-time decision,'' a purposely vague pronouncement in line with the word we get that Monta's MRI showed the injury to his right hammy to be a mild one.
"This is nothing, it's minor," Monta said on Friday, and maybe that is prophetic.
The 30-21 Mavs don't need to push this, but not just because the Celtics are a woeful 18-33. This trip also includes games Tuesday in Charlotte and Wednesday in Indiana before the All-Star Break. ... caution is advisable.
Our injury expert Jeff Stotts notes that Monta has no history of hamstring problems. This is a plus, as is the presence of Devin Harris, who figures to step into the starting lineup if Ellis is unable to go.
Ellis is second on the Mavs in scoring at 19.5 points per game and leads Dallas in assists (5.8) and steals (1.78).
"It's not that serious," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said today. "If he can't play, we'll have to have other guys step up. But there's a chance he'll play."