DALLAS -- This season Dallas Mavericks fans will see a lot less of Jae Crowder.
No, the Mavericks have no plans of cutting into the 17.3 minutes per game Crowder averaged last season as a rookie. It's just that Crowder went on a diet this summer and trimmed down from the 240 pounds he played at last season down to 225.
The weight loss came at the request of the Mavericks, who felt Crowder could have more of an impact if he was a bit slimmer.
"We just felt that it would facilitate him being much more effective as a multi-position player, and he's done that," coach Rick Carlisle said after Wednesday's practice. "He's shown discipline, he's shown his will to work.
"I think that bodes as well for him as anything that he's done here."
A small forward and shooting guard, Crowder said he addressed his weight issues by going on a strict diet.
"I cut out the bread and I try not to eat as much bread as I did," Crowder said. "Grease food, of course, I cut that out, and I drink a lot of water.
"I don't try to drink a lot of lemonade. I've stayed away from caffeine drinks anyway, but I cut out the lemonade and stuff like that."
Crowder averaged only five points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 38.4 percent from the field last season.
"We've got a good group of guys and we're working hard, and I'm very excited to get going," Crowder said. "I know I'm not going to get at 240 pounds anymore."
Two days into training camp and the Mavericks suffered their first casualty.
Point guard Jose Calderon missed a portion of Wednesday's practice after he injured his hamstring.
"He got a little hamstring issue today, so he sat out part of practice, but we'll evaluate him," Rick Carlisle said. "We don't think it is serious."
About two weeks ago, Calderon finished playing for his native Spain in the European basketball competition. He came to training camp with minimal rest.
"I don't think it had anything to do with him playing this summer," Carlisle said. "But we really love him as a player. He's going to really help us with his experience and the abilities that he has to shoot the ball and make plays.
"In terms of the injury, we'll see how he is (Thursday). We don't expect this to be a long-term thing."
Calderon signed a four-year, $29 million free-agent contract with the Mavericks over the summer and is expected to be the opening-day starter in the backcourt with Monta Ellis.
While some military employees are furloughed without pay and feeling the effects of a federal government shutdown, Mavericks second-year center Bernard James considers himself lucky.
An Air Force veteran, James performed three tours of duty -- a total of six years -- in Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan.
For now, he hopes there's a quick resolution to the stalemate in Washington.
"I've been out for a couple of years, so I dodged it," James said. "But it's a crazy situation."
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