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Nerlens Noel late for Mavs team plane, loses chance to start

Nerlens Noel has learned the hard way Tuesday that Rick Carlisle has no patience for tardiness.

The Dallas Mavericks head coach announced during Wednesday’s shootaround that Noel lost out on an opportunity to start against the Hawks after showing up 10 minutes late for the team’s flight to Atlanta.

Noel originally was inserted into the staring lineup when Wesley Matthews remained in Dallas with a hip issue.

But now?

“It was going to be Nerlens until he was late for the plane, so we’ll start (Dorian) Finney-Smith and see how the game goes,” Carlisle said, via The Dallas Morning News. “This would have been an opportunity to start Nerlens. He understands we do things the right way here and can’t have any slippages with things like being on time. He understands and apologized to his teammates.”

Noel expressed regret and acknowledged Carlisle isn’t taking it easy on him, either.

“I apologized to my teammates,” Noel said. “It caused a lot of anxiety on the whole plane ride. I don’t like having my teammates or anybody in the organization feeling like that about me.

“Coach has been real tough on me since I’ve been here, memorizing plays and the little things that will bring things to fruition that much faster. I’ve been trying to learn as fast as possible. You definitely got to be on point with everything.”

Noel has played in two games with the Mavericks, with his best performance coming in his debut in Saturday’s 96-83 win over the New Orleans Hornets, putting up nine points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes of action.

There’s no doubt the 22-year-old Noel will miss a chance to impress the Mavericks. Although Carlisle isn’t going to hold it against Noel.

“He’s going to play. He was going to start. He’s not going to start. He was 10 minutes late and that ain’t going to cut it,” Carlisle said. “He’s lucky he got on the plane. We love him and that’s why there’s going to be a consequence and we’re going to fix this problem with the idea that it shouldn’t happen again.”

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