The Washington Times - January 1, 2013, 05:41PM

It’s been an unexpectedly challenging year for the Dallas Mavericks (12-19), who are at Verizon Center on New Year’s Day for their second and final meeting with the Washington Wizards (4-24).

Before the game, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle addressed the team’s problems, well, in a way.

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“We have guys that care and that want to win,” Carlisle said. “My job is to facilitate that. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. The Mavericks average 15.61 turnovers per game, third in the league, to the Wizards 15.32, which ranks 10th.

Asked what to do when his players don’t respond, Carlisle said there are a few things he can fall back on.

“Coach them harder,” Carlisle said. “Show them how much you care about them. There’s no finger pointing. When you get in a rut, the only way out is to fight your way out.”

As for Wizards coach Randy Wittman, asked for the second day in a row what he hopes for for New Year’s, he joked, “If had that power, I wouldn’t sitting here talking to you guys. I’d be doing a lot bigger things.”

During Monday’s practice, Wittman said his wish fir New Year’s is healthy players.

“Hopefully, this will be a good beginning for us, Wittman said. “We’re getting guys closer and closer, to getting healthy. That’s going to be key for us, moving forward here. And hopefully at some point, we can have a full-fledged roster of everybody healthy.”