The Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls combine to show us that OK, so life still isn't quite back to normal. Another quiet night from Dirk and everybody else, another punishment via offensive rebounding and scoring in the paint, another contest with a Bulls team that played just a teensy bit faster and fought just a teensy bit harder. This torture chamber of a game groaned to a halt with Dallas shooting 6-16 in the final twelve minutes and going scoreless in the last two. Final, 82-77. That's five straight road losses, and all we can hope is this doesn't shoot another hole in the team's confidence.
Let's go spy.
On Dallas's offense, which only managed 35.6% from the floor . . .
"We can't shoot the same as they did. I don't care how much defense you play, at some point you've got to put the ball in the basket. And collectively as a team we didn't do that tonight." -Jason Terry
Regarding offensive rebounding, and why Chicago was so good at it . . .
"It's a reason why they're able to get so many offensive rebounds. Derrick Rose puts so much pressure on you coming to the basket. A lot of times he draws the next big, which frees their big up. He tosses it up and they're able to put it in. As you can see, we kept them to a good field-goal percentage. But when you're exerting that energy chasing him, trying to block his shot and all that, it frees guys up. And they were freed up tonight." -Tyson Chandler
About the third quarter -- Dallas rallied to take a four point lead . . .
"I love the way we came out in the third. We really battled defensively, got stops and really clawed our way back into the game. Our offense in the third was much better because we were getting stops." -Coach Rick Carlisle
On tonight's late game performance . . .
"We're a little rusty on our end-of-game situations. Our timing is a little off, and even last night we didn't close the game the way we would have wanted to offensively . . . We got stops, we just didn't execute the way we wanted to offensively." -Jason Terry
"When it came down to it, it was a game where we needed two more stops and scores and we weren't able to do it." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"For us, we had it right where we wanted it, after an emotional tough game last night. We thought that if it we come down the stretch and it be a one-possession game it was to our advantage on the road. And we just couldn't knock down the shot at the end." -Jason Kidd
"Things were clicking down the stretch. Normally, when we get in a game that's close down the stretch we pull those out, because we execute so well . . . It was a tough one tonight, but I thought we fought well." -Tyson Chandler
Overall . . .
"I feel like our defense was solid, holding them to 37 percent, but we never really got our running game going, partly because we were on a back-to-back and we never really got anything going. Usually when we hold a team to 37 percent shooting, we should get at least 10 or 12 fast-break points, but that never happened. They got back well and we never ran the way we want to . . . They made it hard on us, and we didn't make enough shots to win." -Dirk Nowitzki
Respect for Chicago, who stand third in the Eastern Conference behind Boston and Miami . . .
"Their team finds ways to win. That has kind of defined their season." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"But we take this one on the chin. Good win for them." -Jason Terry
A little respect from Chicago . . .
"We'll take a win any way we can get it. The Mavericks are a great team." -Kurt Thomas
Statements of fact about MVP canadite Derrick Rose . . .
"Derrick Rose is their team, I don't care who else they've got on their roster. You see he took 28 shots tonight; we made it tough on him. But key guys made some big plays." -Jason Terry
"Derrick Rose, without Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, has kept that team together. I'm going to give him the edge because of the leadership. I just love watching Rose play." -Charles Barkley
And the UberMan?
"Just gotta get my legs under me and just work my way back into it. It's probably gonna take a few more games but it's improving." -Dirk Nowitzki