Mavs-Cavs: Quoteboard

The Cavs are a mess. With 25 losses in a row they're making horrible sport history. With a 99-96 win, the Mavs stayed out of destiny's way ... just. Let's put it in the book and move on - to Quoteboard!

Started and played 20 minutes. Welcome to the Dallas Mavericks , Peja!
"He's a highly-intelligent veteran player. I got him in a trade in Indiana five years ago, and I think he had 20 the first game he played and it was smooth. So, he'll pick up what he needs to pick up. He's been in different defensive systems that are similar to ours. And all that stuff will come . . . I was very pleased with his conditioning. He's been working the last 10 days extremely hard. Really, it's been a training camp of sorts, double sessions, a lot of work on conditioning, defensive stuff, offensive stuff. NBA games are hard to simulate, but they did a good job of simulating it because he didn't look particularly winded." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"He's going to be all right. He's one of the best shooters in the world. It's going to take him some time to get his rhythm back, but I'm not really worried about him. He's going to have wide-open looks on the weakside as much as people have to pay attention to our strongside with myself, Jet, Kidd making plays. He's going to have wide-open looks in the corner and he's going to make his fair share of them." -Dirk Nowitzki

And how's the New Guy feeling?

"It felt OK. This is what, my first contact in two months? My body responded well. now, as the days, we have more practices and games I'm going to get that feel for the game back and I think things are going to be much easier for me on the court . . . Playing with guys like Jason, Dirk and Jet, we draw a lot of attention defensively and there's definitely going to be a lot of good looks out there." -Peja Stojakovic

Yes, gentlemen, about how this wasn't a total domination . . .
"There were times when we were real good, but our energy to start the game was not where it needed to be. We had too many variations on it. That's why we were so poor on the transition defense. They had 34 points on the break, which is a staggering number. That's disappointing, but I'm glad we won. We took some steps back tonight." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"We had five opportunities to put them away tonight and couldn't do it, because they kept playing hard." -Jason Terry

"They kept coming, even though we had a nice little lead. They played hard. And once you let a team hang around, they start making some shots." -Dirk Nowitzki

About Ian Mahinmi -- played twenty minutes, scored eleven points and grabbed eight rebounds . . .
"At halftime he was +19 and 8 minutes, or whatever it was. He was by far our best player. He was doing the things consistently that we needed to be doing as a team all night: which was being extremely alert, being ready to react and respond, quick to the ball, willing to take charges, those kinds of things . . . I just felt the way he was playing defensively and offensively that was the way to go. The more he does well with that, the more we'll keep looking at him when we need to." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"I don't know exactly how many minutes I'm going to get every night, but I know that if I get in, I know exactly my role and I try and do that . . . Every time I get on the court, my first thing is to bring energy. I've got to play the game with a lot of energy, rebound the ball, play good defense and then the offense comes. The more you feel comfortable, the rest will come." -Ian Mahinmi

Please not another injury situation -- Nowitzki had to leave the game briefly with a jammed wrist . . .
"Just got caught the wrong way there. I was boxing out and somebody got pushed, and I just got caught in the air at the wrong angle. I took some X-rays, they were negative. So, it will be better from day to day." -Dirk Nowitzki

"I know it's sore. Casey took him back in the locker room and checked him out. He said he was okay to keep going. Look, we need him on the floor as much as possible because of how he changes the game, even when he's not shooting the ball. He got one critical jump shot in the 4th, and he's involved in a lot of important things for us out there." -Coach Rick Carlisle

On the strength of the Maverick bench, which scored 60 points . . .

"Our bench has been consistent now for about 1 1/2 months, and that's what we need going forward. Early on we struggled trying to find our identity with who we are and our roles. But now we're comfortable in our roles and everybody pretty much knows when they're going in and what's expected. And it's working out for us." -Jason Terry

Respect and a professional's sympathy for Cleveland . . .

"A team fighting for their lives, don't want to make history and had lost as many as they lost . . . That's a good ballclub. Their record is not gonna reflect it, but that's a good ballclub." -Jason Terry

"You've got to give Cleveland credit. They play well, they play hard and they keep coming." -Dirk Nowitzki

"Everybody else put such a big emphasis on this just because of their record. They play hard. You just can't go out there expecting to blow a team out just because they've got 20-something losses in a row. They've just had some bad luck -- that's all it is. They compete and they've been in a lot of close games." -Shawn Marion.

On that last shot -- Anthony Parker shot for three but missed . . .
"I got my feet into it and got my legs into it. I had a good look. I thought it was going down. When it hit the front of the rim I still thought it was gonna hit the backboard and trickle in. But, it didn't happen. It is disappointing to come up short again . . . I think in those situations with a limited amount of time that was probably going to be one of the best looks we could get. We knew we needed a three and you know, in a fast break situation with the defense scrambling and not set, I think that is why I got the look that I did. That is what I wanted. It was a good shot and I would and I would shoot it again. It just didn't go in." -Anthony Parker

"A.P.'s three was kind of 50-50. I thought we probably could've gotten a little bit of a better shot. Because of the fact that Shawn Marion is so long, he was able to get there and contest it. But other than that, like I said, for 48 minutes I thought we played really hard." -Coach Byron Scott

"Once you are in a funk -- I was in it my first two years -- it almost seems like you find a way to lose. That last possession was a perfect example." -Dirk Nowitzki

About some contact late in the game -- should we be expecting penalties from the league?
"(Dirk) threw a punch. I don't know what it was about it, but I saw the replay. I don't know if he meant to do it, but he did it." -Ramon Sessions

"A punch? No. It was nothing." -Dirk Nowitzki

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