Mavs at Knicks: Shuttin' 'Em Up In Quoteboard
Last time our Dallas Mavericks went to Madison Square Garden, they produced a fifty-point win. Things are different in New York this year -- the Knicks are in the playoff race, Amar'e Stoudemire's in the MVP conversation, the Garden's a rocking place to be. But from a New York perspective, the best one can say about tonight is the margin of victory wasn't quite so gaudy -- 113-97, Dallas.
Let's elbow our way in here. Quoteboard:
Pregame fortune-telling from the Jet . .
"I don't think the first team to 100 wins this one, but I think it's gonna be over 120 tonight." -Jason Terry
About coping with Amar'e Stoudemire, who tallied 21 points but did not score in the second half . . .
"I gave him way too many open looks in the first half. I kind of wanted to get a feel of how he wanted to come out, and he came out, he was hot, he knocked down his first couple jump shots. And then he kind of got in a rhythm. So, I came in the locker room and I told the guys, ‘Hey, you just tell me where you're at on the floor. I'm going to get aggressive with him and I'm going to force him into traffic. Because of that, I think it made him hesitate a little bit and we were able to slow him down." -Tyson Chandler
"First of all, you don't stop that guy. You've got to hope he misses a lot of the time. He ripped us up in the first half and we did some things better in the second half . . . But look, he's a great player and a legitimate MVP candidate. I mean, there's no doubt about that. So, when he has a bad quarter, some of it is him just not getting the ball in the basket." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Regarding the third quarter, which begain with a 26-6 Dallas run . . .
"That was big. We made a heck of a run and they couldn't come back." -Jose Juan Barea
"Great third quarter." -Jason Terry
"The shots were good looks. There are just some nights like this where you miss your shots, but I think collectively in the second half, we just didn't come out with good energy." -Amar'e Stoudemire
"They're an older, more experienced team and they ran harder than we did . . . I thought we ran out of steam for whatever reason. We ran out of good plays." -Coach Mike D'Antoni
Wow, JJ Barea -- started the third quarter and notched 22 . . .
"We changed things up lineup-wise and he made things happen for us offensively. That energized our defense and we were able to get on a run. That was big. And once we were able to string together some stops we were able to build a lead." -Coach Rick Carlisle
About the effort on defense, which held the Knicks to 42% shooting . . .
"I think our defense has been going back to where we were in November-December. I think if you look at our effort defensively in the second half, that's what won us the game." -Dirk Nowitzki
"With the injuries, we got away from that. We started focusing too much on offense and how we can make up for Caron and Dirk being out. Not only could we not make up for the offense, but we stopped on the defensive end. Now that we got guys back healthy, we're starting to come back to our roots." -Tyson Chandler
Ahem, Tyson Chandler, All-Star game, hint-hint, nudge-nudge, wink-wink . . .
"I feel like I'm in contention. Some guys are having career years. But if you look at the center position, I feel like I'm the best in the West. Of the centers that are playing in the West, I feel I've had the best year and the most impact." -Tyson Chandler
On Nowitzki's re-emerging Ubermanliness -- 29 points and 11 rebounds, his first double-double since he hurt his knee . . .
"I think when 41 is out on the floor, just his presence, no matter if he's 50 percent or a hundred percent, he draws so much attention, and we've got guys who are shooting the ball extremely well from behind the arc and it just opens up the whole court." -Jason Kidd
"I sense that he's building each game on the last and that we're headed in the right direction with this. Talking about MVP candidates-- look what happened to us when he was out. His healthy presence is huge for us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
. . . and by the way, he's just passed 22,000 points -- only the 24th player in NBA history to do so . . .
"Really? I didn't even know that. It's been a pretty sweet ride for me the last 13 years. But one thing is missing. We all know what we're chasing and that's ultimately the championship." -Dirk Nowitzki