Absent some heroics from Al Jefferson and Andrei Kirilenko, the Dallas Mavericks
paddled Utah's heinies; the 118-99 final was about what one might expect when a
contender at home dispatches a team that's just hit the ditch switch.
Shall we gossip? Quoteboard:
Wait . . . Deron Williams to the Nets? Less than two weeks after Jerry Sloan's resignation?
"Sometimes your heart and mind come together and say it's time to move on, and I think that's what maybe happened with Sloan. And then management, with D-Will, that's just a management thing. They wanted to make a change, so they made a change.'' -Jason Kidd
"I found out this morning during shootaround. We had started to go through our walkthrough stuff, and then I brought the team's attention to the fact that this is something that is being reported has happened." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I haven't gotten over Coach Sloan. So when they hit me with this, it was like, wow, I was surprised. But it's a business." -Al Jefferson
"That's Deron Williams. You're going to miss a lot. That's 20 points, 10 assists that you are going to miss. But we've got guys that are coming in that will help us out in that area. We're just trying to get back on the right path right now." -Paul Millsap
"We've been through some stuff. It all started really quick. First with Jerry and now with Deron, it's been a lot to digest. It's hard not to let your
motions get involved. But I don't think there's a bad guy in this situation. All of the things that happened came from competitiveness. And I can tell
you that anything about Deron being the bad guy is unfair.' – Raja Bell
On how that did or did not affect the gameplan and execution . . .
It was a little different. We're used to Deron being out there, and he was a big part of what they do. But, at the end of the day, we can't feel sorry for them. We have to handle our business." -Brendan Haywood
"I think for the most part we had to get used to Deron Williams not being there. That was the biggest adjustment, because you prepare for him being there, although we knew about the trade earlier. We still prepared like he was gonna be on the team. So, we just had to go out there and do what we had to do." -Shawn Marion
About that so-so first half and the much better second one . . .
"We quit turning the ball over as much. That was a big part of it -- we had eight turnovers in the first quarter. And that really hurt us, because it got them in transition and it took opportunities away from us . . . The lazer-like focus wasn't where it needed to be. In the second half it got better." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I think we started to limit our turnovers. In the first quarter I think we had like eight turnovers. We shook some of that All-Star break rust off then and got back to doing what we do." -Brendan Haywood
"It wasn't pretty there in the first quarter. What really hurt us the most were the turnovers. Just not quite as sharp as we wanted to be . . . In the second half, much better, much sharper, a little better defensively." -Dirk Nowitzki
JJ and Big 'Wood, a one-two punch?
"He scores the ball so much that a lot of the times defenses collapse in on him and then he can drop the ball off to me -- find me cutting to the basket or find other guys. I feel like I know what he's going to do and I feel like he knows where I'm going to be at. And we just have good chemistry out there." -Brendan Haywood
Regarding Peja Stojakovic and his efficient 18 points . . .
"Peja is a top five or six shooter, you could argue, of all time. So, if we can get him looks, there's gonna be a great chance that he's gonna knock them down." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"If he shoots the ball from the outside like that, we're really gonna be tough to guard, because he really spreads the floor for us." -Dirk Nowitzki
On offensive efficiency . . .
"Sometimes you don't even have to call a play on the offensive end, you just put the ball in Jason's hands and with ball movement and player movement you get all the good shots . . . You basically just read the defense. When you have like three or four shooters on the court, it's easy to make good basketball decisions. You read the guy in front of you and that is how you get your shot. We were able to do that a lot tonight." -Peja Stojakovic
Rodrigue Beaubois -- twenty-two minutes, 10 points, 4-6 shooting, 0 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 fouls, 1 steal, 2 turnovers . . .
"It's getting better . . . the foot so far is pretty good, no pain, no anything, so it's pretty good . . . I just need to keep pushing myself." -Rodrigue Beaubois
Catching San Antonio . . . could we?
"I think rather than worry about chasing them, we're focused on ourselves game by game. And then the last couple of games, see where we're at.'' -Tyson Chandler
A note from the boss about someday blowing it up and starting over . . .
"I'd prefer not to. But if I had to, I would. When it's time to rebuild, it's time to rebuild. And we're going to suck.'' -Mark Cuban
The Big Picture -- why contention is always better . . .
"When you walk in a gym and you know you don't have a chance, even if you make the playoffs, that you're going to be swept or knocked out of the first round, it doesn't feel the same. It's not the same as the opportunity to win. Sometimes you get your heart broken. It's just the fact you had the opportunity. I loved the Game 7 loss I had to San Antonio a few years back when I was with New Orleans. It was one of the special moments of my career. Just because I was there and felt what it was like. It mattered." -Tyson Chandler
On the Mavs …
"These guys, and most teams in the league, if you show them any weakness, they'll bury you. We don't want to be embarrassed." – Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin