The movie Master and Commander credits Lord Horatio Nelson with this piece of tactical wisdom; "Never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at 'em."
Change 'maneuvers' to 'defense' and the result is the Golden State Warriors. For some reason, when they're fighting the Dallas Mavericks that approach works (sometimes). For a quarter, it worked again Wednesday. But the Mavs shook off their lethargy and worked their way back to take the win 112-106.
Starting at small forward, number 13 Corey Brewer-- wait, what?
"One of the reasons I didn't start Marion tonight because he played 38 minutes last night . . . We've got to look at guys that we have. I had to see Brewer in a starting role and we'll keep looking at things." -Coach Rick Carlisle
About starting the second half with three guards -- Terry, Beaubois, and Kidd . . .
"That's definitely a lineup that we're gonna look at and it worked for us tonight. In the summer we envisioned it, we talk a lot about it, but we hadn't seen it yet. And tonight was a good example of it." -Jason Terry
"Jet was in a good rhythm and I just felt that it was the right thing to do. It's atypical, because we don't like running his minutes up like that." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Regarding the horrible start -- Dallas didn't score for the first three minutes and went down by 18 before inching back . . .
"We were sluggish to start the game, maybe a hangover from last night. Whatever it may be, maybe it's just a team that had us on our heels. Whatever the case, NBA games are long and you've got to keep playing. And we had to stay positive with our guys." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"They were all over us early. We obviously came off a tough game yesterday, a physical game, and that's why we looked like we did early. We were just a step slow to everything, and you've got to give them credit. They came out blazing." -Dirk Nowitzki
"It sucked that we had to climb out of a big hole, but we fought to the end and we got a great win." -Shawn Marion
"We just kept fighting and we did a great job to come back." -Rodrigue Beaubois
"With the start we got off to, there's no way we should have lost this game." -David Lee
Getting down to brass tacks on defense . . .
"I think everybody started taking the challenge of guarding their guys a little bit . . . As far as executing game plans and all that, at the end of the day, sometimes you've just got to guard your man." -Shawn Marion
On guarding Monta Ellis -- Beaubois's job in the third . . .
"Any time you can help you team everything helps, so I just tried to play defense on him. For sure, he's a great player, so it wasn't easy. But I just tried to use my length and I think I did a decent job on him, for sure." -Rodrigue Beaubois
"I actually give Roddy a lot of credit, he really took the challenge of Monta. He was phenomenal tonight." - Dirk.
Dirk Nowitzki -- 34 points and 13 rebounds (including six offensive boards) . . .
"Well, early in the game they were real aggressive on him and he was having difficulties getting into a rhythm, so he went and got three or four offensive rebounds and put them back in and get himself into the game, which some times you have to do." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"In my opinion, outside of Kobe, Dirk's the best pure scorer in the game. He's a very tough cover for anyone. I had my hands full." -David Lee
"You knew the game is going to come down to the ball in his hands, and he's a dilemma for any team." -Coach Keith Smart
Guess who's coming to dinner on Friday . . .
"Good test again, and (San Antonio) just came off a tough loss against Miami. I read today somewhere that they had a three-hour practice for the first time all year, so you know they're gonna be fired up and ready to play. And always when you lose by a big margin you're gonna come out swinging, so it should be a fun game. Hopefully, the AAC will be rocking and it should be a fun game to be a part of." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Everybody is gonna talk about how this is just another game. Not for this team. Not for us. We struggled since the break against teams that are right there in contention for a championship, so it's a measuring stick for us -- how far have we come? And they're playing great, so it's gonna be on us to go out there and prove what we can do." -Jason Terry
When it comes to Dirk, what's the best defensive strategy?
"A prayer." -David Lee