Rick Rally: The Dallas Mavericks have been poked and prodded and questioned and, well, doubted … by virtually every media outlet recently. Today is no exception.
So is it fuel for the fire?
Coach Rick Carlisle may have some questions to answer for his team heading into the playoffs (like, you know, who is starting!), but he doesn't see motivation as one of them.
"Well, I don't know of anyone who is not gonna be motivated this time of year," Rick said. "We know that a lot of people doubt us, but we also know that we can't just talk about how good we are or how well we're gonna play.
"We have to do it on the court."
Here are the rest of Rick's thoughts on how he thinks his team will respond to the criticism as well as the full media session.
Putting it on His Shoulders: Jason Terry has seen his stats and overall influence slide the last five postseasons and he is acknowledging it.
A shooting slump and edgy play recently has added even more pressure on Terry to perform this postseason. Still, the Jet remains undeterred.
"I feel like I have a lot to prove," Jet said. "I know it's a team game, but for me personally going into last summer I was real disappointed the way we ended up and I took a lot of it on my shoulders."
"Again, this is what I've prepared for."
Are the Mavs going to need an air show from the Jet this series? Well, something better than his suddenly-traditional 38-percent shooting would be nice, yes.
The Great Communicator: Moments after Jason Terry dubbed Tyson Chandler "The Great Communicator" on defense, Chandler touched on a few other subjects with the media. He made a point to mention how the Mavs need to approach these playoffs, especially with the disrespect they have received from the national media recently.
"Now we're the hunters," President Reaga …, err… Chandler said. "Now we can get out there and be the aggressor and we can get out there and play with a chip on our shoulder."
But wait. We thought Rick said … oh well.
What else did TY have for us? Check it out right here, Dear Valued DB.com Premium Member:
Window Washer: Forget for a minute that Brendan Haywood is going to be a big part of this series due to his and Tyson Chandler's potential to dominate the boards. (At least that's our theory going in, subject to The Ianimal-related change, we suppose.)
Big Wood had a much bigger influence on today's practice in the form of the "Quote of the Day" when asked about the danger of Dirk's championship window possibly closing.
"I've seen his season this year," Haywood said. "The window looks real open to me. The window is open, the shades are up, the wind is blowing through, and it's sunny outside."
Haywood had more insight as well, including details actually pertaining to the upcoming series.
Hopefully Big Wood's prediction of blue skies and sunny weather comes true. Of course, this time of year It's Always Sunny in Dallas!
Mavsellaneous: Holger was in the house today for practice. We didn't speak to him, but we can only assume he's here for the Lil Wayne concert tonight at the AAC… Roddy B did not practice, but no decision has been made on his playing status. Of course, as Tim MacMahon snarkily tweeted to us, some thing an "unofficial'' decision HAS been made … Peja was seen doing his regular shooting routine after practice and looked fine doing so… Tyson Chandler made it clear that he was heading to the cold tub after practice… Jason Kidd worked on his three-point shooting a ton after practice with assistant coach Monte Mathis… There was no Caron Butler in sight after practice… The last player off the floor after getting in extra work was Brendan Haywood.
Dirk on Roddy B:
We think this Caplan handling of Dirk's comments on Roddy B provide a glass-is-half-empty/half-full test for the Mavs fan.
Said Dirk: "Well, obviously (Roddy B) showed the last two months he wasn't ready to be a starter, that's pretty obvious ... We still like what he brings, that's not going to change. If he's healthy, his explosiveness and his ability to get to the rim, his length on defense, we still like all that stuff."
And more Dirk on Beaubois, who now will likely be supplanted as the starting 2-guard by DeShawn: "Sometimes he still plays like a rookie, unfortunately."
And one more: "If he comes in off the bench there's less pressure, less spotlight," Nowitzki said. "He can come in, change the game a little bit. If he doesn't, he can come back out."
The Final Word: "Idon't know if we have anything to prove,'' Dirk said, "(but) if we don't win a championship, it's a disappointing season.''